Great for Consumers
Even better for Tradesmen
Consumers - Guarantee you receive everything you were promised by your Tradesman - or your money back !
You can now guarantee that you will receive everything promised by your builder/contractor ?
Using this service, if your Tradesman does not deliver everything promised in your contract, you will receive your money back - so you only pay for successful work - guaranteed.
Without this service, your payment may not be protected.
Tradesmen - Guarantee 100% payment for the job
For every completed job you will now receive 100% payment. Something far from normal in the construction industry.
More and more contractors are demanding that their customers pay through escrow for every job they undertake. This is because not only is bad debt, and debt chasing, eliminated - gone forever.
And not only does the contractor gain a great sales tool to offer their customer - satisfaction guaranteed, or their money back.
But most importantly the contractor receives 100% payment - always. No more discounting £5,000 from the amount due to get the last £20,000 payment in. No more being forced to carry out expensive extra work according to the client's whim, unspecified in the contract, in order to receive final payment.
Just 100% payment - guaranteed - saving you hundreds or thousands of pounds each year.
How does it work ?
We have teamed up with Europe's leading escrow provider, FCA authorised and regulated Transpact.com, to provide full protection to both parties.
- As normal, before you begin with TrustMark Escrow, you negotiate and sign a written contract for the work to be carried out. The contract must detail how much and when payment is to be made to the Tradesman, and what would trigger a payment back to the consumer.
- Enter the details of the contract and transaction here on the web-form linked to this page
- You will continue to the Trustmark Escrow page on the Transpact.com website, where you will securely enter your further details and agree (if you accept) to the offered escrow
- Once both parties have agreed to the offered escrow proposal, the buyer will be asked to make payment for the work to Transpact.com (using their bank's existing internet banking or telephone banking service).
- Once payment is received, both parties are now fully protected. The consumer is guaranteed to receive the work promised and agreed in the escrow conditions. The Tradesman is guaranteed to receive 100% payment on completing the specified work.
- When work is completed, the consumer logs in to Transpact.com and instructs Transpact.com to make payment to the Tradesman. Transpact.com uses the UK's Faster Payment Service (FPS), so payment is normally received and cleared into the Tradesman's bank account within a few seconds or minutes of the consumer completing the secure instruction process.
The protection and benefit really is that simple.
How much does it cost ?
TrustMark Escrow is available for only £6 per party.
Please be aware that additional charges may be payable to Transpact.com under certain circumstances - for example if extra payments are to be made, or for very large payments. Please see the Transpact.com Additional Charges webpage for full details.
Is there anything to be aware of ?
- The protection that you receive from escrow is only as good as the escrow conditions that are specified. So ensure that the escrow conditions and the underlying contract unambiguously cover all possible eventualities. If there is ambiguity, you may find yourself unprotected.
- Escrow protection ends when one party instructs payment to be made to the other.
When work is completed, the Tradesman will require payment, but when paid the consumer will no longer be protected by escrow.
In order to be TrustMark approved, all TrustMark registered Tradesmen have to offer their customers follow-on insurance to correct for any defects discovered for a number of years after work is completed. The consumer is encouraged to take out and make use of this insurance to protect themselves in the period after payment is made to the builder.
- Likewise, escrow protection will not begin until payment is received by the escrow service and the transaction is displayed as 'Live and Protected'. Before that time, neither party will be protected.
Can I make staged payments when using TrustMark Escrow
- Yes, staged payments-out are an existing core part of the escrow process.
You must ensure before you begin that the timing and amount of the staged payments are clearly specified in the escrow conditions and underlying contract.
Please note that Transpact.com makes a small charge for any extra payments out (apart from the last payment out, which is already included in the fee paid). See the Transpact.com Additional Charges webpage for further details.
- Although staged payments-in can be handled within a single escrow transaction, the vast majority of users find it easier and more convenient to create a separate escrow transaction for each staged payment-in and the tranche of work associated with it.
Tradesmen should note that if the Tradesman accepts staged payments-in instead of full initial payment, the Tradesman is only covered for the amounts actually paid into and currently secured by escrow.
What happens if there is a dispute concerning payment ?
At first, we will attempt to understand the dispute and mediate a solution between the parties (please see TrustMark's ADR Process for details).
In the event that this is unsuccessful, a dispute must be registered via the Transpact.com website, asking for payment.
When this occurs, TrustMark will be appointed as the arbitrator of the escrow amount held, and will arbitrate under the Arbitration Act 1996 whether payment should be made on to the Tradesman or back to the consumer. TrustMark, in making their determination as arbitrator, will only be allowed to take into account the escrow conditions agreed by both parties, so it is important that these conditions are clear and unambiguously cover all eventualities.
Both parties will have to pay any arbitration costs in advance, effectively double paying these costs.
This allows the arbitrator to make full payment of one set of costs back to the 'innocent' party at the end of the arbitration, so they end up effectively paying nothing for the arbitration. Alternatively, the arbitrator can decide to split the repayment of the overpaid arbitration fees, so that both parties share the arbitration costs in a proportion the arbitrator decides is fair.
Is my Money safe whilst in Escrow ?
Your payment is protected by the Payment Services Regulations 2009. This law requires that payments are held for the benefit of parties involved only, and no other party can legally touch the payment. Transpact.com is authorised and regulated by the FCA as a Payment Service Provider, and your payments are therefore securely held in a segregated client bank account. Even were Transpact.com to become insolvent, the Payment Service Regulations 2009 would protect the payments held in that bank account purely for your benefit.
If, conversely, the UK bank which Transpact.com holds the payment with becomes insolvent, then you would be covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) subject to their conditions and limits - see the FSCS website for details.