Having been involved in the KBSA for many years I have heard enough stories to know that there will always be unscrupulous businesses and trades people out there trying to make a quick buck, writes Graham Ball, CEO of the KBSA.
The KBSA and other trade associations and organisations such as Trustmark want to help consumers make the right decisions and avoid rogue traders wherever possible but it does not always work.
Many will remember Vance Miller, arguably Britain’s most notorious ‘Rogue Trader’. Vance’s company ‘Kitchens’, based in Oldham, Lancashire, was the first ever business to receive a Stop Now Order from The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) back in 2002. This effectively told him to stop delivering poor quality kitchens to unsuspecting consumers.
It is therefore no surprise but sad to see a recent news item about a kitchen fitter from Plymouth that has been prosecuted for fraud, having sold a £10,000 kitchen that was never going to be delivered to a customer.
I do not know all the details of this case so cannot comment but it is unfortunate that all of the expert advice and essential guidelines published by the KBSA and others could not avoid this situation.
It is a timely reminder that our work is never done and we must continue to communicate as widely as we can the very important messages we have to help consumers and keep rogue traders at bay as much as possible.
The digital revolution means that we have many more channels of communication now than we did in Vance Miller’s day. We are busy utilising all of them and I would urge anyone considering allowing a retailer or a tradesperson into their home to visit the KBSA and the Trustmark websites.
Graham Ball is the CEO of the KBSA. The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA) brings together over 300 fully accredited, UK based independent, retailers. Each KBSA member provides all the expertise required to design and install a new or updated fitted kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home office.