Recently, plumbers have been accused of discriminating against customers based on their gender and age. Specifically, women and the elderly were found to have been quoted fifty percent more for simple repair jobs in comparison to middle-aged men!

The research was conducted by supply company Anchor Pumps. They asked ninety plumbers from across the UK to quote a simple job: installing a mixer tap into the kitchen. Three volunteers were used in this study; a man, a woman, and an elderly person. They were requested to contact ten plumbers in nine regions for a quote for the work.

And, according to the results, women and elderly people faced quotes that were up to fifty percent higher in comparison to their male alternatives!

Specifically, the highest difference in quotes was found in the North. Here, women were expected to pay 53% more than men for the same amount of work. Alongside this, elderly people were also found to be quoted 36.6% more than men too.

However, in contrast to this, in London, women were found to get the lowest quotes by around £2. Out of all of the areas though, London was unsurprisingly found to be the most expensive region.

Over the two months the research was carried out, it was overall established that on average, men were given the lowest quotes of around £62. In comparison to this, women were charged an extra £9, expected to pay £71 for the same job.

And, the elderly were quoted even more and were expected to pay £75 for the job. A massive thirteen pounds above the average quotation for middle-aged men!

Anchor Pumps described: “Many of us rely on tradesmen to help us build our dream homes, whether that be building a new conservatory, painting and decorating or fitting a new bathroom.”

“Lots of us are clueless when it comes to understanding what’s involved in the work we ask our tradesmen to do, meaning we readily accept their quotes.”

They added: “Of course, we acknowledge that plumbers and other tradesmen might not be able to give a precise quotation up front, without seeing the work in question.”

“However, it does seem from our research, that on the spot quotations favour men over women and that the elderly pay the highest price.”

Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams added: “It is unacceptable for callers to be quoted different prices for a service purely because of their age.”

“This is truly shocking to hear, and blatant discrimination.”

“Ageism must become as unacceptable as every other form of discrimination.”

The head of policy at the Fawcett Society, who campaigns for gender equality, added: “We’ve seen that women are charged more than men in a range of areas.”

“Given that women working full-time earn on average just 86p for every pound a man earns, it’s an injustice they can ill afford.”

“It’s time to scrap lazy stereotypes about who will be the savviest customer and offer everyone a fair and transparent price.”

So what do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below.


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