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December 10, 2008

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CORGI denies confusing gas customers

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has accused CORGI of continuing to promote itself as a gas safety brand despite the HSE choosing Capita as its new gas-scheme provider.

Capita takes over the role in April and the APHC claims that CORGI will confuse customers about the changeover if it continues to sell gas products and services.

APHC chief executive, Clive Dickin, said: “Introducing the idea that CORGI is still available as a gas protection brand is dangerous. It has been careful to comply with the letter of the law in this campaign but there is no doubt that there is plenty of room for confusion when installers click through to the CORGI website.

“It is playing on installers’ fears that customers will not understand about the change of gas-installer registrant body and will still want to see the CORGI badge when they let a gas installer into their home.”

Hitting back at the claim, a spokesperson for CORGI said: “CORGI is aware of the comments made by APHC, but is clear that they have no foundation in fact.

“The APHC appears to accept that CORGI has included information about the change in gas-scheme operator but implies that this has only been done to the letter of the law. We would strongly dispute this.

“To date, CORGI has included clear and explicit messages in letters direct to registered installers, in any advertising and in Gas Installer magazine. CORGI will continue to do this throughout the transition to the new mandatory gas registration scheme and brand.”

Capita yesterday revealed the name of the new brand that will take control of the registration scheme. Gas Safe Register will take over from CORGI on 1 April, and gas installers will need to be registered on the scheme to operate legally.

It also announced that renewal rates have been lowered and installers will now have to pay £175 plus VAT for registration by post, or £153 plus VAT online. Previously, installers had to pay £179 excluding VAT to renew with CORGI.

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