Approved trader scheme
At Trading Standards we offer an approved business scheme, Buy With Confidence, for all Cambridgeshire residents to use free of charge. Every business on the scheme has been thoroughly checked by Trading Standards Officers, giving you the confidence that they are committed to providing a quality service to customers.
The checks we carry out vary depending on the type of business, but generally we check:
- organisation/association membership
- references (we take our own references from customers picked at random)
- financial standing
- previous court action
- relevant insurances including public liability
- criminal record check
- complaint history with Trading Standards
The scheme does not provide a price guarantee, so we recommend that you get more than one quote to make sure the price is reasonable.
Finding a trader on the scheme
- Online: visit the Buy With Confidence website
- Telephone: contact our advice partner, Citizens Advice Consumer Service, on 08454 040506
- In person: visit your local library where library staff will be able to look up traders on the database for you
Nominating a trader for the scheme
If you have had a good experience with a local business, we are inviting you to nominate them to join the scheme. All you need do is email their details to us and we will write to them, inviting them to join and enclosing an information pack and application form.
More information on how businesses can join the scheme in the Buy with Confidence approved business scheme webpage.
Not a suitable trader on the scheme?
If there is not a suitable business on the scheme we would recommend that you seek trader recommendations from friends or relatives.
If they are unable to recommend a business,it is advisable to use a trader that is a member of a Trade Association. Some Trade Associations operate a code of practice for their members, and can assist consumers to resolve issues with their members if that code is broken. However, the assistance they offer does vary, so check each Trade Association carefully.
Special requirements apply for gas and electrical work. Gas engineers must be registered with Gas Safe, and most electrical work is required to be either carried out by or certified by a Part P registered electrician registered on one of the following schemes.
- NICEIC http://www.niceic.com/
- ELECSA http://www.elecsa.co.uk/
- Electrical Contractors Association http://www.eca.co.uk/
- NAPIT http://www.napit.org.uk/
Alternatively you can arrange for Building Control at your local District Council to certify the work, but you will need to agree this with them before the work commences.
Whichever trader you use we advise:
- get more than one quote to make sure the price is reasonable
- ensure the quote or estimate is given in writing before work begins and be clear what exactly will be done for that price
- keep copies of all correspondence in case of future problems
For more advice and information on finding a trader, visit the Citizens Advice website.