The portable appliance testing industry has always been difficult but over the past 12 months it has become a battlefield and not necessarily in a good way. I have sent quotations to clients only for them to ask if I can match one from another company …
In one instance I was asked to reduce my charge, by of all things, £1.00, I did smile as my charge was inclusive of VAT and the other company was exclusive. So even though I was dearer I was actually cheaper. I did match the other quote, of course, making sure it was adjusted to be exclusive of VAT. However what really concerned me was the fact that the other company was travelling from Norfolk to Milton Keynes for the same price as me and I’m based in Milton Keynes.
The secondary concern is that the people who say they are qualified, may not be competent, the reason being that the relevant courses appear to have been watered down. When I took the course to become qualified, the course took a period of 2 days and the final exam was sat about a week later, now the course and exam is completed all in one day.There has been a lot of discussions on various forums recently from members of The Association for Professional Appliance Testing and other individuals from PAT testing companies who have all seen an increase in the number of businesses offering PAT at extremely cheap prices.
This concern about capability was recently highlighted when I took a call from someone who said that he had recently passed his City and Guilds. He asked me “if I could explain how to use the machine that he had just purchased“. After some choice thoughts I responded “surely if you have spent a lot of money on a machine the selling company would have explained how to use it?” His response was that he got it off eBay!
So could this person be competent to carry out PAT testing? Well that is something that I doubt, however on the downside he is now operating in Milton Keynes along with the other 30 newly set up businesses offering PAT testing – not only in competition with me but also doing it really cheap! What does concern me is that they may not really understand how to PAT test. Highlighting this concern is news I received about a company now offering a testing service when their primary business was and still is couriering! Of course I can see the connection … almost.
When testing them, I have been known to wire plugs with the cables the wrong way, cut out the earth pin from kettles and even crack the fuse just to see if they spot the problems. It’s not the first time my engineers have called me a few choice words when they find one problem but not the second so they don’t pass the test. However – and more importantly – it re-focusses their minds on ensuring that the client receive a first class service and that you, your staff and your business is tested to the standards set by the code of practice.So why should you use me? Well, not only have I spent more than 8 years in the industry, both my staff and I are all qualified and go through routine in-house refresher training.
Remember, the cheaper the price may not necessarily be the safest, call us now for further information on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping me an email and I’ll call you straight back.
Until next time …