On Monday 8th March BBC One’s Rogue Traders challenged the Government endorsed Trustmark scheme. Millions of viewers saw it award Yorkshire based roofer Munro Solutions, a Trustmark trusted trader, with its own more appropriate Disgust Mark.
Alerted by viewer complaints, the programme’s presenters Matt Allwright and Dan Penteado filmed the company in the act of damaging a roof, deliberately creating a hole in it, exaggerating problems and inflating the cost of the job. They also flouted Health and Safety and lied to the customer. A basically sound roof requiring perhaps a day’s work was quoted at £5,300 to fix or £14,500 to replace.
The Government conceived Trustmark as a weapon in its war on rogues, but it fails to live up to its billing. Asked why it lists Munro Solutions on its website of trusted traders when the Federation of Master Builders had delisted it, Trustmark said it was unaware of the problems and relies on third parties to tell it. It claimed to act promptly when told and would in future update its website every day instead of every 28 days.
As the programme presenter Matt Allwright explained, Trustmark implies a Government seal of approval for rogue traders and gives undeserved reassurance to customers. In fact, there appears to be little to back that trust. The scheme does not keep track of firms it lists and it has no teeth to put things right. We wonder who is policing the scheme, or protecting those who are ripped off. The most Trustmark can do is remove the company from its ‘trusted’ traders list – if someone tells them, that is!
There couldn’t be a more eloquent explanation of DGCOS (www.dgcos.org.uk) was launched; a consumer protection scheme that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Founder, Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme