Appliance Trade Forums
About the trade forums and how those in the trade can get access to them
The trade forums serve as a meeting place, sounding board, spares and technical lifeline, a soapbox, a business zone, a chat area... in other words, it performs a lot of functions and, it performs these in a closed "trade only" environment. There are various reasons for this which are explained throughout the website in other articles, but we do only allow genuine members of the trade have access to those areas.
There are over 2000 trade members on UK Whitegoods and well in excess of 40,000 members in total at the time of writing. Many of these members helping each other out on a daily basis, for free.
To gain access to this community simply follow these instructions and you too can be having your say to the industry and discover a world that you may not have known even existed!
Access to the trade forums for members of the appliance trade is completely free. As is some other stuff you can find out about below.
There are no subscriptions, charges or anything else that you have to pay for, it's totally free so long as you meet the criteria.
What You Get From UKW
You might ask yourself why you should bother to have access to the trade forums and, we can tell you.
For repairers you get the chance to get help from other repairers on products and problems that might prove challenging and, you get to help others in return completely for free.
You get the latest news and industry gossip.
You get access to the repair search and the ability to use the free online booking system, to link that ti our Rapport software should you wish to and more.
All for free.
For manufacturers and brand owners you get to see what the repair guys really think about products, be it yours or your competitors and the ability to respond to comments about your brand or help repairers that may need it.
Again, for free.
Key Things You Need To Do For Trade Access
If we have any issues with trade access it is almost always down to not following the simple instruction given here. Before you do anything further please read through these and follow the three simple steps below.
We do not need nor will we ever ask for your password for privacy and security.
Register an account on the forum (this is required to assign the forum permissions for access)
Contact us with acceptable proof of your trade status
Please do take the time to read the information here as doing so can save you and us a lot of time!
Who Can Apply for Access
We do take measures to ensure that access to these areas, due to the technical and frank nature of some conversations, is kept to being domestic appliance trade only. We will have to verify that you are a member of the domestic appliance trade before access will be made available to these areas.
You can apply from the following groups as examples:
- Independent domestic appliance repair engineer
- Employed domestic appliance engineer
- Manufacturer of domestic appliances employee
- Warranty related employee within the domestic appliance industry
- Domestic appliance industry call handling company employees
- Domestic appliance industry sales and retailer
Please note the strong focus on people that work, operate or are employed within the domestic appliance industry. Applicants from outwith the domestic appliance industry are most likely not to have access approved if their area of employment or business is not directly related to our industry.
Step 1: Create A Forum Account
To gain access to any of the forums that are closed to the general public you must have an account registered, this is free and open to anyone. However, permissions are required to gain access to the trade areas this is done to secure information that only the trade should have access to. Only trade members will be allowed access and permission will be given to anyone involved in most areas of the trade.
You will have to request access to the trade areas as it is not an automated process and we shall verify the details
Instructions to create an account, if you need help, are given in the first link in the "Information" box to the left of this message or using the "create one" link below the log-in panel to the right which you can see on the homepage. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact site administration for additional help should you require any either by email or using the "feedback" from the navigation panel on the left.
A short video on how to create an account and to log-in to the forums is shown below, just use this link to view on YouTube.
Before requesting trade access please consider if you qualify to gain access to a trade only area. Those that qualify are in or directly related to the industry, i.e. repairers, manufacturers (employees), insurers, engineers, spares resellers and distributors etc. This does not include similar trades.
We do validate the requests every single time and we shall ask for details from you but this is treated with the strictest confidentiality and only site admin have this information. Should you chose to remain anonymous then we will not reveal the identity of any account holder under any circumstance.
We would be a bit remiss if we let non-trade members into a trade only forum, so we do check!
Acceptable Proof Of Trade Status
We often get some confusion over this so to clarify here's a short list of the most common proofs that you are in the trade;
An email address which the domain corresponds to a trade company (Hotmail, AOL, Tiscalli etc. are not acceptable)
Scan of an appliance company ID
Scan of an appliance industry trade invoice with the company details as an account holder
Scan of an appliance manufacturer/retailer ID badge
Scan of an appliance industry training certification in the areas pertaining to appliance repairs
Please note that this list is not exhaustive but does offer a good indication of the type of information that we are looking for.
What not acceptable as proof of trade membership is the likes of, but not exclusively:
Word processor generated documentation (easily faked or copied)
Spreadsheet invoices (easily faked or copied)
Training certificates, invoices, IDs and so on from non-appliance industry bodies are also not acceptable proof of trade status
Pointing to adverts in Yellow Pages etc., you could be anyone doing that
Pointing us to a website and sending an email from another domain
Asking us to track down references, we do not have the time to do this
The appliance trade forms are solely for people in the industry and involved with the industry directly.
We do apologise but we are unable to go chasing down trade references and so on. Should you wish to use a trade referee please have them contact us from a verifiable email address or domain or, alternatively, a member of the site that already has trade status.
Step 2: Contact Site Admin
To organise access to the trade areas please contact site admin with details of your company or the company you work for and admin will enable that feature where appropriate. Please be aware that only genuine trade members will be allowed access and that UKW may verify the details given and also may request references to allow access. Please note that we may ask for proof of your company and verify the details given, identification or some basic questions to ascertain the validity of the request. This also applies to the "Related Trades" and we may require faxed or emailed details to enable access.
Please provide the business details or some proof that you are in the trade or it may delay access being granted, or prevent it from being granted at all.
We also reserve the right to remove account that we feel have been compromised, are being shared by multiple users and any other breaches of site policies.
Why We Have To Ask
We're not trying to tie you up in red tape, we don't want that as we don't want to administrate it, but we do want to ensure that the trade forums are kept "trade only"!
A lot of the information within the trade forums could be considered to be sensitive and not for consumption by the general public. Some of it can be quite controversial from a trade perspective let alone the public. Apart from which there is a lot of detailed technical information that gets banded about that, legally, we cannot offer to the public.
For these reasons alone we have to make every effort to ensure that a request for trade access is a valid one, not only to protect the trade members but also the public as well as ourselves from any potential damages.
It is also grossly unfair to have a trade only section that can be viewed by people that have little, if anything, to do with the industry.
Getting trade access to the forums is only the start of what we do for independent repairers and there is a heap of other things that you may well be interested in or, in some cases perhaps even more interested it!
Engineer Search Facility
Our appliance repair search, which you can see here, is a search system for the public to be able to find relevant repairers to their requirements in their geographical area. It is also widely used in the industry by corporate clients looking for repair companies for contract work.
From September 2011 the engineer search facility will not be available to non-trade account holders as the facility will be tied to your user account. In order to be listed a trade account is a requirement.
This is a service that we provide completely free of any charge to both trade and the general public who are looking for an appliance repair.
To find out more about how to get listed please see this article which explains the facility in far more depth including how you can use this search, just for you, on your own website to save tyou time and hassle and to allow your customers to book your services online.
Call Handling Software
We wrote our own.
Nothing did what we wanted it to do and those that could do what we wanted cost a blooming fortune. For small and micro businesses that wasn't good enough so we worked tirelessly in darkened rooms for months and just did it for ourselves.
The effort resulted in what we call rapport call handling, a system designed for field service calls that is designed by people that work in the business of doing field service calls.
But here’s the best bit for all small repair companies, the basic package that you need just to keep records of customers, calls, what was done and so on is free. Yes, you got that right, free. We do not charge for the basic system at all.
There’s far too much to explain about rapport here but you can learn a lot more about it from the dedicated website here
Approved Engineer Engineer Pages
In order to improve Google rankings and provide repairers that may not have a web presence we added the ability to create your own page on UK Whitegoods.
Again, this is available only to trade accounts and those that adhere to our code of conduct.