When is a fault not a fault?

  v1asco 12:52 16 Dec 2007

Curious one this.

I have a warranty with a big insurance firm for my dishwasher. The on/off button would fail to work occassionally and twice it stopped mid programme. Fearing this could lead to a bigger fault I called in the Engineer. He arrived 2 days late (first appointment was missed because his van broke down). Discussed the problem with him and he pressed the button and the machine worked. No fault, he promptly declared and his instructions are quite clear if the thing works on arrival, declare no fault and touch nothing. We discussed this a bit and off he went.

I thought this strange, previously with other call outs/insurers at least an effort was made to look for loose wires etc.

I decided to contact the insurers, maybe they did not know this was happening. There then followed a long and frankly absolutely useless discussion. It seems that there definition of a breakdown is the thing must not be working on the day. I agreed that an intermittent fault is difficult to find but surely at least an effort should have been made. No, was the abrupt reply, we don't do that. Getting nowhere with the Gent I then asked for the additional telephone helpline offering help and assistance with my Care plan, as stated on the insurance agreement. Seems its the same number, so where does additional come into it?

Eventually as I was told to get an engineer of my choice for a second opinion, no fault my charge. Fault theirs.

I called the Office of Fair Trading. They suggested a letter by recorded delivery with the following

How can a declaration of no fault be declared when no check was made on the internal mechanics/electrics.

I had requested a service becuse the machine was not working properly, something I am entitled to do as I have paid for a product. Why was this not done?

They advised me very strongly not to get another engineer in as this may invalidate my insurance, especially as the instruction would be difficult to prove as it was verbal.

I will most probably write, but thought I would let you all know so you can check your warranties.

Before the big warranty debate starts (hope it doesn't) I have them because I am away from home foe 8 months of the year and they normally provide peace of mind and hassle free repairs for my Wife (at least they did when I was with British Gas)

  Spark6 15:37 16 Dec 2007

As you have mentioned the intermittent fault is, in your opinion, down to the on/off switch, why don't you ensure that the switch is broken? Not the most diplomatic advice I know, but the suspect component would have to be renewed.

  Totally-braindead 16:17 16 Dec 2007

I find it rather stupid that a company would send a repairman out to an intermittant fault with instructions that if the item is working ok when he visits to do nothing.
If its intermittant then surely he could guess whats causing the problem and attempt a repair such as renewing the switch for example or even as you say check the wiring.
I realise it would cost them for the switch but it can't be that much and I would have thought it would be better than sending the engineer out time and time again which is what would happen if it fails again.
That said I suppose they are perhaps hoping the problem will not reoccur.
Only thing you can do is keep calling them and if they get enough calls then clearly they will have to do something.

  Pamy 12:32 17 Dec 2007

Totally-braindead, "I realise it would cost them for the switch but it can't be that much"
Just as a point of interest when my washing machine door catch was faulty it cost me £75 for a replacement.

  Boghound 11:12 18 Dec 2007

I thought it was a "joke" when, years ago, PCA started to review cameras but now it seems "white goods" are now on the list!!!!

  v1asco 12:46 18 Dec 2007

Sorry, can not understand your meaning.

If you are refferring to my thread it is not a review of a product, it is a discussion about service received.

I started it because even though I will be writing to the Company and I have received very good advice from OFT it is a consumer issue. These sites are very informative and the more discussion the better.

It need not have been my dishwasher. The Company also insures computers. Can you imagine the hassles with them finding an intermittent fault then?

  Boghound 21:22 18 Dec 2007

"Sorry, can not understand your meaning."

That's obvious!

  v1asco 22:39 18 Dec 2007

Still can't

  Spark6 23:52 18 Dec 2007

Have you made any progress with this problem? I still feel you should ensure there is a definite fault when you next call in the *engineer*!

  jakimo 00:39 19 Dec 2007

I may be wrong but I think Boghound is under the impression that "Consumerwatch" is a computer matters only forum only.

  Boghound 07:13 19 Dec 2007


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