February 14, 2017 4:11 pm


Are you sitting comfortably… Then I’ll begin.

Over the next few months I will get down my thoughts on the state of the plumbing industry. Now, trust me before you say “hold on”, “what the F**k do you know” and “why should I bother reading your diatribe”. I would say that all the thoughts are written by me – not a media partner and therefore will be brutally honest and hopefully give you some insight as to what we are about as a company and why we are striving to make changes in our industry.

Yes it will be cheesy, possibly cringy but what else do you think you’re gonna get from a plumbing company emulating superheroes!

Each post I thought I’d take a single dilemma and tackle it head on.

One ‘dilemma’ that is particularly frustrating for anyone working in trades (not just plumbing) is TRUST.

We come across this every day. Why would you trust someone or a company for that matter that you don’t know?

Well, in a word you shouldn’t!

I’m the same. When I go to take my car to the garage, I second guess any repair work that is suggested. Why do we have this default feeling? Easy – There are so many cowboys and forgive my language but unscrupulous basters out there that. I’m sure everyone reading this has a nightmare story where they have been shafted by someone working in the trades. Again – Its happened to me. That is why I still drive over 30 miles to go to a garage rather than tempt fate by using the garage that’s not even a mile from my home!

I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t already done work for me. Even then, you have got to keep an eye on things as some businesses will become complacent with service provision and consider you as a ‘banker’. The only way we will all contribute to ensuring standards are raised is TELL PEOPLE! I have no idea how some of these cowboys continue to trade. Praise be to social media and ‘Trust Pilot’ – esque services.

We are part of the Which?

Trusted traders network which we felt would go to some way at least to illustrate to people that we are doing what we can to improve the image of our industry. It was a good process. They really hold a microscope over your service provision, complaints procedure and literally contact people from your client base to see how the service was. If only all companies had to have this as a ‘vetting’ process to retain their company ID with company’s house! A mini revolution in business service quality.

Complain if it’s not spot on. Don’t accept mediocracy. If you just accept piss poor service that’s all you are ever going to get!

So why do trades find it so difficult to raise their game?

Well, the reality is there aren’t many players in the plumbing industry that have grown out of the ‘sole trader’ mentality.

“oooh, love (sharp intake of breath) that’s gonna be expensive”.


The problem is as a one-man band you can bob and weave like the artful dodger of the plumbing world. And ultimately there is always another unsuspecting customer that won’t do their homework and compare prices! MY GOD PEOPLE “GET MULTIPLE QUOTES”. If you take anything from this I pray you won’t take up anyone without a written quote that you have compared with another company. If someone isn’t registered with companies house as a business that’s cool BUT check out their insurance. Water can seriously damage your property. You get some idiot messing with water in your property and it can cause you so much head and heart ache.

So, time for a few golden rules… I’m gonna call them Robbie’s Rules and as we take this journey together. Hopefully you will share your experiences with me and we can keep everyone in the loop.

Number 1: Get a written quote

Number 2: Always compare  

Number 3: Ensure they have insurance

Number 4: Ensure they have the qualifications to undertake the work

Number 5: Are they registered with a governing body. You need some come back!

Don’t just go with your gut!!!

So – what else do we do to try and help build trust?

Marvel’s are super proud of opening a Marvel enter of excellence with Barnet and Southgate college. Look how cheesy and happy I am! Look closer – Yes I am wearing pink socks.

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We want to do everything possible to up skill engineers of the future and make sure our guys are at the top of their game.

My parting gift is that we also get our engineers to give out “rate our engineer” cards. Look out for it and rate your engineer and get a discount on your works…

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 Right that’s enough for now. I’ll get off my soap box and go and do some real work.

Robert Harrison

“Changing people’s perceptions of plumbers”

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