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Are you being Served?

Dodgy roof job? Wonky flooring? Drafty windows? Everyone knows someone with a bad builder story right? Today the anecdotes become a reality as a national survey names and shames builders as the worst trade service in Australia! Over a third of the disgruntled Australians surveyed gave builders a hammering for not providing good customer service. It wasn’t just builders in the firing line, sinking into second place were plumbers who received over 25% of the votes. The survey commissioned by Service Central found the top three complaints when dealing with a tradie were concern about being taken for a ride by the local cowboy, being over quoted for the job and not having calls returned. Martin Phemister runs contract building firm Ready For Sale based in Melbourne and disputes the negative reputation of his industry, “Builders get a raw deal when there are actually a lot of skilled people out there who take pride in the standard of their work and keeping the customer happy. It’s more a case of a few bad apples giving us all a bad name.” The survey also found that tradies are not the easiest group of people to track down, with over half of the respondents taking more than a day to find the right person for the job. More than 15% admitted the laborious search takes more than a week! And the most popular method of finding a tradie? Good old word of mouth – according to 60% of the Australians surveyed. Danial Ahchow, Executive Director at Service Central, who commissioned the survey says, “The important thing to take from the results is not that builders are a dodgy bunch but rather that people are looking in the wrong place for their tradespeople. Of course there are some bad builders out there but it’s about knowing how to get hold of the reputable ones. We were surprised at how many people relied solely on word of mouth as it can be fairly hit and miss if your friends and family don’t know anyone – what do you do then? We also found a lot of people relied on traditional methods like the Yellow Pages but the problem with these is that there is no way to know the quality of the tradespeople you are cold calling. At Service Central, we pride ourselves on matchmaking customers with only registered, qualified and insured tradespeople and in doing so hope to change the perception of Australians towards builders and their peers!” Service Central (www.servicecentral.com.au) was launched in 2005 by father and son team, Danial and Bruce Ahchow who identified a gap in the market for finding quality tradespeople efficiently. Free to the customer, Service Central’s intelligent job-matching system will identify within minutes if there is a skilled, qualified and registered service provider in your area, providing an easy and efficient solution to a previously drawn-out process. Now also offering professional services including accounting and legal advice, Service Central takes both the leg work and the risk out by only putting customers in touch with insured and quality checked service providers. With a user feedback system in place, only service providers who are consistently making the grade (in the eyes of the customer) are utilised by Service Central – like word of mouth en masse. Cowboys need not apply. Emma Johnstone Spin Communications T: 03 9525 0755 E: e.johnstone@spin.com.au

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