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Why You Can Trust Our Local Expert

Network Premiere of Our Local Expert

on Friday, 27 July 2012. Posted in Blog, Why You Can Trust Our Local Expert

Thanks to my Mum and Dad, Joyce and Brian Hall, for taking Our Local Expert onto You Tube. 
I interviewed them in January (with the help of my 8yr old son Alfie), asking them about the experiences they’d had with different tradespeople they used from our guide.

 There are three clips altogether, none particularly professional:

1 – Why can you trust Our Local Expert?

2 – A review of Matt Sage, Domestic Appliance Engineer from Exmouth

3 – A review of Nick Foster of Eden Gardens, Sidmouth

4 – A review of Malcolm Blake of Blakes Plumbing, from Ottery St Mary

Leave your comments on You Tube or the Our Local Expert Facebook page!

Feedback about BAD local businesses is also welcome!

Written by Nick Local Expert on Monday, 25 July 2011. Posted in Home Improvement and Tradespeople, Blog, Why You Can Trust Our Local Expert


On Saturday 9th July we attended an event held by the Senior Council for Devon, in Exmouth.  

We were invited because our guide of recommended local businesses proves particularly popular with people who are old – many of who feel vulnerable to ‘cowboys' and 'rogue traders’.  Some old people are simply no longer able to perform work on their own houses and need recommendations of quality local tradespeople they can trust not to rip them off.

On the day we ran a prize draw - £10 to spend on Exmouth Farmers Market for each recommendation supplied.


Photo – Nick on the Our Local Expert stand at ‘Improving Life for Yourself’, Exmouth.

One Exmouth lady told us of a particularly nasty aerial installer in Exmouth who had taken advantage of a local man suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.  The installer had taken their vulnerable customer to the bank to withdraw something like £300 at the time.  When he was later called back to correct work done badly the first time, he expected the customer to pay a further £150.

Obviously we do NOT feature this business in our guide, but the information provided is useful to ensure that we do NOT invite them to feature – even if they should be recommended in the future.

To learn more about what we do with the recommendations we receive, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

The contributor will collect her prize of £10 to spend at the wonderful Exmouth Farmers Market.  She told us that the news made her day!

Photo – Exmouth's fortnightly Farmers Market




Cowboys and Rogue Traders in your area?

on Tuesday, 15 March 2011. Posted in Home Improvement and Tradespeople, Blog, Why You Can Trust Our Local Expert

How you can be alerted to ‘rogue trader activity’ in your area.

As the recession starts to bite, Devon and Cornwall Police were today warning of door to door callers offering tarmac work in Budleigh Salterton.  In their own words: “Please be aware of the risks of employing such callers. The standard of work and the cost will often not be what you expect. Threats and intimidation are also employed to get the customer to pay outrageous prices, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Please have nothing to do with these people and look out for neighbours who may be approached. All suspicious callers should be reported to the police.  Please phone us with any information on 08452 777 444.”

The above alert was made by Devon and Cornwall Police’s ‘community messaging service’ – which allows you to be updated about local criminal activity (and potentially criminal activity) by telephone, text or Email.  To sign up to this free alert service for your local area follow this link to Community Messaging Service.

The above message relating to rogue tarmaccers ‘scored a hit’.  In the words Devon and Cornwall Police:  “A community messaging recipient responded promptly, enabling police to stop-check and identify the occupants of a vehicle. Although no actual offences were committed in this case these people will have realised that their card is now marked and may not try their tricks here for a while. The police officers involved were suspicious but there was not enough evidence to take direct action. Well done that recipient.”

If you need quality local tradespeople you can trust – use Our Local Expert – where businesses featured have been recommended by local people.  For tarmac driveways throughout Exeter, East Devon, Teignbridge and Torbay, Bovey Macadam have been highly recommended to us by several readers.

Further information:

Follow this link for good practice suggestions of how to work well with tradespeople.

Follow this link to understand more about different Trade Associations, accreditations, quality assurance bodies and membership organisations that tradespeople often use.


Why do people use Our Local Expert?

on Thursday, 09 July 2009. Posted in Advice, Why You Can Trust Our Local Expert

“I like your directory - great idea - wheedles out the baddies of the trade world!” Julie P-F, Honiton

We aim to be the first place you look for local experts you can trust, for people you would be happy to have in your home. The sort of people you would recommend to a neighbour for their quality service and good workmanship.

Please don’t just use this website just for tradespeople like builders, plumbers, electricians, decorators and roofers. We also receive recommendations for local garages, computer repairs, also specialist food and farm shops, restaurants, and caterers; wedding and function hire; complementary therapists; in fact pretty much any service where you would want a recommendation.

As well as this website we also publish a free printed local directory. Please contact us if you'd like a copy.

We started with our East Devon guide in 2007 under a different name. We received such great response from the local community that we have decided to expand into different areas – starting with Exeter in 2009, and Teignbridge and Torbay in 2010.

Our directory is only as good as the recommendations we receive from people like you, so please do keep telling us about:
local businesses you recommend ,
local businesses you don’t recommend and
telling us how you get on with the businesses we currently feature

We differ from other directories because we have a genuine local presence, and we are a small local business ourselves.  This means that we can apply our local knowledge, integrity and discretion, when many automated websites are liable to abuse by fake reviewers.  Please see our Quality Control page to understand more about how we deal with the reviews you send us.

Please let us know what you think, either using our ‘feedback’ page, or see our ‘contact us’.


Why do people use

Here’s what some of our readers have told us:

"Your booklet has been an immense help in finding reliable, courteous and helpful tradesmen all of whom I will have no hesitation in recommending to others."
Timothy Green, Exeter

"When you’re recently widowed and need your boiler serviced, you don’t feel you can just trust anyone in the Yellow Pages."
Val H, Kingskerswell

“I was delighted to receive this little book and to have a handy list of tradesmen recommended. It will be invaluable to us newcomers when we look for a reliable service.”
Sheila McB, Honiton

Great for an old person / single lady like me. Nice, independent businesses”
Olive H, Exmouth

"Your guide is such a good idea – not only if you’re new to an area.  I’ve been here five years now and found this particularly helpful to find a reliable plumber.  I find it very useful."
Mrs Roll, Exeter

"Put it this way, although it came through my door, I’ll be keeping hold of it.  I like the way it has testimonials, and it tells you more about the business than just what you’d find in the yellow pages.  It contains local people – some things through my door are for companies in Torquay, which is no use to me. "
Paul Day, Newton Abbot.

“I like the layout, and found it extremely easy to use – I shall certainly be making good use of it”
Cyril R, Clyst St Mary

A brilliant idea to have a local directory of trades people who are reliable and trustworthy”
Di H, Topsham

"Thank you for what you do at Our Local Expert.  It gives us more confidence when we are calling tradesmen."
Mr and Mrs Durston, Milber, Newton Abbot

“This book is brilliant – it provides a most excellent service, as it can be a problem to know who to approach when you need work done. It’s nice to have people recommended”.
Mrs B, Newton Poppleford

“Thank goodness for your little book”
80yr old lady, Sidmouth, who used one of our featured businesses for a new computer, installation and lessons.

“….an excellent resource…….always the first place I look for local tradesmen.”
Martin D – Woodbury

"I’ve been using your book all morning and I think it’s brilliant! When you’re new to an area you don’t know where to start, and it’s hard to know who to trust from the other books of listings."
Helen S, Sidmouth

"I like your listing ethos as it is very hard to find trusted tradesmen”.
David C, Whimple

“I took his name (Jack Burgess Aerial suppliers) from your book. He lived up to all claims: helpuful, considerate, punctual and professional
Jill R, Ottery St Mary.

"We’ve had an elderly lady from Budleigh started as a new customer. Her husband had recently died, and he’d previously done all the things like looking after the cars. She got our name from your book’.
Anecdotal – from Danny at M+D Motors, Exmouth