£1.75 billion of revenue lost to Cowboy Customers in 2020

You might be familiar with the term “Cowboy Builder”, however what about “Cowboy Customer”?

Many trades companies will be all-too-familiar with the term cowboy builder, or rogue trader. You can’t turn on daytime TV for more than 10 minutes without hearing it. However our latest research reveals a problem with ‘cowboy customers’ and it’s robbing tradespeople of income.

Towards the end of last year (2020) we commissioned a study which suggests many tradespeople encounter customers, including landlords and larger businesses that are conducting shady behaviour, often with the aim of driving price down.

Good examples include withholding payments, threatening a poor review or simply using the trades company as a free ideas service!

  • Our survey found over 5 million Brits (5,038,000) have quoted a tradesperson for a project with no intention of going through with it.
  • While 2 million (2,496,000) have forgotten about an appointment and been out when the tradesperson has arrived.
  • In addition, over 1 million people (1,282,000) have criticised work done during a home improvement project or threatened bad reviews in order to receive a discount.
  • The survey also revealed nearly 2 million (1,743,000) Brits have withheld payment to a tradesperson after the completion of work to try and drive down the price.

In total this equates to between £776m to £1.75 billion of revenue for the UK's trades has been frittered away through bogus quotes and ruthless measures to win discounts.

At Powered Now we hear from tradespeople on a daily basis and know how frustrating the hoops you have to leap through in order to receive fair payment. We of course recognise that there are horror stories about rogue traders, but we do believe that British tradespeople are amongst the most qualified and honest in the world. After all British trades have to adhere to some of the most stringent regulations going, making you some of the best builders on the global market.

In this new year and third national lockdown, trades companies are doing their best to cope during the pandemic in which they are providing much needed economic stability by working throughout the lockdowns.

We believe the focus should be shifted to shine a light on the great work that tradespeople do the majority of the time, and not the unfortunate, less than satisfactory work that is completed in the absolute minority of cases.

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