Code of Practice

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Code of Practice

Aims of the NAC Code of Practice

We appreciate that it is not always straight forward for a consumer to make an informed choice as to the suitability of the services and standards being offered by an appliance repairer.

Quite understandably, many customers do not possess a thorough knowledge of how their appliances operate and equally, many repairers are unable to completely secure the confidence of the customers when they carry out a service or repair.

The aim of this Code of practice is to provide consumers with a clear guide as to the standards and practices that an NAC network member will adhere to and upon this basis, we trust, the consumer can make an informed and favourable decision to use an NAC network member.

NAC network members are required to comply with the provisions of this Code of practice. These provisions specify how a variety of customer handling measures and trade practices are to be conducted to the benefit of the customer. Furthermore, each NAC network member is required to fulfil all relevant statutory and legal requirements relating to Trading Standards, Health and Safety, Environmental Protection and Employment.

We appreciate that despite the best efforts and intentions of NAC, it is possible that a customer may nevertheless feel dissatisfied with the service they have received. Our code of practice, therefore, includes procedures to enable such situations to be dealt with fairly, speedily and at minimal cost.

The procedures outlined in this code of practice are additional to the legal rights assured to the consumer and the content of this code of practice is not intended to detract from such laws and their remedies.

Services Available from NAC

An NAC network member will provide the following services:

  • General fault finding and problem identification. For example, work related to electronics and mechanical and systems on domestic appliances.

In addition to the above, NAC network members will also offer services related to:

  • Cosmetic faults
  • Mechanical faults
  • Electrical faults

Best Working Practices of NAC

This section of the code of practice explains the operational standards and procedures that NAC network members will employ to ensure customers receive a proficient level of care and attention.

Customer Care

NAC network members will:

  • Not discriminate for any reason and will treat all customers with courtesy, respect and fairness.
  • Make every effort to understand the customer’s requirements and expectations and will not recommend or carry out work which is unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive.
  • Prior to the commencement of work, ensure that the customer fully understands and agrees to the work which is to be carried out. That is, the content of the work, the parts required, the overall costs including VAT and warranty coverage.
  • In the case of vulnerable or disadvantaged customers, demonstrate the highest level of patience, understanding, care and helpfulness to ensure that the customer has access to and can make a balanced and informed choice of services and/or products.
  • Not use any high-pressure selling techniques to carry out work but will inform the customer of any action that in their opinion is to be recommended on the grounds of safety, reliability or simply good customer care.
  • NAC network engineers will be contactable by phone and email.
  • NAC network engineers will have in place a minimum of 2 million pounds public liability insurance.
  • NAC network members will have to work to this Code of Practice as a condition of continued network membership.

Costs and Charges

NAC network members will:

  • Offer and, if required, provide customers with a detailed written estimate that includes the cost of parts, labour, any other costs or services and VAT.
  • Prior to commencement, seek customer authorisation for any work or costs that become apparent during the work phase but were not previously agreed.
  • In the event of diagnostics work, provide costs prior to the commencement of work.

Completion Time

NAC network members will:

  • Provide the customer with a realistic completion time.
  • Use a formal diary or management booking system to manage ongoing and future repairs.
  • If a delay becomes unavoidable, give the customer as much notice as possible to allow the customer to agree alternative completion arrangements.

Displaced Parts

NAC network members will:

  • Make available upon request parts removed or replaced, for customer inspection.

Invoicing 

NAC network members will:

  • Provide an invoice which clearly shows as appropriate, details of labour charges, parts replaced, and any consumables used.
  • Ensure that the content and value of the final invoice will correspond to those details previously quoted, subject to additional work being authorised by the customer.
  • Include on the final invoice recommendations or observations regarding the need for further work or concerns related to safety aspects.

Warranty (Guarantee)

NAC network members will:

  • Guarantee their work for a minimum of 3 Months parts and Labour.
  • Respect and abide by the statutory rights afforded to customers by law.
  • Provide customers with clear and accurate details of the warranty coverage before and after the completion of work.

After Sales Service

NAC network members will:

  • Respond promptly and effectively to any enquiries from customers relating to work they previously carried out.
  • Investigate and rectify queries or problems associated with the original repair, wherever possible at no cost.
  • Prior to the commencement of any additional work, discuss and agree with the customer any charges which have become apparent.
  • Always seek to minimise any additional charges and ensure these charges are proportional to the original repair.

Workmanship / Service Call

NAC network members will:

  • Adhere to current Health & Safety requirements as stipulated in law.
  • Make their best attempt to rectify the customer’s appliance on the first visit negating the need for a further service call.
  • Carry out electrical safety tests (Earth Loop, Earth Continuity and Insulation Resistance testing) before and after a repair so an appliance is always left in a safe condition with no danger to the customer. If after these tests or from findings from the repair process it’s deemed that the appliance should be left disconnected, then the engineer undertakes the responsibility of disconnection and documents this clearly as well as informing the customer.
  • After a repair the appliance is checked for function (specification test) and that it is in a safe condition for the customer to use.
  • Wherever possible the appliance will be replaced back into situ as was or the customer fully appraised of the reason/s that this is not possible.
  • Any used parts and packaging will be left tidy for inspection and correct disposal by the customer, in line with current legislation.

Spare Parts 

NAC network members will:

  • Any spares required to be ordered, shall be ordered within two working days of the visit, subject to cleared payment.
  • Any information of delays with a spares order notified to the repairer will be relayed to the customer as soon as possible.
  • Customers will not be charged for spares that they did not authorize and specifically request.
  • Customers will not be charged for missing or damaged spares.

Commercial Practices of NAC network members 

This section of the Code of practice describes how some important legal and commercial Measures are handled by NAC in order to give further support to its customers.

Contract Terms 

NAC network members will:

  • Comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. This ensures that the rights and obligations of the customer and the NAC network member will be balanced and that contracts are presented in plain, easy to understand language.

Cancellation Rights 

NAC network members will:

  • Allow the customer to cancel a new repair at any time prior to the day of the repair, without liability.
  • If a customer cancels part way through a repair, then the network engineer will not hold the customer liable for anything more than any reasonable costs already incurred up to the time of cancellation. These costs may include labour and parts for work already completed plus the cost of other parts or services ordered or obtained but which cannot be cancelled, returned or resold.
  • Where a repair is cancelled, always aim to minimise any costs to the customer.

Prepayments 

NAC network members will:

  • In the event of a prepayment or deposit being made, provide a clear receipt which details the value of the payment made and the exact nature of the agreed service that this payment relates to.

Advertising & Promotion 

NAC network members will:

  • Be legal, decent, honest and truthful and will comply with the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion and any other relevant code of advertising and all other statutory requirements.

Handling Customer Complaints 

The NAC member and NAC have a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and therefore would like to work with the customer to resolve any complaint fairly and quickly. Should, despite these efforts, the complaint remains unresolved, then the customer has the option of pursuing independent arbitration. This section of the Code of practice describes the complaint handling procedure.

Step 1: Complaining to the NAC network member

  • Most complaints can be dealt with quickly and without the need for intervention. Should a customer feel dissatisfied with the service that they have received, then we would request that the customer raises a complaint directly to the NAC network member concerned in the first instance. This may be done either in person, by phone or in writing.
  • Should any initial complaint not be dealt with satisfactorily, the customer may prefer to pursue a complaint through another person or a recognised consumer organisation like Trading Standards, Citizens Advice etc. In this situation, the NAC network member will continue to cooperate fully to resolve the complaint.
  • The NAC network member will have in place a clear and accessible mechanism for recording and dealing with customer complaints. The responsibility for dealing with complaints will rest with the NAC network members Principal or another nominated individual authorised to discuss and resolved complaints.
  • The NAC network member will acknowledge written complaints within 5 working days of receipt.
  • The NAC network member will seek to resolve any complaint within 21 days of its receipt.

Step 2: Conciliation by NAC

  • Should the NAC network member be unable to resolve the complaint, then NAC is willing to provide a free of charge conciliation service. That is, NAC will work with the customer and the NAC network member to resolve the customer’s complaint speedily and fairly. Customers should note that this service does not prevent them from seeking redress through other legal means.
  • To use this service the customer is invited to contact NAC directly on 0333 016 9622. Alternatively, if a customer wishes to write to NAC, then the address details of NAC may be found at the bottom of this Code of practice.
  • In the case of customer telephone calls, NAC will acknowledge the customers call and record details of the complaint immediately. NAC will also discuss the nature and content of the complaint at that time or contact the customer within the next 5 working days to discuss the complaint.
  • In the case of written complaints, NAC will confirm in writing to the customer that the complaint has been received within 5 working days of its arrival at NAC. Should NAC require a written account of the complaint and/or need other information to investigate the complaint then NAC will ask the customer to provide it.
  • NAC will endeavour to resolve the customer’s complaint within 21 working days of its receipt. The recommendations made by NAC to resolve the complaint will be binding on the NAC network member, however the customer remains free to reject the proposal made by NAC.

Step 3: Independent Arbitration

  • Arbitration enables an independent expert to review information from the customer and the NAC network member and based on this information; provide a ruling on how the complaint is to be resolved. The ruling of the Arbitrator is legally binding on the NAC network member and the customer. Irrespective of whether the customer and/or the NAC network member agrees with the ruling, it is final and cannot be challenged.
  • This Independent Arbitration service is only available if the customer has sought to resolve the complaint using the NAC conciliation service that is explained in step 2.
  • Following on from the NAC conciliation service, NAC will advise the customer in writing of its conclusion regarding the customer’s complaint. Should the complaint remain unresolved, then providing no more than six months have elapsed since the receipt of the conclusion letter from NAC, the customer may use the independent arbitration service.
  • This service is provided free of charge to the customer. However, the Arbitrator may make a financial award against the customer where the customer is considered to have been unreasonable or caused unnecessary expense and/or inconvenience to the NAC network member.
  • The independent arbitration service is provided by DRS-CIArb, a division of The Institute of Chartered Arbitrators. This organisation is wholly independent of NAC and the NAC network member. Customers must contact The Institute of Chartered Arbitrators directly to obtain the application form, their contact details appear on their website: https://www.ciarb.org.

Customer Participation 

Customers of the NAC network have a real opportunity to help make the NAC Code of Practice work to best possible effect, also to help NAC monitor and improve the performance of individual NAC network members. This section details how customers may assist.

Customer Opinion and Feedback 

It is important for NAC network members and NAC to evaluate how successful we have been in achieving customer satisfaction. We strongly appreciate that customer comment, both good and bad, will help greatly in the development and application of this Code of practice.

  • Customers may contact NAC directly to obtain a satisfaction card, contact details of NAC appear at the end of the Code of practice.

Customer Requirements 

When a customer is arranging a repair and/or service, NAC would respectfully remind customers that they can help the NAC network member to meet their requirements by providing the fullest possible information. Therefore, NAC would kindly ask the customer to:

  • Give as much information as possible, e.g., symptoms or concerns, or any previous repair history of the appliance.
  • Feel free to fully discuss and understand the nature of the work that is to be undertaken.
  • Be clear and agree any specific or special requirements that the NAC network member is expected to meet.
  • When discussing your requirements with the NAC network member, please tell the telephone operator if your appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or an extended breakdown warranty. Please also advise the telephone operator of any policy documents that you have. This information is important since the NAC network member will need to understand the conditions of this warranty so its terms may be adhered to.

Responsibilities of NAC

This section of the code of practice describes the responsibilities that NAC has to ensure that NAC network members follow the provisions of this code of practice and also further develop the code of practice so that it remains of benefit to the consumer.

Monitoring and Compliance with this Code of Practice 

To ensure that the NAC Code of Practice is adhered to, NAC will:

  • Audit the Best Working Practices, Technical and Customer provisions of each NAC network member annually.
  • Review and assess customer complaints and customer satisfaction feedback data to determine any need to revise this code of practice or take action against a NAC network member. Our scheme allows for a variety of measures to occur, these range from actions to improve the NAC network members performance through to expulsion of an NAC network member from the NAC network.
  • Endeavour to keep informed of the changes in consumer expectations, best working practices and/or legislation. To this end NAC will consult with consumer bodies to review the validity of the Code of practice’s content and application.

Disciplinary Procedures

To ensure that compliance of this Code of practice is enforced, NAC will:

  • Subject those incidents of non-compliance which cannot be adequately addressed through the NAC quality development process to disciplinary measures.
  • Apply disciplinary measures that will be proportional to the nature and circumstances of the non- compliance. These will range from a detailed review discussion with the NAC network member, through to expulsion of the NAC network member from the NAC network.
  • In cases where disciplinary action resulted from a customer complaint, inform the customer directly of the action taken.
  • Ensure that all disciplinary measures taken by NAC are independently verified to ensure that such measures are applied on an objective, fair and uniform basis.

Contacts

NAC (Domestic Appliances) Ltd
Unit 4 Calder Close
Calder Park
Wakefield
WF4 3BA

Telephone: 0333 016 9622

Email: customerservices@nacrepair.co.uk

Website: www.nacrepair.co.uk

The NAC Code of Practice – Published 20/08/2021.

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