When a tornado damaged hundreds of Selsey homes and buildings in 1998, rogue traders travelled from all over the country to take advantage of the situation. Homeowners were deceived and there was no easy way for them to discern between genuine tradespeople and opportunists.
Local businessman Kevin Byrne discovered that little was being done to protect the public and that reliable information about tradespeople was hard to find. So he started Checkatrade, a free information service that runs on the basis of reputation. With all member businesses being recommended, background-checked and monitored, the public were able to find the latest facts about trades and services in their area. The system worked, and the service now sees hundreds of new tradespeople interviewed to join each month.
Since then, the business model of reputation and word-of-mouth that Checkatrade brought to consumers has grown into several businesses under the ‘Checka’ brand. All are built to support honest businesses
and help people choose services they can trust.
Checkatrade is a partnership between members and their customers. The three way partnership brings together consumers who are looking for tradespeople they can trust, with businesses who uphold and operate to the Checkatrade standard. Customers supply feedback about members – proving their credibility to other potential customers.
Checkaprofessional provides a resource for consumers to search for local professional services from accountants to IT experts to dentists. Members benefit from the simple search facility that leads to new enquiries for their business.
Checkatainer runs thorough background checks on industry professionals before they can become members. Once they join, members agree to have feedback from their customers and clients and these comments are put online for all to see.