Belfast Telegraph

'Rogue customers' try to lower prices agreed with tradesmen and women, says poll

Tradesmen and women routinely face "rogue customers" who try to knock down an agreed price for the job, insist on cheap materials, or even flirt with them, a study finds.

Some workmen and women have also been attacked by a home owner's dog, including one who was trapped on a roof after being bitten, research showed.

A survey of almost 400 builders and other tradesmen and women by insurance firm AXA revealed that four out of five had costs disputed after work was finished.

Around one in four said a customer had flirted with them, with a female painter and decorator saying she faced sexist jokes.

Gareth Howell, managing director of AXA, said: "We live in a society which tends to look down on skilled manual work in general, often undervaluing the knowledge, judgement and craftsmanship it involves.

"It's hard to imagine someone in a white-collar role encountering such high levels of harassment or casual disrespect.

"People are quite happy to argue a builder's fee down once he's finished work, but would they do the same to a dentist, solicitor or architect?"