Clumsy, Costly, Shady and Lazy - The big four rogue traders

Sarah Hughes 2 October 2019

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) has launched a new campaign to encourage consumers to check before they engage traders and companies to work for them.

The campaign features characters representing the four main types of traders that people complain about and who they want you to be on the look-out for and to avoid when hiring  – Clumsy, Shady, Costly and Lazy – showcasing that you can’t tell just from meeting people if they fall into one of these categories. This is particularly important for elderly people to recognise as they tend to be more vulnerable to being ripped off by these rogue traders.

It’s a big question we’re all still struggling to answer: How can consumers be sure a business or trader they’re working with is legit? But this week the Chartered Trading Standards Institute is promoting its answer - the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme

The CCAS aims to improve customer service standards by the approval and promotion of codes of practice through code sponsors, approved by the Chartered Trading Standards institute (CTSI). Consumers can check the CCAS member’s list online or simply 
look out for the CCAS logo.

All businesses and tradespeople that are CCAS members operate under a sector-specific code of practice and must demonstrate that they are committed to the highest levels of customer service, their work is also backed up by a robust complaints and ADR procedure and will give you protection beyond your normal consumer rights. Looking for the CCAS logo associated with businesses can be a more reliable indicator of quality than online reviews for customers as they have a proven commitment to honest business and higher customer standards.

The Journal of Trading Standards asked consumer protection stalwart and presenter of the BBC’s Watchdog and Rogue Traders, Matt Allwright about the campaign and his experiences with the four characters highlighted.

He said: “It’s not easy at all [to spot a rogue trader], and it seems like it’s getting harder… I think we’re often in such a hurry to secure the services of someone to fix our roof or boiler, that we can say yes, and hope for the best, rather than do a bit of homework first.

Asked about the Scheme, he said: “Searching the 
CCAS directory clearly helps sort the sheep from the goats when choosing a trader, sets out expectations, and is a starting point for putting things right when they go wrong.”

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