Every industry has a minority of people that give it a bad name, by ‘providing a service’; in the case of PAT testing we refer to them as “Sticker Jockey’s” – they’re not PAT Testers they’re time wasters.
They may have the qualification to say they are a PAT tester, they may already have been doing the job for a long time, but they are not genuine PAT testers that the industry insiders would recommend.
Who are “Sticker Jockeys”?
They are people who rush around a site “testing” as many items as they can in as short a time as possible in order to make the most money they can. I say “testing” in the inverted commas because what they tend to do is one of two methods:
>They will do complete tests on approx. 10% of your electrical appliances and then plaguerise the results over the other 90% of items
> They will do no electrical or visual tests on any appliances whatsoever
Whichever one of these you have working for you, you are:
• Wasting your money
• Not protected
• And you may nevertheless have faulty appliances going undetected
The one thing you are getting is a nice little sticker which is stuck to each of your electrical appliances, and that is what you are paying for. It may in addition be a price tag as that is all it’s worth. So that could be you’re paying someone to vandalise your character or put a 3p price tag on every item, because the sticker won’t be worth any more than that.
And what did the PAT testing company charge you? 50p per item – they’ve made 47p profit on every item you have.
If you have 1000 items it cost you £500 for some stickers that are worth £30.
You’re getting nothing for your money, except for that sticker, and if you’re lucky enough to get certificates and a log book of results there is a good chance they are fake.
How easy is it for a company to send you a list of reports saying “passed, passed, passed”?
Try it for yourself; open Excel, in Column 1 put the location (Main office) in column 2 put the item description (Computer), in column 3 kind “Pass” – there you, go, that’s how easy it is.
How did this happen?
When you requested quotes the reputable company offered a fair price, then another company undercut them. You chose the company with the cheapest rate without thinking of any other factors.
The first company offered to test your 500 items for £1 per item, they said it would take 2 days to complete, at a rate of approx. 30 items per hour.
The second company said they could test your 500 items for 50p per item, and that they would do it in a day – wow, what an offer! Half the price and half the time, that’s great – we’ll book them. But did you think about what you’re getting?
If it takes company A who have been established 3 years, have completed more than 30,000 PAT Tests 2 days to do the work correctly, how can company B who only formed last month do it in half the time? This is with the same number of people doing the job – 1 person.
Let’s do the maths; Company A charges £1 for every item, at 500 items, that’s £500. It takes 2 days, so that’s £250 per day which is a decent daily rate. From the £250.00 the company has to pay for fuel, insurance, certificates, labels, equipment, etc. So, after all that, the daily profit (and consequently wage) is £200 (approx. figures). The engineer worked 8 hours, plus had ½ hour for lunch, so he earned £25.00 per hour when he was working (the average rate for the industry).
Company B charges 50p per item, at 500 items that’s £250.00. If they did the job correctly it would take 2 days, which would be £125 per day, after costs, that’s approx. £75 per day, or £9.38 per hour. nevertheless not a bad wage I expect you’ll say.
Have you taken into account what else you get from Company A? Time spent in the office compiling and downloading your correct results, and issuing them to you along with your certificates.
So company B would have made less than half if they had done the job over 2 days, hence why they do it in one day to make as much income. However, how do they test 60 items per hour when it takes A an hour to test 30 items? The time it takes to check inside a plug, check the cable and the appliance takes the same amount of time for every person, and the minimum time the testing machine allows for a test to complete is the same for every machine.
There is another important factor to consider here: you employed a big company to do this job at 50p per item, they then sub-contracted the job to a local contractor, at 25p per item. That contractor, on 25p per item has to get the 500 items done in the 1 day, to earn £125 for 8 hours hard work. It’s impossible to do everything correctly in this time.
It takes company A 2 minutes to complete each test, but company B can do the same test in 1 minute? How can this be? It can’t… it’s not possible without skipping big corners.
An electrical test not completed correctly method any risks may not be flagged, which method you could have “been pat tested” and have “PAT Testing certificates” but nevertheless not be protected from a possible electrocution or fire.
Don’t take that chance; get PAT Tested by a rare, reputable PAT Testing company, that will provide you with the PAT Testing service you require at the right price, that covers what you need, so you are protected.