BOXT are delighted to announce we are now working with Vaillant boilers!
The BOXT network of accredited installers is now expanding to include Vaillant engineers.
Email from BOXT to installers
The tone of the email reads as though this is an official partnership. The message explicitly says “working with Vaillant boilers”. Naturally, the announcement caused quite a stir with Vaillant installers who took to social media to air their grievances.
Since Bosch acquired shares in BOXT, Vaillant has worked hard to position itself as a manufacturer that supports their installers.
Vaillant was quick to react with an official statement denying a partnership with BOXT.
We can confirm that @vaillantUK is NOT working with @BOXT_CLEVER and has not shared any installer personal data with this organisation. We firmly stand by our ethos of proudly supporting our installers. We understand that you have questions and we will issue a full statement soon
— Vaillant UK (@vaillantuk) October 16, 2019
It would appear from this tweet, that Vaillant has no official partnership with BOXT.
BOXT has seemingly crafted a clever statement to make it appear there’s an official partnership in place. This would, after all, make it easier to get Vaillant installers fitting for them. One of the most important parts of BOXT’s business model is their network of installers. Because BOXT doesn’t hire their own installation engineers, they rely solely on sub-contractors, without whom they don’t have a business.
BOXT’s pricing is causing a huge strain on the industry. Companies are having to drop their pricing in order to complete, and as a result, their profit margins are slim and at times non-existent. It’s a fair question to those companies installing for BOXT; “why are you supporting the single biggest threat to your business?”.
I understand that these businesses are using BOXT as a way to top up their own work, but it’s shortsighted and detrimental to the future to their business and the industry.
How are BOXT able to offer Vaillant boilers from £1,695?
If we do a breakdown of parts for BOXT’s baseline Vaillant boiler with NEST controller, the parts alone come to just short of £1,500.
- Vaillant ecoTEC plus 430 heat only boiler: £899
- Vaillant horizontal telescopic air/flue duct: £77
- Nest 3rd generation: £160.59
- Fernox TF1 omega filter: £85.05
- Center CB complete magnetic scale reducer: £16.99
- Installer fee: £400
Total: £1,886.35 Inc. VAT
Yet they’re offering this exact package for £1,695. This doesn’t take into account overheads such as staffing, marketing, insurance, etc.
In an article I published last year looking at BOXT’s business model, I estimated their marketing costs per boiler to be around £285.
Whilst it’s true BOXT – according to companies house – have lost £2 million last year. It is possible that they’re willing to make a loss on each install to gain market share. But this would be a £400+ loss on a per boiler installed basis, without taking their additional overheads into account.
Are BOXT receiving contract support?
To my knowledge, Vaillant hasn’t released an official statement as to whether they’re giving BOXT contract support (rebate). Even if the rebate isn’t coming directly from Vaillant, it’s possible that BOXT have secured a deal, using a merchant as a proxy.
It’s safe to assume BOXT have deals in place with other manufacturers for contract support, so it wouldn’t make business sense to sell Vaillant boilers without a rebate deal in place.
I think it’s safe to assume BOXT are receiving a rebate, but the mechanism for how it works is unclear.
Traditional home heating companies also have additional overheads that they need to bake into the cost.
- Surveyor basic + commission
- Van + fuel + insurance
These prices are impossible to compete with without making a loss, which isn’t viable for the majority of companies that don’t have significant investment.
An interesting side note; I am yet to get BOXT’s online system to give me a price for a Vaillant boiler.