Frequently asked questions.
Are Businesses on the Safe Trader Scheme approved by Trading Standards or Lancashire County Council?
No, we do not approve traders, however they have all signed our Code of Practice which commits them to treating customers fairly and working with us should there be any dispute. Traders undergo a range of basic checks to ensure that we have no adverse information about them before they are accepted on to the scheme. If traders claim to be registered with another body, e.g. Gas Safe, we will check these claims are correct. Any complaints received about a trader will be investigated and may result in suspension from the Scheme.
How do I choose a trader from the Safe Trader Scheme?
By using your postcode and selecting the type of trader you are looking for the website will produce a list of the traders located closest to your home (as the crow flies). You can limit the selection to either 5, 10 or “All” traders. You can then look through the list produced and decide which traders to contact by checking the trader’s profile page and star ratings. Please note that if the stars are blank the trader has no current reviews.
You may need to ask the trader if they are qualified to do the work required if the details do not show this, especially with regard to gas or electrical work. We advise getting three written quotes before choosing a trader.
What if something goes wrong?
We require the traders who are members of the Scheme to commit to working with customers and Trading Standards to try to resolve any problems that may arise. If you cannot resolve the issue satisfactorily with the trader, you can contact us about the problems you are having. This can be done by either completing the “Make a complaint” form on the website, contacting us by telephone on 01772 535199 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will speak to both you and the trader to try to resolve the issue. Should it not be possible to resolve the matter through mediation, and court action becomes necessary, we can provide guidance on the process. You will also be able to leave feedback regarding the trader once the matter has been resolved by the court provided it is not of a personal or defamatory nature. However it should be noted that the trader will be allowed an opportunity to respond.
How can I avoid problems?
Be clear about the work you need doing and try to obtain at least three quotes from different traders. Ensure that details of the job are put in writing and signed by both parties. Relying on verbal quotes and agreements can cause misunderstandings and problems, even with a good trader. If you ask for additional jobs once the work has started be clear whether they are included in the price quoted or if there will be an extra charge and how much this will be.
Does the scheme cover all trade sectors?
Not at present. The scheme only covers the Home Improvement sector, Help in the Home such as cleaning, and Aids for Daily Living. As the scheme continues to expand other trades may be incorporated within the Scheme.
How do I know the feedback is genuine?
All feedback received from customers is liable to an audit to ensure that it is genuine. In addition, the pattern of feedback is monitored to ensure that any anomalies are identified and checked.
What happens if a business claims membership but is not on the website list?
Please contact the team immediately who will pass the information on to an officer within Trading Standards for further investigation.
Can businesses be removed from the Scheme?
Yes. Any business that does not comply with the Code of Practice or acts against the best interests of customers can be suspended pending investigations or removed from the Scheme at our discretion.
As there has recently been an introduction of an annual fee for membership and some businesses have decided not to remain members it should not be assumed that any trader that leaves the scheme has been removed from the scheme for poor performance. Any trader can decide to cease membership at any time and no inference should be drawn from this. Once a trader has left the scheme for any reason, including voluntary resignation, we will not be able to mediate in any dispute so it is important to check that traders are still members even if you have used them before.