Always use an approved plumber

Anglian Water has joined WaterSafe, the UK’s national plumbing register, to urge its customers to make sure they use approved tradespeople for any work in their homes.

When it comes to picking the right tradesmen for a job in our homes, it seems that some homeowners are judging workmen at face value rather than checking whether they have the right credentials to do the job.

New research by WaterSafe reveals we are a nation of super sceptics ever-weary of being ripped off with nearly two thirds (62%) admitting they’re much less trusting of people now than five years ago.

In fact, it appears today’s cautious consumers make regular checks in most areas of their life with 72% admitting to double checking their bank statements and 56% their supermarket receipts, while 48% check reviews on holiday resorts and 28% on restaurants before booking.

When it comes to letting a complete stranger into their homes to carry out ‘professional’ work, however, more than half (54%) place a greater precedence on first impressions than on professional credentials.

Shockingly, the survey reveals a third of us (30%) trust workmen based on their clothing, with 76% saying fresh breath and a nice smell of aftershave or deodorant wins them over and an attractive smile cements it for a quarter of the population (24%). While for a fifth (20%) it appears the tradesman must have a good, well-kept van, with the choice of vehicle being a big player on whether they’re legitimate.

It would seem that a good first impression could make all the difference between a tradesmen being trusted or busted, but when it comes to checking out the qualifications of tradespeople – the assurance that they’re fit to do the job – homeowners are happy to throw caution to the wind with a mere third (30%) checking their credentials.

This comes as a major concern, given that it is estimated the rogue plumbers alone have cost the nation £2.6billion in recent years.

In a bid to raise the importance of checking a plumber’s credentials, WaterSafe has teamed up with broadcaster, journalist and consumer champion Alice Beer to launch a new campaign, urging homeowners to TAP – Trust Approved Plumbers. More information on the scheme and a database of local approved plumbers is here.

Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, comments: “It’s a great shame that, while consumers are increasingly cautious in all others areas of their everyday life, there is still a lack of awareness about the importance of qualifications and how to check them, when it comes to choosing a tradesperson. The reality, however, of not using a properly qualified plumber is not only dangerous; it’s a false economy and could end up costing the homeowner a small fortune to repair, not to mention the safety hazards.

“Our message is simple – when choosing a plumber always use the WaterSafe website to make sure you get a qualified professional every time. In this way we, as a nation, can Trust Approved Plumbers. All homeowners need to do is go to the website, type in their postcode and it will provide them with several approved plumbing businesses.”

Alice Beer, broadcaster, journalist and consumer champion, adds: “It’s absolutely vital that homeowners are checking and double checking the credentials of any tradesman who comes to their door – this is the only way to keep their home and family safe and protected from rogues.”