The most and least trusted professions

Trusted professions - and how to avoid the cowboys

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.

SEE ALSO: One in ten homeowners let down by builders

See also: Appalling cowboy builder who charged £7,900 to turn roof tiles over

The research, by, 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.

Least trusted
Politician 13%
Car Salesperson 16%
Journalist 18%
Estate Agent 22%
Banker 33%
Recruitment Consultant 34%
Builder 43%
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.

Most trusted
Police 70%
Gardener 69%
Electrician 66%
Painter and decorator 63%
Plumber 59%
Lawyer 51%

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.

Cowboy builder rips off dying man
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Cowboy builder rips off dying man
Geoff and Margaret Shipp have been ripped off by cowboy builders. Geoff is in the final stages of motor neurone disease, and their family and friends are worried that his precious days are being spent dealing with difficult living conditions and incredible stress.
They paid for their barn in Tunstall in Suffolk to be converted into a home where they could spend their retirement. They agreed for the work to be finished in March last year, but they have been left with a building site.
The state the property has been left in is causing it to deteriorate still further, as it isn't even water-tight.
The couple are spending their nights in the property, despite the fact it is uninhabitable.
The couple has no heating, running water, or a working bathroom.
The couple is concerned that even the work that has been completed is not up to standard.
In many areas their concern is understandable. They have had to bring in a new builder to repair much of the work.
The couple are doing what they can to put the cowboy builder's work right, but work has halted as they have run out of money

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