Nearly half of tradespeople have walked away from jobs due to customers’ behaviour

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  Posted by: electime      26th January 2024

  • Average value of jobs walked away from due to customer behaviour is £1,062
  • Tradespeople walk away from an average of five jobs per year due to customer ‘red flags’
  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of tradespeople say customers who claim they can get someone else to do the job for less is a red flag

Almost half of tradespeople (47 per cent) say they have walked away from a job due a customer’s behaviour or an argument, according to research from Direct Line business insurance. The study revealed the average value of each job walked away from was £1,062.

Four in 10 (41 per cent) tradespeople report they have had arguments with customers because of their behaviour, with the most common issue being late payment (62 per cent). It is a key issue for the industry and can significantly impact cash flow, tradespeople are owed an average £6,984 in outstanding payments. Other reasons for arguments include customers trying to tell tradespeople how to do the job (57 per cent) and customers adding additional jobs on top of what had already been agreed (39 per cent).

The top 10 most annoying customer habits according to tradespeople

# Annoying habit Per cent
1. Late payment 62
2. Customers trying to tell you how to do your job 57
3. Adding additional jobs on top of what you have agreed to do 39
4. Customers nagging you to finish faster 39
5. Customers checking up on you or hovering over you while you work 36
6. Customer indecisiveness or changing their mind on something 33
7. Children hovering over you while you work 31
8. Not keeping pets out of the way while you work 29
9. Not being able to start at the agreed date 27
10. Customers trying to get involved or help 26

Source: Direct Line Business Insurance

With 42 per cent of Brits struggling to find a tradesperson to do work in their home, the survey also revealed the ‘red flags’ that cause professionals to decline some jobs altogether.  On average tradespeople turn down five jobs a year due to the ‘red flags’ they have identified.

The most common ‘red flag’ was a customer telling them that they can get someone else to do the job for less (49 per cent). This was followed closely by dictating how much a job should cost (47 per cent) or how long it should take (41 per cent), wanting to cut corners to reduce cost such as using cheap materials (45 per cent), and asking for a discount with a sob story (43 per cent).

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance commented: “We’ve all had to manage challenging situations and people that have tested our patience. While tradespeople understand that often customers questions are about trying to understand a task that sits outside of their general knowledge, frequent questions and demands can make for a difficult working environment for tradespeople. It bodes well for customers to remember that the person they’ve hired, or are looking to hire, is an expert in their field. A tradesperson relies on word of mouth and a good reputation, so ultimately, they want to make sure that they do a good job, on time and at a fair price for the work they’re doing.”