Tackling Rogues

Tackling Rogues 2018Tackling Rogues 2018

As an organisation our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We want to promote the use of professional installers and root out rogue tradesmen for our industry and we really want to hear from about bad installations that you come across. We have a number of routes to reporting this.

HETAS Complaints Process

HETAS is concerned with the safety, technical standard and compliance to Building Regulations of the work carried out by you, our registrants. As installers you are required to undertake specific training and be routinely monitored to be registered with HETAS. This helps us monitor that you are carrying out safe and compliant installations.

We do however understand that complaints can arise from time to time. Where HETAS investigate a complaint, we are aiming to establish whether the registrant is responsible for leaving a safety or Building Regulations defect and if so, to get that rectified by the registrant concerned.

Consumers are able to make complaints to HETAS within a two year time frame from the original installation. However, there are instances where HETAS can extend this two year policy should there be justifiable reasons to do so.

The HETAS Technical Area has supporting documents that can be used by our registrants to make the handling of complaints, checklists and contract examples. It is a requirement of HETAS registration that business have in place systems to ensure where a complaint is received there is a process to receive, record and deal with the complaint. See Conditions of Registration 1.8. Registered Business must ensure they keep records of complaints received for at least six years.

Whistleblowing

Ultimately HETAS wants to hear from customers where there are instances of non-compliance so we can fully investigate and support them in having an installation rectified or brought up to the expected standard. There are instances where this might not be possible and our whistleblowing policy might be more suitable. Running for a number of years, this process has enabled HETAS to investigate issues with both registrants and where appropriate non-registrants who aren’t meeting the high standards expected in our industry. The whistleblowing process is anonymous, open to registered installers, consumers and non-registered installers to report and has proven successful in gathering information for HETAS to tackle non-compliance. Get in touch with the team on 01684 278170 or via our website at info@HETAS.co.uk if you want to discuss this process in more detail.

Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act has minimum standards that apply to most contracts between a business and customer. Customers generally have up to 6 years from provision of a product or service in which to make a claim. HETAS with support from Gloucestershire Trading Standards (via our Primary Authority partnership) provided guidance in Technical Bulletin #6 for our registrants on customer contracts and The Consumer Rights Act. Visit the HETAS Technical Area to download the guidance. Further guidance is available in the Technical Area from HETAS and Which Trusted Traders.

Enforcement

Taking enforcement action applies to registrants who do not meet the standards required for registration with HETAS. A number of businesses have been suspended and removed from the registration scheme last year and we always want to know about installers who aren’t complying with standards.

Misleading Claims

HETAS always wants to hear about businesses who falsely claim to be HETAS registered or appear to be misusing the HETAS brand. As a Primary Authority HETAS works in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and has successfully supported Trading Standards nationally in enforcement through the courts. Consumer protection regulations specifically ban businesses from displaying any quality mark or equivalent they are not accredited for, or from giving deceptive information. Please get in touch with our team with any concerns you might have.

There are a number of ways you can contact the team:

Tel: 01684 278170

Email: info@hetas.co.uk

A Busy Heating Season

A Busy Heating Season

As we head towards the end of the heating season, we are pleased to see HETAS installers remaining busy with installation work, with searches on the HETAS website also remaining high.

Installations

Despite a challenging year with lots of uncertainty in the UK, it is pleasing to see HETAS installers remaining busy during the heating season. HETAS installers are responsible for 99% of solid fuel/biomass installations carried out by competent persons in England & Wales.

More than half of the notifications made to HETAS are online notifications. If you would like to notify online and want help, please contact our team on 01684 278170 or email info@hetas.co.uk and we can guide you through the process.

Complaints

Complaints about HETAS registered installers have decreased in comparison to previous years. We continue to take complaint issues seriously and want to hear from consumers who have issues with their installations so we can support all concerned towards a safe and compliant installation. Alongside this, some of you have been reporting non-compliance and concerns through the HETAS whistleblowing process. If you have concerns about an installation we really want to hear from you and the process can be completed anonymously. Contact the team on 01684 278170. Take a look at our article on tackling rogues and the work HETAS is doing.

Website

January was another busy month on the HETAS website with an increase in site traffic compared to the same time in 2015. Many of the searches were for installers and there was also a big increase in searches for retailers in January. We had record visits to the website during November, with nearly 60,000 visits. Over 60% of visitors are new to the website, usually searching for installers, sweeps, retailers, appliances, fuels and advice from HETAS.

Our range of advice leaflets can be ordered from the HETAS Shop, with a number of the advice leaflets also available free of charge.

Contact Details

Please ensure you keep your contact details up to date with us so consumers can contact you via the HETAS website. Check your details on the HETAS website at www.hetas.co.uk/find-installer, click on the ‘Check Business’ and enter your 4 digit business registration number. Contact info@hetas.co.uk if you need to update your contact details with us.

Update from Which? Trusted Traders

Which? Trusted Trader LogoIn an ideal world, all feedback for your business would be positive and you’d get 5 star reviews for every job you carried out. Unfortunately, from time to time you might receive a customer complaint or a negative review online.Here are some tips from Which? Trusted Traders to help you deal with complaints and maintain your business reputation:

  • Know what your complaints policy is
  • Document all complaints in a written log. HETAS installers should keep records of all complaints for at least 6 years
  • Acknowledge and offer a course of action to resolve customer complaints within 28 days
  • Carry out remedial works within 8 weeks of customer agreement
  • Try to settle all complaints amicably.

If a complaint can’t be resolved between yourself and the customer, consider using an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body to try to reach a settlement.

If you decide to join Which? Trusted Traders, one extra benefit of membership is access to Ombudsman Services, an independent and impartial organisation which exists to facilitate dispute resolutions. They offer independent dispute resolution to all Which? Trusted Trader customers. If you have a dispute which has reached ‘deadlock’, you should encourage the customer to refer their complaint to Ombudsman Services.

Which? Trusted Traders have teamed up with HETAS to help give your business the edge. There are a number of other benefits to joining the scheme, including:

  • Use of the Which? Trusted Trader logo alongside the HETAS logo
  • A searchable profile on the Which? Trusted Traders website for all to see
  • You’ll benefit from brand marketing and advertising – TV, radio and online
  • Access to a dedicated customer support team and regular updates on regulatory changes that might affect your business – see some examples in the HETAS Technical Area

HETAS Registered Installers can benefit from 25% off Which? Trusted Traders annual membership fees for five years*. Call 0117 981 6201 for more information.

 

*25% off Which? Trusted Traders annual membership fees until 2021 (TTHETAS3). An initial assessment fee applies and is non-refundable. Visit www.hetas.co.uk for further information. Valid until 31st December 2016.