A new survey by tradesman-pricing website HaMuch.com has suggested more than three-quarters of builders charge clients called Tarquin, Rupert and Quentin more than Daves, Mikes and Deans.
75.5% of the tradesman questioned said that they have given a higher quote when the customer is a Henrietta, Harriet or Cassandra, with 51.5% saying they have added their ‘posh name tax’ many times. 24% said they had boosted their prices once or twice.
Nearly 8-in-10 of the UK builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians questioned said that they have upped their prices when quoting for work in what they perceived as an upmarket area. Meanwhile, 81.5% admitted to having inflated charges when realising the customer lived in a large or fancy house.
HaMuch founder Tarquin Purdie took a personal stake in the research and results, as he had long-suspected he paid more for jobs around the house than his friends. The website, founded in 2016, allows those searching for someone to work on their home to search by trade, price and area.
“Being called Tarquin, I have definitely experienced the ‘posh name’ trades surcharge,” says Purdie. “It’s not a big surprise to me, personally. But our service now means that this can be a thing of the past, as the rates are there in black-and-white for you to compare before you get in touch with a tradesman. Good news for Tarquins and Henriettas everywhere. I was genuinely surprised by just how prevalent this over-charging has been, but I hope that more people will now start to research prices up-front and stop themselves being scalped. You will always get unscrupulous tradesmen, but those signing up to our website know that they are setting new industry standards in pricing transparency. It can only be good for builders and customers alike.”
What do you think? Is the ‘posh name tax’ a valid concern? Do you agree with HaMuch’s assessment of the situation as “class war set in brickwork and cement” or do you suspect a surplus of protesting on their part? Let us know in the comments or on our social media!