‘Green’ damp solving systems from the ‘Neverlands’ now come with a ‘lifetime’ guarantee.
How do you define “lifetime”
The inventor’s lifetime? The customer’s lifetime? the lifetime of the house? the installing technician’s? the installing limited company? – or the Daily Star advertising director’s?
I don’t know. What I do know is that all companies who issue guarantees on their work last a lifetime; The lifetime of the company issuing the damp guarantee, that is. That could be one year, two or twenty. But very rarely much longer.
For example, this is one company selling the ‘green’ system in the UK , as copied and pasted from the companies-house web site (apologies if the official information is wrong – please check it yourself).
Date of Incorporation: 13/01/1997
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
4534 – Other building installation
Accounting Reference Date: 31/03
Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/03/2009 (TOTAL EXEMPTION SMALL)
Next Accounts Due: 31/12/2010
Last Return Made Up To: 13/01/2010
Next Return Due: 10/02/2011
Last Members List: 13/01/2010
Date of change
Yep – 13 years in business. I suppose, compared to some damp-proofing contractors (though not mine), that is a lifetime.
So, choosing a company based on how long it guarantees it’s work is a gamble. It may be a good bet, if the company is well established, has insured it’s guarantees and is solvent. Or a poor bet, if the company is new, has no back-up cover for it’s guarantees and is insolvent (don’t worry, the company mentioned above is solvent – as far as I know).
There’s much to ponder, if guarantees are what defines a good damp-proofing system. However, ask any experienced chartered surveyor or estate agent and the sad truth will out. Damp guarantees are a piece of paper and are very rarely successfully claimed upon. They get lost; are wriggled out of, are worthless because the company is dead or are just impossible to claim on, due to the conditions on the back of the documents.
The best guarantee is the one which is never claimed on OR one which has been claimed on – AND has resulted in the issuer rectifying the cause of the damp recurrence.
The sad and shameful proof is in the eating.
Unfortunately, I have to eat that crap one or two times every year. Usually when for whatever reason, my customer has a damp house, when he should have a dry one. When this happens, I shrug my shoulders, offer a weak, if reassuring smile to my client, ask Katrina or Julie, when we can fit the work in, and we go back and put right, whatever we didn’t do right on the first visit. I confess, this occasionally happens. It is caused by human nature; I or my staff make mistakes, now and again.
We strive to avoid this loss making problem, thankfully it is rare.
So naturally I was surprised to learn that the ‘Neverlands’ method is guaranteed a ‘lifetime’ and has never, ever failed. It stops all types of damp – penetrating, condensation or rising damp – The dutch are so resourceful.
Confucius say “If a bright and shiny thing seems too good to be true – ……………..you know the rest”.
Can someone show me any credible independent evidence that these ‘green’ methods actually work? Wow………Van der Valk says there is no need to replace salt contaminated plaster or decorate after? All you need to do is install the system and that’s that. Count me in, the suckers; I mean customers, will lap this up.
No wonder there’s a lifetime guarantee- this is a licence to print money – any chance of a franchise Van?