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19 per cent of tradespeople say their top gripe is being propositioned by ‘cowboy clients’

1-minute read

Sam Bromley

28 February 2020

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Tradespeople have revealed their top gripes in a new survey. 34 per cent said not being offered a drink is their biggest bugbear, while 19 per cent claimed their main gripe is when ‘cowboy clients’ offer sex as payment.

The study polled 2,000 workers from across the industry, with tradespeople also calling out problems like paperwork, fake emergencies and late payers.

Top tradesperson gripes – the full list

There’s always talk about ‘cowboy builders’ – rogue tradespeople scamming customers with bodge jobs and dodgy deals. But what about the ‘cowboy clients’ who end up causing honest tradespeople grief?

HaMuch.com, a tradesperson comparison site, carried out research into the most common problems that clients cause tradespeople. Here’s the top 10:

GripeHow many said it was top?
Not offered cuppa34%
Late payers21%
Offered sex instead of pay19%
Asked to do “other quick jobs” for free9%
Being told job was emergency when it wasn’t5%
Being watched4%
Customers who buy own materials3%
Paperwork1%
Fixing another tradesman’s bad work1%
When customer changes mind during job1%

“...inappropriate and pretty desperate behaviour”

While a lack of tea and not being paid on time are the top two gripes, the third one on the list is likely to raise most eyebrows.

But HaMuch.com says it’s a real problem for tradespeople: “The offer of sexual favours isn’t an adequate form of payment and with many tradespeople either happily married or in a relationship, it’s inappropriate and pretty desperate behaviour.

"If you can’t afford the work with cash, wait until you can.”

And The Mirror quotes builder Andy Stevens, vice president of the Federation of Master Builders in London, who says he’s been propositioned this way three times.

The Mirror says one client of his “opened the door wearing a mini-skirt and no undies, which became evident as she climbed a loft ladder.”

Andy said: “I was too busy pricing the job up. It wasn’t until later I realised what she was offering me.”

What’s your top gripe as a tradesperson – do any of these sound familiar to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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