Last month we ran a survey asking people what was most important to them when hiring a tradesperson to work in their home/garden. Some of the results were really suprising. Especially when we asked what was the deciding factor when choosing a contractor. The majority of people who answered said that the most important deciding factor was the cheapest quote. We want to explain why this is a risky decision and what you should consider before even looking at the prices:
Are they qualified?
It goes without saying that tree surgery is a very dangerous job. But yet, we dont get asked enough by our clients if our team is qualified. I've heard more than enough horror stories of people attemping to carry/use a chainsaw or climb a tree without being trained and qualified to do so. It's not pretty and its not acceptable. We have a duty to protect our team, but you also have a duty to ensure you are not enabling anyone to attempt a job they are not qualified to do. It would be like hiring an electrician without checking they are licenced. There is a lot of risk and a lot more to learn. Any qualified tree surgeon would be happy to show you their certificates, so just ask!
Have they been recommended to you?
Either by a friend or through a traders search engine? We pay each year to be a part of Checkatrade, who advertise our services, vet us for their customers and ensure we follow their standards. But most importantly, we give our customers the chance to report back on how we did using their feedback service. Real customers with real opinions.
Are they Insured?
Yes that's right! MOST of us pay a huge sum each year for Public Liability insurance! This means that should something go horribly wrong and your property is damaged by us whilst we are at your home/business, you are covered (and so are we). If they dont hold insurance and drop a branch on your car, or worse, your house, you will likely end up footing the bill. We hold £5,000,000 public liability insurance, so you can rest assured when we are working at your property. Best of all, it costs you nothing to check. Either ask the company direct or check on Checkatrade to see the details of their insurance and how much they are covered by.
Are they local?
I think supporting local trade is really important. Firstly for the obvious reasons of keeping trade inside your community and helping your local business carry on competing against the big guys. Secondly, if they are local, you can always track them down again if you are unhappy with the service. Hiring people "passing by / in the area" is a big risk, especially if they have approached you. Occassionally, we'll see a tree that is a risk to public safety and we may drop a card through your door, as a bit of a hint that it needs attention, however, we will never knock on your door to offer you a service.
Qualified, Recommended, Insured, Local
Four of the most important things to consider before cost. Because any of these things could mean that the saving you made in choosing the cheaper option, costs you a small fortune.