Sydney, Australia, November 12, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- The establishment of a new hotline earlier this month for consumers to report dodgy home repairs highlights the very real risk that homeowners face of hiring unlicensed and unreliable tradespeople.
The hotline was launched by NSW Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts and the Victorian Consumer Affairs minister Michael O’Brien on October 6, who explained that consumer affairs agencies across the country report that they receive hundreds of reports of con men ripping off consumers each year.
Pia Vogel, Joint Managing Director of HomeSource, explains: “Simple ways to avoid becoming victim to dodgy tradespeople include checking trade licenses, shopping around for quotes and not paying the tradesperson until you are satisfied with the job.”
Ms Vogel warns that: “Unfortunately, a great number of new websites dedicated to locating tradespeople for homeowners who need repairs done may not apply stringent enough licence and standard checks to the tradespeople which they feature. If you or anyone you know uses a service similar to this to find a local tradesperson, this may be of concern to you,” Ms Vogel suggests.
Let’s take a look at the way many of these websites work. In order to register on some of these sites, the tradesperson is simply required to enter their name and contact details, business name, and the trade areas in which they specialise. Ms Vogel added that “The registration process can be completed without any mechanism for verifying the credibility of the tradesperson; or whether they are even fully licensed.”
Many of these websites make it this easy to register for the reason that they want to receive the sign-up fee (often around $100) from the tradesperson. This is a relatively cheap way for tradespeople to advertise their name, as they will henceforth be listed on these websites as a legitimate local tradie. “Consumers who use these kinds of websites may be unknowingly hiring unlicensed tradespeople, and are risking becoming victim to dodgy repair work on their homes,” said Ms Vogel.
Don’t let this be you! HomeSource’s Find-a-Tradesperson product gives access to a database of only fully qualified, licensed and insured tradespeople. For a $40 annual membership fee, you will be put in contact with a suitable tradesperson who has agreed to HomeSource’s strict code of conduct.
With HomeSource’s Find-a-Tradesperson, there is no risk of having an unqualified tradie turn up to work on your property.