Amazon has launched an installation service that uses local tradespeople to install products bought online from its website.
Products that Amazon offers to install include built-in and freestanding washing machines, fridges, built-in ovens and hobs, TVs, projectors, smart home security systems, lighting and thermostats.
Among its plumbing services, it also lists the replacement of taps, sinks, WCs, showers and shower heads and the assembly and installation of bathroom vanity units.
Customers purchasing goods on Amazon can simply choose the installation option, which is added to their basket, and book an appointment when they check out. Amazon said that payment is only taken once the job is completed and is offering a ‘Happiness Guarantee’.
The installation service is being offered to “hundreds of postcodes” in Greater London, South-East England, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Midlands, Southend, Reading, Slough, Southampton, Watford, Medway, Colchester, Chelmsford, Guildford and “other cities in the UK”.
Example prices quoted on the site include replacing a kitchen sink for an “estimated” £183, TV wall-mounting for sets between 51in and 65in, with cables inside a cable cover not chased into walls, for £145 and a built-in washing machine for around £84, although this does not appear to include removal of an old machine or disposal of packaging.
Amazon already offers this service in the USA.
Commenting on the move, Scott Webster, general manager of Amazon Home Services Europe, said: “We’re thrilled to be expanding Amazon Home Services to the UK as a simple way to book trusted, service professionals. Following our successful launch in the US, customers have told us they love the convenience and peace of mind that comes with trusted, professional installation of their products. We’re delighted to be able to offer this same experience to UK customers through a network of handpicked, local tradespeople and service providers.”
But who are these tradespeople? On its site, Amazon says: “Our site offers professional services from a variety of service providers including plumbers, electricians, assemblers, handymen, and home-cinema specialists. All service providers on Amazon have been hand-picked and invited to participate. Each provider is required to carry necessary insurance, licences, and certifications as applicable by law.”
Asked about how Amazon selected its tradesmen, a spokesman said: “The services are sold by a range of hand-picked small businesses, local tradesmen and third-party service providers. Recruitment was initially by invitation-only and all providers were screened through a combination of interviews and reference checks. In addition, we background-check all technicians that will enter a customer’s home and contractually require providers to carry necessary licensing and insurance. We work with a variety of government agencies and third-party companies to background check technicians, we also validate the quality of our providers to ensure they meet a high performance bar.”
On its site, Amazon is inviting professional tradespeople to sign up to be part of its installation service. It cites benefits as being “zero set-up costs, no lead-chasing” and says that it will take a fee of 20% on the proportion of a job up to £1,000 and 15% for the part over £1,000.