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Complaints over heating and plumbing total £8million

Complaints about dodgy plumbers and heating companies totalled more than £8million in the first three months of 2008 - according to a Government advice line.

Consumer Direct received £80 million worth of complaints regarding home maintenance in the first three months of the year and more than 10 per cent related to the plumbing and heating sector.

Complaints about central heating installation and servicing alone accounted for £5.5million worth of complaints.

Between January and the end of March Consumer Direct received 19,075 complaints. Out of these 3,615 related to central heating.

Another 1,811 were regarding plumbers and plumbing with an estimated value of £2.6m and solar heating accounted for 147 complaints at an overall value of £572,237. There were 544 complaints over insulation work, but this was only valued at £168,337.

Complaints about building work accounted for the vast majority of the total value of complaints at just under £40m. 

Michelle Shambrook, operations manager for Consumer Direct, said: “There is no foolproof way of avoiding problems, but you need to do your homework before you embark on a project. Agree clear terms with the trader and if things go wrong, check your rights and take prompt action.”
For further advice go to: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk