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How to avoid rogue traders

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So, it’s eight pm on Friday night, you’ve got guests or family coming to stay next day, and needless to say, the loo has broken. If you’re not the sort of person who immediately whips off the cistern and makes a temporary repair, you may start thinking about emergency help.

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London worst for rip-off rates

If you live in London, you may be in for a nasty shock. Emergency plumbers in the capital can cost up to £135 an hour (needless to say they describe themselves as toilet engineers). Whereas an emergency plumber in Gloucester say, will be available at a much more reasonable rate.

Landlords in particular, have to get plumbing and other household emergencies, such as stuck locks, fixed quickly. But desperation can trigger the shark in an unscrupulous trader. So is it better if a tradesperson quotes a day rate? Not according to a builder contributing to a discussion about this on MoneySavingExpert who points out that this can be an invitation to a rogue trader to spend as long as possible doing the job, and that an experienced trader knows how long a job will take and can quote accordingly.

Outside London, you are far less likely to be ripped off because local firms live or die by their reputation and word of mouth can soon sink a business that is overcharging. You can check Trustpilot if the firm is on there, otherwise, make sure that the tradesperson gives a clear indication of the cost and the basis they are charging on. And always check the charge-out fee (there often is one for emergency visits), and clarify whether the price includes VAT.

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Look for a full-service firm with a proper website

You’re always better off with a firm that offers, for example, emergency plumbing services in Gloucester http://www.hprservicesltd.com/emergency-plumber-gloucester/ as part of a full range of normal plumbing services, such as boiler installations and central heating repairs. Check their website – real rogues just have the minimum listing, with mobile phone contacts.

Apart from anything else, if the emergency service is provided by a full-service plumbing and heating firm, you have someone to go back to if the work is not satisfactory. You’re also likely to get a better job done in the first place since these firms have properly trained staff.

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