Tradesmen to be offered protection against a bad cup of tea

Trade Direct’s research was based on a survey of 1,000 adults across the UK who had employed a tradesman at some point.

Trade Direct’s research was based on a survey of 1,000 adults across the UK who had employed a tradesman at some point.

For the first time ever, tradesmen are to be offered protection against customers who fail to provide them with a hot drink while on a job.

Being offered a hot drink by a customer has always been an unspoken rule between tradesmen and customers, however, in recent years this tradition has slipped with too many builders, plumbers or electricians failing to be provided with a cup of tea or coffee.

Research by Trade Direct found that as many as 55% of all customers fail to offer hot drinks, and this has prompted industry insurance specialists to develop a bespoke policy that not only would allow tradesmen to insure against clients who don’t make them a hot drink, but also those who serve them unacceptably weak brews.

In full, the policy would offer protection against:
•?Failure to be provided with a hot drink (tea, coffee or other)
•?Failure to be provided with an acceptable number of hot drinks relative to the length of the job
•?Failure to be provided with a hot drink of acceptable strength
•?Failure to be provided access to a kettle

To ensure the policy is fair, Trade Direct has developed a tea chart detailing the different acceptable levels of ‘brew’ strength, that tradesmen can print out and take to jobs and give to customers.

Tradesmen interested in the policy can claim by providing visual evidence of a bad brew, the policy offers three levels of cover, ranging from poor taste and temperature to an absence of biscuits, costing £18.50 a year, £4.12 a month for 11 months with a £5.46 deposit.

The policy was preceded by research which found that being made a hot drink that was too milky or not being made one at all was one of the things that annoyed tradesmen the most, affecting ten per cent of all those in the trade.

Research by Trade Direct found that customers in Glasgow are the worst offenders when it comes to being kettle shy. A shocking 13% of people in Scotland’s largest city say they never make their tradesmen a brew. Wolverhampton is the best city for parched plumbers though, with them receiving a hot drink on nearly two thirds of jobs.

Currently in development stage of the policy, Trade Direct, is appealing for customers and tradesmen who have been on both sides of the hot-drink relationship to get in touch and provide feedback on their experiences to inform the final policy.

Andrew Marlow, sales and service manager at Trade Direct, said: “We pride ourselves on the service we offer tradesmen and we’re always looking at things we can do to keep them protected while on a job. It may sound trivial on paper or to someone outside of the trade, but to not be offered a hot drink or, even worse, be made one that is effectively a mug of tepid milk is a big deal to tradesmen – it’s called builder’s tea for a reason after all.

“If there was no tea on offer at every site across the UK the downturn in productivity would be huge, along with the damage to morale. We’re stepping into help our tradesmen insure themselves against these non-caffeinated situations and hopefully educate clients along the way.

“We expect this to be an extremely popular policy when it’s launched and can envisage extending it outside of trade to cover office workers in the future.”