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The Public cannot be experts on Technical Services

Comment 26th July 2010

The laws that state the consumer must check the validity of a service provider's expertise need to be repealed and amended.

As technology gets more and more complicated, eg cental heating systems, building methods, more an more onus has been put of the consumer of maintenance and repair services to check that the providers has all the right certificates and licences to perform the service. Yet the nature of these certificates and licances is constantly changing.

It is unrealistic to expect "joe publlc" to have the detailed knowledge of a particular technology to determine that the supplier has the right permits to perform the service required.

The weight should be on the service suppliers to ensure they have the required skills

Why does this matter?

In retail, since the 1950's, consumer legislation has quite right moved from a "buyer beware" position to a "seller beware" state, with all the onus on the retailers of goods to ensure the stock they sell is fit for purpose and safe.

Yet in the last 10 or so years, when it comes to services that consumer require, like gas appliances repairs, fitting of wood burning stoves, electrical work, etc, the law now requires the consumer to check the supplier has the correct traning, examinations,  permits or licences to perform the task required. And there are so many different permits, licences, membership of trade organisations, etc to confuse the average consumer.



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