Who can you trust more, a politician or a car mechanic? A journalist or a plumber? A new survey has revealed the most and least trusted professions. It's bad news for anyone who elected their MP with any confidence that they would follow through on their promises. It also offers food for thought as to how we can spend more of our time and money dealing with people we trust.
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The research, by Plentific.com, found that the least trusted professionals were politicians, followed by car salespeople and journalists. The top eight were all trusted by fewer than half of the people interviewed.
Car Salesperson 16%
Estate Agent 22%
Recruitment Consultant 34%
Car Mechanic 46%
At the other end of the spectrum were professions where trust is an implied part of the role itself. However, the study found that a number of tradespeople scored impressively well too.
Painter and decorator 63%
How can we stick with people we trust?
There are five steps we can take to ensure that even when we're dealing with the less trusted professions, we can find someone to put our faith in.
1. Personal recommendation
There's nothing to beat a glowing recommendation from someone you trust, which is why it's always worth asking around. Don't wait until you need help: if you know someone who has had some work done on their house, ask them if they'd recommend the tradesperson, and get their contact details just in case. In the same way, if someone has just bought a used car, would they recommend the garage?
2. Ask for references
If you can't get personal recommendations, ask the trader for references. Try to visit them in person to see the work done by the tradesperson yourself.
3. Check their credentials
They should be a member of their trade body. Someone working on your gas supply, for example, should be on the Gas Safe Register. Your builder, meanwhile should be a member of the Federation of Master Builders. Your garage should be part of the retail Motor Industry Federation or the Motor Ombudsman.
4. Use a website that adds protection
There are lots of these around. Plentific, for example, uses verified tradespeople and offers some guarantees for the work. Which?, meanwhile, has a Trusted Traders scheme which checks and assesses tradespeople, has a code of conduct, and offers a dispute resolution service.
5. Check if they have TrustMark
This is a government scheme, which inspects work onsite to check the tradesperson has the relevant skills. If they have a Trust Mark, they have the skills to do the job.