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Disaster Has Struck - Now Take Control

Apr 27, 2008
The bathroom is flooded, you have no hot water, the lights won't work or the roof is leaking. For many people that is just the beginning of their woes. Suddenly you have an emergency on your hands, but what next? A journey into the unknown...

House related emergencies leave the best of us feeling helpless. You don't know where to turn. Yet you have to find a tradesman to sort out the mess and fix your problems. You need someone who will put your mind at rest and do an efficient, reliable job. If you are a woman, or elderly, you may feel particularly exposed to being overcharged or having a botched job done. An AXA Insurance survey found that on average women are charged 20% more than men for an emergency job.

In days gone by your only option was to flick through Yellow Pages and cross your fingers that you got a good guy. Now there are far better alternatives. Yes you want a name and number quickly. But you need someone you can trust. Someone with a good reputation to maintain.

There are an increasing number of websites offering tradesmen who are recommended and rated by other users. These sites provide reassurance, not just contact details. For women and the elderly it can be a daunting experience inviting someone into your home when you already feel stressed and unsure of what the problem is.

Online ratings services allow you to read feedback on tradesmen, written by past customers who want to share their experience. And the tradesmen signing up to these sites want to set themselves apart. They want it known that they do a good job, are honest and reliable.

Online ratings services are a great way for women to feel more empowered when choosing a tradesman to sort out the mess. The person who turns up will understand that if they do a good job and gain your trust you are likely to leave good feedback about them. This will help them to build their reputation and grow a strong and successful business.

Getting someone trustworthy to sort out the mess is great, but how else can you take control just when you are at your most vulnerable?

Firstly keep calm. Every problem has its solution. Secondly remember you are employing a tradesman to sort out a problem for you. Even though you are dealing with an emergency, don't feel that someone has come round to "help". You have asked them to do a job and that is what you are paying for. Third, it is easy to feel overly grateful and you shouldn't let anyone make you feel any worse about the situation than you already do. Finally consider asking the tradesman to do the minimum needed to stop the problem. Then sort out a longer term solution once the panic is over. Don't be talked into an expensive new boiler or rewiring in the heat of the moment.

So don't make domestic headaches a journey into the unknown. Get to know a bit about the person who is coming to fix your leaks and broken down appliances before letting them into your home. Use a website that lets you find out whether they are trustworthy, honest and competent. Arm yourself with information about them and have confidence in your choice of tradesman.

Gone are the days when you helplessly rang a random number from a business directory, hoping for some response. Now you can take control of the situation and pick the best person for the job.
About the Author
Expert home improver India Cooper advises the public to avoid the traditional business directory in emergencies so as to be more in control of selecting the best person for the job. To find out more please visit http://www.ratedpeople.com
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