Four in Ten UK Adults Have Been Ghosted by a Tradesperson

Four in ten (41%) UK adults have been ghosted by a tradesperson.

Man sitting in the dark after being ghosted by a tradesperson after an electrical fault

Forget about dating, ghosting has taken hold of the home improvement space – with four in ten (41%) UK adults admitting they’ve been blanked by a tradesperson, according to new data from HomeServe.

  • New research from HomeServe uncovers the ‘Tradesperson Ghosting’ trend, with one in ten (11%) UK adults blanked in the past six months.
  • After a quote was requested, four in ten (38%) never heard back, despite chasing
  • Plumbers are in highest demand with a third finding it harder to find one than any other tradespeople1, however builders, general handy men/ women and landscapers (all 10%) revealed as most likely to ghost
  • UK homes are suffering as a result, over a quarter (27%) of adults took on a DIY task themselves and now regret it
  • It would seem people are most ghosted after they request a quote from a tradesperson (38%), leaving potential customers feeling annoyed (43%) and rejected (12%).

Despite the average UK adult having £656 per job spare to spend on home fixes, increased demand for tradespeople – up 22% year on year – means many adults are struggling to find someone to commit. Plumbers are in the highest demand with a third of homeowners claiming plumbers are harder to find than any other tradespeople.2

When it comes to the professions most likely to ghost, the research shows builders, general handy men/women, and landscapers (all 10%) come out top.

When thinking about the reasons why they were ghosted, close to a third (30%) believe they didn’t hear back as their job wasn't considered high enough value. The same amount (30%) reasoned the tradesperson was too busy with other jobs. One in ten (9%) reflected they may have been too specific about the work they wanted done.

Others (8%) felt they were ghosted for being a ‘difficult customer’, whilst one in ten (10%) women felt it was because of their gender.

Location also was shown to play a role in response rates, with the trend more common in larger cities. London (51%), Leeds, and Liverpool (both 48%) ranked as the top ghosting hotspots overall.

The prevalence of 'Tradesperson Ghosting' has led to some people making ill-informed home improvement or repair decisions. One in four (27%) said they took matters into their own hands after not being able to find a good tradesperson and ended up regretting it. A similar amount (31%) paid for work that ended up being low quality as they were eager for it to be completed quickly.

Such is the appeal of a good tradesperson in 2023, over half (69%) of UK adults say they’ve gone out of their way to be a good host to ensure repeat work. One in four (23%) have even kept the details of a good tradesperson to themselves so they don’t get too busy, with men more likely to do so than women (26% vs 19%).

Talking about the findings, a spokesperson at HomeServe said:

“The research shows that demand currently outstrips supply when it comes to finding good tradespeople in 2023. Understandably, many can’t keep up with their admin as there are too many jobs for every tradesperson, leaving one in four UK adults ghosted, annoyed and alone."

“With a nationwide network of Home Experts and claims lines open 24/7, 365 days a year, you can feel confident that with cover from HomeServe, our engineers will never ghost you when you need help taking care of your home.”

Discover the most in demand job, and top tips on how to avoid getting ghosted here.


Notes to editors:

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, please contact: 

Liam Reeves – Third City

Telephone: 07398 268 187

Lauren Westmore

Telephone: 07464 543 693

About the research

Unless otherwise stated, the research was conducted by Opinium Research among 2,000 UK adults between 03 March 2023 - 07 March 2023.

A little bit about HomeServe

As one of the country’s leading home assistance providers, HomeServe has 30 years’ experience looking after UK homes. From plumbing, drainage, boiler, heating, or electrics cover to new boilers and one-off repairs, they're always looking for ways to bring you better care for your home, through their range of products and services. With a nationwide network of Home Experts and a claims line that’s open 24/7, 365 days a year, you can count on them to be there when it matters most.

Diversity and inclusion

HomeServe is proud to promote equality and inclusion through all their partnerships, including Business in the Community, Stonewall, Race at Work Charter and the Business Disability Forum. In recognition of these efforts, they’ve become a signatory of the Race at Work Charter, voted Best Place to Work for Women 2020, achieved accreditation to become a Disability Confident Committed employer and are now ranked in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. In 2021, HomeServe also earned a place on the list of European Great Places to Work.

HomeServe - we’re on our way.

According to research commissioned by HomeServe in their Annual Marketing Size report, a third (31%) claimed plumbers were significantly harder to find than other trades.

According to research commissioned by HomeServe in their Annual Marketing Size report, demand for engineers increased 22 percentage points Year on Year, and a third (31%) claimed plumbers were significantly harder to find than other trades.