Every day we visit potential painting and decorating clients in Oxford, and many times we find them expressing dissatisfaction with the service they have received from another contractor (in our industry or other trades) in the past.
Whether it’s for an internal of external decorating project – homeowners only have one chance to pick the right contractor – or face living with work they are disappointed with or having to pay again for it to be done properly!
Sadly, too often we hear of bad service.
Although we’ve written other articles about how to go about choosing and vetting a painting and decorating contractor there is one single thing that you can do that will make a huge difference to help you find a good painting and decorating company is Oxford.
One thing? Is it really that easy?
Well, yes it is and it all comes down to references.
But its not just about asking for any references……
How to Properly Ask Your Painting and Decorating Contractor for References
Instead of asking your contractor straight away for a list of references (that list could include their mum, best friend or pub landlord for all you know!), first of all ask them:
How many painting and decorating jobs did you do last year?
Simple question, right? But here is the thing – every tradesperson will quickly tell you the answer to this question. In fact many will provide you with an over inflated number to try and impress you!
Now, once the contractor has told you how many jobs they did last year, one single, simple, question will determine how reputable they are:
May I see your full reference list from last year then?
Let’s assume the contractor said he carried out 50 jobs in 2019.
If this is the case, and you only get, say, 5 references, then this essentially means one thing – a 10% satisfaction rate.
How do you feel about those odds?
One trick that a contractor may try to get around this is that they play the data protection card. They tell you they are not allowed to give out the details of private customers.
This is simply not true.
In all our years of trading, our company has never had a customer tell us their name couldn’t be on our reference list.
Think about that for a second. 100s of customers names and not a single person has told us ‘NO’.
Put yourself in their shoes and compare it with your own experiences where you have received excellent service from a company. Would you ever say no to a company who has provided you with the best service or product you have ever received if they ask you to go on their reference list?
So for those of you that may be picking a painting and decorating contractor (or any tradeperson for that point) in the coming months and read this, please make the decision to do what I’ve suggested here.
And if a contractor refuses to give you the references you request, just walk away. Surely there is someone in your area that is willing to be honest and transparent with their business.
By taking this step, you just may save major stress, headache, and money.
Here are some more resources to help you select a reputable painting and decorating contractor: