Australian-first guarantee protects consumers from substandard plumbers

Sharon Kelley 7 September 2020
Water Tight Plumbers tradesmen posing with branded vans at Lake Burley Griffin.

Water Tight Canberra is one of 90 companies registered with Master Plumbers ACT. Photo: Supplied.

In an Australian first, Master Plumbers ACT has taken inspiration from its New Zealand counterpart by issuing a consumer guarantee to ensure all works by its members are covered by a $5000 fund if works are substandard or your plumber goes out of business in the middle of plumbing work.

The concept of a consumer guarantee came from a conference in New Zealand, where the practice is standard with the New Zealand Plumbers Association. Under the Master Plumbers ACT consumer guarantee, residential consumers are protected against substandard workmanship and the insolvency of a member of the association.

Protection against substandard work includes an investigation into the work undertaken, and commissioning remedial work by a registered member of Master Plumbers ACT. Protection against the insolvency of a plumbing company for residential work means that if you have paid for the work in advance and your plumber goes out of business before undertaking the work, the association will ensure another Master Plumbers ACT member company completes the work at no cost.


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“We’re urging people to check our website for members of the Master Plumbers association before hiring a plumber,” said Master Plumbers ACT executive officer Leigh Watson.

“We can only really help people with investigations and guarantees if the plumber they’re using is a member of the association.”

Members of Master Plumbers ACT can be found on the association’s website under the Find a Plumber tool, as can the code of ethics which all members of the association must follow. Non-members are not bound by a code of ethics, or answerable to the professional body.

“Our members follow a strict code of ethics,” said Ms Watson. “We get phone calls from distressed people who have used a plumber that is not registered with us, and we can’t help them. If you don’t use a member of the Master Plumbers association, you aren’t covered by our consumer guarantee, and we can’t help.”


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The association’s website has a directory of members to assist Canberrans to find an ethical, qualified and professional tradesperson. Its aim is to provide the Canberra community, industry and government with access to qualified, professional, ethical and up-to-date plumbers.

“Particularly where your safety is concerned, make sure you use a registered Master Plumber,” said Ms Watson.

“I urge all Canberrans to check our website to ensure your plumber is a registered member, which gives you access to all the protections of a strict code of ethics and our consumer guarantee which backs it up.”

“We have around 90 companies that are members of Master Plumbers ACT. There is no need to use one that isn’t a member, and go without the consumer protection we offer.”

Master Plumbers ACT consumer guarantee.

The Master Plumbers ACT consumer guarantee. Image: Supplied.


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