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No roll-out for Tesco 'Trade Pro' scheme

A home maintenance service, to help customers find fair priced and reliable trade professionals, will not be rolled out across the UK after a pilot in Swindon.

Tesco Home Services was launched as a trial in the town a year ago – and the supermarket giant said it could be offered across the UK if it proved successful.

However, a Tesco spokeswoman said that despite positive feedback from customers and traders, the pilot will be closed without being rolled out because it is “not the focus” of the business at the moment.

In a statement she said: “We’ve had positive results and customer feedback from our trial of Tesco home services. However, at this time, it is not something we plan to continue to roll out into other regions.

“Although we are not taking on new customers for this service in the Swindon area we will of course continue to support any existing customers.”

Tesco originally approached 15 firms in the area after personal recommendations were made. The companies were checked out for their reliability and agreed to a partnership with Tesco to carry out work for customers.

By calling Tesco Home Services on a central number, customers could be confident they would receive good local trade professionals for any range of essential home services.

Prices for each job booked were set by Tesco Home Services with the aim of ensuring clear and fair pricing, which consumers could trust.

Customers could also benefit from a guarantee for all work and would earn Clubcard points on every job booked.

Justin Holloway, the managing director of pest control firm ProKill Thames West, said the firm got a few jobs through the services and it was a “shame” it would come to an end.

He said: “I think they put a lot of energy into it and it did start to look like a manageable service and you could see they tried hard to evolve.

“I can say we had a useful amount of custom that came from the trial. As the trial would have gone to full roll-out and customer awareness would have grown over the year going forward, we would have expected more to come.”

Gary Smith, contracts manager at general building contractor Steele Davis, said the firm dropped out of the pilot in March and was not surprised with the news.

He said only 10 per cent of the firm’s quotes through the service were taken up because the Tesco pricing structure was not competitive and was not flexible to allow for unforeseen extra costs.

He said: “I’m not surprised to be honest with you. A while before they closed the trial, we stopped working with them. It was not for any other reason apart from the fact it was not working very well for us. Their pricing structure was a little bit inflexible.”

Existing customers can still contact Tesco Home Services on 0800 121 7 121 or alternatively use the online facility at www.tescohomeservices.com

Source : David Wiles – Swindon Advertiser
www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9248717.No_roll_out_for_Tesco_trade_pros____scheme/

14 September 2011
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