Birthday celebrations are a gas for repair firm

AFTER a successful first year in business, a North East firm is set to expand its horizons as it takes on a new market on its first birthday.


Chester-le-Street-based appliance repair firm 0800 Repair made a splash last year when its engineers began work across the country, driving to jobs in their yellow and black branded vans complete with seven-foot screwdrivers on the top.

The company fixes all manner of domestic appliances from dishwashers and washing machines to cookers and vacuum cleaners, and is now moving into another domestic market – gas repairs.

With the appointment of former British Gas service manager Phil Pallister, 0800 Repair plans to build on the reputation it has with the public for quick and efficient household repairs, and make the move into offering servicing for gas appliances.

Phil takes up his role as the new managing director of 0800 Repair’s gas services arm this month. He said: “0800 Repair is an expanding business, and this is the perfect time to join.

“There’s just too much confusion at the moment with local plumbers and repairmen – one price for a call-out, then different prices for the first hour of work, and changing prices after that. We offer fixed priced labour and repairs, making it much easier for the customer.

“Now that we can offer gas installation repairs, we’re a one-stop shop for the public.”

0800 Repair’s gas services arm will employ around half a dozen people in the North East. The firm intends to take on more staff as demand grows.

Phil believes that customer demand will determine the direction of the business. He said: “We intend to get feedback from what people tell our engineers and use that information to make decisions – letting us do what’s right for the customers.

“This approach will allow us to expand the gas services arm of the business out of the North East, bringing 0800 Repair’s reputation to as many people as possible.”

The North East will serve as a pilot area for the new branch of the company, with plans to roll the model out across the country very quickly.

0800 Repair was born in July 2009 after a rebrand of its previous operation JTM Contracts. Founded by experienced engineers, the company is part of the Pacifica Group, also based in Chester-le-Street, which provides and sells warranties for domestic appliances.

Currently turning over £14m, 0800 Repair hopes to grow this figure to £25m in the next five years.

The company is built on the concept of having employees, franchisees and approved sub-contractors and hopes to develop 150 franchises over the next five years.

Paul Feek, managing director of 0800 Repair, is optimistic about the future. Having launched in the middle of one of the worst recessions for decades, Paul is justifiably proud of the company’s success over the past year.

He says: “I think the company has been so successful because of our ability to adapt to the many different requests from customers and clients. We fit our business around the client’s needs rather than saying they must do it our way.

“We make it very easy for the customer with our ‘one-stop-shop approach’.”

0800 Repair currently employs more than 130 staff at its call centres and has a network of 400 sub-contracted engineers.

It is in the process of creating another 60 jobs for call centre workers over the next two years – 45 of them in Chester-le-Street – as it expands.

The company has a repair centre based in Spennymoor, County Durham; a 25,000 sq ft distribution and repair centre in Elland, West Yorkshire; an IT centre in Surbiton, Surrey, and call centres in Chester-le-Street and Rotherham.


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