At the Gas Safety Guy, we are proud members of both the Edinburgh and West Lothian Council run Trusted Trader schemes.  It was very important to us to join these, as we feel that transparency is paramount when dealing with customers.  For traders, these schemes allow us to reach out to potential customers in a way that safeguards their interests.

For customers, there are numerous benefits.  Trusted traders must usually go through quite a thorough vetting process.  This tends to vary from council to council, but in most cases, some or all of the following are adhered to:

– Genuine customer testimonials and reviews are collected – these are usually checked or verified by the council.

– There is also the opportunity for customers to leave ongoing reviews – you can view the type of work being done, the price paid and also the customer opinion.

– Traders also have their insurance arrangements checked and sometimes there is a home visit/interview arranged.

– Qualifications and professional registrations are checked.

– Some councils will also run background checks, Companies House checks or PVG/Disclosure checks on the business owners.

I must admit, at times we did feel like we were being grilled!  However, it is all for the greater good and, if the business and its’ owners have nothing to hide then there should be no worries all-round!

If you think about it, the Council has done a lot of the leg work for you as a consumer here.  They have checked the background of the company/individual, they have made sure they have adequate insurance, they have checked the qualifications and they have gathered reviews and evidence of their work.

No scheme is foolproof and it’s not to say that if you do use a ‘Trusted Trader’ you will never have a problem.  However, most schemes have adequate redress policies and traders should also have their own complaints procedure.

Overall, we have found the Trusted Trader schemes a very positive initiative to be involved in and would encourage customers to use these schemes when looking to engage with professional tradesmen.

Do you have any experience of using a ‘Trusted Trade’?  What have your experiences been?  I’d love to hear about the good (hopefully), the bad (hopefully not) and the ugly!