At RatedPeople.com we’re all about trust. We want reliable tradesmen on our site and homeowners to be able to trust them and their quality of workmanship. Therefore, we conducted a survey and asked 2,054 adults what trade they consider the least trusted profession in the UK. We wanted to know if builders and electricians have such bad ‘cowboy reputations’ as the media likes to portray.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, found some very interesting facts. It showed that politicians are the least trusted trade in the UK, compared to teachers who are the most highly regarded. The professions were rated on four criteria: value for money, honesty, reliability and quality of work. Politicians received a poor score across the board, voted as poor or very poor for reliability (62%), honesty (70%) and overall quality of work (57%).
Tradesmen on the other hand, were firmly placed in the middle. Gardeners were named the second most reliable trade, electricians and plumbers came next. Electricians were additionally named the best among tradesmen for quality of work. According to the survey, television production companies might want to focus on rogue estate agents in the future and take the pressure off cowboy builders, as this profession came nearest to the bottom, third to last.
Toby Buckland, our gardening ambassador, mostly known for being the TV presenter of Gardeners’ World, commented on the success of trusted gardeners. “Perhaps the reasons that we [gardeners] have fared so well in the study is that gardening is a labour of love, it’s very easy for people to see the amount of hard work that goes into doing a gardening job and the results can completely transform an outside space.”
The UK’s most trusted trades are as follows:
8. Estate Agents
9. Premiership Footballers
Rated across all four criteria: value for money, reliability, honesty and quality.
In the survey we also tried to find out what attributes will make people feel distrust. Bad manners and poor eye contact came, perhaps unsurprisingly, on top. In fact, as much as two thirds of Brits thought bad manners was a deal breaker. Unkempt appearance (40%) and being inarticulate (28%) followed closely, showing that behaviour is the most importance aspect when meeting someone for the first time. Physical appearance such as unattractiveness or being shorter, seemed to matter only marginally, scoring 1% and 0% respectively.
The features that will most make a Brit distrust someone are:
1. Bad Manners
2. Poor Eye Contact
3. Unkempt Appearance
4. Being Inarticulate
5. A Weak Handshake
6. Badly Dressed
Tariq Dag Khan, RatedPeople.com’s CMO, commented: “Builders, like other tradesmen, need to improve their image. Shows like Cowboy Builders and Rogue Traders taint the reputation of all tradesmen when in fact the vast majority of them deliver a job well done and at good value. One way for them to counter the unfair misperceptions is to improve communications with homeowners, as doing so can fuel distrust. What helps is to be clear upfront about each project, starting with: what work is required; when it will be completed; and at what cost.”