I do enjoy my discussions with fellow installers on Twitter, a conversation we had this morning was the rise in popularity of a boiler brand that has been in the UK for many years, but was not widely known, it is a brand I picked up on when the first came to the UK, I went to their manufacturing facility in Holland to receive training, which I was very impressed with as it was far more in depth technically than training I had received in the UK on boilers, I started installing them and was impressed, I also fitted one in my own home.
But what this conversation made me realise is the boiler choice for installers has been manipulated by the manufacturers with the deepest pockets for advertising, the problem I see is customers can now via the internet look for information on boilers themselves, but they will tend to want the one brand that looks the most familiar, one they have seen or heard advertised, the choice is purely brand awareness, now this is exactly what advertisements are meant to do, but for a boiler this is not the best way to choose, also a lot of the people who have joined this industry over the past 10-15 years, have also been drawn into this false sense of security from familiarity of a product, it was the boilers that were given free to the training centres they trained in, the boiler they saw splashed all over the trade magazine they picked up at the merchants, they are not choosing a boiler based on quality and longevity.
This does raise the age old question of what is the best boiler, well there is no definitive answer, each installer will have their own preference, based on their own experience of the boiler, their knowledge of the boiler and the best support they feel they get from the manufacturer/local sales rep, most installers agree on a few brands that are classed as poor, but when it comes to the boiler they prefer to install in a specific property then they tend to have 2 maybe 3 preferred brands, and each application will require the installer to survey and assess the property requirements in conjunction with the customers needs, they will then decide on which boiler best suits the requirements based on sound engineering judgement and calculations, it is not however chosen based on the boiler you saw advertised during the commercial break of Coronation Street, installers are the ones who should specify the brand and type of boiler based on the fact they have the knowledge to make that decision, as they are the skilled tradesperson, not the customer, but installers too must free themselves from been manipulated by marketing and choose boilers based on quality, they need to look further than the main brands that are out there, as I believe some of the best boilers on the market are NOT the big brands everyone knows.
In my opinion it is time installers took back control of OUR industry, for me all these so called trade bodies that we can pay into to be part of them do not really represent installers, they do not share our concerns, they do not listen to our views, they listen to the money, they have become Yes Men, they also just jump on board with the manufacturers who have deep pockets who pay for pages in their trade magazines, write articles based on their own opinions of their products, so the trade bodies then just feed us the crap the manufacturers want them to feed us.
I really feel it is time for change, I would really like to start up a trade body that truly represents the voice of installers, one that will not be afraid to criticise when it is needed and one that does not simply agree with every silly new or even some of the old outdated regulations that are imposed on this industry, the current trade bodies never seem to challenge regulations, they just go along with everything, well we need a trade body that questions and challenges everything in our industry, but unfortunately these things take money, so if anyone out there would be interested in helping fund a real free trade body, that I know installers would embrace, please get in touch with me, we are the true industry and it is about time we were heard.