This Chinese* 28mm brass elbow compression fitting, misleadingly branded 'Wessex', costs £16.44 inc VAT retail from Travis Perkins. My guess is that Travis Perkins pay perhaps £1 each and pocket around £14 profit for each elbow fitting at the cost of British jobs. My guess is based on the fact that Fayers of Kings Cross also offer a cheap fitting, presumably imported from China, for the more appropriate price of £3.10 +vat. I have no doubt that when people go to Travis Perkins and see an expensive component branded 'Wessex' they think they are at least buying British quality and supporting British jobs, not that they are paying to inflate the bonus of Travis Perkins directors and destroy British jobs and British manufacturing heritage at the same time.
The equivalent British made Pegler fitting, made in Doncaster, costs £10.99 inc VAT retail from Fayers of Kings Cross. My investigations suggest that Fayer make only £3 profit on each fitting in order to help encourage us to buy British.
When I was young, all products sold in Britain had to be clearly marked to indicate where they were made. Does anyone know when and why that rule was changed? Travis Perkins brand their Chinese* products 'Wessex' which is obviously deliberately intended to mislead people into thinking that they are buying a British product. Surely the British government has a responsibility to ensure that people are fully informed about the products they buy, particularly when British jobs are at stake; not to mention the carbon emission impact of transporting goods from China?
Our very own good British manufacturers need our support and need savvy government officials to defeat those retailers that play tricks on us. Companies like Travis Perkins are destroying the long term prospects of the youngsters in our community for their own short term gains. By destroying British manufacturing to make short term profits, they are stealing the future of today's young people. No wonder these people feel upset and badly let down. I believe the recent riots can partly be blamed on such greedy board room decisions creating, through a complex chain of events, feelings of helplessness in youngsters.
The government should now reflect on what they can do to stop rip-off activities destroying British livelihoods.
Architects and engineers should also get savvy on specifying British made quality products and rigorously checking on site that this is complied with.
And British manufacturers had better not be complacent. You are losing out in competition against cheaper low-tech products and you are losing out against expensive high-tech products from places like Germany, Austria... indeed most of Europe. In a global market, there are only really two options for survival: (1) find ways to compete on cost with Chinese imports; (2) gear up the quality of your offering, reduce its energy consumption, increase its efficiency, increase its reliability, increase its length of life; in short increase its sustainability and look at all the quality things being imported from Europe and make a British offering! I can offer lots of manufacturing ideas if anyone is looking for them.
*My assumption that this is a Chinese product is based on this web search:
WRAS Approved Water Fittings
WRAS Approval Number: 0706076
`Wessex` range of stainless steel braided EPDM lined hose assemblies with BSP captive swivel nuts and/or compression connections (brass). Some hoses also incorporate isolation valves or pushfit connection. Maximum working pressure 10.0 bar at 85°C.
Size: 8mm, 10mm, 13mm bore and diameter. Selection of end connections available.
Marking: `Wessex` and size stamped into crimped connector.
View Installation Requirements: R001
Manufacturer: IDC Beijing
Factor: Connections (AML) Ltd
Today I sent this message to Travis Perkins customer relations on the Travis Perkins website and I will report their response as soon as I receive it:
"I sent an assistant to Stoke Newington branch of Travis Perkins today to get one 28mm brass compression elbow fitting. My assistant came back with a compression fitting, a receipt for £16.44 for a Yorkshire fitting. So not only did your salesperson not know the difference between a Yorkshire fitting and a compression fitting, but he was grossly overcharged. So annoyed was I by the attitude of the people I spoke to on the phone, that I checked the retail price of a British made Pegler fitting at Fayers of Kings Cross. The Pegler fitting costs £9.16+vat, or a cheap import costs £3.10+vat. Assuming your very expensive fitting branded 'Wessex' was British, I tried a web search and found that it is Chinese, made by IDC of Beijing. Please would you tell me why you are selling Chinese fittings branded to make people think they are British, and at higher price than British fittings from other, smaller retailers? How much profit are you making on each fitting and why are you so relaxed about apparently destroying British jobs?
By the way, please close my account."