By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2018
You’ve finally found a sparky to install those LED lights, so chances are you’ve had a bit of a snoop into their work history before inviting them into your home, right? Wrong.
A new RAA survey has revealed 1 in 5 respondents would “never or rarely” check if a tradie was officially licensed, prompting a warning for householders to more vigilant.
In fact, only 15% of women and 11% of men surveyed said they’d check on the Consumer and Business Services website to see if the tradie they hired was licensed to do the job.
Of more than 500 SA householders surveyed, two thirds said they’d trust that the licence number printed on a tradie’s business card or letterhead was legitimate.
Even more troubling was that another two-thirds of householders admitted they don’t always request a written quote for a job, with more women (42%) than men (36%) believing they’d been overcharged.
The alarming results have prompted RAA, which launched a new tradie service last year, to urge householders to be careful when choosing a tradesperson.
RAA Trade Assist spokesperson Kerry Bowles said the state consumer watchdog recently revealed several “shonky tradies” using fake licences had ripped off more than $230,000 from consumers since last December.
Nearly half of the respondents (46%) rated performance over price. Only 1 in 10 (9%) said a competitive price was the driving factor in choosing a tradie.
“This suggests that unlike most goods and services, price was not a key factor when it comes to booking a tradesperson, with quality and guaranteed workmanship valued more highly,” Ms Bowles said.
So how do you pick a trustworthy tradie?
- Go to the Consumer and Business Services website to check the tradesperson’s licence number is valid and they’re qualified.
- Ask to see their official photographic licence as proof of who they are.
- Obtain a written quote to avoid paying more than you bargained for.