Know your consumer rights and discover the steps you can take if things go wrong during your bathroom renovation.
When you are planning your project, it’s a good idea to bear in mind that choosing retailers or contractors who are members of a recognised industry association or registration scheme can minimise problems, giving you greater protection if something goes wrong. Not-for-profit organisation Trustmark aims to help consumers find reliable tradespeople to carry out the work through its large accredited database. It is supported by the Government, the building industry, retailers and consumer protection organisations.
Give the tradesperson a chance to fix the problem free of charge
As a first step, you should make the other party aware of your concerns – ideally in writing so you can keep all correspondence on record – suggesting the steps you feel are necessary to resolve the problem, and allow them the opportunity to respond. If you have a product guarantee or warranty, confirm this in your complaint. If available, make sure to check the complaints procedure of any retailer or contractor you have used.
Get help from trade associations
In many cases, the issue will be addressed promptly at the first stage, but if you don’t receive a result you’re happy with, further action will be needed. Depending on the complaint, industry watchdogs or trade associations may be able to help negotiate with the retailer or trader, and some offer a free arbitration service to resolve disputes.
Take legal advice
If you’re still left with a sub- standard job, you may need to take legal action. The Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor will be able to offer further advice. Legal action should be a last resort, as it can be expensive and there’s no guarantee of success. Keep all records relating to your complaint, such as emails and letters, details of phone calls, receipts, guarantees and photographs of the work or product. These will help you demonstrate your case and the reasonable steps you have taken to seek a resolution before beginning legal proceedings.
- TrustMark TrustMark.org.uk
- The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineers Ciphe.org.uk
- The Furniture Industry Research Association Fira.co.uk
- The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Kbsa.org.uk
- The Tile Association Tiles.org.uk
- Trading Standards NationalTradingstandards.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureau CitizensAdvice.org.uk