Clients suffer from rogue customers

Clients suffer from rogue customers

The boot is on the other foot for Britain’s tradespeople…three quarters of them have been ripped off by rogue customers, a study has found.

A whopping 77% of tradespeople have suffered from a rogue client refusing to settle the bill for completed work.

That compares to just 24% of customers who say they have been fleeced by rogue tradespeople, according to a poll of 2,500 adults by online marketplace Rated People.

Almost half of all workmen say they have had clients who refused to pay a single penny for a completed job with more than two thirds (68%) saying this has happened more than once.

Whether intentional or as a result of misunderstandings concerning the project, the average tradesperson loses 20% of their annual earnings to issues with customers. More than six in ten (64%) of them even had to sue in order to get their money.

Rated People has partnered with Shieldpay to launch an industry-leading Protected Payments service. A great alternative way to pay, that fully verifies the identity of both parties and builds trust between a homeowner and tradesperson. The homeowner’s money is held securely by Shieldpay but is visible to both the homeowner and tradesperson. Only when both parties are happy the work’s been completed as agreed is the money released to the tradesperson.

The tradespeople surveyed were most likely to disagree with their clients on price (49%), quality of work (48%) and timings (37%). London’s tradespeople have experienced clients refusing to pay the most with 81% saying this has happened more than once. The average London tradesman has lost 23% of their annual earnings because of rogue clients, averaging over £8,700.

Londoners are also the most likely to have felt short-changed by a tradesperson (32% vs a national average of 24%), followed by people who live in the North East (31%), and to have unfinished DIY jobs in their homes (47% vs a national average of 37%).

Celia Francis, CEO of Rated People says: “Most tradespeople and homeowners out there are decent, honest and fair. But there are exceptions on both sides and this can create a barrier of mistrust, which makes it harder for great home improvement work to get done. Protected Payments will help break down that barrier by offering more security around payments and giving peace of mind to both homeowners and tradespeople.”

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