Trade Recommendation Websites – Discuss

The trouble with trade recommendation websites

Trade Recommendation Websites – Discuss

Trade Recommendation Websites – The Elephant in the Room

A difficult post but it’s time the debate was started

Today we are starting a series of blog posts that tell the true story of our Service Industry with a focus on Trade Recommendation Websites.

Our service industry is in our opinion, at this time, not operating to the best of its skill & ability. That is not a criticism of our highly skilled trades in any way. It is a reflection of an industry standard that is outdated and is failing the public.

Our working experience shows that companies operating trade recommendation websites need to be fully explained to you the trades and the public. Here at Beat The Cowboy Builder we hear on a daily basis the disapproval of trade recommendation websites from both the people that use them and the trades that advertise their services on them.

According to the public, we hear that when something goes wrong, the trade recommendation websites claims zero responsibility. They claim they only recommended the trade to you and so because of that fact they are in no way accountable or responsible for any shoddy work you may have received.

Adjacently to this we have have seen an increasing trend in the last few years. Since around 2013 we have been helping people that have been ripped off by members of these sites. People pro-porting to be what they want the public to believe they are, genuine tradesmen. Unfortunately, some of them are quite the opposite. The cowboy builder has infiltrated these sites at the highest level leading to a growing mistrust between customer and trade. That is a big statement to make but unfortunately in our working opinion it’s a fact.

Rogue Trades have infiltrated Trade Recommendation Websites at the highest level

Now that we have your attention, let’s get one thing sorted out straight away; this is not scaremongering or promoting fear. The aim of this bold statement is to highlight to you the public and the trades that which you may already be aware of. Something that we have been aware of for some years now. Something that the trades recommendation websites are also aware of. Trade Recommendation websites are not all they seem, or appear to be.

Embellishment or dressing things up to look something they are not. Not actually lying but certainly not telling the truth. This is what a lot of the big players use to lull you, the public and the trades, into using their services. They cautiously lull you into a false sense of security. It’s a form of entrapment that in Beat the Cowboy Builder’s opinion is bordering on dishonesty.

The Service Industry consists of two separate entities. The Construction sector and the normal everyday domestic repair sector. It may come as a surprise to you that 106 services are available for your use. That’s the average number give or take a few, 106 individual services. Put another way, that’s an awful lot of strangers to put your trust in.

It’s also a lot of strangers who can rip you off.

To protect yourself, as you are constantly advised to do, you employ the services of trade recommendation companies in the belief that they will offer some element of protection. The adverts they regularly put out would make you believe that. Right? One can read every word of everything they print and we defy anybody to find the word RESPONSIBLE.

What you will most certainly find is at some point they will clearly state in their documentation that they are not responsible for the actions of any person or company that they recommend to you. Surely if one has recommended someone or a company, if something was to go wrong, you would feel at the very least moderately responsible? You would feel moderately obligated to put the matter right? Offer some form of assistance? So, if they are open to this form of criticism, why do they operate these recommendation businesses? The reason they operate these sites, and there is a lot of them, is money.

The service providers pay these websites to be on their books. It’s a basic means for the trades to get work. Any of these trades recommendation sites can be easily manipulated by the trades to give themselves positive reviews. Not necessarily because they are cowboy builders, but simply as a means to get ahead of the game and to win work.

We do not intend to or have any intention of bad mouthing our superb tradesmen, it simply would not be in our interests to do so.

It has to be said at this point that not all the people who sign up with these companies are bad people. In fact the majority are decent honest hard working service providers. The danger is the bad apples. There are little or no checks made on these people when signing up to these sites and this lackadaisical approach can easily open the door for the cowboy.

Beat the Cowboy Builder often receive criticism from trades that we put paint them in a negative light. We have an ‘all trades are cowboys’ attitude or approach. We also receive comments from trades that have signed up with trade recommendation sites saying exactly the same. Comments such as “They do nothing for us”, “We pay X amount up front and there is no promise of work” and “It only takes one negative review, from a cowboy customer and our work and reputation will be blemished”. These are repetitive complaints from the tradesmen and women who use recommendation service sites.

So where does this leave you the customer? Well you are no better off than when you started that’s the truthful answer to that question. You may still feel like you are rolling the dice when employing a trade.

Beat The Cowboy Builder aims to solve this problem that no one will talk about but all acknowledge exists.

Our founder Ron Pye has come up with an alternative highly innovative means of operating that is going to seriously change the way you employ a trade.

A follow on blog from Ron will be available soon when he will explain in detail how we will operate this new service.

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Comments (2)

  • Marcus Potter Reply

    Couldn’t agree more!! We used a ‘certified builder’ from a very well known and long established ‘trade recommendation website’ and we had problems from the start. The case is still in court but, we have lost over £175,000 and the work is still not complete. I think licensing is the only way forward. If you have a license you are a builder, or a trade no middle ground or grey areas when it comes to the law.

    February 13, 2017 at 5:08 pm
  • Sad Warrington girl Reply

    Yes, we took recommendation from the consumer champion website on a trader we used last year. The work was quoted as £9000, double that of a competitor but we believed the website. They also had been awarded a customer focus award by the local chamber of commerce so we thought what can go wrong? We have just been quoted £2500 for work to be put right and we will have to pay another £1000 for materials, could run to £1500 if the materials already fitted are damaged removing them to sort out the defects, 40-45%. This doesn’t take into account the stress and human costs. If this company had been licensed they would probably have their license revoked for what they have done to us.

    May 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm

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