Dumfries and Galloway Council has launched its new Trusted Trader Scheme focusing on the home improvement sector.
The initiative will be run by the council’s Trading Standards Team, and may be expanded to incorporate other business sectors.
It’s hoped the scheme will increase consumer confidence, promote good practice within local businesses and help to protect people from doorstep crime.
Traders can join the scheme for free, but to be accepted as a trusted trader participants need to have been trading for 6 months, have Public Liability Insurance, have evidence of any experience or qualifications claimed in relation to the services, have had no significant customer complaints and be willing to issue customer feedback cards (returned by customers to the council).
Cllr Colin Smyth Chairman of the council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “I am delighted that this initiative has been launched. People considering having work carried out on their property, can check the website or phone the council to see if their preferred trader is trusted. We want to protect people from rogue traders, particularly the vulnerable; the message is clear, don’t agree to work being carried out without checking.
Ian Howie, Age Scotland local representative advised, ‘Age Scotland is keen to promote all initiatives which aim to protect the elderly and vulnerable. Over the years bogus workers have targeted the elderly and by a combination of intimidation or outright theft have stolen millions of pounds. Schemes such as Trusted Trader not only ensure delivery of high quality work but they prevent the opportunity for bogus workers exploiting the vulnerable in our communities.”
Local tree surgeon, Richard Gauld is a trusted trader and said: “This is a great scheme which will allow consumers to buy a service from bonafide business’s that have been through a comprehensive vetting process.”
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “This type of crime can have a devastating effect on the individuals and their families and we welcome the introduction of the Dumfries and Galloway Trusted Trader scheme. It will provide individuals with information that may help them make more informed decisions prior to agreeing to have any repairs or maintenance work undertaken.”
Traders accepted on the scheme can use the trusted trader logo, and benefit from regional promotions