Warren Stiles of FairTradesFairTrades, the trade association that specialises in providing business benefits to home improvement installers, says the re-launch of the government-backed TrustMark scheme is ‘to be commended’ and is a ‘real boon’ to the consumer and the trade.

TrustMark’s enhanced consumer protection through a range of improved standards and membership criteria, is designed to provide greater levels of consumer protection. Warren Stiles, FairTrades’ Client Development Manager, says that such steps can only be regarded as good for business. “There are those that see such measures as another barrier to overcome. We and our members have welcomed the tighter standards as being great for business through the creation of better relationships with their customers and product and installation benchmarks that alienate the poorer operators. Homeowners are far more likely to commit their money when they are comfortable that they are receiving great value in return.”

The TrustMark revisions include more specific, firmer standards with members required to show how they are raising standards to address identified areas of consumer mistrust and performance. Tradesmen will be more rigorously vetted, upon entry to the scheme, at renewal and through on-going checks, and more proactive use of complaints data and increased transparency in the complaints process by scheme operators such as FairTrades, which is a member of the HomePro Group, a leading provider of insurance backed guarantee protection for homeowners. A further key commitment under the revisions is to step up protection and reduce misuse of the TrustMark brand.

“We are delighted that TrustMark have made a commitment to dealing more vigorously with the TrustMark brand, the integrity of which is absolutely vital to our members who subscribe to the scheme and who have made the commitment to excellence for their customers. Unauthorised use of the brand must be enforced,” said Warren.

“The timing of this is excellent as we have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries received from homeowners for FairTrades members during the spring, which is continuing strongly as we move into the summer months. They are choosing FairTrades because of the protection we offer, including TrustMark.”
As one of the leading Approved Scheme Operators of TrustMark, vetted members of FairTrades may become members of the TrustMark scheme, with both existing and new members having to commit to the more rigorous standards and vetting of the revised TrustMark membership criteria. Installers may discuss membership and IBG protection, the latter of which become mandatory on June 6th, at The FIT Show, stand 100, when it takes place on 10, 11, 12 June 2014.

In one of the first major announcements from the joint industry and Government industrial strategy for construction, ‘Construction 2025’, the re-launch is designed to boost the reputation of tradesmen and consumer confidence in the domestic repairs, maintenance and improvement market by setting standards for customer service, good trading practices and technical competence.