If you don’t check, you don’t know – How to sort the ‘sheep from the goats’ when choosing a trader

How do you know if the company or trader you are working with is legit? The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) is launching a new campaign to encourage consumers to ‘look for the scheme logo’ and check before they engage traders and companies to work for them.

The campaign features characters representing the four main types of traders people complain about – Clumsy, Shady, Costly and Lazy – and shows that you can’t tell just from meeting people if they fall into one of these categories.

The CCAS aims to improve customer service standards by the approval and promotion of codes of practice through code sponsors, approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

Consumers can check the CCAS member’s list online or simply look out for the CCAS logo.

The Journal of Trading Standards asked consumer protection stalwart and presenter of the BBC’s Watchdog and Rogue Traders, Matt Allwright about the campaign and his experiences with the four characters highlighted.

He said: “It’s not easy at all [to spot a rogue trader], and it seems like it’s getting harder… I think we’re often in such a hurry to secure the services of someone to fix our roof or boiler, that we can say yes, and hope for the best, rather than do a bit of homework first.

Asked about the scheme, he said: “Searching the CCAS directory clearly helps sort the sheep from the goats when choosing a trader, sets out expectations, and is a starting point for putting things right when they go wrong.”

All CTSI-approved code members operate under a sector-specific code of practice and must demonstrate that they are committed to the highest levels of customer service.

The campaign – with the tagline ‘If you don’t check, you don’t know’ will consist of videos, posters and social media starring Clumsy, Shady, Costly and Lazy and runs from 30 September to 4 October.