If you’ve ever faced plumbing issues, you understand the stress it can bring. That’s why it’s crucial to have a reliable expert you can call upon. However, finding trustworthy plumbers can be challenging, given the multitude of companies advertising their services online. To help you navigate this, we’ve compiled a useful guide to spotting and reporting rogue plumbers.
Identifying a Rogue Plumber
Before booking a plumber, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable company:
- Review their website: Reputable plumbing companies typically list relevant accreditations and references on their websites. If a business lacks a trading history, they might have started a new company under a different name due to a tarnished reputation. Even without a website, a plumber should be able to provide accreditations and references upon request.
- Observe their professionalism: Pay attention to their work approach. Do they wear a branded uniform? While this isn’t a foolproof reliability indicator, it suggests a level of professionalism and pride in their business.
- Evaluate their legitimacy: When discussing the work, be cautious about cash-in-hand deals offered at reduced rates. Not only does this put you at risk of prosecution for VAT fraud, but there’s also no guarantee of the work’s quality. Avoid paying in cash and always request an invoice for legal protection. Plumbers insisting on cash payment should be avoided.
- Agree on an estimate: It’s essential to establish a clear estimate before work begins. A written estimate protects you from unexpected additional costs after the job is completed.
- Beware of unnecessary work: Trustworthy companies provide detailed estimates that encompass all costs, including labor and materials. A transparent estimate safeguards against unscrupulous workers who may exploit your lack of plumbing knowledge to overcharge or recommend unnecessary work. If you feel pressured into accepting additional work, it could be a sign of an untrustworthy tradesperson.
Reporting a Rogue Plumber
If you’ve fallen victim to a dishonest tradesperson, it’s important to know how to seek recourse. The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offers guidelines for reporting scams, which can be applicable in these situations:
- Misleading practices: If the plumber or company misled you into purchasing their products or services.
- Improper workmanship: If the work was carried out inadequately, leaving your home in a dangerous state.
- Unwanted pressure: If you were coerced into buying something you didn’t want or need.
If any of these scenarios apply to your experience, contact the CAB consumer helpline at 03454 040506 and inform them that you wish to report a trader to Trading Standards. They will gather information from you and decide whether to investigate the case. If they determine unfair treatment, Trading Standards can take appropriate action against the trader, ranging from educating them about the law to legal measures that may prevent their business activities.
For emergency plumbing support or routine drain maintenance, consider reaching out to the SOS Plumbing team. Our dedicated and trustworthy professionals are available 24/7 across the UK, arriving in branded uniforms and vans to provide reliable service you can trust.