As it so happens, I have recently worked on Baxi and Worcester Bosch boilers and for a condensate trap I was charged £12 for the Baxi one and £24 for the WB. Likewise, the price differential for a printed circuit board was £90 for the Baxi and £200 for the WB.

I have previously enquired at the Office of Fair Trading about these pricing anomalies and the reply was that customers take into consideration the ongoing repair costs when they choose a new appliance. We know this to be totally untrue; we have never been asked about the price of spares when specifying a boiler.

In the past we have been quoted £190 plus VAT for a part, yet the manufacturer will carry out a fixed price repair for £190 including VAT – clearly not economically viable unless there is a huge mark-up on the price of spares supplied to independent registered gas engineers.

As a company, to protect our customers from this malpractice, we now refuse to fit appliances from those manufacturers who think the public are a soft touch. If more installers did this then I’m sure that overpricing of parts would stop. Unfortunately, the lure of a new jacket and a free mug is too much for a lot of installers who are not concerned about the customer after their job of installation is complete.

 

Barry Matthews