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dori2o

EAGA, underhand way of getting work!!!!

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Don't know if this is relevant to this forum, but we need some help.

 

My brother and a few friends are plumbers/CH installers. As with most plumbers they often go out and give quotes/estimates for work.

With the EAGA scheme, those on qualifying benefits can claim under the warmfront scheme for the work to be done, but many people do not know about it.

 

If a plumber is registered with Eaga, they can quote for the work, and reccommend that the customer claims a voucher to the value of £300 towards the cost of the kjob.

 

What happens is this. the customer calls EAGA-----Eaga go through the eligibility criteria-----they inform them due to their circumstances they are entitle to (a) the £300 voucher only, or (b) the whole job done for free under a gov't grant.

 

If it is option (a), they send out the voucher to the customer, who then gives it to the installer, they then send it to Eaga who return £250 to the installer (£50 is retained as an administration fee)

 

If it is option (b), they explain that the customer can have the work done for free, but, they use their own installers to do the work, with inferior products at inflated prices.

 

Example, my brother recently lost a job because of this, he quoted £2350 for a full C/H installation, 5 radiators, full repipe, Worcester boiler, inhibitor, flust etc.

 

Customer calls Eaga, they will do work for free, installing A rated boiler (Ideal boiler) and radiators, no repipe, flush and inhibitor, price they quoted was £2800 which is within the grant maximum.

 

So my brother lost a job to this, despite the fact he did all the leg work, he advertised, went to the house to do the estimate, has fuel/overhead costs, was going to install a better quality product, inc full repipe, yet Eaga give the work to their own people?

 

My brother called Eaga to see if it would be possible for him to do the job, they sent out a pack, reading through this we nearly fell of our seats. They wanted a £25000 deposit for work to be given to external contractors.

 

This is simply not fair, small/one man companies cannot suvive this. You only have to look at the complaints about EAGA's own installers (Iguana) to see the problems they have.

 

I don't blame the customer at all, I'd rather have the work done for fee than have to pay £2350, but surely the work can be done by the gas installer that quotes the work, and after an inspection, the installer should be able to claim the money from Eaga.

 

I'd like to know if anyone (plumbers etc) has experience this. The intention is to complain about this practice and try and stop it.


GE Money S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued 21/11/06. Responded 01/12/06. Prelim sent 05/12/06 £406. Response 12/12/06- **SETTLED IN FULL** (£396)

HSBC S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued 05/12/06. NO charges in last 6 years.

Lowell CCA issued 21/11/06. Further reminder sent 8/12/06. Now commited criminal offence no response.

Capital One S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 08/12/06 Responded 03/01/07-Prelim Sent 16/01/07. LBA issued 06/02/07- N1 served 07/03/07- acknowledged 14/03/07.

Scotcall CCA issued 16/01/07. Criminal offence committed.

HFC Prelim sent 16/01/07. LBA sent- Final Correspondance issued with time limit of 29/03/07.

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I agree it doesn't seem fair but while you're waiting for the system to be reviewed, perhaps your brother should ask enquirers if they are on any eaga eligible benefits before he goes to quote, tell them about the scheme & ask them to ring again if they are not satisfied with the quote they get from eaga. Might not get him the work but at least it would save him wasted costs in quoting for work he's unlikely to get anyway.

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Any knowledge I possess or advice I proffer is based solely on my experiences in the University of Life. Please make your own assessment of legality, risks & costs before taking any action.

 

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Don't quite see how this is underhand. EAGA run the whole of Warmfront including Benefit entitlement checks and obviously as part of their contract their installation department gets to install the heating systems where the person is entitled to the full grant. The Government are happy because they only have to deal with one company.

 

Is this good for independent plumbers and small plumbing businesses? - no.

Is this good for the people applying? - no as they have no say in the installer or ability to go for a lower cost option - some people have complained that the price quoted is higher than the grant and they are expected to pay the difference but if they get a quote within the grant from another plumber they are told if you go with them you can't get the grant.

 

You can try and complain but I don't think you would get very far as your brother and plumbers like him will not be able to run the whole of the scheme. The best thing would be to follow the suggestion above or ask EAGA if they are looking for contractors to carry out this kind of work.

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It's not that they want to run the scheme, but the fact that after they have found the customer, got the work, done the quote, all of which takes time and money, the job is taken from them and given to warm fronts own installers, for which they have done none of the leg work. If the job went to another local plumber then fine, obviously they prefer their quote to my brothers and that is always a risk, but you cannot ever beat a free job.

 

Keep Warmfront to do the administration, but, let the guy who finds the job do the job. as long as they are a registered contractor, Gas Safe Registered, and have all the required certs/insurances etc, it is not a big problem. But to take a guys livelyhood and give it away for free is out of order.

 

As for asking if the need contractors, if you had read the OP you would realise we had done that, and they want a £25,000 deposit for the chance to get work from them.


GE Money S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued 21/11/06. Responded 01/12/06. Prelim sent 05/12/06 £406. Response 12/12/06- **SETTLED IN FULL** (£396)

HSBC S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued 05/12/06. NO charges in last 6 years.

Lowell CCA issued 21/11/06. Further reminder sent 8/12/06. Now commited criminal offence no response.

Capital One S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 08/12/06 Responded 03/01/07-Prelim Sent 16/01/07. LBA issued 06/02/07- N1 served 07/03/07- acknowledged 14/03/07.

Scotcall CCA issued 16/01/07. Criminal offence committed.

HFC Prelim sent 16/01/07. LBA sent- Final Correspondance issued with time limit of 29/03/07.

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It's the way the scheme works. I work for a Housing department. If one of our tenants asks for a tradesman to go round about work and that tradesman said here is a quote but as you've said you are a Council tenant you should get the work done for free. If the tenant contacts us we will get the work done for free but by our workmen or contractors not by the guy who went round. The problem is that people like your brother who are nice and want to let people know what they are entitled to and not take advantage are the ones penalised in these systems.

 

EAGA are not going to want to carry out just the admin work - there is no money in that and as they provide advice to the Government about energy efficiency, etc it's not surprising they get these sort of contracts. Due to the current set up it is unlikely the Government dept would want to take on the admin work either.

 

Not saying this is fair and you can complain. I just don't think the situation will be changed. From what I have seen on the Help the Aged site it seems a few pensioners have complained to MPs about the situation and have got nowhere. Seemingly, even Ch4 had a programme about the problems. I think it would take a lot of lobbying and time to get the situation changed and that companies like EAGA have a lot more influence than the public do (unfortunately).

 

As to your comment about not reading the post. I feel this is uncalled for. I obviously did look at the post to be able to answer it. I did miss the bit that said he had asked to be on their contractor list so I apologise for this but do not think trying to offer some advice deserves a snarky comment back.

 

It's not clear to me if your brother works on his own or has a company with his friends. If he has a company has he tried to get work with Social Housing. I know my organisation is always changing heating companies because of their poor performance. Where we are there is not many local companies providing this service to Social Housing. We keep getting the same ones back just with a name change, etc.

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