Rogue traders: ruining our reputation

15 Jun 2015

The CPA are committed to fighting rogue traders in the construction and fenestration industries, and to protecting the rights of installers and homeowners.

Rogue trader lego men with hard hats

Unfortunately, the construction and fenestration industries have been associated with 'rogue traders' for a number of years. Our industry, like any other, suffers from a small minority of dishonest people, but they are the exception- not the rule. They don't reflect the majority of our skilled and experienced tradespeople. It's time we eradicated rogue traders from our industry, and claimed back our reputation- once and for all.

What is a rogue trader?

A rogue trader is best described as someone who uses unscrupulous, illegal and corner-cutting trading practices when completing projects. They're often inexperienced, produce dangerous and substandard work, and they are one of the most complained about parts of our industries. Rogue traders are also known by the phrase, 'Cowboy builders'.The construction and fenestration industries suffer from an unfair association with rogue traders and The CPA has been fighting to cast this off. Here are some simple steps we can all take to improve standards in the industry and eliminate rogue traders.

How we can beat rogue traders and improve industry standards

1. Never trade in cash

Trading in cash provides the temptation of not declaring your full income to avoid paying tax: a move that is not only morally wrong but also illegal. Nothing defines a rogue trader more than trading in cash to avoid tax. Everyone in the country, from the supermarket worker to the banker; even the 13 year old with a Saturday job, pays tax so why should a trader in our industry be any exception?One of the biggest stereotypes in our industry is of the white van man who works cash in hand, no questions asked. This has to change. By making sure that we never trade in cash, and that we declare our full income for any projects we undertake, we can go a long way to ditching this bad reputation for good.

2. Join an accredited organisation

Belonging to an accredited organisation is a great way to boost the overall quality of your work and show potential customers that you're a trustworthy company. Accredited organisations, like Which? or Network Veka have high quality expectations that they demand from installers. This helps to increase the overall standard of work in the industry and sorts the good home improvement companies from the bad.

3. Offer a high quality Insurance Backed Guarantee

Whilst recent legislative changes mean that offering an Insurance Backed Guarantee is now a legal requirement, many rogue traders simply don't, or offer one of extremely low quality. By offering an industry respected Insurance Backed Guarantee, like the ones we offer here at The CPA, you can boost the credibility of your business and show the world that you're committed to high standards.

4. Provide a contract and get everything in writing

Every project you complete, no matter how small, should have a contract drawn up for it. Many rogue traders don't offer a contract. Not only does this diminish the legal rights of consumers, it also damages the legal rights of installers, as well as allowing unfair additional charges to be added. Drawing up a contract for the project is not best practice: it's an industry requirement.Providing a contract improves the quality of service we offer by letting both parties- the installer and the customer, know what's expected from them. This eliminates any potential problems further along in the process. Contracts protect the legal and financial rights of you and your customer, and for that reason they can only ever be a good thing.

Fight against rogue traders by joining The CPA today!

The CPA are committed to fighting rogue traders in the construction and fenestration industries, and to protecting the rights of installers and homeowners. To find out more about our Insurance Backed Guarantees, give us a call on 01462 850064 or send us an email.