Well, conversation was again very lively on Thursday afternoon in the twittersphere, all thanks to a usually routine online press release. Except for one thing…

FENSA Sept Issue

Specifically, it is the text in the grey box on the left hand side which has got installers a little riled.

Basically, the customer is now able to call on FENSA to carry out an inspection whenever there is a dispute over compliance or quality problems. The cost, as you can see, is a hefty £250+VAT. If the installer passes, then the customer pays for it, if the installer fails, the installer pays.

Now then, this does throw up many questions:

  • is FENSA qualified to judge on quality issues, given their original remit is to judge on compliance?
  • why is it so expensive?
  • how can the impartiality of the FENSA inspector carrying out the investigation be guaranteed?
  • will customers abuse this system, knowing that businesses have very little protection at the minute?

The chatter online seemed to focus on the fact that FENSA was created to ensure compliance when installing, not on the actual quality. So, the big question sticking out is when was it decided that their remit could be expanded to judge on quality? There are other bodies out there to carry out checks on quality and workmanship.

Whilst I can see why FENSA might have thought this could be a good way to help resolve potentially unfair customer complaints against FENSA registered installers, I think that most installers are going to see this as yet another attack on their business where they might in the end be forced to pay £250.

My biggest concern however is about the people carrying out the inspections themselves. We all know there are many grey areas in this industry, and the interpretation of the plethora of laws often differs from person to person, often within the industry’s biggest organisations. So, it seems to me that it is going to be a potentially massive task to make sure that all inspectors look at every case totally unbiased, and fully informed of every law and regulation.

Reaction online has been sharp, but it would be good to know what the rest of you think. Please leave your comments in the section below.