Thursday, June 1, 2023

Trading Standards catch cowboy tradesmen

May 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Builders & Tradesmen

After a six month sting which was set up by Trading Standards officers in order to catch rogue cowboy builders and tradesmen from electricians, plumbers, washing machine service men to Ariel technicians, the outcome was brilliant with 10 out of 44 tradesmen involved facing criminal prosecution and another 5 advised to receive advice or retraining.

This six month trap was set up a run by a Trading Standard officer who took on the role of playing the homeowner and interacted with the tradesmen while his colleagues sat back and observed the goings on in the property from a hi-tech control room.

The normal every day mid terraced property was fitted up with hidden cameras observing the traders every move and recording all their dodgy handy work. And it worked. The footage that was recorded captured one man testing for a gas leaks using a cigarette lighter, another man falsely claimed to be CORGI registered while another was caught urinating in a water tank.

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1 in 4 tradesmen strung out the job as long as possible to get paid more and it was these men who seemed to perform the most dangerous standard of work. Perfect example of this was a boiler engineer that took him 5 hours to complete a small easy job and then charged 4 times the amount on top.

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Peter Denard, Trading Standards Officer, said that “If you didn’t have the film evidence, you wouldn’t actually believe what you were seeing,” I am sure many people would love to see the footage just to see what kinds of things you should look out for when getting in the so called ‘professionals’.

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What is sadly still true is that even today, some companies that fail to trigger trading standards, have really poor standards of trading. Some of these have no right to be in business, they are incredibly poor at customer services, supplying their products and services and do little more than anger their customers.

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