A week ago, I published a post which explained that the BFRC has cast doubt over who can actually use their certification and how. This issue isn’t in fact a week old. It’s more like a month. The original source of this story explained to me that the BFRC raised this issue with him over a couple of weeks ago.
To refresh your memories, the problem here is that in October 2010 it was agreed that installers could piggy back on the back of their installers’ BFRC certificate (which has been backed up by others who actually went to a FENSA seminar which explained this) which was logical seen as though most of the industry buys their windows in. This was all agreed so long as the installer didn’t put their name on the top of the certificates and posed as being registered with the BFRC, which I’m pretty sure all installers have made sure not to do.
The problem here was that the BFRC contacted my source to say that unless he took the image of the certificate off his website then they would be forced to take further action unless he paid the £140+VAT per year charge to become registered with them. He didn’t have his company name on the certificate, his supplier’s name remained on the top, as was agreed to do in October 2010. So, the BFRC going against their own advice given just 17 months ago.
I published the open letter to the BFRC to try to force a response and help speed up the resolution of this issue which could potentially affect thousands of installers. However, the only contact from the BFRC was to say that the person dealing with this issue has just come back from annual leave and is due to sit in on a meeting about the issue, which was on 13th March and they would get back to me ASAP. So they’ve had their meeting, and I got no response. What I find astounding is that they have had weeks to find what went wrong and have simply been far too slow to react. Surely they should have realized that when this hit Twitter and the blogs in our industry, there was going to be a spike in interest in the story which would have put pressure on them to sort this mess out. But they haven’t. Like many of the big companies in this industry, they have failed to adapt to the social media area of our industry. They should have been on here and on Twitter giving us updates on how the issue was progressing etc, but they haven’t. Their PR machine has failed miserably. Leaving the industry, and my source annoyed and disgruntled that such an important question has still not been answered, weeks after it was raised. The industry is a far quicker and more responsive industry now, the bodies which regulate and control it now need to catch the rest of us up.
What I also find astonishing is how small a grip they seem to have on this question. The email sent to me from the BFRC made out that there was only one member of staff that was able to deal with this problem and that now he was back they could now address it properly. So are the BFRC really trying to tell me that out of the whole group, there is just one person that could have dealt with this? If so, then this extremely poor and lets down the industry to which it serves.
I ask the BFRC to really get a grip and solve this problem. At the moment they are looking like an industry body that is just out to get more money out of thousands of installers and going back on their original agreement made nearly 18 months ago. If they wish to put this right and reverse this image, then they need to post a clear, informative response on here ASAP.
UPDATE: 14th March 2012: BFRC have now posted a response in my following post, which you can now read here.
Maybe they don’t know what there doing!
jobs for the boys
We have been following your Tweets and blogs, but will be leaving BFRC to feedback directly to you on this issue. We would just like to say that FENSA, and other organisations within the industry, have been working hard to make sure that we keep you up to date and respond directly, where required, to all social media tools. BFRC have various compliance and review procedures to go through and will respond in due course. Overall we are finding that social media is working really well as a way to communicate with installers and answer any questions, and we hope… Read more »
While Twitter is a big deal to those of us on there, my guess is that only a very small proportion of our industry uses it. So a few voices making a noise on Twitter probably doesn’t carry the weight you think it does.
Maybe this issue will have to hit the trade mags before the powers that be take it seriously. Did you send your open letter in as a letter to the editor for any of the mags?