Last week, GGF President and Lister Trade Frame’s MD tweeted this: New Gov legislation to force ‘rogue traders’ to compensate customers in addition to fines and remedial works! Hurrah! About time.
Now I am all for getting rid of cowboys in this industry and making them pay for the mistakes that they make, but one of the major problems that these sorts of schemes have always had is how they are policed and implemented.
I would love to tell you all a bit more detail, but because I don’t pay to be a member of the GGF, the details of this industry-wide plan which is designed to benefit everyone have only been presented to the select few at the last GGF meeting. However, I am going to give it a guess as to how it may work.
The Government wants to enforce new laws which are designed to really punish the rogue traders of the home improvements industries. But they are probably going to put very little funding behind it. So, they are probably going to say that the industry is going to have to run this themselves – and we all know how well previous attempts at that sort of thing have gone! Will it be bodies like FENSA and the GGF which are going to form some sort of organisation to implement and enforce these laws? If so, how? It will probably be something that will need to be paid for, so who is going to provide the funding? Whenever things like this are talked about, the good guys are often ignored. We need bodies such as Trading Standards to also promote the good work being done by the great companies out there.
Whilst a lot of effort is shown initially to write the wrongs of our industry, the good guys never get the praise and support from the Government and trade bodies they deserve. For me, a positive business campaign should be run alongside this new idea. That way, people can really become educated about the pitfalls out there and really turn the screw on the deadwood that we still need to get rid off.
Moreover, any new scheme, no matter who it is run by or how, needs to be credible. It needs to have teeth. Proper and legitimate powers to enforce a worth punishment. Previous attempts at things like this have failed miserably, if our industry is going to get behind this, it needs to show that it will work. But lets see what other information about this comes out in the future, I’ll reserve judgement until then. But thing isfor sure at this point, there remains many questions to answer.