It’s Christmas time once more, so I thought I’d share a quick tale to warm your heart and prove acts of kindness still take place on a daily basis.
I spotted this story the other day and it really highlighted for me why householders should take as much care as they possibly can to ensure they use reputable tradespeople. An elderly disabled lady in the Birmingham area, who had recently lost her husband, called out some local plumbers (I shan’t name them) to fix a simple stopcock leak.
This is the kind of annoying, yet relatively mundane problem most of us experience at some point or other and, while it’s a real inconvenience at the time, it’s not normally the end of the world. However, this unfortunate old lady was in for a shock and at a time when she was pretty vulnerable.
To put it simply, the plumbers didn’t finish the job and the poor lady was left with no water and with a ridiculous £500 bill. That’s not on at all and these guys should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of this unguarded lady and charging her an extortionate rate for what should have been an easy, quick and cheap job.
Anyway, there is a happy ending. A Checkatrade member, Sunrise Plumbing and Heating Services of Bromsgrove, heard about the lady’s misfortune and came to her rescue in double quick time. They fixed her problem good and proper and all Sunrise boss, Darren Biddle, asked for in return was a cuppa!
That said, I’m sure that wasn’t their only reward. The old lady was apparently overwhelmed by Sunrise’s selflessness, so seeing her reaction must have been a real treat.
We all need to earn a living but sometimes it’s about more than that. I can tell you from my time doing 60 Minute Makeover that watching people’s reactions was incredibly satisfying. More often than not, the people nominated to benefit from the show didn’t have very much and were in need of someone’s help.
Many of them were living in poor conditions but tended to put others first and make sacrifices. That’s what got them nominated in the first place and so, hearing about their lives and sometimes their bad health, we were really motivated to work hard and change their lives.
There were some unbelievable moments on the show and often the resident would be aghast at the skips outside their home, the road blocked by their belongings, but when they saw what we’d done for them, they’d invariably be overcome with gratitude. That reaction was always a massive pay-off for me and the team!
Stories like this old lady’s just shouldn’t be happening in a civilised society and, with services like Checkatrade available, they are entirely preventable. Checkatrade is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to engage tradespeople as it allows you to research them and find out how others feel about their work.
You can access reviews, see pictures of their work, check their credentials, see how tidy they are, what their timekeeping’s like and even leave your own feedback for others to read at a later date. It’s like word of mouth on steroids and the kind of information-sharing site that makes the web a better place.
I’m having a great experience with Checkatrade myself at the moment. Badly in need of a tree surgeon to sort out the mess on my property, I went to Checkatrade’s site and had a look around. There were just 6 within 50 miles of my place but there was plenty of info on there to give me a few clues.
The reviews and feedback nudged me in the direction of 3 them and I got them round to give me quotes. Now I know a fair bit about home improvement but tree surgery and all that malarkey is a bit lost on me so I needed advice.
One particular chap, Alan Knight from Knights Tree & Landscapes, was really helpful, so I settled on him after he gave me a lot of sound advice. He’s now doing a fantastic job at my place and has helped me to make informed decisions about what trees and bushes to plant. He could have maybe earned a bit more from me now by going ahead with planting – I wouldn’t have thought about the potential for frost damage – but he was honest and told me the spring’s the best time for that.
I’ll definitely be having him back in March or April and I’m very grateful for both his work and his wise words. Without Checkatrade, it’s doubtful I’d have found him, and I would have just had to rely on pot luck!
Why not read up about Sunrise Plumbing and Heating on Checkatrade here http://www.checkatrade.com/SunrisePlumbingAndHeatingCont/ or have a look what Alan Knight’s customers have to say about his services here http://www.checkatrade.com/KnightsTreeAndLandscapes/.