It’s not easy becoming a Which? Trusted Trader.
There are multiple hoops through which you have to jump, interviews carried out here, there and everywhere, and customers are contacted at random to see what they think of the service.
Oh, then there’s the code of conduct, the insurance and the annual audit. Which? even scours reviews to ensure they’ve been left by genuine customers.
Trusting a trade isn’t easy these days, thanks to a minority of cowboy builders who have unfortunately given the sector a bad reputation.
Add to that the fact that many online reviews are fake or ‘gamed’ (i.e. encouraged via some form of bribery), and it’s no wonder the general public struggle to know where to turn when they need work doing.
Genuine Facebook and Google reviews help trades businesses stand out, but they’re not checked or verified thoroughly enough. For instance, it’s scarily easy for a rogue firm to invite a bunch of friends and family to leave fake positive reviews in order to climb the rankings.
Those reviews have their place, but there is a better way.
Here’s five reasons why you should trust a Which? Trusted Trader:
1. One-in-four don’t make the grade
Which? only look for high-quality trades when enlisting businesses on their Trusted Traders scheme. They’re really not fussed about adding any old firm just to increase the numbers.
This is highlighted by the fact they don’t accept every business that applies. In fact, for every four that apply, only three get in.
2. Reviews are tightly moderated
How often do you fully trust the reviews you see for products on Amazon or hotel rooms on TripAdvisor?
With so many fake online reviews around, you’d be forgiven for being a little suspicious.
Which? rigorously moderates every review they receive and only leaves the genuine ones there, whether they’re positive or negative.
3. They’re not faceless
The Which? Trusted Trader scheme isn’t a faceless badge delivery service – they interview their members face-to-face.
This interview is carried out by a trading-standards professional at the trader’s premises. The working environment is examined and the people behind it quizzed to ensure the business is genuine and legitimate.
4. They check every nook and cranny
Which? goes far beyond the obvious stuff when they carry out an assessment.
Insurance policies, creditworthiness, complaints procedures, and terms and conditions are just some of the under-the-hood business elements that are examined before the trader can become fully accredited on the scheme. It’s very thorough!
5. Customers are scrutinised, too
Before you become a Which? Trusted Trader, your customers have to be verified as genuine, too.
That might sound a little odd, but it’s again as a result of the fake review problem from which the industry suffers. This is why Which? selects ten customers that have bought from the trader within the last twelve months to ensure they get only the most reliable feedback on their work and service.
When it comes to a reliable source of customer feedback, Which? often beats TripAdvisor and many Facebook reviews hands-down. It’s why we’re proud to be a Trusted Trader and why you should always look for one when you need work undertaking.