In roofing, there may be times when your customer isn’t quite satisfied with the installation and it leads to a payment dispute. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory - even if you’ve done a great job, on time and on budget, you’re bound to come across someone at some point with whom you don’t see eye-to-eye.

Dealing with disputes can be time consuming and worrying.  At best you are left with a bad taste in your mouth and a few sleepless nights; at worst you suffer a loss on the job and take a hit to your reputation.

Thanks to NFRC and TrustMark, there is a way to resolve client disputes in a straightforward and amicable fashion. If you are an NFRC member who works in the domestic sector, then you already qualify for free membership of TrustMark – the Government-endorsed quality scheme that helps consumers find reputable tradesmen, including roofers, to carry out home improvement work. But now, you can also enjoy an additional ‘pay as you go’ benefit of an Alternative Dispute Resolution process (ADR) too.

Quite simply, the ADR process allows both you and your customer to work through three stages when you fail to resolve a dispute. You will also benefit from continual support and information made available online, to help both parties engage and communicate together.

1. First Stage: Engagement - NFRC Complaints Procedure.

2. Second Stage: Mediation – this reduces the need for lengthy court cases or high costs, and in most instances cases are resolved within hours. Each party will pay £50 for this method.

3. Third stage: Adjudication - Engagement of an Ombudsman service which is free for the consumer and relatively low cost for the tradesperson, avoiding loss of earnings and no court costs.

The good news is that consumers are more willing to use these processes than to use the court procedure, so by using this service, you can provide a faster resolution of difference and challenges between you and your customer.

By handling disputes in a professional manner and seeking to understand why a client is unhappy in the first place may avert the need for ADR, and no lasting damage may be done. In fact, disputes can sometimes be the basis from which a much-improved working relationship between you and the customer emerges.

If you are already a member of NFRC, you can register for TrustMark for FREE and have use of their ADR services. There will be no additional annual fees or costs on contracts up to the value of £100,000.

If you’d like more help and advice, give us a call on 020 7638 7663.