While I was in hospital, I had a couple of teams working some reasonably large contracts. Well, that’s what we were led to believe. The only problem was that people’s perception of the number of items requiring PAT Testing is always interesting …
If Only The PAT Test Count Was Right!
When a new client contacts us about PAT Testing, the first thing they want to know is the price. However, we can never quote an absolute value due to the uncertainty of the number of items, especially if the customer has never had a PAT Test before.
I was once told by a potential customer that they only had around twenty items. When I asked how many staff worked in their office, they said there were six staff.
“Experience told me that there was never going to be ‘around twenty items’ to test!”
After a couple of more questions I found that all staff used personal computers rather than laptops. There was also a small kitchen used as a staff room and they even forgot to mention that they had a server with routers and other pieces of IT equipment!
By the time I had explained that one PC was made up of at least 4 items, then add that to the number of printers, scanners, other accessories – and even the office photocopier – there was more likely to be somewhere between 80 and 100 items!
After the second day I get a text message from my engineer (even though I was in hospital) expressing concerns that the final count was not going to be anywhere near the number expected.Anyway, back to the sites that my engineers had been tasked with testing. The first one was a distribution warehouse and offices. We allocated five days for testing based on the number of items tested the year before.
Having based our quote on the number of items tested the year before and adding a small percentage for new items, the company had a been quoted a very good price. The annoyance to us was that the number of items tested last year by another company included items that were not capable of being tested!
For example, it was brought to the attention of the one of our contacts that they had been charged for the detachable cord powering the supply unit for a laptop, the actually supply unit and (wait for it) the laptop as well. The separate tests and three separate charges when two should have been the maximum (power supply/laptop).
We did ask for a copy of last year’s PAT Test report but they had not been sent either one; just a certificate stating the number of items passed. The annoyance of this type of testing became more apparent throughout the week, when more items were found just to be stickered rather than tested.
Finally, the number that we actually tested was nearly 250 items less than the year previous! The client was shocked, but at least our honesty may well have secured this customer for a number of years. They have already asked us to test the site kitchens every six months rather than every year.
The client was in for a shock! After the first day we had completed nearly 170 items in eight flats! That already averaged 20 items per flat! We expressed our concerns and they were understanding, but the only thing that concerned us was that when the job was completed we had, actually, tested 36 flats rather than 20! How could a management company make that sort of a mistake? I mean, almost double the number? Still, not to complain … we had turned a simple job into a rather large client.The second client was a management company who let flats in and around Milton Keynes. They informed us that they had 20 flats and there would be about 15 items per flat. We quoted based on this information but we always have an “in the event of items exceeding the number” price on the quote. Based on the information we estimated about 300 items.
“Maybe I should go back and provide a quotation to the hospital?”Even on the day I went into hospital, I noticed that some of the items that were tested in the treatment room had been stickered, but they were impossible to tested!
Just so that we do not have a few surprises, we offer a no obligation site inspection and quotation giving you, the client, a better price for the estimated number of items to be tested.
Call us on 0330 6600264 and let’s arrange a site visit!
Until next time …