npower hometeam, which installs, services and repairs boilers and gas central heating systems, found that 28% of the British public, and 35% of females, dread having workers in their homes, in spite of their extensive expertise. These responses were justified by experiences including workmen smashing a new marble fireplace and being caught rifling through a client’s underwear drawer.
In true British fashion, it seems the nation’s ideal tradesman would have impeccable manners, with 65% wanting workers to be polite and friendly, one fifth requesting that they would take their shoes off at the door, and one in 14 hoping that servicemen will bring their own tea and coffee.
West Midlanders were the tightest with their tea, with eight per cent wanting tradesmen to bring their own, while true to form, Yorkshire residents were the most willing to bestow a brew to their boilerman, with just one in a hundred expecting engineers to bring their own.
Despite requiring the skills of specialist workers, 43% of women say they feel nervous about letting a stranger into their home while 60% of the public hate waiting in all day for a tradesman to arrive. Indeed, 86% of Brits (and a staggering 91% of all over-55s) would simply like their tradesmen to turn up when they say they will.
Dispelling the myth that men care less about appearances, males appear more house proud than their female counterparts. They are more worried about tradesmen looking scruffy, leaving their house in a mess, and having a white van parked outside their homes.
Chris Thewlis, head of operations at npower hometeam, commented: “These pet peeves are very common – but it may be that the British public are simply using the wrong companies. British men will be pleased to know that hometeam installers and engineers literally roll out the red carpet when servicing, repairing or installing a boiler, to prevent any mess or unsightly footprints, and our vans are red and liveried, rather than white, so they don’t worry about a scruffy van outside. Similarly, West Midlanders will be relieved to learn that our tradesmen take their own flask of tea to each appointment.
“The British public have better things to do than to wait around for us, which is why our staff always phone ahead to advise of their time of arrival. Every installer also has their first name embroidered on the back of their shirt so they feel more familiar.
“With all this in place, our next action is to investigate the secrets of Welsh tradesmen as, in our study, seven per cent of homeowners in Wales said they look forward to tradesmen’s visits.”
All figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,953. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 and 23 March 2009. The survey was carried out online.
The Home Energy Service from npower, hometeam installs boilers and gas central heating systems for domestic customers. It also offers a 30 point gas boiler service and boiler repair, plus a range of other products and services.
hometeam differs from its competition because of the little details it employs to make every visit as unobtrusive as possible. In addition to the red carpet, flask of tea and names embroidered on their uniform, appointments for boiler service, repair and installation are available at evenings and weekends and can be made online.