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Boiling over B&Q promotion

Published: 8 June 2007 - 00:00
B&Q claims boiler deal promoted in national press is for trade buyers, but admit its heat deal is open to all.
Boiling over B&Q promotion
B&Q ads offered customers a boiler, seven radiators, a horizontal flue, filling loop, eight angle radiator valves and six thermostatic valves for £559.20 inc of VAT, on May 26, but some are questioning whether such a deal should come with a health warning.

While installers are surprised at the low cost, trade suppliers are asking themselves whether this is such a good deal, CORGI would like the advert to carry with a CORGI gas fit reminder.

The advert failed to highlight the need for the central heating equipment to be installed by a CORGI registered installer, in accordance with the Gas Safety Regulations

The Heatline Vizo HE 24 gas combi boiler is aimed at the budget market and is supplied by Heatline, the Bedford-based boiler manufacturer. The Vizo 24 is discounted because of quantity buying.

It comes with a one year warranty as part of the deal rather than the standard two years.

Specialist heating trade supplier, Bansall Heating Merchant is among the list of trade suppliers voicing criticism over the deal. 'We are aware of the advert B&Q put out', said operations manager Tej Bansall. 'As a merchant we offer a different service, more tailored so that our specialist trades people can advise the customer on the best product for them. We've no intention of competing on price.

'It does come across as a good offer but can B&Q provide continuity of product? We can still sell the same radiator we first sold 30 years ago, so when the customer needs only one new radiator, he doesn't need to replace all the radiators in the house to ensure they all look alike'.

Bansall Heating Merchant offers an upgraded Heatline boiler (Heatline Compact HE 25) including flue for £403 inc VAT. It also sells seven radiators for £240. For £649 the customer gets everything but the valves and filling loop.

'B&Q can get it cheaply but it can't provide our level of service. 'From a merchant point of view we are squezing our margins for the 'low end'. High end customers such as local authorities won't buy the heat deal being promoted. 'On the DIY front they should take responsibilty to put some kind of CORGI gas fitter warning on the promotion', he added.

A spokesman for CORGI said: 'CORGI is working hard with all the major merchants and manufacturers in the UK to try and limit the sale of gas appliances and fittings to non-CORGI registered members. B&Q is within their rights to advertise the gas appliances and fittings it has for sale in its stores however; we would encourage all merchants to always let members of the public know in their advertising that any gas work needs to be undertaken by a CORGI registered member who is a trained professional'.

A spokesman for B&Q said 'I can confirm we ran an advert on Tuesday [May 26] for 20% off all heat packs. The advert ran in The Daily Mail, The Express, The Sun, The Mirror and the Daily Record.
'The adverts that ran on Tuesday were specifically targeted at our trade customers - you will notice the chevrons around the advert, which is our specifically developed trade branding. As the adverts were targeted at those within the trade it was not deemed necessary to include reference to the fact that the heat pack should be fitted by a CORGI registered gas fitter. Having said that, any of our customers are able to purchase this pack at this price - it is not an exclusive offer to the trade.'

The spokesman added for commercially sensitive reasons it was unable to provide the names of its suppliers, although you will see in the advert that the offer contains products from Ravenheat, Biasi and Heatline.

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