I think that now the vast majority of people are aware of the prevailing financial climate and the tough trading conditions for many firms. Therefore, we are not surprised by stories in the news of firms failing and orders not being fulfilled. There have been several high profile cases during 2011 of kitchen suppliers who have not been able to carry on trading through the downturn. However, what we should be surprised at, not to mention saddened and shocked by, are the amount of consumers who suffer financial loss when these firms fold.
Stories of families that have lost hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds, after giving a deposit only to find the firm folds prior to work being started are heartbreaking at the best of times but seem especially unfair given how hard it is today to save and have funds available for home improvements like fitting replacement kitchens.
There seems to be a contradictory situation at the moment where some people, despite rising household costs and inflation have, thanks to the low interest rates in the last few years, been able to save up enough money to allow them to consider home improvements. Often in these cases thoughts turn to replacing your kitchen – it is after all a great investment. However, improving your homes is an expensive outlay and the last thing you want to be faced with is potentially suffering severe financial losses, particularly given the time and prudence it may have taken to put you in the position where you can consider installing a new kitchen.
Given the recent bad press concerning these failures of often high profile firms one may be forgiven for being reluctant to part with any money at all! However fear of financial loss shouldn’t be an issue for anyone wanting to invest in a new kitchen if you are prepared to do a little research into the contractor you choose. Yes recommendation, testimonials, references are all things which should add credibility to the firm you choose but one other vital thing to look for is a firm that can guarantee the safety of your deposit.
One way a contractor can do this is to be part of the Deposit Protection Scheme administered by the Consumer Protection Association (CPA). As well as being able to provide those all important references and evidence of past work, if your chosen kitchen suppliers can demonstrate they are part of the CPA Deposit Protection Scheme then this gives you tangible evidence of a form of security that can help put your mind at ease. There is no need to gamble with your hard earned deposit. Look into the guarantee that the contractor can offer you. A new kitchen supplier would, quite normally, expect a deposit from you of up to 25% in order to secure the work being carried out in your home. A little research on your part can ensure that you can give this deposit with peace of mind.
Ask any kitchen supplier you are considering for evidence of how secure any deposit you provide is – your chosen kitchen supplier should be more than happy to provide this evidence if they have taken the time and trouble to protect their credibility, and your money, by becoming part of such a scheme. This does not negate the need to research all the important areas – such as references, experience, etc but it does at least tick one very important box.