A heating engineer has accused CORGI of embarking on a twelve-month campaign of harassment and victimisation against his business.
In response, he is preparing to lead a delegation of installers on a public protest.
Martyn Crute, the managing director of UK Oil & Gas, trading as Embers UK, has also charged the current gas registration body provider with bullying and engaging in double standards.
He believes CORGI has applied one set of rules when investigating customer complaints against his firm – including plumbing and electrical faults, which he claims fall outside the CORGI remit – and another when investigating similar complaints against other businesses in his area. Mr Crute maintains that the inspection process should be consistent.
He has also charged the gas safety registration body with being too disorganised to follow its own rules. Its Customer Complaints Services Explained document states: “Where an inspection is carried out as a result of a complaint received by CORGI about the applicant, the registered installer or one of its operatives, CORGI shall inform the applicant or registered installer, operative or qualified supervisor (as the case may be) of the nature of the complaint when arranging an inspection.”
H&V News has seen a number of letters addressed to Mr Crute informing him of an inspection. However, the letters are dated more than a week after the scheduled inspection has taken place, giving him no opportunity to attend or put forward his version of events.
CORGI has rejected the accusations. Out of frustration, Mr Crute has de-registered his business from the gas registration scheme. He has returned his registration fee, which was sent back to him when he de-registered from the scheme. Mr Crute argues that by returning the fee to him, CORGI is breaching its own rules of registration.
He insists that he will not re-join until CORGI meet with him, his lawyer and a representative from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to resolve the “bitter dispute”.
Further documents reveal that the HSE is aware of the events surrounding his decision to quit the scheme. It has scheduled a meeting with all three organisations to resolve the situation. Almost two months after the request, CORGI has yet to respond, Mr Crute said.
“I fully understand the implications of continuing to work with gas while not being CORGI-registered. Obviously, the HSE will have to serve an improvement notice but this would be acted on accordingly,” Mr Crute added.
“My only other alternative is to cease doing gas work altogether, which would cause great harm to myself, my employees and the company. If I go down that route, I would seek to recover the harm done to my company and myself through a civil court action.”
Sarah Hill, CORGI registrations manager, said: “CORGI has been in communication with Mr Crute in the hope of resolving his concerns. We have offered to meet with him again to discuss a resolution. We are still awaiting confirmation that Mr Crute would like to go ahead with a meeting and what the agenda items will be.
“We are disappointed that Mr Crute has not renewed his CORGI registration and assume that any gas work carried out by his business in the future will be done so by a suitably qualified CORGI-registered gas installer.”
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