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INDUSTRYNEWS


SITE TO PROTECT AGAINST ROGUE TRADERS LAUNCHES


The owner of a new system to pay for home improvements claims it will put an end to lost cash ending up in the hands of rogue traders.


Under the scheme, from web firm Bondpay (which is registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA)), consumers pay it the cash which is then kept in trust until the work has been completed.


The money is held in an HSBC account, where both the homeowner and the contractor can see it, but not touch it.


If a dispute with the builder arises, Bondpay will step in and mediate. If this does not settle matters and the dispute becomes serious, it will refer the pair to an independent arbitration service.


The company says the scheme also provides protection should the builder cease trading.


Any builder can sign up, although they will be charged 2.5% of the transaction value. Bondpay managing director Nick Egdell said it is likely this will be passed onto consumers, resulting in larger bills for them.


He pointed out, however, that they are paying for the guarantee – and that they would pay 2% anyway if they pay on credit card, though many households do pay by cash or cheque.


He said: "Bondpay gives these people reassurance their cash will be safe. Nothing gets into the builder's account until the work, agreed at the start, is done."


To use the system consumers must make a bank transfer to the HSBC account or send a cheque.


Users can make staggered payments, so it does not all have to be handed over up-front.


It is not completely risk-free. One risk to consumers' cash is in the unlikely event HSBC went bust.


If that happens, Nick Egdell pointed out that their money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme's guarantee to protect up to £85,000 per person.


But the typical cost of building work is just £8,000, he added. Also, if you pay for something on credit card you are protected anyway, if


work costing between £100 and £30,000 is not up to standard, even if you have only made part-payment on plastic.


Bondpay claims that it is the only company of its type where the payment process it uses is FSA registered.


LET THE DOG SEE THE RABBIT


The year has set off to a flying start for trade fabricator Sash UK as it announces sales growth of 18% across the board for the first quarter of 2011.


The renowned manufacturer of PVCu window, door and conservatory systems and in recent years PVCu decking and fencing, has experienced all extremes of economic climates over its 45 years. But this month’s figures are a clear sign that business is booming, with trade sales up 16% and commercial sales up 22%.


This exemplary growth can be attributed to steps made by the company to


improve factory efficiencies and develop its product portfolio, giving customer more options, better lead times and at more competitive prices. The sales and marketing teams have also worked tirelessly helping customers to win more business by responding to feedback and providing the practical support they need, from bespoke websites and brochures through to a 24 hour online pricing and ordering service.


“There’s no denying that market conditions have been tough but our


overwhelming performance demonstrated in these latest sales figures is testament to the hard work of every one here, from our people out in the field to those in the offices and factory. Thank you all and well done,” commented Sash UK MD, Stephen Morrell.


ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS


INTHE CLEARVIEW TRADE DIRECTORY! Call our friendly sales team to book your advert!


T » 01226 321 450 48 « Clearview NMS « April 2011 « www.clearview-uk.com


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