How to Choose the Right Plumber
Finding the right plumber or heating engineer is a daunting task, and many times has to be done under extreme time pressure, for example when the boiler is not working on a very cold day.
We at Heating Central are dedicated to helping our customers find the right plumber, make sure they understand the nature of the problem with the boiler or any other system and apply the right solution. Furthermore, we take extra steps to ensure the customer is fully satisfied with the service, by following up with a phone call to ensure the service was professional and that you, the customer, are happy with your experience.
We have developed a list of top criteria to help you find the right plumber and heating engineer. Heating Central’s customer care is here to help you and will always do their utmost to ensure you do get the right professional for your specific need.
Here are the key criteria for finding the right plumber:
Any plumber or heating engineer that is going to service your boiler must be CORGI registered and be able to display their CORGI identification card (showing the CORGI shield in either orange or blue as is the new design). A new card is issued to registered plumbers and heating installers every year, so they should be relatively up to date. Upon joining the Heating Central’s network, our member are checked for having an up-to-date registration and accreditation with CORGI, to ensure they meet all the required standards to deal with heating systems in general and gas boilers in particular.
Current estimates show that there are approximately 20 million gas users in the United Kingdom. With around 55,000 members in the heating and plumbing industry employing around 110,000 operatives, CORGI holds the definitive list of engineers that can service and install boilers and work on central heating systems. CORGI, which stands for Council for Registered Gas Installers, was established in 1970, and registration to it has been a legal requirement for any business working on gas heating and plumbing systems since 1991. CORGI registration is required by law in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey for gas related systems (such as natural gas boilers).
We can not over emphasise the important of dealing with a CORGI registered plumber or heating engineer. As a stark reminder, there are around 30 deaths every year form CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning every year. Such cases happen primarily when there is incomplete combustion, and the boiler is working incorrectly. Since carbon monoxide has no smell or colour it is impossible to see or smell it and therefore impossible to detect it before it is too late.
There is a serious risk of dealing with ‘cowboys’ that are not properly trained and certified. Corgi estimates there are approximately 20,000 people working on boilers and other heating systems without the right certification and accreditation. Not only can such individual damage your system and cause further costs down the line, but the real risk is of incorrect installation that may cause serious health risk potentially leading the carbon monoxide poisoning.
At Heating Central, all our network members are certified by CORGI and stand their CORGI approval. It is a fundamental prerequisite to join our network to hold the appropriate certification of which CORGI is a key certification for the heating and boiler experts.
Manufacturing industries tend to have easier comparability factors. It is easy to compare two cars’ performance (e.g. time to reach 60 miles per hour), or fuel efficiency (e.g. miles per gallon). It is much more difficult to compare performance in a service industry, such as the heating and plumbing sector in general and the boiler service and installation in particular.
In the past the general public used the traditional tool of word-of-mouth, to learn about reliable and knowledgeable plumbers. This approach is still valid today but has the limitation of size and geography. What happens if none of your trusted friends and family know of a good boiler engineer, that they could recommend warmly. What happens if you move home a new area with limited social network to rely on for such word-of-mouth?
The progress of information technology and the advance of the internet have opened an immense ocean of opportunities to leverage knowledge and transfer it across long distances. A good plumber in north London can have their reputation established in other parts of London in a very short time.
Heating Central goes one step further by creating a proactive feedback collection mechanism. Our account managers proactively call all our customer after their service has been undertaken to gather feedback about their experience with our heating and plumbing network member. This information is than immediately fed into our scoring system thus increasing the scores of our best members for specific areas (e.g. boiler replacements), and ensuring they get further leads in their areas and their area of expertise.
Modern boilers and central heating systems have become very sophisticated to improve their efficiency and value for money. Without a strong training and constant updates from manufacturers and training bodies it is getting difficult for plumbers and heating engineers to keep abreast of the rapidly changing environment.
A professional plumber will carry a respectable training CV with on going training on a regular basis on all major makes of boilers and central heating systems. Only someone who has the right initially training together with continuous training posses the right credentials to work on your boiler.
Heating Central has picked only highly qualified and very experienced plumbers and heating engineers to join our network as members. All have the right certification to be able to execute the respective jobs we allocate to them, and all have been to top training and certification centres to learn their trade and keep up with the latest changes. In addition, on going education is provided via manufacturers training courses as well with through trade association and other data sources (including our own knowledge base for our heating and plumbing network members).
The service levels in the United Kingdom have undergone a major improvement over the last decade. The consumers have learned to ask for more and expect more from their service providers. This is true not only for the retail sector but also for heating and plumbing and other similar sectors.
It reasonable to expect to get e courteous operative at the other end of the phone, it is reasonable to expect the plumber to set up an appointment at a convenient time and it is reasonable to expect the heating engineer to show up on time. A sloppy and dirty appearance is no longer accepted and rightly so. All this is good news for the customer as long as they know where to find the boiler engineer that actually is ahead of the curve on customer service.
Heating Central is adopting leading customer service techniques, from fully trained and polite call centre to pre booked appointments at the customers’ home. Our account managers will further follow up on the appointment to ensure it went well and the customer has no further queries or concerns.
This page has been written with contributions from Gas Safe engineers from Northamptonshire and plumbing and heating engineers from Greenwich. Several of the company's heating engineers from Merseyside have worked on similar issues as well as some of our plumbers from Westminster and our Kingston Upon Thames experienced plumbers.
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