Beware Calorforce.

  Kevscar1 13:01 21 Sep 2008

Been having troubles with my swimming pool heater.
Pilot light comes on OK but takes 2 or 3 minutes for gas to come through and ignite. When it does a few seconds later there is a pop and everything goes out.
Got onto Corgi for a reg engineer and they gave me Calorfoce's number so I ring them and explain the problem. I was told they would send someone out to fix it but would have to wait 2 weeks.
Guy arives and asked me what the problem is (thught they might have told him) so I explain and show him. He asked how long I've had it and when was the last time it was serviced. Told him 3 years not serviced. He tried it himself and said he thought that when it lit off it was so powerful it pulled the pilot flame away from the probe causing it to switch off. Said a service would "PROBABLY" fix it. I asked how much was a service and he aid he didn't know as he worked on indoor heaters. Then said he would get someone to ring me next week as he had to go because if he was over the half hour at all he would have to charge me for a full hour.
So he then wrotes me out a bill for £95 and I have to wait for someone else to give me a quote for a service which might not fix the problem.
My gripes are Calorforce should have told me that they charged £180 + VAT per hour before arranging an appointment. And why did they send someone out who wasn't actually going to do anything when from the information I gave them they could have told me the same thing over the phone if they had asked 2 questions.

  spuds 14:05 21 Sep 2008

This practise is nothing new, you only have to look in the telephone book or yellow pages for 'local' instant call out tradesmen, usually advertising with a freefone number.

A few years ago (before we had house insurance emergency assistance cover) we had a leaking hot water tank. Seeing the problem and thinking that an expert might be the best and quickest solution, we selected and rang one of the companies advertised, offering local branch assistance. 'Local expert and tradesman' arrived having travelled 40 miles from his home address (on agency work!), looked at job and decided what parts he needed, vanished for more than an hour after visiting a local plumbing merchants 'just up the road' for a couple of regular plumbing parts, because he didn't carry any parts at all in his car. 'He' did the job, with me acting as an assistant and labourer, and I was presented with a final bill for £340 + VAT. A job which I have since found out would have been done truly by a 'real' local plumber who would have charged no more than about £130 total.

It still pains me to think of that 'emergency' repair.

Regarding Corgi, I had a problem with a central heating and a Corgi member. Corgi was totally useless in providing help,advice or assistance.

  Kevscar1 15:25 21 Sep 2008

Couldn't find paperwork for people who installed heater. Phoned every swimming pool and propane gas company within 30 miles. No one qualified to work on them so had to go to Corgi.

  kindly 18:26 21 Sep 2008

If I were you I would get back onto British gas and complain. It is a sub contractor that they supplied therefore they should be responsible or have a duty of care for the customer. Also write to Calorforce and complain to them. tell them you are taking it further because you feel you have been mis informed and charged for something you have not recieved.
Call at the CAB office and explain to them what happened and see if you get good advice from them, you usually do, they are good.

  oresome 20:07 21 Sep 2008

A guy turns up and doesn't do anything to fix the problem.

Why did you pay him?

  tullie 20:23 21 Sep 2008

Probably because its a call out fee

  silverous 20:40 21 Sep 2008

I always ask if anyone offers to come out whether it is a free quote or any obligation. Had a similar issue with Dynorod recently where they claim to give "free quotes" but if the work needs doing and you let them go away not doing the work they charge for the callout or something along those lines.

  Kevscar1 21:06 21 Sep 2008

Calorforce are part of Calor Gas. I don't think they are anything to do with British Gas.

I haven't paid them yet. He just did an invoice which I intead to complain about.

  kindly 18:16 22 Sep 2008

Sorry Kevscar, I read it all wrong. So really you have no recourse then. I would say it is down to you to make sure about the call out charge. Saying that though you should of been imformed if there was a charge. Try to come to some agreement with company. Tell them you are skint and offer a lower amount, see what happenes.
Sorry I cannot be of any use to you.

  oresome 18:30 22 Sep 2008

Don't offer them anything until they do what you're paying them to do. That is, send a competent engineer to fix the fault that you described to them.

I could have suggested that a service might fix the fault, but that I couldn't service it.... for free.

  Noels 19:01 22 Sep 2008

With my domestic gas boiler. Called on our local CORGI engineer who though the Thermocouple might have gone. However the first thing he did was to use a can of air to blow across the jet. This shifted the dust that was blocking the jet and cured the problem. He didn't even charge as it only took less than 5 minutes. It was well worth the cost of a pint.If you have got or can get a can of air from Jessops etc to blow dust off lenses. It may be worth a try yourself?

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