UK’s rogue trader hotspots revealed in poll

Experts warn homeowners to be vigilant amid cost-of-living crisis

Richard Jenkins
Monday 16 May 2022 09:16
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<p>Rogue plumbers were the most prevalent kind of shoddy workmen, according to pollsters</p>

Rogue plumbers were the most prevalent kind of shoddy workmen, according to pollsters

People living in London, Newcastle and Belfast are among those most likely to have been ripped off by a rogue trader, according to a new poll.

More than one-third (37 per cent) of homeowners have encountered a rogue tradesperson at some point, including 31 per cent in Newcastle, 23 per cent in Belfast and 23 per cent in London.

However, the figure dropped to just 11 per cent in Glasgow, 15 per cent in Cardiff and 16 per cent in Norwich, pollsters from Checkatrade found.

Fully one-fifth of the incidents involved plumbers, research found. Bathroom installation, painting and decorating and kitchen fitting were the next-most prevalent sectors in which consumers were left with disappointing results.

One-fifth of the 2,880 homeowners polled had experienced a financial loss due to shoddy work, with seven in 10 forced to pay extra to have it fixed. Financially, respondents from Oxford were hardest hit – experiencing a loss of £4,990 on average.

Mike Fairman, chief executive of Checkatrade, said: “As household finances continue to be stretched, it’s more important than ever to do due diligence before parting with your hard-earned cash when hiring a trade.

“As many as one-fifth of homeowners are still not reading online reviews before they hire a trade, leaving them exposed to being targeted.

“And while rogue trades can be found everywhere, my advice is to be wary of high availability, be careful of cheap quotes, beware of being asked for full payment up front, never accept work from trades who doorstep and always source a minimum of three competitive quotes.”

When it comes to being quoted for a job, 60 per cent of respondents said they did not know how much things are supposed to cost and, as a result, were unaware if they were being ripped off.

The survey also found 24 per cent of homeowners had booked a trade without sourcing references and 22 per cent had skipped due diligence or background checks altogether. A further one in four of those polled via OnePoll also failed to source multiple quotes prior to work being completed.

One in 10 people hit by a rogue trader said the experience had negatively impacted their mental health.

Mr Fairman added: “We’re committed to stamping out rogue tradespeople and have removed 1,595 trades from our platform last year alone for not passing our stringent checks.”

Rogue trader hotspots

1. Newcastle

2. Belfast

3. London

4. Coventry

5. Portsmouth

6. Chelmsford

7. Liverpool

8. Southampton

9. Brighton and Hove

10. Norwich

SWNS

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