How Choosing a Local Plumber Can Depend on Your Online Reviews & Trust Factor

Recent news has shown that over 25% of UK residents are finding it very difficult to find a trustworthy plumber who is reliable, on-time, and on-budget. It’s not just plumbers, though, this research also showed that similar complaints were to be found with electricians and builders as well.

It makes sense to assume, that once a homeowner has found a tradesperson such as a local plumber that they trust, then they will continually use them again, and refer friends and relations to them. In fact, nearly three quarters of people surveyed said that they would definitely use a plumber again if they were happy with the work.

That is why it’s so important if you are a plumbing company to always provide an exceptional service, pricing, as well as the image that you portray.

In addition to those statistics spoken about above, homeowners also said that they want to keep their search local when it comes to using plumbers, electricians, and other types of tradesmen. Given that it’s essential that you ensure that your business is not only highly visible online, but you also have the reviews and social proof to back up your work.

Finding a reliable plumber shouldn’t be difficult. If you use the Manchester area of the UK as an example, this is what happens when you type the word plumber, or Manchester plumbers into Google.

Now which one do you think you would click on? It would probably be one of the companies who have good Google reviews – makes sense doesn’t it? So with that in mind, it’s imperative to always keep customer service at the core of everything that you do, and also follow up with customers to see if they will leave you a solid review.

Another essential aspect would be to ensure that your website and social media profiles are as good as they can be. We’ve had a look at a few Bournemouth plumber websites locally, and this is what we found with some feedback:

Plumber Bournemouth
This website from a local company based in Bournemouth and Poole tells the customer exactly what to expect in terms of how long a quote will take, their availability, and also the services that they offer including boiler check and gas safety certificates. We give this one a score of 7 out of 10

Plumbers in London (Checkatrade)
This is the popular Checkatrade website and lists the best plumbers in the London area, letting you pick and choose according to how well they have been rated by local people who have used them in the past – we give this a score of 8 out of 10

What Questions to Ask a Plumber

If you are a homeowner yourself, then we also believe that there are some things that you should be asking any plumbing company that you call out for a quote. Those questions to ask are listed below, and should give you a good indication on whether or not you should use them in your own home:

• How long has the plumbing company been operating in the local area for?
• Are they able to supply references from happt customers they have worked for?
• Will they offer a guarantee on the plumbing work that they undertake?
• Do they have the suitable insurance policies and coverage?
• Are they up to date and Gas Safe registered?
• Is the quote they give you final or will there be hidden costs?

Other tips can be to check with organisations such as the Gas Safe register, and also Trading Standards to see if the plumber has any registrations (good) or outstanding issues and complaints (bad).

Other things to look out for are with regards to the type of job you are asking the plumber to do for you. For example, if it’s a central heating or boiler problem then you need a properly qualified and registered heating engineer.

They might not be water and leak experts, but what they will be is a company that had the necessary qualications to deal with Gas and heating appliances which can be very dangerour if in the wrong hands!

Any heating engineer that you employ should have undergone specific training, and be Gas Safe registered meaning that they can work on gas appliances both legally and safely.

If and when you do decide to employ a plumber in your home, then by default the very best ones should do the following for you:

1. Explain exactly what they are going to do and what goods/services you can expect to receive
2. Tell you exactly how much things are going to cost and when you should have to pay them and how
3. Give you a proper contract and terms and conditions so that you don’t get any nasty surprises somewhere down the line.

We hope this articles help both homeowners, as well as professional plumbing companies.

Would you like to contribute?

No Win No Fee Solicitors of Bristol – Working For You

no-win-no-fee-soliticors-bristol

Disclaimer: The following is a guest piece of content from the Personal Injury Bristol company. You can also contribute if you wish by reading this blog post.

Accidents result in many injuries annually in the United Kingdom, and personal injury compensation in England can be a very complex subject. It helps to gain a basic understanding of the no win no fee process if one suspects that he or she may have to file such a claim.  Our no win no fee solicitors in Bristol are here to help you. For more information visit our website which is No Win No Fee Bristol.

By calling us now or using the contact form on our website we can get started straight away to advise you on a claim and how much compensation you could be due today.

You Receive 100% of Compensation

Please note, that we don’t offer the traditional no win no fee approach to compensation. You will receive 100% of any compensation payment and our fees will not come out of your claim. Instead we operate using an insurance scheme, meaning we get paid by an insurance company.  So, we work better for you as solicitors and lawyers in Bristol offering no win no fee because you receive more compensation than you would with other firms.

The No Win No Fee Approach

Personal injuries can occur almost anywhere. In many cases, such injuries are the result of the negligence of other individuals. If an injury falls into this category, monetary compensation can be pursued. General compensation is awarded by a United Kingdom Court of Law, and is typically given to the injured individual to replace his or her lost earnings or to help provide compensation for pain and suffering.

Using a No Win No Fee Lawyer & Injury Advice Specialist

For a variety of reasons, personal injury claims are often very complicated. Fortunately, however, most Bristol personal injury solicitors will work on what is referred to as a contingency basis, also called no win no fee.

As its name implies, this method of payment involves the solicitor taking a percentage of the money awarded to the injured individual as payment, as opposed to the injured person paying the upfront retainer that is usually required when a no win no fee lawyer takes on a new client. This is particularly helpful if the client has a strong case, but does not have enough money to pay the solicitor in advance.

The Bristol no win no fee solicitor will begin by establishing the worth of the claim. If this estimate is more than £1000, the legal costs will almost certainly be paid in addition to the monetary compensation the client is awarded for the injury.

New Legislation Regarding No Win No Fee Solicitors

Those seeking compensation for injury are wise to familiarize themselves with the recent changes in legislation concerning how no win no fee solicitors are allowed to conduct business. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act is planning to change the manner in which such cases are funded.

Supporters of the Act claim it will halt the activity of unscrupulous “ambulance-chasing no win no fee lawyers” who seek exaggerated and spurious claims at inflated costs. However, critics fear the new legislation may restrict access to the legal system for certain individuals who have legitimate cases.

It may also require those who have sustained genuine injuries to use a significant percent of any damages they are awarded to cover legal costs. Under the new law, clients still do not pay upfront fees or cover solicitors’ costs if no compensation is awarded, but a “success fee” must be paid if the case is won. However, this fee cannot exceed 25% of the damages received.

Those who support the Act, however, still claim that specious cases were on the increase under the old legislation. For example, the number of claims for whiplash following automobile accidents rose by 25 percent during the past four years, even though the number of road traffic collisions fell during the same period.

It remains to be seen which group is correct in their predictions. Nevertheless, those who have been injured due to no fault of their own are wise to seek the advice of no win no fee solicitors Bristol in order to pursue compensation.

Image Credits: flickr.com/photos/gidzy

Contribute to the Operation Dreamseed Blog

cont

I don’t have much time nowadays to update my website as you can probably see… since becoming a father it’s become more and more difficult to put time towards my little side projects. Having said that I would hate the Operation Dreamseed website to not continue on as it has. So with that in mind I am now inviting anybody who wold like to contribute content to simply email me. Let’s see what you’ve got!

Oliver White Barrister Video Shows How Legal Firms Can Use Youtube

Oliver White Barrister

YouTube is fast becoming one of the best methods by which those in the legal profession can get their name out there. One such practitioner I’ve noticed recently taking video marketing on board in order to win new clients is the barrister Oliver White.

He runs the London Barrister website which is a great looking design and tells you everything that you would ever need to know about him… but he’s also supplemented that with an awesome video which goes navigating through the website as if you were a potential new client looking to employ his services. You can see that video here embedded below, or watch it standalone on Oliver White’s Barrister YouTube channel.

With videos now becoming easier and easier to produce with the proliferation of smart phones and easy editing software it’s no wonder that more and more legal firms and individuals including barristers and solicitors are producing their own content.

I expect more barristers, not just Oliver White to take this lead. If you don’t have the in-house skills to produce your own video then you can typically find people who can do it for you on freelancer websites such as Odesk and Elance for quite a small fee. Your video doesn’t have to look like Steven Spielberg as long as it conveys the message and gets your brand across.

What to Look and Check for with Employment Law Solicitors

Employment Law in the Workplace

In the current work and employment marketplace, I am seeing more and more legal cases being brought to court under the banner of employment law. No matter how careful employees and employers are, there are still a few instances where things can go wrong at work. If this does happen, then it’s a realm within which employment solicitors are well-versed; but you do need to make sure that you select the correct and fully qualified legal representation if a case does get to the legal stage. Here is some advice on how to work with employment solicitors.

  1. Only select employment law solicitors that have experience in working with trade unions.
  2. Check to see if they have been recommended by the Chamber and Partner’s best lists and as an added bonus, are they listed in the Legal 500.
  3. Have they taken on cases which set the standards and best practice at the various authority organisations such as the House of Lords, Court of Appeal, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal?
  4. Will they work on a no win no fee basis or are will you have to pay a lot of money up front to use the services of their employment solicitors?
  5. Are there any example cases on their website?

When to Work with Employment Law Solicitors

There are a number of different scenarios in which you should enter into an agreement with a solicitor to take on your case from either an employee or an employer perspective. For example if you are a worker then it might be because you have been sacked, perhaps treated unfairly or discriminated against in the workplace (think racial abuse or sexual harassment). Alternatively it could be that your employer owes you some money. No matter what grievance you have, an employment solicitor will be able to advice on your legal and statutory rights.

The list of potential cases include (but are not limited to):

  • Disciplinary hearings between the worker and company
  • Grievances from the employee’s side
  • Employment tribunal cases and proceedings
  • Settlement and/or compromise agreements

How Much Should it All Cost?

Depending on where you live, the costs of working with an employment law solicitor can vary wildly. Some will agree to work on a no win no fee basis, but if you are an employer they will probably only work on a money up front basis due to the liquidity and funds availability you would have over a standard worker. Regardless of costs, you should at the very least be able to get a free telephone consultation before you start so that you can get an idea on how the work.

It’s worth noting that in many cases it is possible to apply for something called legal aid. Your solicitor will advise you on whether this is possible for you depending on your financial circumstances.

Conclusion on Employment Law

It’s a very muddled legal system at the moment, particularly in the United Kingdom. Employment law solicitors are ten a penny, but finding a good one is a skill in itself. Stick to the guidelines I laid out near the top of this post and you should stand yourself in good stead for working with a good one.

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Why I’ve Not Updated the Blog in a While – Fatherhood!

Fatherhood

I’ve not been able to update the Operation Dreamseed blog as much as I would have liked over the past couple of months… and there’s a really good reason for that… I am now the proud father of a baby son. Little Frederick arrived at 1807 on the 10th of May and as you can imagine this has really taken up a ridiculous amount of time for me and my partner. I am not going to post any photos online of him as that’s not my thing – check my Facebook if you want photos (friends only). Needless to say though, we are both extremely tired, but mother and baby are doing very well.

I think when fatherhood happens, it is a huge life changer. Before I was definitely very selfish, although didn’t realise it at the time. For my partner and I it’s been a huge wakeup call with new responsibilities and things that we have to do – things we used to take for granted are now very much placed on the back-burner – and that probably means a lot of my blogs and website projects will take a back seat for a while whilst I get my role as a father moving.

Anyway, I will try and blog in the future, but please don’t expect too much insight at the moment as I am fully pre-occupied with a mini-version of me who doesn’t give much respite!

Image Copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schmollmolch

How Lettings Agents Need to Be Aware of the Law Regarding Deposits

Apartment Block

I have a couple of family members who work in the estate agency and lettings agents business, and they often ask me for off the record legal advice when it comes to managing the properties of their tenants and various legal scenarios that come up in this profession from time to time as you can imagine.

Here’s an outline of some cursory advice that I would give to any letting agents who are either already in business of thinking about starting up. There’s also a fantastic guide on the Mint Letting Agents website which I also recommend as additional reading.

Letting Agent Deposits

It’s very common for letting agents to ask for a deposit from the new tenants. This is very normal practice and is set against any future issues that could arise – for example failure to pay rent, damage to the property, or any other breaches of the tenancy agreement. If you are a letting agent then make sure that you have this written up correctly by a professional solicitor or legal firm so that it is watertight.

What you must be aware of though is that any letting agent who takes money from a tenant as a deposit, has to place it into a deposit protection scheme – any only those that have been authorized by the government body. More information on that here. This was a rule that came into enforcement in April 2007, yet it’s surprising just how many letting agents are still not adhering to this legislation by law.

According to the Housing Act of 2004, this deposit is not the letting agents; it remains 100% the money of the person renting the property so it’s illegal to use that money for any other reasons. If there are any disputes then these will need to be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution services – this should always be tried before any official and costly court proceedings are considered.

Penalties for Letting Agents by Law

If the letting agent does not work to this legislation, and uses the deposit for their own means, then there are certain legal avenues that the tenant can take via a solicitor. These include items such as;

  • Landlords are not allowed to use Court Orders to gain entry or possession of the property until or unless the deposit has been properly protected using the outline guide previously referred to.
  • The full deposit will have to be returned swiftly by the letting agent or the landlord.
  • Compensation might have to be paid to the people renting your property. This can often be triple the actual deposit amount so can be quite a large compensation payment.

So to conclude, being a letting agent can be a very rewarding and fruitful career and business. However, as I’ve touched upon here, you need to be so careful when it comes to the law and your legal obligations regarding the deposit scheme. I’ve seen many letting agents fall foul of this down the years and thankfully the friends of mine running their own agency are fully aware of their responsibilities.

Image Copyright: flickr.com/photos/leshaines123

How to Make a Claim Against a Personal Injury Solicitor for Negligence

Unhappy client for a personal injury solicitor

Please note: This blog article was supplied by the team at Personal Injury Solicitors Southampton and does not necessarily reflect my own personal views.

If you have suffered an accident and have sought the advice of a personal injury solicitor, then the majority of the time you will be represented professionally and they will help you to get the best from your accident claim.  However, there can be times when a personal injury solicitor does not quite perform to the standard that you would expect.  If you are unlucky enough to have experienced this kind of disappointment then you can look to the services of a professional negligence solicitor to help claw back any financial losses you might have incurred due to bad advice.

Personal Injury Solicitors Ethical Duty

When personal injury solicitors represent their client, then it is their legal and ethical duty to inform the client how much they could potentially win as part of their accident claim.  If the lawyer has given you inaccurate advice that devalues how much you could win in compensation (or even if they make an error) then this could be viewed as negligent behaviour.

At Personal Injury Solicitors Southampton we’ve worked very hard to ensure our reputation and working practices, so thankfully have never had this happen to us.  But what if it happened to you?  What can you do in order to stand the best chance of success in a potential legal mine-field?

Making an Official Complaint

The first thing that you should do if you have suffered financial loss during an accident claim is to make an official complaint via your personal injury solicitors own complaints procedure. All solicitors have these, for example at our firm Southampton Personal Injury Solicitors, ours can be found on our website.  If you do this it will let the solicitor have a look at the complaint and let them respond correctly.  If you are not happy with the response then at this time you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.  If the Ombudsman rules in your favour then he can request a small, but limited, figure of compensation to be paid to you by the personal injury solicitor concerned.

Using a Qualified Claims Company

However, if the claim looks like it’s going to be large one, then the Legal Ombudsman will more likely than not recommend that you instead use a fully qualified negligence legal firm.  They will be able to help you to make a proper and professional claim against the personal injury solicitors that have misrepresented you.

Choose a Personal Injury Solicitor Carefully

Of course, you might not have to go through any of this process if you pick your personal injury firm carefully before hand.  We recommend that you talk to us at the Southampton Personal Injury Solicitors website as we have a great reputation on the south coast for providing quality services with near perfect customer satisfaction rate.

Image Copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelegowoman

Some Strange Personal Injury Claims Reported in London

Great Photo of London at Night

I have worked in some of the largest cities in the World during my legal career.  In that time I’ve seen some downright weird personal injury claims being reported.  In Los Angeles there was the guy who claimed to have fallen onto a bottle of Coke – I will leave the rest of the story to your imagination. However, nowhere has ever seemed to top London when it comes to the strangest personal injury claims that I have heard of.  Many of these won’t be in the public domain, and some have been passed down to me by colleagues and peers who work in the legal profession in the United Kingdom so I cannot guarantee that they are true – however, they might you chuckle to yourself.

Editor’s Note: If you are someone living and working in London and have had an accident yourself then here is a page about London injury and accident claims.  I recommend these guys as have worked with many of them in the past.

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #1

In Islington, North London, a pub landlord was somewhat of an insomniac.  Whilst in bed at night he could not sleep so decided to take a large gulp from his sleeping medicine.  The only thing was, he had picked up the incorrect medicine bottle and drank some white spirit (he was decorating that week).  He was rushed to hospital and made a full recovery but amazingly enough managed to make an accident claim nearly totally fifty thousand pounds!

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #2

A young man was returning from a nightclub after a night out on the tiles.  As he left the nightclub he was handed a flyer for another event… literally seconds later he saw his friend crossing the road and went to mock salute him as a friendly greeting.  In his inebriated state he forgot he was carrying a flyer and the corner of the thick paper stabbed him in the eye.  He won around three thousand pounds for this strange personal injury claim in London.

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #3

In the late 1990s an office worker in Canary Wharf was playing Blind Man’s Bluff with his colleagues.  This horseplay resulted in him slipping and falling near the photocopier meaning he was off work for half a year.  Thankfully he was covered and this personal accident claim resulted in him being the lucky recipient of eight thousand pounds.

Want to Hear More Mad Stories?

If you are interested in joining the associate of personal injury lawyers so you can hear more silly stories like this then I can recommend this link.  The association holds regularly meetings and conferences for personal injury claims lawyers (including meetings in London) where you can get together with other legal eagles in the industry.

Image Copyright: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ru_boff

Reasons to Have an Auto Accident Attorney for Car Accident Lawsuits

Car Accident

Are you planning to file a car accident lawsuit on your own? Before you do that, think about hiring an auto accident attorney to help your case. An attorney is definitely an added cost, but the benefits provided far outweigh the expense. Here are just four reasons why you need an auto accident attorney to dear with car accident lawsuits.

Better Knowledge of the Law and Process

Not everyone knows insurance and accident laws, but they have a huge impact on your lawsuit. Federal and state laws apply, and your attorney can not only help interpret them but also apply them to your lawsuit and compensation claim. Unless your case is an open-and-shut one where you would clearly win, you need an attorney to help you navigate the law and process. For instance, do you decide to file a lawsuit or settle? This is one of the first questions asked, but it is still a difficult question with many factors involved.

You Would Be in a Better Position to Present Your Case

When you hire an attorney, you are in a better position to defend and present your case in a court of law. Without an attorney, you would not only have to spend your own time and effort fighting your case, but you would also feel the pressure of your opponents. If the case goes into an out-of-court settlement, you would have far less negotiating power without an attorney. If the insurance party does not handle your claim well, your auto accident attorney could sue the company for bad faith on claims.

It may seem easy, but people without the years of education and experience are quickly overwhelmed by litigation. You have little chances of winning a lawsuit if it comes up at a small claims court because unrepresented parties are at a huge disadvantage in the current system. If you plan to pursue any kind of litigation, you need an attorney to show you the way.

You Have Someone to Talk to About the Process

A car accident lawsuit can be very frustrating for every party involved, but your attorney will help you through every step and on all the important matters of your lawsuit. When you hire an attorney, you hire someone who you can ask questions or doubts about the process at any time. Without one, you may have to rely on your own investigation and your friends to give you information on the legal process, none of which is recommended.

You Have Someone With Experience

Not every car accident lawsuit is the same, especially when insurance companies are involved. Each company operates different. Some of them are strict and never settle cases, and others are more lenient and open to negotiations. The former is more difficult to deal with than the latter, but you need experience to identify each kind of insurance company and party. You should also know what actions to take after involved in a car accident. If you have a complicated lawsuit with insurance companies that have limits on liability policies, you need a car accident attorney to help you.

Author Bio:

Derek Langley is a freelance writer interested in writing articles related to law. Most often he writes articles for auto accident attorneys.

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