A new smartphone app, developed by TrustMark, will help tradesmen and their customers to ask all the right questions and to have more confident conversations before agreeing work to be done in or around the home.
Launched by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, he said: “The application provides another useful tool for consumers by bringing TrustMark’s expert guidance directly to householders through the latest innovative channels.
“It’s good for consumers, it’s good for the trades and it is good for Government because we see a problem being solved.”
This important app was highlighted following TrustMark’s research among 1,000 homeowners concerning their own experiences when using a tradesman to quote for a job in or around the home. The report revealed:
• Over half of British homeowners (54%) admit that they forget to ask tradesmen the right questions and almost one-in-five forget to ask a really important question! Too often consumers are handing over the repair, maintenance or improvement of their most prized possession – the home – after only the briefest of conversations.
• Younger homeowners are particularly vulnerable and lack confidence, with almost half (46%) turning to their parents for help when dealing with a tradesmen.
TrustMark’s chairman, Liz Male, said: “Our checklist app helps people ask questions that they might otherwise feel a bit awkward about but which are essential when considering employing a firm and agreeing the work in question.
“In 11 easy steps, the app creates an instant record of the conversation. It prompts questions and provides advice at every stage telling you what to look out for and your consumer rights. You can record what is agreed using text, photos and record a brief audio note and then email a copy to yourself and to the tradesman. You can compare notes on the firms you see.
“If you’re not intending to draw up a proper contract when the job goes ahead, the app is probably the next best thing. It’s a valuable safeguard for all tradesmen and their customers.”
More information: www.trustmark.org.uk/