List to show which businesses to trust

Swindon Advertiser: Ashley Wheeler from Trading Standards as an administrator of the new scheme that aims to protect people from rogue traders by providing a list of reputable businesses. Buy this photo » Ashley Wheeler from Trading Standards as an administrator of the new scheme that aims to protect people from rogue traders by providing a list of reputable businesses.

ROGUE traders are being given the cold shoulder as Swindon Council’s Trading Standards team joins a guide that lists carefully-approved companies.

The Buy with Confidence website, a national scheme run by local authorities, lists 26 reputable businesses from the borough that are vetted and re-assessed annually.

The website is aimed at countering problems such as dodgy doorstep sales and an alleged rogue trader from Swindon who disappeared after a string of complaints.

Trading Standards officer Carla Baker said: “The aim of the scheme is to allow consumers to find reputable traders that trade fairly and legally by searching through a list of local approved traders.

“Our members cover a broad range of trades from builders to mechanics, electricians to cleaners. Traders wishing to join the scheme must apply and are then thoroughly vetted by Trading Standards.”

Traders must undergo checks, including having their complaints history reviewed and receiving a visit from Trading Standards to check they comply with consumer legislation.

Good references are required from previous customers and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s code of conduct.

Monitoring continues through checks for complaints and feedback forms given to customers.

Ashley Wheeler, an administrator of the scheme, said: “We often get phone calls about whether a trader is reliable or not. Before we couldn’t give out names and people had to pick through companies to make their own decision.”

The scheme has been running for 10 years, with Swindon Council becoming involved 10 months ago.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

DODGY practices by rogue traders led a partnership of local authority trading standards team to launch the Buy With Confidence scheme in 1999.

The initiative is the largest of its kind nationally and continues to expand across the country. In order to become a member, a business must apply or be recommended to join and then pass a series of background checks, which includes a review of their complaints history and references from previous customers. The companies pay a fee to join depending on how many staff they employ. Consumers can search by name or by the type of services listed on the website.

Coun Vera Tomlinson, cabinet member for a safer and stronger borough, said: “We would always advise people to use the Buy with Confidence scheme, as the traders who are members have been through a rigorous vetting process.” Visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:22am Thu 14 Feb 13

salt and vinegar says...

Hope it works better than ratedpeople.com, a neighbour who lives a few doors away from me found one from Swindon, after a couple of days it suddenly dawned on them he did'nt have a clue what he was doing and they had to tell him to leave.

It was a large patio by the way, ruined their lovely lawn with 3 different sized diggers before he found the right one for the job, what a mess.
Hope it works better than ratedpeople.com, a neighbour who lives a few doors away from me found one from Swindon, after a couple of days it suddenly dawned on them he did'nt have a clue what he was doing and they had to tell him to leave. It was a large patio by the way, ruined their lovely lawn with 3 different sized diggers before he found the right one for the job, what a mess. salt and vinegar

9:40am Thu 14 Feb 13

gina948 says...

We've used MyBuilder.com in the past which has worked fine because you can read the customer reviews.
We've used MyBuilder.com in the past which has worked fine because you can read the customer reviews. gina948

9:43am Thu 14 Feb 13

AndyJH says...

The danger is that companies not on the list may be considered less reliable where in fact they’re just too busy to go through the process or are unwilling to pay the yearly fees, especially the £25 per head CRB checks.

1-5 Employees: £120.00 per premise including VAT.
6-10: £180.00 per premise including VAT.
11+: £240.00 per premise including VAT.
Please note that a non-refundable £120 application fee (inc VAT) will apply on receipt of your application form. This will be deducted from your first year's membership if approved.
Please Note: If you carry out work in or around domestic premises, or for other high risk groups, you will be required to supply a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure form in respect of EVERY EMPLOYEE and unsupervised subcontractor who does such work on your behalf. There is a cost of £25.00 per person for this. See our CRB Guidance for further information.

Doesn’t look like Swindon Council's own Swindon Commercial Services are part of this scheme and I am wondering if any of their sub-contractors are?
The danger is that companies not on the list may be considered less reliable where in fact they’re just too busy to go through the process or are unwilling to pay the yearly fees, especially the £25 per head CRB checks. 1-5 Employees: £120.00 per premise including VAT. 6-10: £180.00 per premise including VAT. 11+: £240.00 per premise including VAT. Please note that a non-refundable £120 application fee (inc VAT) will apply on receipt of your application form. This will be deducted from your first year's membership if approved. Please Note: If you carry out work in or around domestic premises, or for other high risk groups, you will be required to supply a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure form in respect of EVERY EMPLOYEE and unsupervised subcontractor who does such work on your behalf. There is a cost of £25.00 per person for this. See our CRB Guidance for further information. Doesn’t look like Swindon Council's own Swindon Commercial Services are part of this scheme and I am wondering if any of their sub-contractors are? AndyJH

9:53am Thu 14 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

The schema has been running 10 years and only 26 "reputable" businesses. Sounds like a failed scheme to me then if businesses haven't bothered over teh last 10 years.

Unless large amounts of money are involved, people generally don't bother complaining as the fallout can be much worse; afterall that dodgy builder or tradesman knows where you live.

Many people will just put it down to experience.
The schema has been running 10 years and only 26 "reputable" businesses. Sounds like a failed scheme to me then if businesses haven't bothered over teh last 10 years. Unless large amounts of money are involved, people generally don't bother complaining as the fallout can be much worse; afterall that dodgy builder or tradesman knows where you live. Many people will just put it down to experience. LordAshOfTheBrake

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree