Avoid the cowboys and the pitfalls

PUBLISHED: 10:34 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

WE have probably all come across the so-called cowboys who carry out unnecessary or sub-standard work in our homes and then charge us a fortune. Even if the work is completed to a satisfactory standard, if faults are discovered later, the firm may have

WE have probably all come across the so-called 'cowboys' who carry out unnecessary or sub-standard work in our homes and then charge us a fortune.

Even if the work is completed to a satisfactory standard, if faults are discovered later, the firm may have disappeared or be trading under a different name and you will little or no comeback and no compensation.

There are so many products and services available to the consumer that selecting the right business or organisation can be a potential minefield. Sensibly, there is an increasing trend among consumers to move towards specialist services and goods of genuine quality.

It makes sense that buyers become more informed about how they spend their money and the level of standards they should expect. There are easy ways to asses the situation and ensure that you are getting quality and service for your hard-earned cash.

Guilds and regulatory bodies represent one avenue of enquiry. Most trades and professions have some kind of regulatory organisation that can help the customer make an informed choice when making a decision about contacting a supplier. These can range from financial services to home improvements and house building.

It is always worth checking with a guild or organisation which awards the industries seal of approval what criteria is involved, and crucially, whether or not the firm you are considering has the distinction.

These bodies offer an advice service to consumers and can be contacted on the phone or on the internet. The Yellow Pages has a comprehensive list and a website for further details.

Remember that these awards for quality each have a strict code of conduct laid down for each individual member so in some cases a good starting point is the business itself. A reliable and trustworthy service provider will be only too happy to tell you what regulatory bodies they are members of.

It could also save a lot of time wasting and money in the future if you ask questions at this stage of the proceedings. In the long run, quality business and tradesmen will always represent better value for money. They bring specialist knowledge and skill to their work and will be there in the future to give you after sales service if required

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ely Standard

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists