Worried to trust local traders with your home, vehicle, or business? We talk about how to choose local and avoid cowboys.
Cowboy contractors have been a problem here in the UK for years now. For decades, too many elderly people were being ripped off on building work or were investing their life savings in home improvements they didn’t either want or need. The importance of avoiding cowboy electricians has been drummed into us over and over again through news articles and cautionary tales. Unfortunately, there are still those ruthless enough to take advantage of the vulnerable.
In an effort to prepare our readers to avoid such scams, we investigated how you can choose local without suffering through a scam. Here are some ways to avoid being ripped off, while still doing your part to help the environment by buying electrician’s services closer to home.
How to Spot a Trustworthy Local Business?
Oddly, the key to spotting cowboys is to learn to spot the opposite. If you know how to find a trusted trader in the UK, you won’t waste your time or money getting ripped off. Here are our top tips for finding a UK based supplier, tradesperson, or creative, that won’t rip you off.
Evaluate their Online Presence
A solid electrician’s company has a solid online presence. They may have a few pages on social media, and they may have a few reviews here and there that you can track down. An established business will happily splay themselves all over the internet to try and attract your attention. The best local businesses have extensive online resources that you can draw on. Sites like Yell can give you excellent insight into whether a trader is reliable or not. A good example of an excellent extended Yell profile is Amped Electrical on Yell, a Swanage electrician.
Ask Your Friends and Neighbours
When it comes to online review sites, many will give you a good indication of whether or not a company is trustworthy. Check out Trustpilot as a good example of this. However, nothing says reliability more than word of mouth. When we work with local companies, we should be sure to ask around. The word on the street will tell you far more about a business than three lines on a review site. Look out for testimonials on the business’s home pages, too.
A business who operates within the full compliance of local laws, is a business who has certification to prove they are the real deal. If you are hiring an electrician, a contractor, a plumber, a gas engineer – any kind of trader, they ought to have licensing and insurances in place. If they are not insured or licensed, you don’t have those protections in place should the worst happen to you. Look for certificates on their website, or badges of support from affiliate organisations.
Do Your Research to Find the Best Local Businesses
The best way to find local businesses you can trust, right here in the UK, is to do your research. Don’t agree to work with someone until you’ve seen their credentials. That way, there’s less damage for all involved.