Are there too many "Get-me-a-Plumber" schemes? – The Secret Installer

In the latest edition of the popular monthly column, the Secret Installer asks: “Are there too many Find-a-Tradesperson schemes?” 
This month, I’m going to have a look at ‘lead generation’ schemes. We all know the kind of thing. You sign up, pay them some money, and they send you work. Then when the work is complete, they take a cut and you get the rest.
Really? How is this a good idea? They take part of your earnings, for doing what exactly? A bit of advertising (you do that anyway) and taking a phone call from the customer (you do that anyway as well).
Let’s go over that again. They take part of your earnings! How is this acceptable?
If these companies didn’t exist, how would customers find you? Well, in the same way they have done for many, many years –
by word of mouth and by your own advertising.
Why pay someone to give you work? You just don’t need to. We, as an industry, just don’t need these companies taking from us.
Many of them prey, quite deliberately, on distressed and panicking customers who are in dire need of a plumber when they have water running through the ceilings. This may not be illegal, but is it moral?
Of course, the customer will pay whatever it takes to make the water stop. But super-inflated prices made by these companies, do nothing to help our industry. They only serve to breed mistrust.
I could name names, and go over the whole rating of workmanship thing, but that’s for another day. All I see, right now, is loads of companies (I can think of 12 just off the top of my head), who are looking to create a business from installers.
To take money from plumbers and heating engineers purely in order to line their own, increasingly-deep pockets.
How about we all say enough is enough? There’s plenty of work for us all.
By cutting out the middle man, we’ll earn more and our customers pay less. It’s a win-win for everyone – except the ‘Get me a tradesperson’ type outfits.

Form not found, form id :279