Monthly Archives: March 2016

Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders


Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders.

A campaign to protect Welsh householders from rogue traders and incompetent operators launches this week as the Welsh Government joins force with Trustmark to promote its consumer protection service.

TrustMark, a not for profit organisation, is a voluntary accreditation scheme that helps householders find reputable local tradespeople who have been vetted and inspected to work on their properties.

The integrated marketing campaign – which coincides with TrustMark’s 10th anniversary  – will target Welsh traders whose businesses can benefit from gaining accreditation and also raise awareness of the scheme amongst consumers in Wales.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said she was pleased the Welsh Government was actively supporting and promoting the benefits of TrustMark.

Rogue Traders

Mrs Hart said: “We have all heard harrowing cases of rogue traders and incompetent operators working in the home repair, maintenance and improvement market causing great distress, disruption and financial loss for many home owners. “Trustmark was established to eliminate poor practice in this sector and is a quality scheme that helps householders find reputable local tradespeople who have been vetted and inspected to work on their properties. It covers the full range of trades in and around the home and acts as a signpost to help householders find local firms and expert tradespeople, providing them with choice, confidence and protection.”

The Minister added that the campaign is designed to raise awareness amongst consumers while also highlighting the business benefits for reputable traders. Traders that are accredited can provide reassurance to customers that their work is of the very highest standard.

Liz Male MBE, Chair of TrustMark, added:  “We know it’s not always easy to find a reputable local tradesperson, especially if you’re new to an area or are bombarded with conflicting advice. But there are some really fantastic firms out there who are completely committed to doing a great job.

“Rogue traders are the scourge of the sector, seeking out vulnerable homeowners and taking valuable jobs away from the best tradespeople in the country. Checking things like recent work and up to date qualifications are vital checks, so if you don’t know who to turn to, trust TrustMark.”

All TrustMark firms commit to work to Government-endorsed standards and, unlike any other ‘find a trader’ scheme, are checked for all three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence.

TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms across the UK and covers 38 trades. There are registered firms in Wales specialising in key trades including building, electrical, plumbing, heating installations, glazing, roofing and painting and decorating.

Last year more than 8.1m search results for registered firms were provided to homeowners through TrustMark’s website and telephone helpline.



Choosing a TrustMark accredited company gave Jenny George reassurance and peace of mind

Cardiff householder Jenny George opted for a TrustMark accredited company when she had electrical work carried out at her home in Grangetown, Cardiff, which gave her reassurance and peace of mind.

She chose Bridgend based James Installation & Maintenance which is TrustMark registered and approved contractors of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors (NICEIC). The company caters for the commercial, industrial and domestic sectors.

Jenny said:

“It is important when choosing a tradesperson to know they’ve been properly checked out by someone who’s genuinely qualified to know what good looks like. It gives me reassurance and peace of mind that they will do a good job to a high standard.

“TrustMark is a trusted source for tradespeople and it helped me find James Installations & Maintenance to do our electrical work before and after we moved into our home. I would use TrustMark again if we needed to do any    other home repairs or improvements.”

Company owner James Tiernan said:

“TrustMark gives my electrical firm credibility and visibility.  As the consumer protection scheme for our sector, the TrustMark badge carries real authority for our customers and gives them the confidence to know that we work to a high standard. It’s made good sense for my business to join up to TrustMark and get recognition for our quality work.”


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Double glazing is a must have with todays buyers

window frame

Double glazing, a must for home owners, according to a new study.

It seems double glazing is a must have for home owners or those looking to buy properties. Energy efficient windows are the second most important feature after central heating, according to a new report in money market. It seems that staying warm and having an energy efficient home is now a must, rather than a nicety.

Gocompare commissioned the study and found some interesting results, their mortgages spokesperson, Matt Sanders, said:

“From our research it’s clear that today’s potential homebuyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics.  They are looking for warm, cosy properties, which are energy efficient and well connected to modern amenities rather than ones that are full of character.  For many buyers, the on-going costs of running a home – paying the mortgage, utility bills and council tax – are a real concern. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities.

“Bathrooms also received a lot of attention in the survey, with buyers looking for homes with multiple facilities.  But plumbing problems can be costly to fix and poor water pressure can be a sign of potential problems, so when viewing potential properties buyers should test the plumbing by flushing toilets, running taps and checking under sinks and around toilets for any leaks.   

Security of doors and windows also features highly in 4th place and comes well ahead of more traditional features like period details and wood burning stoves or open fireplaces.

Homebuyers also rank a good, reliable broadband connection and mobile phone signal over highly-rated local schools and properties with period features – which both failed to make the top 20 in a survey* of ‘must-have’ property features commissioned by Mortgages:

Top 20 property ‘must-have’ features
1 Central heating 79%
2 Double glazing 74%
3 A garden 71%
4 Secure doors and windows 70%
5 Off road parking 58%
6 A bath tub 57%
7 Local shops and amenities 55%
8 Friendly neighbours 54%
9 A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream films and TV 53%
10 A good energy efficiency rating 50%
11 A land line telephone 50%
12 A good TV signal 49%
13 A separate shower cubicle 47%
14 Cavity wall insulation 47%
15 At least two toilets 45%
16 A dining room 44%
17 A reliable and clear mobile phone signal 44%
18 A garage 43%
19 A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV 39%
20 An en-suite bathroom 34%

Read the full article here

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MP is exposed for cold calling

how to save on energy in summer

MP is exposed for cold calling and breaching the rules concerning the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

No body likes nuisance calls, (or cold calling) certainly not me and certainly not from double glazing companies, our industry has been accused for years of making calls without permission, however the rules are there for everyone, including politicians.

Needless to say, David Lammy who came 4th in last years vote for Mayor, was probably, innocently asking if constituents were prepared to vote for him, just as many companies simply wish to ask if homeowners are interested in their products.

However, in the same way that companies can be fined for breaches of these rules, so too can politicians. According to reports in the Sun, Mr Lammy made over 35,000 unsolicited calls over two days in August last year, but it took just 1 complaint to register his breach of the regulations and him receiving a £4,000 fine (assuming he pays promptly)

“It’s not good enough to assume the people you’re contacting probably won’t mind. The law requires you to have permission before making calls with recorded messages. And if the law isn’t followed, the regulator will act.”

In a statement Mr Lammy said: “I fully accept the Information Commissioner’s decision and apologise unreservedly to any Labour Party member or registered supporter that felt upset at receiving an automated call from my campaign.

“If I had known that additional permission was required to make automated calls then I would have sought it before any calls were made”


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Bogus Everest Salesman

Cold Callers

A suspected thief believed to be a bogus Everest salesman has been reported to police operating in the Brentwood and Ongar area of Essex.

According to reports in the Brentwood Gazette and Guardian series residents are being warned about a man described as “white, of large build and reportedly driving a 65 plate white Renault Megane with two other males”

This person was unable to satisfy residents with an ID card and the company has confirmed they don’t have anyone working in the area.

Most decent companies carry a photo ID card and their employees are happy to show it upon request. They will even wait patiently whilst you confirm they are who they claim to be, but remember NOT to take the number from the ID card, thieves could put a contact number on there, instead find it online and ring the number you have found from the internet, that way you can avoid being conned.

Are you are ever suspicious, contact Crimestoppers immediately and anonymously on: 0800 555 111.


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