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Do Tradespeople ever ghost customers?

Rhino Trade Insurance 13 May 2023

You might recognise the term ‘ghosted’ from the 21st century dating world, but a survey has shown that people are feeling ‘ghosted’ by tradespeople, too.

The research from Homeserve has found that 4 in 10 customers have been 'ghosted' by a trade business, so we are here to explore the trend and advise on how best to get your project over the line. 

What exactly is ghosting in the trades?  

Some people may have heard of the term 'ghosted', it usually is found in the dating world. The simple meaning is to be in contact with another person who then goes silent and never gets in touch again. They don't answer your calls, texts or emails - hence, you have been ghosted. 

Finding the appropriate tradesman or woman for a home repair or extension can be challenging enough without having to worry about whether they will answer your request for a quote at all. But what could be the reason behind it?

Tradespeople have been extremely busy since 2020, when the country experienced a national lockdown and many people had more time to consider home improvements. Higher demand means that busy tradespeople might be too busy to answer every query. With that said, Homeserve found that 41% of adults in the UK were ghosted by a tradesperson when they simply asked for a price.

With a skills shortage, a booming industry and ghosting tradespeople, many customers are struggling to find the right trade business to do their work. The same report found that 43% felt annoyed that they couldn't get their project up and running, and 12% felt rejected. Interestingly, the DIY trend continued with 1/4 of people who were ghosted deciding to have a go at the work themselves, with most regretting their decision afterwards.

According to the research, Builders, Handymen/women, and Landscapers (all 10%) are the top professions that were found to be unresponsive. 

Location was also proven to affect response rates, with the pattern being more pronounced in larger cities. The top three cities for ghosting were London (51%), Liverpool and Leeds (Both 48%). 

How to avoid being ghosted by a trade business

Get three quotes minimum.

In order to increase your chances of hearing back, approach as many tradespeople about a job as possible. Use trade websites like Checkatrade, Book a Builder and other helpful trade websites to increase your chances.

Consider the size of the job.

If the work you require is on the smaller side, such as bleeding a radiator or changing a few light bulbs, you might find that some tradespeople ignore your request as they are chasing the bigger jobs.

Try not to take this personally, and keep approaching tradespeople until you find one who is happy to accept the job. Most good tradespeople recognise the value of building up their customer base through jobs large and small, and it will only be a matter of time before you find someone willing to carry out the work for you.

Give the right amount of information about your job.

Tradespeople are a pretty busy bunch, so be sure to gather as many details as possible before you reach out. Make a list that addresses the following points:

  • A summary of the project
  • Your budget
  • Any deadlines

Be patient.

Although it can be discouraging to receive radio silence on an email or phone call, try to be patient if possible. Give them a day or two to consider your work and get back to you; if they don't, move on and focus on your other quotes. 

If you’ve already had a conversation and have not heard anything since, don’t be afraid to give them a follow-up call. Remember, they are juggling many plates and often run a business as a sole trader, so they may simply not have had time to reply to your message.

Ensure they have Trade Insurance.

Finding a tradesman or woman to work on your property can be challenging enough without worrying about insurance. However, when you ask for various quotes from local businesses, you can also quickly check whether or not they’re insured. 

A reputable trade business will also have the right level of cover in place. This ensures that all aspects of a project are protected, so if any damage is inflicted or injury is caused, you can be content that there is a financial safety net out there to pick up the pieces.

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

If you've been considering your trade insurance, why not give Rhino Trade Insurance a call at 0116 243 7904. We can provide you with a comprehensive trade insurance package at a price you can afford, and our specialists can advise on what your specific business may need to stay protected.

We cover hundreds of trades, some of which are listed here:

Why not check out our website or read our informative blog to discover more about the cover options you have for your field of work? From there, you can instantly get a quote using our user-friendly website.


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