Waiting in Drain: Homeserve Discover Brits Spend 72m Hours a Year Waiting for Plumbers

Apr 05, 2013, 04:00 ET from HomeServe

WALSALL, England, April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Eight million working days a year lost to the nation waiting in for tradesmen
  • One in 20 Brits has had to wait in for more than a day for a plumber to call
  • One in 10 has been left without heating, power or water for more than 24 hours

Forget waiting for Godot; for millions of us waiting for the plumber is the day that never comes.

New research from home emergency specialists HomeServe reveals that Britons collectively spend 72 million hours a year waiting in for plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen - the equivalent of eight million working days lost to the nation.1

Although the average wait at home for a tradesman is a reasonable  2.8 hours, one in seven people (14%) have had to wait in for more than five hours until the tradesman cometh - and one in 20 (5%) over a day.

Add in the delay from reporting a problem to the help arriving, and nearly one in 10 Britons (8%) say they have been left without heating, power or water for more than 24 hours at least once over the last three years.

It seems the cause is a mixture of difficulty in finding a tradesman, large windows for arrival times - plus frequent late arrivals and, in some cases, no shows.

The research reveals just how difficult it can be even to reach tradesmen out of working hours, with one in five Britons (21%) struggling to find help when needed. One in 10 (11%) has found it hard to get someone to come out in the evening, and one in six (17%) at the weekend. And with the Easter weekend just passed us by, it may be worth bearing in mind that one in 10 (9%) have also struggled to get hold of a tradesman during a bank holiday.

Even when Britons do find a tradesman, the average window for arrival is a massive 6.5 hours - almost an entire working day. But one in 10 (11%) report that their tradesman could only specify a 24-hour period - with one in five (21%) longer than a day and 6% a week or more.

To make matters worse, a third of Britons (36%) claim that the last time a tradesman arrived they were late - one in 10 (9%) by more than an hour - and one in 100 did not show at all.

HomeServe Memberships CEO Jonathan King said: "We're all busy, and in this day and age it can be difficult to take time off to wait in for tradesmen. To make matters worse, finding a skilled, trustworthy tradesman when you want one can be difficult - especially if they're needed at short notice in case of emergencies.

"Jobs running over or being more complicated than they first seem is an unavoidable part of the trade, but there are steps we can take to make things easier for our customers. That's why we at HomeServe have our own network of vetted plumbers, backed by a 24-hour handling team. We give our customers a morning or afternoon slot, at their convenience, and plumbers call customers to let them know we are on our way."

Notes to editors:

All research conducted online by Canadean Consumer on behalf of HomeServe, February 2013 among a representative sample of 2,005 UK adults.

1. There are 48,844,900 adults in the UK, of whom 77.3 per cent have called out a tradesman in the last three years, with the average number of call-outs in that period 2.04. The average wait at home per call-out is 2.8 hours. Therefore, each year: 48,844,900 x 0.773 x 2.04 x 2.8 / 3 = 71,889,533 hours wasted.

About HomeServe

With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24-hour claims handling and repair network

HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out different jobs around the home

Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Sheen on +44(0)20-7861-3013 / msheen@bpconsumer.co.uk

SOURCE HomeServe