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False non-existant postcodes

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 05-Aug-07 06:49:59 PM

Well, some have already related their search experiences (or lack thereof) with the Government's official database of accredited Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) and Home Inspectors (HIs) in the past. But since the launch of Home Information Packs (HIPs) on August 1st 2007, one would like to believe that Landmark - the company charged with running the database and website - might have sorted all the problems out...

Not so, it seems!

Try a postcode search for "PO5" (a Portsmouth postcode) and you'll find some curious entries (see screenshot):

Screenshot of the Portsmouth postcode search result

Note the postcode: ZZ99 9ZZ? Where on earth is that?

(A fresh search for ZZ99 9ZZ returns no results at all.)

Looking at the address details for Mr Michael, and you see there aren't any!

Screenshot of absent contact and address details

Although it does reveal that he will cover the "PO" postcode, you can see that the postcode listed on his address, is our curious friend: ZZ99 9ZZ

Public Confidence

This is the database the public can use to locate their nearest DEA and, at the same time, be assured that they are fully accredited and, as a consequence, know they have also had their criminal backgrounds checked.

It doesn't stop there however...

Need a DEA for an EPC?

Try searching for the surname: "Hampshire". And you'll find that same postcode again.

There is also no telephone number listed, and clicking on the name reveals no address or contact details whatsoever - It doesn't even state any postcode coverage either!

How on earth is this poor soul to get any work?

How are the public to derive any confidence in procuring an Energy Performance Certificate from this particular DEA? Assuming they can somehow telepathically contact the person to enquire in the first place, that is!

Poor Database Design and Administration

This is really bad database administration, I have to say, and is surely working against the public interests.

Even if, the entries are placeholders whilst further information is collated (and that is the poorest excuse I can think of as a possible defence), they certainly should not be displayed publicly.

[Update: I've since discovered that 'ZZ99 9ZZ' is used in some industries as a standard kind of "placeholding code". Meaning what? It can mean anything to those behind-the-scenes - It still means nothing to us however]

Double Counting?

Another search for the surname "Ellis" returns the same individual twice because they are accredited with two different accreditation schemes... one listing has a telephone number, the other has: "0" (zero).

(And look! Beneath those results we see those sleeping 9's again: ZZ99 9ZZ!)

If the Government have relied upon this database for its official numbers of accredited DEAs, then this should surely signal a crisis of confidence.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. Sheesh!

PS... If you are an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, read DEAs Register Now to find out how to get listed here.

Get listed on the DEA locater - FREE!

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