Free for all - trades professionals doing unpaid work every day in Swindon

By Jamie Hill - 10 August 2018

BusinessHome and Garden

Homeowners in Swindon are getting trades professionals to carry out extra unpaid work in their homes every day according to new research.

New research conducted by CORGI HomePlan has revealed the weird and wacky things trades professionals have been asked to fix while on a job.

Over 50 per cent of Swindon residents don’t expect to pay the usual hourly rate for the extra tasks carried out, preferring instead to pay in cups of tea, (10 per cent) or not paying all together (10 per cent).

Britain’s skilled professionals are proving themselves a bit too handy with the amount of unpaid work they are agreeing to do - it’s estimated that they are missing out on £2.7m in potential earnings each year.

When homeowners in Swindon were asked why they seek extra work from a trades professional on top of what has been agreed, 62 per cent cited the convenience of having a professional in the home. A further 40 per cent of those surveyed revealed it was because the professionals are experts and 23 per cent admit they’re rubbish at any kind of DIY themselves.

Men are more likely to ask for an extra freebie than women (52 vs 47 per cent), however it is women who are most likely to expect the work done for free, with half expecting it to be carried out for less than the usual fee.

Younger householders are more likely (73 per cent) to want the work done for a discounted rate, compared to 52 per cent of those aged 55 and above who would happily offer the agreed hourly charge.

From mending a broken plug socket (28 per cent) to putting up shelves (21 per cent) and changing lightbulbs (9 per cent), all the way to wacky requests like making tea for all house guests (8 per cent), keeping an eye on the dog (6 per cent) and even putting the bins out (5 per cent), it seems there is nothing that we expect a trades professional to say no to.

However, this does not apply to any other regular professional visitors to our home. When asked if they would make similar requests to delivery people (3 per cent), meter readers (3 per cent) or window cleaners (9 per cent), the numbers who said they would ask for extra work on top falls dramatically.

Peter Southcott, Chief Executive of CORGI HomePlan, says: “Trades professionals are the nicest you can meet and we regularly hear about how our network of more than 5,000 fully-qualified gas safe engineers, plumbers, electricians and drainage experts are always willing to go the extra mile for our customers. However, that doesn’t mean they are volunteers!

“We should all remember that the next time we say ‘while you’re here, can you take a look at…?’ A trades professional’s expertise and time are to be valued and not taken for granted in this way.”


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