A scheme that helps Hertfordshire residents find trustworthy local traders has been set up by Which? Trusted Traders and Hertfordshire Trading Standards.
The scheme gives residents access to a list of local traders who have been checked and assessed before being officially endorsed.
As well as helping people find reliable traders, the scheme gives customers extra reassurance in the event that something goes wrong. The terms of the endorsement scheme mean that customers can expect to be dealt with fairly by the business, and if something does go wrong, they can refer their complaint to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service.
Any business which fails to comply with the scheme’s code of conduct can be suspended or removed.
What does this mean for traders in Hertfordshire?
To become a member of the scheme, Hertfordshire traders undergo an assessment, which includes a set of tailored background checks, such as criminal records, creditworthiness, county court judgements and insurance.
Not every business which applies is successful, but for those that do the endorsement is a sign of reputation and trust.
References from previous customers are required and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s code of conduct. Only if all the requirements are met, will a business be able to join as an endorsed trader and the business will be monitored and reassessed every year.
Traders endorsed by the joint scheme benefit from being able to display a joint Which? Trusted Trader and Hertfordshire Trading Standard-approved endorsement logo, which provides extra assurance to potential consumers.
‘This scheme is brilliant for traders,’ said Toby Corrie of Watford Roofing. ‘It will give consumers real confidence in the contractors they employ. It’s something I can point to and show I’m a reliable trader and have been vetted by two trustworthy organisations, and that’s really important in my view.’
Melanie Wooding-Jones, of Redbourn Auto Solutions agrees. ‘Being a member of this new scheme is very valuable as it lets our customers know they’re dealing with a reputable business. It gives an incredibly strong message to have the local Trading Standards endorsement as well as the national Which? brand.'
Hertfordshire Trading Standards chose to work with Which? Trusted Traders because it was looking for a partner it could trust. Partnering with a familiar, trusted, national brand gives councils access to all the communications and media attention that Which? attracts, raising public awareness of the scheme at the same time as bringing in new members.
‘Our Trading Standards team and Which? Trusted Traders both aim to make it easier for consumers in Hertfordshire to find a reputable trader’ said Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety Richard Thake. ‘We hope this partnership can be mirrored in other parts of the UK.’
Which? Trusted Traders is committed to rigorously assessing and checking businesses. We hope that we can partner with other local authorities to help give their consumers more confidence in choosing a trader they can trust and to help the traders stand out from the rest as a reliable business.
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said ‘I am delighted to see local and national services coming together to provide a platform for consumers that offers the access to good, local honest businesses in Hertfordshire.’