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Tradesman Competency Key Issue

EMBARGO 8 September 2006

Tradesman Competency Key Issue

Poor workmanship is the most frequent complaint Kiwis voice about their tradesmen, according to tradesman review web site

An analysis of the growing number of reviews received by shows that 90% are praiseworthy of the work carried out. Where complaints are lodged on the web site with the intention of alerting fellow consumers, poor workmanship tops the list, ahead of missed deadlines and failure to put problems right.

Surprisingly few reviews raise concerns about high prices.

“These results show that Kiwis are prepared to pay for a job done well,” says co-founder Matt Burgess.

Among the complaints received, poor workmanship is cited as a reason in 46% of tradesman reviews, missed deadlines in 24%, and failure to follow up in 21%. Complaints about high prices figure in only 10% of negative reviews.

“The message for tradesmen is that quality is what matters most to consumers,” says Burgess. “It’s nice to see a large majority of tradesmen providing quality work but there is clearly also a risk of poor performance that consumers would not normally be able to identify.”

Other common complaints include poor communication and bad manners, late starts to work, and failing to meet quotes. Concerns about unprofessional conduct are rare, but serious in some cases.

“We have received a number of reviews that point to inappropriate conduct, ranging from bad manners right through to sexual harassment,” says Burgess.

Not all complaints are so serious, Burgess notes.

“My favourite review is of a Christchurch plumber by a gentleman who had to wait 70 days for a two day job to be finished. Unfortunately for the plumber, this guy set up a web site just to document each day of the saga. It’s fascinating reading.”

Less than 10% of the reviews on are negative, and checks are made before they are posted.

“We take negative reviews of tradesmen’s performance very seriously.” says Burgess.

Our policy is to seek honest and fair reviews and to ensure reviewers understand this requirement.. In some cases we ask to see invoices or details of any actions taken including redress throught the courts.” was launched last month and has received over 13,000 unique visits. It has over one thousand tradesmen reviews and 1,100 signed up users.


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