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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions we get most often here at Which? Trusted Traders HQ. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for, why not give us a call on 020 3432 6042.

Pre-signing Up

What is Which? Trusted Traders?

Which? Trusted Traders is an endorsement scheme that recognises trustworthy traders. It’s run by Which?, the largest consumer organisation in the UK. A Which? Trusted Traders endorsement is a sign of reputation and trust, so consumers know which local tradespeople they can count on.

Our aim is to support trustworthy local businesses and to help customers find trustworthy traders. We operate all over the UK, and we endorse traders in the consumer home improvement, motor servicing and motor repairs industries.

Who can apply to become a Which? Trusted Trader?

To be able to apply, you’ll need to:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Work as a trader in the consumer home improvement, motor servicing or motor repairs industries
  • You can’t apply if:
    • Your business has been operating for less than six months
    • You sell door-to-door
    • You have an active County Court Judgement – or one that is less than two years old
    • Anyone involved in running the business:
      • Has any unspent criminal convictions
      • Has ever been declared bankrupt
      • Has ever run a business that has become insolvent in the past 3 years or have had a number of companies that have become insolvent
      • Has a history of dissolving multiple companies

Do you endorse products or retail businesses?

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.

What documents are required when I sign up/apply to be assessed/apply to join?

Once you’ve applied and paid the assessment fee, you’ll need to send us:

  • Your full policy for public liability insurance;
  • An example quote;
  • An example invoice;
  • A copy of your photo ID;
  • A bill that shows your address – you can either send an online bill, or a photo or a scanned copy of a paper bill;
  • Any terms and conditions, if you have them.

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.

What makes Which? Trusted Traders different?

Unlike other schemes, we do more than just check references and qualifications. Every business that applies is interviewed by an experienced trading standards professional. They 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.

Every trader that passes our assessment process can use an Alternative Dispute Resolution service. It’s an independent, not-for-profit service to help traders and customers fairly resolve any problems. You can read more about it here.

How long does the Which? Trusted Traders status last?

Once a trader is accepted onto the scheme, their Which? Trusted Traders status lasts for one year. We reassess traders every year to make sure they continue meet our high standards. If they pass their reassessment and pay their fees, they’ll continue as a Which? Trusted Trader for another year. This is subject to terms and conditions.

How do you know the reviews are genuine?

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.

Costs

How much does it cost to become a Which? Trusted Trader?

    Option 1 Option 2
  Non-refundable assessment fee (inc VAT) monthly direct debit (inc VAT) Annual direct debit (inc VAT)
0-3 employees £90.00 £60.00 £696.00
4-9 employees £90.00 £75.00 £900.00
10-19 employees £90.00 £100.00 £1,200.00

Prices valid for applications from 1st July 2016.

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 981 2929 for more information.

Is the card that is used for the payment of the assessment going to be used for the ongoing fees?

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.

The Assessment Process

What’s involved in the standard assessment process and how long will it take?

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. And they’ll randomly select 10 customers to get in touch with for references.

Your assessor will also 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.

Where does the assessment take place?

The assessment needs to take place at your registered business address.

What are the different types of assessment?

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 the assessment process for NICEIC or Elecsa is already so thorough. They’ll give us your most recent assessment report, which tells us a lot of what we need to know. Then we’ll call you to get the rest of the details we need. 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.

Becoming Endorsed

How long does it take to get endorsed?

We aim to get you endorsed within 10 and 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.

How can I get help with completing the actions given by the assessor?

Get in touch with your account manager – they’ll send you some guidance as well as any forms that might be helpful.

What happens if an endorsed trader does not continue to meet Which? Trusted Traders’ standards?

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.

The Hertfordshire Scheme

What makes a Which Trusted trader in Hertfordshire different?

We’ve partnered with Hertfordshire 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.

How do I become a Which? Trusted trader in Hertfordshire?

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 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.

Endorsed Traders

What is the Which? Trusted Traders code of conduct?

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

What if there’s a dispute between a Which? Trusted trader and a customer?

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.

Who can use the Which? Trusted Trader logo?

Where can the endorsement logo be used?

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.

How do I order more review cards, code of conduct leaflets etc?

Just:

How do I cancel my membership?

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.

How do I make a complaint?

To make an official complaint, please email your account manager. They’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How do I become a Trader of the Month?

Every trader in our scheme is eligible for Which? Trusted trader of the Month. Here’s what you need to do to be considered:

  • Encourage your customers to write a review – we’ll look at online reviews and feedback cards written during the month. We’ll look for reviews that show how you’ve gone the extra mile and provided a great service.
  • Share examples of your work on social media – post a photo on Facebook or Twitter of a recent job. It doesn’t need to be glamorous – we’ll be looking at the story behind the picture. Make sure you use the hashtag #WhichTOTM so we can find it.
  • Show us how you’ve used the Trusted Trader logo – publish a post on Facebook or Twitter to show how you’ve used the logo. We’ll be looking for unusual and innovative ways of putting it to use. You don’t need to post a standalone image – it could be a link to your website for example. Again, use the hashtag #WhichTOTM.

For more information, read this article.

How do I recommend another trader?

Click here to recommend a trader to us. If they pass their assessment and join the scheme, you’ll get a £200 Amazon voucher.

I have forgotten my username/password – how do I reset it?

A member of the team can reset this for you. Call us on 0117 981 2929, select option 1, and we’ll get it sorted.

How do my customers leave a review on my profile?

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:

  1. Click on the blue “Leave a Review” button
  2. Give the review a title
  3. Write the review in the box
  4. Give a star rating for customer service, quality, and value
  5. Tick the “Recommend trader” box – if they do
  6. Post the review

How do I reply to reviews?

Just log in to the website, go to the review you’d like to reply to, and click “Reply”. 

How do I get a negative review removed?

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.