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Tradespeople see straight through fake customers

2-minute read

Lauren Hellicar

11 December 2018

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"Alright, mate? What about the City game last night, eh?" It’s this type of chat that tradespeople have had enough of, according to The Sun.

The article reveals some of the phrases and behaviours customers use to try and bond with their builder, plasterer, or electrician. What they don’t seem to realise is it’s having the opposite effect.

Why do customers do it?

The Sun quotes psychologist Mamta Shah, who says the ‘chameleon effect’ is to blame, as customers mimmick tradespeople due to the natural human instinct to try and make themselves or the other person feel more comfortable.

People have gone so far as to put on a ‘working class accent’ and throw the names of random tools into the conversation to try and bond with the tradespeople working on their properties, reports The Sun. is the website behind the study into this type of behaviour. Its MD, Tarquin Purdie suggests that the need to adapt the way you speak comes from not wanting to be ripped off.

The worst offending behaviours

According to The Sun, these are the top bugbears of tradespeople:

  1. Calling them ‘mate’ while putting on a fake ‘working class’ accent – they can tell how well off you are by the house you’ve hired them to work on
  2. Standing over them while they work – it doesn’t get the job done quicker and just makes them uncomfortable
  3. They don’t all like football – and certainly don’t expect you to
  4. Offering food and drinks is a kind gesture – just don’t assume they all want a bacon sarnie and a tea with three sugars – it’s 2018 after all!
  5. Don’t take issue with them taking a break around 11 am – remember they’ve been grafting since around 7 am
  6. Don’t try and style it out if you don’t understand what they’re telling you – be honest and they’ll respect you more for it

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Never make assumptions

Customers are reported to assume their builders are uneducated, while being guilty themselves of letting basic acts of common courtesy like offering a hard grafting tradesperson a glass of water fall by the wayside.

Earlier this year, we discovered that tradespeople actually earn £10,000 more than the average university graduate. The average salary figures showed that architects earn £38,228 while plumbers far exceed that number, earning £48,675.

Customers taking liberties

And it's not just that people forget to offer refreshments. Another article revealed what people think is acceptable to ask of a tradesperson they’ve hired to work on their property.

Things customers have asked – which can reasonably be expected to be well above and beyond their duties – include grocery shopping, washing up, babysitting, and answering the door.

Have we missed any? Let us know which customer behaviour you find most annoying in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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