Rated People is fundamentally flawed. It doesn't work for both Tradesmen and Homeowners and I will explain my experience here.
Rated People is actually driving down standards of workmanship in most cases, not up. Its an ultra competitive market place where people win work on price alone.
judging by the price that "Electricians" are giving for work they would go bust if they were carrying out those jobs to current engineering standards.
For example, fuseboard upgrades for £150. You can barely buy the components for £150 let alone deal with overheads and carry out all of the testing, inevitable repairs and certificate the work as required by law.
However although Ive just highlighted price as being one issue of this market place, the real issues are RP protecting rip off tradesmen. This also drives down prices for the quality tradesmen because a lot of cowboys win work on price alone. Another huge problem I am aware of is that with something as complex as electrical installation, how can the home owner ever assess whether the job has been carried out to exacting engineering standards?
Yes the light bulb operates when the switch is pressed but that does not mean your house isnt about to burn down or that the fuses will operate in time to prevent the cable setting on fire or defibrillating your heart in the event of an electric shock.
I have experienced many circumstances where I have been left surprised and shocked by advice or lack of advice given by some of the electricians operating from RP. Some are totally dangerous and if I were a home owner I would be questioning their experience and qualifications.
Moving on to other issues. From a tradesmans point of view the cost is extravagant. £40+vat per quarter plus another £20 plus vat for the text alerts.
Then, every job you are charged a minimum of £5.76 up to about £36 for jobs which you may not win. Ok thats fine and I relish the opportunity to compete, to loose or to overcome the challenge that is business and that is part of why I do this.
If however I pay £36 for a sales lead for someone to then ask me to produce a detailed design for a house which the person is trying to evaluate if he can afford or not, then that is not a genuine sales lead and I should expect my money back. However RP have many other sales tricks up their sleeves to avoid repaying you.
For a comapny that promotes integrity as a core reason for operating then their not exactly leading by example.
Rated People do not have any quality control measures to ensure that only genuine sales leads enter the system.
I was denied a refund because RP claim I did not report the sales lead. Yet I had reported it, TWICE! I also emailed RP before I was able to report the lead.
The system works where you have to wait five days before you can report a lead. Then, provided you haven't forgot you have another 7 days to report the lead. I have got in to the habit of setting reminders for any refunds because if you forget youve had it.
In the instance above, I attempted originally to report the sales lead through my iphone on the RP monile site. Waited a few days and no response so when I was at home I logged in and noticed the link was still present so for whatever reason the reporting function hadn't operated.
So I simply reported the sales lead again through my desktop computer and awaited a response. Been quite busy of late and totally forgot but remembered last week and so called RP regarding the issue that I hadnt received a response from them.
I was told I hadn't reported the lead and so unfortunately there was nothing they could do to help.
So I complained and referred the company to my previous email and after a long struggle over the phone the operator agreed to look in to the case for me. I was told the process could take three days.
However after a few hours I have had the request declined again because I hadn't reported the lead.
Since this dispute I have searched my emails for any kind of response from RP regarding a notification that I had requested a refund for a sales lead. In over 200 emails there is not a single email notifying me that I have requested a sales lead to be refunded. (I have reported about 10-15 sales leads)
Considering I receive notification emails for just about every single activity I perfrom on the RP website is it just poor business practice or malicious practice by the sales division?
I asked RP and was simply told that RP is the home of quality tradesmen.
Then, ultimately who ends up paying for all of this? I notice in the RP terms and conditions it says that home owners are free members and the registered trade members pay for the service. Well thats rubbish too because ultimately its the home owner that pays.
Either in cash because its an expense the business has to cover, or, even worse where businesses decide to lower the standard of the installation/quality of materials because there isn't enough profit in the job.
Home owners always pay one way or the other.
Myself personally, I never ever compromise on price because if I did then I would have to lower my standards to make a reasonable profit. Consequently I make less money than the cowboys as I win far less work but that is my choice and I am happy with that choice.
But I am unhappy with the whole missleading concept that RP is improving the standards of workmanship.
In my experience it is only un-established businesses that use RP. Any electrician who is any good will not have the need for RP and eventually you are left with two categories:
The start up who cannot afford the enormous upfront cost advertising and marketing
And, even worse
The cowboy, who wins almost no work through repeat custom and has to buy work.
The plus side is of course the rating system but that is also open to severe abuse and easily manipulated.
My advice to anyone out there is do your research, get referrals from people who have used tradesmen. That piece of writing on RP may look good but the reality is there are far more accurate ways of finding tradesmen.
Just follow the old, "last two jobs" rule. Find a friend or friend of a friend and get a personal recommendation. Then simply ask the tradesman to refer you to his last two customers. You will quickly get a sense of the type of tradesman you are dealing with by:
His response, Defensive? Relaxed? Helpful? Angry?
Did he/she provide you with the referrals?
How long did he take to get them over?
What did the referrals say about the trades person?
Try and find five quotes, inevitably you will find only one winner!!!
Im not saying RP is total rubbish, however they have got a very long way to go before they create the type of market place they are currently telling people about.
Six weeks and I still cannot get a refund. I wonder if Parcelforce can set a new world record. ANyway the company says they have no record of the transaction but the money has clearly left my bank account.
Despite being able to tell Parcelforce every last detail they require still no joy. The most frustrating thing though is the lack of consistency in the competency of the staff. Some people are helpful and know how to deal with queries whilst other just tell you they cannot help and theres nothing they can do and pass the problem on.
And the delivery driver cannot record the tracking number correctly and you tend to not receive confirmation emails. Its just poor all round.
I won't use this company again.
Laurie Durand found this review useful
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