This is another difficult blog for me to write as I can’t name and shame, or point fingers in the direction of the companies who are to blame.

There are countless firms run by questionable characters all over the country, who operate knowing that they will not be providing you with a fully serviced guarantee or warranty package, simply because they won’t be in business.

Certain firms, offering to undertake work at a much lower cost than established companies, are not doing you a favour, they are in it for the short term and will most likely be out of business within 5 years.

Others who have no idea what they are doing, are serial offenders who keep getting away with it on trusting new customers but never have repeat customers!

Dishonest people who run firms hide in plain sight, due in part to us being too trusting - most of us like to see the best in people especially if you are trustworthy and honest yourself.

These days you can set up a pretty decent website for a very small amount of money and with it you instantly have a shop front facing the general public. Everyone can see it so it must be credible, right?

This hypothetical firm may have been trading for 6 months. They could be working from home. They could show accountant details for their business address, a registered VAT number, Limited Company status (plus be a director of multiple limited trading names) and be a member of a trade association to add credibility. They can advertise that they have over 20 years’ worth of experience within the industry, or have been supplying customer satisfaction for 20 plus years. The wording on the website can make out that the company is reputable, trustworthy and that you are in safe hands. But it's not always true!

There are companies owned by individuals who have in the past taken deposits for work that they knew would never be installed; left people with unfinished building projects, taken countless amounts of money from people who were left out of pocket, as well as leaving people with worthless guarantees and the ever-increasing cost of reparation for shoddy products that were fitted badly.

I know I cannot protect people from a “It’s too good to be true” deal from a charlatan, and I understand that certain people will always be fooled into thinking they are getting a really, really, good deal. I get it!

I just wish with my heart of hearts that our industry was fully registered and policed in a way to protect customers and reputable companies alike, and those rogue traders are properly punished for serial misuse of our current laws.

Make sure when you are buying from a company like ours, you really look into who you are dealing with before agreeing with.