KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
30th September 2011
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CAD specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced that Mereway has joined the company's thriving Supplier Partnership Programme. The full range of Mereway's kitchen cabinets, encompassing over 70 different finishes, including MFC, foil-wrapped, veneer, solid wood and painted finishes in slab, shaker and curved door styles, are now available as a comprehensive and easy to search graphics catalogue within ArtiCAD-Pro.
The heavy duty Elba ELK has an attractive drainer design and is finished in gloss white for a fashionable look that is equally at home in either a modern or traditional kitchen.
Welcome to the
Since being caught out some years ago, I have believed strongly in the need to employ a trained and qualified professional to do any work for me. Anyone I call in also has to come high on the Checkatrade listings AND be a member of a reputable trade organisation.
The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers' 'Installation Standards Pledge' (see this week's news for our report) really hit home when I learned about it, as I am as aware as anyone that more needs to be done to change consumers' often poor perception of kitchen and bathroom installation standards and force out the rogue traders.
I realise it wasn't a full installation but I had a taste of the rogue trader recently when I sliced my fridge/freezer cable in two. My first visit was to www.checkatrade.com to see which fridge/freezer specialist or manufacturer's repairer I should contact. There were several candidates, but all suggested that rather than pay their rates (a £65 minimum call out charge for a simple 10 minute job) I should save myself some money by calling an electrician who would do it on a job price.
None of the local electricians were free that day but the Thomson Local had just been delivered and although I don't normally use it I thought I'd see what it had to offer.
One advertiser had a double page spread and was plastered with the logo of a reputable builders' trade association. It claimed to be able to look after its customers' needs immediately and that all its technicians were experienced and fully qualified. The representative told me there was a flat rate charge of £49 per half hour plus materials and knowing it would only be a 10 minute job I booked to have my lead replaced.
The engineer arrived on time but didn't know quite what job he was supposed to be doing and didn't have a replacement lead. He didn't even know how to remove the old lead from the appliance and said he had never done it before. Nor did he have a plug on him - I had to go and select another not-so-crucial appliance so he could remove the plug from that and use it in the Heath Robinson-effect repair he carried out on the old lead. To cap it all he did not have any electrical tape with which to bind the join and suggested I buy some and finish the repair myself!
To cap it all, he then tried to charge me double for the work as he'd been at my house for 40 minutes - he even threatened to remove his piece of cable if I did not pay up! After a long conversation with head office I was allowed to keep the cable and warned that the tape of my booking would be played back and if it was found that I hadn't misheard the quote I would have to pay the remainder.
The company emailed me the recording and I felt that rather than quibble over the quote regarding the time, my argument should hinge on the fact that I had specifically asked for a cable replacement and that the company had broken its contract. My refund came a week later and I put this down to my threat to inform the trade association and the company's knowledge that I wasn't going to let it get away with this shoddy work. I wonder how another woman with less confidence and knowledge would have fared.
I welcome the iKBBI pledge with open arms and hope the rest of the industry embraces it too.
This Week's News
Retailers woes likely to mean more firms going under this week rather than pay their next quarter's rent, a property specialist warns.
The iKBBI is excited to announce the introduction of its innovative Installation Standards Pledge.
As eating in becomes the new eating out, homeowners are reaching to different continents to create a variety of dishes for their guests. Steel's new powerful 4.6kWh Mega Wok burner makes it easy for consumers to create an Asian inspired meal. The powerful flame also creates a dramatic atmosphere for an evening in.
The 7th issue of the 'Housebuilding and RMI Forecasts Bulletin Great Britain' is now available, providing a quarterly review of the domestic construction sector including new housebuild and RMI.
Imperial Bathrooms - the renowned British manufacturer of luxury bathroom products for the discerning - has further extended its collection of free-standing basin stands with a range of marble and granite consoles that boast 'his and hers' options.
Comprising five models - Oban, Adare, Hardwick, Nevis and Troon - these latest consoles not only provide a lavish alternative to the plethora of modular vanity units currently available in the marketplace, they appeal to those with epicurean tastes in exceptional quality and timeless design.
The Skillbuild 2011 National Final took place from 14th to 16th September at Leeds College of Building, with the College's own Harry Coyle taking 1st place in the Wall & Floor Tiling category.
The recent success of Utopia's Spring Product Launch has surpassed the company's expectations, with significant numbers of new displays featuring i-line, Symmetry and Encurva, appearing in retailer showrooms.
According to the company, the benefit of this major product launch is gathering real pace, despite the difficult market conditions. Stunning new displays are appearing nationwide as many retailers respond to both the products and Utopia's new showroom display concept.
Ellis Furniture - a leading manufacturer of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture - has launched two impressive brochures to tempt consumers. The new bathroom range brochure and kitchen supplement present the high quality, beautifully designed furniture, and support the introduction of 18 new product ranges.
The first Level 2 Sales & Customer Care course for the KBB industry was run by Graham Hayden at the Whirlpool Training centre in Croydon on 14th September.
Stuart Turner remains at the forefront of design technology and product innovation and while this has traditionally enabled the company to engineer solutions to boost clean water, this October will see its product portfolio strengthened further with the introduction of the all new 'wasteflo' brand!
The KBzine Archive Search
We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.
News in Brief
Portuguese sanitaryware manufacturer Sanindusa has opened its first UK base and employed a sales team. The Dartford, Kent office, houses sales, administration and warehouse/logistics. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippe Starck has introduced some striking new geometric variations to his classic bathroom collections for Duravit. E: email@example.com
Ideal Standard, has appointed Alex de Courcy as UK Sales Director. He was previously Sales & Marketing Director UK & Ireland at 3M Consumer & Retail. T: 0 1482 346461
Astracast, has revised the design of its high gloss, ceramic Lincoln single bowl and drainer to be compatible with both laminate and solid worktops. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Smart Systems, a pioneer in business solutions for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and Miele, a world leader in the production of high quality domestic appliances, have announced the launch of an online contract quoting facility, which aims to provide Miele's Project Partners with the highest level of service in the industry. The system, which utilises Cloud computing, is open to all Miele Project Partners and promises to instantly deliver increased efficiency.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has been a long supporter of the campaign for a reduced rate of VAT on home repair and improvement work.
From 16th -19th October at the NEC Birmingham, InstallerLive will provide you with new skills and knowledge to take advantage of the vast business opportunities open to you as you transition towards low carbon ways of working.
A worker on a refurbishment project sustained serious burns in an electrical explosion after a North London company failed to carry out basic Health & Safety checks. The injured man was working on a construction site at Leonard Street, Islington, when the blast occurred. City of London Magistrates' Court heard that the explosion was caused when a main electrical supply cable to the site was cut during its removal.
Guidance providing greater clarity for businesses that offer work experience, placements and internships was published yesterday, as announced in the Social Mobility Strategy in April.
De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances has appointed Assurant Solutions as the provider and administrator of all service repair contracts for both De Dietrich and Fagor brands in the UK*.
The AGA Rangemaster Group has released the results of its first half year trading statement for the 2011 financial year... and the Midlands-based specialist in range cooking and kitchen living has announced an improved profit performance, with a marked rise in operating profit to £2.9 million from £0.8 million.
The 50cm wide ZRT318W was also awarded 5 stars for both fridge and freezer temperature stability.
Scottish kitchen designer and retailer Kitchens International has made several new appointments and promotions as the company expands in Scotland.