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Tradesman News

Not all heroes wear capes

by Steve Bailey | Sep 20, 2019

The self-employed plumber who refuses to charge elderly clients

Having spent years warming people’s homes, Lancashire-based plumber, James Anderson, warmed the hearts of the nation this week when the brilliant story of his not-for-profit plumbing and heating company hit the headlines. 

An invoice from James’s charitable company, Depher CIC, went viral earlier this week, showing a callout charge to a 91-year-old lady with leukaemia as £0. This act of kindness received over 100,000 likes on Twitter and even caught the eye of The BBC, numerous national radio stations and newspapers. Kind-hearted James has even been asked to appear on ‘This Morning’ and has had people reach out to him from all over the world. At Rhino Trade, we were so touched by James’s acts of kindness that we caught up with him to chat about his business model and, to show our appreciation, sort him out with free insurance.

James Anderson Plumber

As it turns out, James has been doing this for years,​ but it’s only now that people have twigged on to his venture - even his own daughter had no idea! So far, his not-for-profit business, Depher CIC, has helped over 200 people in vulnerable positions, making James quite possibly the nicest bloke we know.

But what inspired James?

“It all started back in 2017 when I was asked to do a job, giving a second opinion on a new boiler quote of an elderly gentleman. It took me 40 minutes to notice that the previous engineer had deliberately manipulated the boiler to make it look faulty,.” James explained.

Disgusted that a fellow plumber had conned this poor gent into believing he needed to spend a whopping £5,000 on a new boiler - when in actual fact the boiler was working fine - James decided to take action. 

Like Batman, after spotting and solving this injustice, James vowed never to let anyone fall victim of such a scam. Ever since, he’s been on a mission to provide free labour to anyone in need.

If you’re wondering how James keeps his business running, so were we. James explained that his business is funded by charitable donations.

Not usually one for the spotlight, James said he was humbled by all the attention and hopes his story can inspire others to carry out similar good deeds and will ward off ‘cowboys’ who still, even in this day and age, look to take advantage of those in a vulnerable position.

We were so impressed with James that we decided to give him Public Liability Insurance and Tools in Transit cover for the same amount he charges his clients. Zilch. We also covered James and his company with Tax Enquiry Insurance, meaning that any defence costs and representation would be covered in the event that HMRC was ever to launch an investigation.

We'll be getting in touch with James to offer him his next 12 months of Public Liability Insurance free of charge. Hopefully that can play a small part in helping to keep this running. Rhino.

Rhino Trade is delighted to support thousands of hard-working and honest self-employed workers, like James. We’re also over the moon that he no longer has to pay for insurance.

So there you have it. Not all heroes wear capes. It turns out they fix boilers too!

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