How to Identify a Rogue Trader on Your Doorstep

It would be typical for your roof to spring a leak, or your boiler to give up just as the cold winter months start to set in. We might think we’re handy with a spanner, but DIY skills can only stretch so far – it is times like these that there is no other option than to call a qualified, professional tradesperson to the rescue.

However, selecting the right person for the job might seem like an even more daunting task than slipping a bucket under that steady drip. How do we know they are trustworthy? Will a small fix end up our worst nightmare? What if this man at my door is not who he says he is? Who has time to spend days, weeks, even months finding a reputable tradesperson who will give you peace of mind that they will do the job well without ripping you off, or even jeopardising your safety?

Thankfully, Aberdeen’s trusted tradespersons are here to help us out. We discovered some insider hints and tips that will help us identify a great professional from a tricky character on a cold winter’s night:

If you are thinking about having repairs or maintenance work carried out to your boiler, Mark Kennedy of Mark Kennedy Heating Solutions recommends:

  • When looking to get any work carried out on any gas appliances/fittings, or pipework you MUST make sure the company or engineer is GAS SAFE REGISTERED. It is the law and unfortunately there are DIY enthusiasts and plumbing contractors who are not only breaking the law, but also putting peoples lives at risk.
  • Rogue traders may well have the gas safe logo featured on their van or have a fake ID cards featuring the gas safe logo. There is only one place where you can find out for certain that they are legitimate and that is www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Insist on checking the engineers’ ID card – you are entitled to. On the back features a list of appliances they are competent to work on. Make sure they are qualified for the work you require to be carried out e.g. boiler service. www.gassaferegister.co.uk has more information on how to check the ID card.
  • Word of mouth, speak to colleagues, friends and family and ask if they have heard or know of anyone who has used the company in question and ask for feedback. Trades Advisor is Aberdeen’s answer to finding local, reputable companies based on testimonials from locals who have already tried their services.

If you are planning any construction work to your home, Stuart Fraser, Business Partner at FM Construction continues:

  • Always ask for quotes in writing so that both the customer and contractor know what has been quoted for.
  • Ask the contractor to provide proof that they have up to date public liability insurance before commencing work.
  • Don’t accept tradesmen who turn up at your door touting for work.
  • The customer should ask the contractors for references/testimonials from previous customers. The contractor should be more than happy to supply these if they have nothing to hide.
  • Always ask to see relevant certificates as proof of trade qualifications – from the older City & Guilds to the newer NVQ.

By following these handy tips, we hope to lessen the chance of becoming a victim of a rogue trader. However, when it comes to reliable trades companies and the decision making process, the people of the Northeast thankfully have an extra helping hand. You can find almost 300 local rated and trusted tradesmen, including Mark Kennedy Heating Solutions, FM Construction and R Davidson, which you can rely on to turn up, give you a reasonable quote, and undertake the work in your local area via a free online directory service – www.tradesadvisor.com.

  • Stewart Milne Group
  • www.wmdonald.com
  • Cala Homes
  • Evening Express
  • Flexistore Aberdeen
  • Revive the Finish
  • Richard Irvin
  • RICS
  • Safety Scotland
  • Thorpe Molloy
  • Mearns and Gill