Buy With Confidence scheme gives boost to local businesses

The scheme aims to protect homeowners from “cowboy traders” by listing reputable companies.

Buy With Confidence is an online database that includes information about 100 Oxfordshire- based businesses, providing customers with details of trustworthy and reliable home improvement businesses. Each one has committed to trading fairly and doing a good job and has been thoroughly checked by Oxfordshire Trading Standards.

Not only does the scheme protect consumers from unreliable traders, it has given a boost to the businesses which are committed to providing a good service.

Since joining the Buy With Confidence scheme six years ago, P&R Roofing Ltd. - a roofing business based in Horspath - has benefited from a big boost to its business, with one in every ten of its customers being referred through the scheme.

Owner, Paul Hackett, said: “Quality is what my business is all about and the Buy With Confidence scheme gives our work the Trading Standards seal of approval that customers know and trust. Unlike other trader recommendation websites, the Buy With Confidence scheme requires very thorough background checks and is the only one that is Trading Standards approved, giving customers the confidence that we will do a good job.”

Established in 1984, the company specialises in re-roofing old properties. It built up a base of loyal customers, but the Buy With Confidence scheme gave them added exposure and credibility. Mr Hackett said: “As a member of the scheme, Trading Standards promotes our business to potential customers and lists us on the Buy With Confidence website. This has led to a big increase in customers; 10% of our business now comes through Trading Standards.”

Richard Webb, Manager for Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team, said: “P&R Roofing is an excellent example of the many honest, high quality local businesses that are on our list and we are pleased that the business has directly benefited as a result of being part of the scheme.

“Sadly, there are some traders that deliberately go out to con people but thanks to the Buy With Confidence scheme, when customers see the logo they can be confident in the quality of the services being offered and the company offering them.”

Approved businesses can advertise the Buy With Confidence logo on their vehicles, paperwork and advertisements, as well as gaining publicity through being on the Buy With Confidence website. The Trading Standards team will also actively promote the businesses to customers, helping to raise their profile in the county.

Mr Hackett added, “I’d recommend the scheme to any business that wants to increase its credibility and customer confidence in the quality of their work. There is a prestige that comes with the accreditation because of the rigorous checks and effort that goes into the application, and we are proud to be on the list.”

Oxfordshire Trading Standards is seeking more local business to become members of the scheme. To find out how to apply, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/buy-confidence