The DIY Bible For Hiring Local Trusted Trades & Services
All of my working life I have worked as a plasterer/plastering contractor.
Firstly, almost exclusively commercial work; Sites, offices, warehouses, hotels
etc, until I decided I was getting a bit old for that and moved mainly into
private/domestic work for the remainder of my plastering life.

One of the most common questions I would get asked was, did I know of other
trades and services I could ‘trust’ and recommend, as finding reliable
tradespeople or service providers is very much a guessing game for most
people. I got asked so many times that I started to carry around printed A4
sheets of paper with the names and telephone numbers of my most trusted
contacts around in my van, and would give them to my customers, either when
they asked, or when they paid me at the end of the job.

When I first got a website for the business back in 2,000 I put a ‘trusted
contacts’ page on there with the same names and numbers so that visitors
could click through to the page to get those trusted referrals.

(There was no charge made, it was a free service that I was glad to give to
present and potential customers).

Several years ago I had to give up manual work through health reasons and I
found myself spending a lot of time learning the in’s and out’s of internet
marketing and how it can seriously benefit ‘Local Businesses’ especially.


That’s when It occurred to me that Business Referral Clubs have been around
for some years now, and I also noted that most B2B referral clubs were closed
shops to ‘members only’, but that if the member details were opened up to the
public, they could search the contact details with a great deal more confidence
than the usual ‘old-school’ referral web-sites – it would be a Win-Win situation
for both the business members, and the public, who are often left a
sking just
‘where’ to turn to get the best services out there.


So, if You are wondering what 'your' best options were when next looking for
a 'trusted' trade, product or service, be sure to carry on reading this page.

Then Please be sure to pass this page on to your friends, family and
associates who will very likely thank you for it :-)

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OK, We've all been there, we need a job done about the house but our D.I.Y
skills won't quite cut-the-mustard. So you look around for someone else who
has the trade or service 'nailed' only to find that the choices you find are
overwhelming to say the least. PLUS! You've watched all the Rogue-Trader
type TV programmes that have put the Fear-Of-God into you as far as  'Who
DO You Trust?' ….. 'How Do You Know If They're Even Up To The Job?' and
many more questions that stall your initial enthusiasm.

To be truthfully honest, there is no foolproof way to be 100% sure you've
chosen the right trade or service until they've finished the job, and provided
the service or sometimes a product, but there are ways to reduce the risks and
help you get going forward.

Firstly, there is CheckaTrade.com who have proven to be a pretty good
reliable source for genuine referrals. But! Like many of these referral sites,
there is room for improvement in the 'reviews' department because the site has
got very big and less personal, this will always encourage 'players' to take
advantage of the public, just like Amazon and eBay etc have. So you should
always take reviews as helpful but not necessarily a guarantee of
trustworthiness.

There's also Yell.com who many people still turn to in time of need and who
also provide a pretty robust referral system, though not as secure as
CheckaTrade I'd say.
A relatively new upstart in the business referral arena of course is Gumtree.
Probably as reliable as your local rag's 'Trades & Services Guide'. (You make
your call and you take your chances :-)


Now obviously, a personal recommendation is always best! We've had it
drummed into our heads time-and-time-again by the TV shows that try their
darndest to help. But sometimes the 'help' is often misguided, especially where
TV programmes are concerned........

Are they 'really' the right people to be telling you how to find Trusted Trades &
Services?
They mean well no doubt, but have you ever been asked to refer someone to
a friend, relative or associate?   Were you 'really' 100% confident that you
knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Your Referral was just what they
needed?

We are all driven by a desire to 'help' others if we can, and rather than say 'no'
we can't recommend anyone, we rack our brains until a name that was lodged
somewhere out there in the ether springs to mind, because we half think
they're pretty good at the required trade/service needed so we give them the
name, number, email etc and send them on their way 'happy' in our own mind
that we've been very helpful indeed.

It's OK, we all do it, nothing wrong with that, until a problem arises and that
same person comes back to us moaning that they got a bad deal or worse still
– ripped off.......... It all goes a bit pear-shaped then EH?

This is WHY we shouldn't put that responsibility on friends, family or
associates. If we need a Trusted Trade, Product or Service we should
definitely go via an independent third party like referral sites. No, not just any
old website, one you can be pretty confident with from the start. One that
genuinely passes the responsibility of a bad referral 'up' the chain of
responsibility so that not just 'any old members' can become a part of the
referral service offered.

Below is an excerpt from the fred67.com / checkfred.com website and gives
you some idea of 'how' the integrity of that referral website is virtually
guaranteed (but again, not 100%)

Excerpt; “It is hoped that almost ‘all’ of the subscriptions will come from
personal recommendations from existing members who have a vested interest
in keeping the membership as clean and trustworthy as possible because
'their' contact details will be displayed at the head of their recommendees bio-
page”.

Every trade/service gets a Bio-Page which tells you in short what the service
is, contact details, even the history of the business in some cases, and at the
top of every Bio-Page is a link to the Trade/Service provider who actually
'recommended' that business to the website in the first place.

Now obviously, you'd have to be a little Dim to recommend a business that you
really couldn't vouch for 100% because it could come back and bite you on the
bum pretty severely.

We don't do reviews because we think that's a false promise. What we do
though, is to encourage 'anyone' who gets less than 100% satisfaction to
report it to the business at the head of their Bio-Page and 'then' to the
CheckFred.com website via the Contact page, when we would take
appropriate action, which if substantiated, would ensure the removal of the
offending business from the referral system, and if it were serious they would
find themselves on the 'Wall Of Shame'.

But remember; there are Professional 'Cowboy Customers' just as there are
cowboy Traders/Service Providers out there;  
Check Here!  
This makes a mockery of the 'Reviews' system because a 'Cowboy Customer'
is NEVER satisfied and will be SURE to leave a negative review if their 'terms'
are not met (
Usually an 'unearned/unfair' discount of some kind).
As referral sites usually just show percentages - there is no way of knowing if
a low-value % is justified or not.

OK …... That's it for now. Short and Sweet I know, but hopefully it's given you
food for thought the next time you're thinking of hiring or even recommending a
trusted trade or service.

Remember ….....
CheckFred.com ….......

For Genuine Trusted Trades & Services

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