A new online review platform has been launched to tradespeople and their customers first to tackle the scourge of bad workmanship, late payments and bad debtors costing the UK billions of pounds every year.
The platform recommendandshare.com aims to create an environment of proper transparency, honesty and accountability for businesses and consumers everywhere by focusing on building relationships rather than just leads.
Users create free business or consumer profiles where they can leave positive recommendations for either side as recognition, to show their appreciation that’s deserved based upon having had a great experience.
The new review-platform rewards good practice on both sides by displaying previous recommendations on users’ profiles.
Founder of Recommend & Share, Garry Lewis, himself a tradesperson with 30 years’ experience in the industry, was inspired to launch the site after his experiences with dishonest people, businesses and banks almost cost him everything he had worked for.
He now hopes this open, transparent and not-for-profit approach will show each side that the other’s intentions are genuine and honourable from the outset.
“We’re giving businesses and consumers a voice to make everybody accountable for their actions. This is about relationships and not leads. Other review sites are built to make money out of the trade through subscription fees or by charging for leads that in a majority of cases don’t turn into jobs and leave the tradespeople out of pocket.
“We want to change things for the better for tradespeople and the public, giving both sides the peace of mind and reassurance they need before committing to each other.”
Recommends & Share is not-for profit and free to use for businesses and consumers and always will be.
The platform is being launched first into the UK’s home improvement market, where bad debtors, rogue traders, rogue customers and dishonest practices have become endemic.
According to recent figures from TrustMark, rogue traders cost UK home owners almost £2 bn every year in botched jobs, with a further £10bn in lost revenue as consumers fear engaging with a rogue trader.
UK SMEs are thought to be waiting on as much as £40bn in unpaid invoices, raising prompt payment as an ethical issue.
While figures from the Office of National Statistics shows the construction industry has a higher rate of suicides than any other profession during the five years to 2015.
Mr Lewis added: “I, like too many, have had my fingers burned before - whether that’s from tradespeople or customers failing to do, or pay, what’s been agreed. Sadly too many of us only discover this once it’s too late. It’s a problem that’s threatening the whole industry so I’ve spent two years planning, designing and building this site so we can finally change things to create a better and safer environment.
“At Recommend & Share there’s nowhere for the rogue traders or customers to hide. We’re giving tradespeople the tools to help them achieve their full potential in business and increase their chances of success. We’re open to every business and customer that values transparency and accountability.
“We’re starting with electricians across the East of England, but we want to become the go-to review recommendations site for any service provider in any industry.”
Recommend & Share has already been championed by a number of regional firms, including the trade supplier LEW Electrical Distributors, which has 11 trade counters across Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
Andrew Johnson, MD of LEW, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Recommend & Share. This new platform is unique in the way it protects and recognises both the professional tradesperson and the honest consumer, and helps to eradicate bad workmanship and dishonest customers.
“Every transaction should be fair and equitable for all parties - Recommend & Share will make this a reality, bringing transparency and reassurance to the electrical trade. We will be encouraging all our customers to get involved.”