Cowboy tradesmen are in the minority, however they are still out there. So how

do you protect yourself? This list provides those all important tell-tale signs that

the company you are dealing with may be disreputable.

REFERENCES : Cowboys will avoid providing details of previous jobs.

CONTRACT : Cowboys will inevitably try to avoid any written agreements and may suggest that a contract is not needed.

CHEAP DEALS : Cowboys may try to overwhelm you with cheap 'One day only' offers to make you part with cash upfront.

Cowboys may offer you a VAT free deal for cash.

TIME FRAMES : Cowboys may not agree on time frames or completion dates as ‘things may crop up’ that will change them.

COMPETITION : Cowboys may be underhand and unfairly criticise their competitors.

Cowboys may provide inadequate contact details such as just a mobile number. A reputable company should provide business cards with full details, names, registered business addresses & contact numbers.

START STRAIGHT AWAY : Cowboys generally say they are able to start straight away. Good glazers or builders are often unable to start straight away as most are in constant demand.

Cowboys may not understand the Building Regulations or keep themselves up to date with any changes to the law, building regulations or latest industry developments. If your installer does not give you the confidence that they are knowledgeable, then you might be correct.

FENSA takes very seriously companies who mislead the public. When consumers and contractors submit a complaint to FENSA about an installer who is not registered with FENSA, the installer will be reported to the relevant Local Authority Building Control department. Other non compliant installations carried out by non FENSA Registered Businesses are also reported. Information about misuse of the FENSA logo is usually brought to FENSA’s attention by consumers, FENSA registered installers or information received through In the case of misuse of the FENSA logo (such as when an installer who is not registered with FENSA advertises that they are),
FENSA corresponds with the person who reported it, Trading Standards and the installer.

FENSA notifies Trading Standards of any breach of the Trade Marks Act 1994

and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, with a recommendation

that legal action is taken. Attempts will be made to investigate the reason and cause for

the complaint. If co-operation is received from the installer and the FENSA logo is

removed immediately, Trading Standards may chose not to prosecute.

FENSA set up the Cowboy Stoppers website this website enables enquiring installers to register their concerns about another installer, anonymously, as well as containing useful information for consumers about how to spot a cowboy

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