Which? Trusted Traders is an endorsement scheme that recognises reputable traders in the home improvement and motor industries. We also endorse traders from a variety of other service areas such as computer repairs.
The aim of Which? Trusted Traders is to raise the standard of the trade industry for consumers, by setting a benchmark we expect all traders to meet before they can become endorsed. All traders who successfully pass our assessment process become a Which? Trusted trader and can use the icon on their branding and promotional material.
To be able to apply, you’ll need to:
You can’t apply if:
No. A Which? Trusted Traders endorsement is given to businesses that provide an excellent service. So we only endorse the service provided to the consumer – not individual products or retailers.
Once you’ve applied and paid the assessment fee, within 48 hours you’ll need to send us:
NOTE - A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, was previously known as theCRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.
Once we’ve got these, we’ll set up a date and time for your business assessment. The type of assessment you’ll get depends on the size and type of your business. The target deadline from application to endorsement is 30 working days.
Unlike other schemes, we do more than just check references and qualifications. Every business that applies is interviewed by an experienced trading standards professional to make sure that they meet our high standards. So, when customers see the Which? Trusted Traders logo, they know they’re using a trader that they can count on.
Once a trader is accepted onto the scheme, their Which? Trusted Traders endorsement is a rolling contract with no set end date. We regularly reassess traders to make sure they continue meet our high standards. If we identify any issues at any point during their endorsement, we will offer further assessments with our trading standards professionals to establish if the business is still right for the scheme. All businesses endorsed are subject to our terms and conditions.
A team of moderators use a range of resources to make sure that the reviews meet the user-generated content terms and conditions. You can read these here. If we have any concerns about the review, we will make additional checks. This may involve contacting you, your customer or both parties.
We may need to re-visit your business, should this happen there may be a fee of £200 plus VAT. For further information on re-visits, scroll down to 'The Assessment Process'
Prices valid for applications from 1 October 2019.
Prices include one online profile. If you have more than one branch and wish to have more than one profile, there is an additional monthly fee per branch profile. For more information and costs please speak to your account manager during your application.
Pricing bands correspond to the total number of people involved in the trader's business activities. This includes backroom staff, sales representatives and all those directly customer facing, even when these people are not directly employed by the company (i.e. subcontractors).
For companies with more than 19 employees and franchises, a higher rate applies please call 0117 456 6032 for more information.
If the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman service is used and the ruling is in favour of the consumer, a fee of £240 plus VAT will be charged.
No. After you’ve passed the assessment and decided to join Which? Trusted Traders, you can set up a different method for paying the scheme fees. You can either pay in full for the year, or set up a monthly Direct Debit.
Our standard assessment process includes a credit report, customer reference checks and a visit from a Which? Trusted Traders trading standards professional. The assessor will come to your premises to interview you. It usually takes about 90 minutes. During the visit, you’ll be assessed on your business processes, documents, staff, and complaints procedures. Your assessor will make sure you understand and commit to our code of conduct. We will also seek feedback from a selection of your most recent customers, from whom you will need to gain permission.
Your assessor will usually give you some actions, which you’ll need to complete before you join the scheme. This might include things like amending your paperwork, adding our complaints procedure to your website, and sending us any subcontractor information.
We regularly monitor our traders to ensure they continue to meet the requirements and high standards of the scheme.
One of our assessors may need to re-visit your premises. If we need to do so (other than as part of our regular re-assessment process) for reasons such as a failure to continue to comply with the requirements of the scheme, including the Code of Conduct; changes to your business including a change to or expansion of your services or a change of ownership; or you are not replying to our correspondence, we may charge you a fee for such visit. The current fee for such visits is set out under the costs section of these FAQ's
The assessment needs to take place at the premises where you conduct your business activities.
If you trade as an electrician and you’re a member of NICEIC or Elecsa, we’ll interview you over the phone instead of in person. This is because you would have already undergone a thorough assessment in order to join the NICEIC or Elecsa. They’ll give us your most recent assessment report, which tells us a lot of what we need to know. We will then call you to get the rest of the details we require. This telephone interview lasts for about 30 minutes.Because it’s a shorter assessment process, we won’t charge you an assessment fee.If you’re a member of NICEIC or Elecsa, you’ll need to phone us to apply.
If your business has more than 19 employees, is a franchise or is a large retail brand, the assessment process is the same but on a larger scale.If you’re part of a franchise, every business within it would need to apply to be a Which? Trusted Trader. We ask franchises to do this so that customers don’t get confused by which business is endorsed and which isn’t. The franchisor will be interviewed by our assessor. They’ll also manage the process. So if you’re not the franchisor, you’ll need to talk to them before you start the application process.
If your company has more than 19 employees, is a franchise, or a large retail brand, you’ll pay more.
We aim to get you endorsed within 30 days of applying to join the scheme. But this depends on how quickly you can send us the documents we need, and the dates you’re available for our assessor to visit you.
We will help you every step of the way. Get in touch with your account manager – they’ll send you some guidance as well as any forms that might be helpful and talk you through it over the phone.
If an endorsed trader fails to meet our standards, we’ll either suspend their endorsement, or remove them from the scheme altogether. This is because once a trader gets endorsed, they’ve got a duty to continue to meet our standards. We carry out checks throughout the year to make sure this happens.
We’ve partnered with Hertfordshire and Islington Trading Standards to create a joint endorsement scheme. Which? Trusted traders in Hertfordshire have been assessed by one of our trading standards professionals, just like Which? Trusted traders in any other part of the country. But they’ve also passed a DBS check and a Trading Standards intelligence check.
The process is the same, but with some extra checks. You’ll be asked to complete a DBS check, and anyone else who’s involved in running the business will need to complete one too. Hertfordshire / Islington Trading Standards will also need to check your business against their database. So you’ll need to agree that your details can be shared with them.
Our code of conduct sets out what we expect from the traders we endorse, and helps to protect consumers. All the traders on the scheme sign up to our code of conduct. You can read it here.
If you’ve got a dispute with a customer, there are a few things you should do. First, follow your own complaints process. Make sure you’ve complied with the terms of our Code of Conduct, and our What’s Expected of You guidance.
If the dispute can’t be resolved by using your own process, traders can use an Alternative Dispute Resolution service. It’s an independent, not-for-profit service to help traders and customers resolve any problems. You can read more about it here. If you need any more guidance, your account manager will be able to help.
If the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman service is used and the ruling is in favour of the consumer, a fee of £240 inc VAT will be charged.
If a business passes our assessment process and joins the scheme, they can use our logo (subject to our terms and conditions and user regulations). It can only be used by traders who are currently members of the scheme. So if a trader doesn’t pass their reassessment, or decides not to renew their membership, they have to stop using the logo.
You’re free to use the logo on any of your business assets, like clothing, vehicles, invoices and business cards, provided you comply with our terms and conditions for doing so. And you can use it on any of your promotional materials, including your website, leaflets and brochures. If you join the scheme, we’ll give you more information to help you use the logo in the best way. If you need more guidance, please speak to your account manager.
If you do decide to cancel, you’ll need to give us three months’ notice. Please get in touch with your account manager and they’ll take it from there.
To make an official complaint, please email your account manager. They’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Every trader in our scheme is eligible for Which? Trusted trader of the Month. Here’s what you need to do to be considered:
For more information, read this article.
Click here to recommend a trader to us. For every trader you recommend that passes the assessment and becomes endorsed, you’ll both get a free month from your endorsement fees.
A member of the team can reset this for you. Call us on 0117 456 6032 and we’ll get it sorted.
It’s really easy. Ask them to log onto https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk and search for your business. Once they’ve found your profile, they’ll need to follow these steps:
Just log in to the website, go to the review you’d like to reply to, and click “Reply”.
We don’t remove reviews simply because they’re negative, however traders are given the opportunity to give their side of the story. For advice about dealing with negative reviews, read this article.
Read our article on the Certificate of Distinction for more information.
We wanted to introduce a new certificate to recognise those traders that are the model citizens of our endorsement scheme. It also provides our outstanding traders with another way to give consumers peace of mind.
Some of our competitors will reward traders with certificates for hitting milestones - e.g. review numbers. We know that review numbers are only one part of the journey. We wanted to reward traders for the wider customer journey, including reviews, low complaint numbers and good customer complaint resolution skills. All of this can be tracked and reported by Which? Trusted Traders.
We assess all of our traders who apply to join the scheme and they have to meet the standards set out in our Code of Conduct in order to remain Trusted Traders. This certificate recognises those traders that have gone the extra mile over the previous twelve months.
As a trader you need to hit 3 milestones:
Complaint volume and complaint resolution will be monitored on an individual basis to ensure there are no issues of concern.
We don’t want to penalise traders who get a limited number of reviews because they are working on bigger projects. We would look for just one review every month to fulfil this criteria.
We regularly do compliance checks behind the scenes. The trader needs to pass all of these checks and supply all of the supporting documents to us promptly to fulfil this requirement eg providing up-to-date insurance documents.
It lasts for 12 months. Eligibility is assessed on the anniversary of your initial endorsement.
This time round you didn’t meet one of the three criteria milestones (see above). Your account manager will be able to tell you where you missed out and advise you how you can improve for next time.
Yes. If you did not receive one this time around, ask your account manager what you need to focus on.
The helplines are a free benefit included for all standard Which? Trusted Trader members (it is not available to members of a franchise or Approved Service). The legal helpline provides phone advice on UK tax issues, and on UK and EU legal issues, that affect your business. The wellness helpline also offers confidential support and advice from qualified counsellors to traders and their family members. The service is running on a trial basis for 12 months from 20 January 2020. Read more about the helplines.
If you're an endorsed Trusted Trader and want to access the helplines, contact your account manager on 0117 456 6032.
Legal and counselling services will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Tax advice is available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (except bank holidays).