British Gas, Can I have a grumble about them?

  Bingalau 16:52 06 May 2008

Just want to shout to the rafters about the incompetence of British Gas.
Our gas boiler/central heating system failed on Sunday night, so I phoned straight away and told them the situation, wife ill in bed needs heat. I need a shower as I have been grafting all day. The washing needs doing etc. Can I have an engineer around to fix it. As I pay the breakdown maintenance I couldn't see a problem. But they obviously can because it's a Bank Holiday innit? We can send someone out tomorrow about 10.00 hrs. because it has gone seven o clock (19.00 hrs) I said what about the 24/7 care as promised? Sorry but the earliest we can get to you is tomorrow (Monday). O.K. the man turns up about 11.00 hrs. spends an hour checking the boiler and announces that it needs a new fan. He orders it there and then by phone but it will not be available until tomorrow morning, (Tuesday) "I will pick it up and be here by 09.00 hrs." quoth he.
By noon there still is no sign of him so I phone up again and am told. "Sorry, but he will be there between mid-day and 16.00 hrs." Guess what? no appearance, so I phone up again and am told after about fifteen minutes on the phone, listening to that rubbish music and holding for different departments, that they have traced the engineer and he will be here within the hour. I wouldn't mind betting he turns up in a couple of hours but forgets the fan. I've now just cancelled my direct debit to British Gas. I am going to phone up tomorrow and ask for a rebate.

I feel a bit better getting that off my chest, it might save me taking it out on the engineer.

  wee eddie 17:08 06 May 2008

You're lucky. Try getting hold of one if you haven't got Insurance. Most will turn up their nose at the offer of a Gold Card because it does not offer sufficient Credit!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:17 06 May 2008

Always thought the cost of those maintenance packages as very high, you could buy a new boiler every 3years for the same price.
You appear to be paying for a service you are not getting.
A decent gas fitter / plumber would cost less in the long run.

My boiler has failed 4 times in 20 years with same problem , thermo couple burns out, natural wear and tear. I keep a spare one handy as its always fails Xmas or bank holidays.
I've fixed myself every time, not messing with gas but with electrical connection therefore do not feel as if I am breaking any regulations.
When it fails with anything bigger I will renew it.

  jakimo 17:21 06 May 2008

my ch boiler has just given up the ghost(2 years old)and I'm not covered by any service contract,and what a run around I'm having (wheres all those Polish plumbers)? have they all gone home I wonder

  spuds 17:24 06 May 2008

I would not cancel the direct debit arrangement yet. You might have problems getting the heating system back in action.

There was a program on television last night, about increased complaints against utility companies. It showed one person who had the bailiffs, a locksmith plus gas engineer with a court warrant, authoring forced entry, so they could disconnect the flats gas supply, due to non-payment for gas services. Only one problem, the property had no gas connections as it was all electric, and no matter what the occupant stated, British Gas wouldn't believe him.

  Bingalau 17:37 06 May 2008

I feel better already after reading these replies. I have already had Warm Front visit regarding cavity wall insulation and they told me then that we qualified for a new central heating boiler. So I said "Yes please" and it is down to be fitted on the fifteenth of this month. It seems it comes with three years free servicing too. If I was on my own I would tell this gas engineer not to bother.

  Bingalau 21:45 06 May 2008

Well after two more phone calls to find the whereabouts of the engineer. He finally turned up at 18.45 hrs. Within half an hour he had finished and gone. Told me the boiler wasn't performing as it should be in this day and age. Asked if I had thought of buying a new one. I said "Yes" and left it at that. So I will probably have them phoning me tomorrow to try to sell me a new one. I shall put the phone by my radio and leave it there to play them some music for a while.

  Woolwell 22:07 06 May 2008


You need to check how long the warranty is. My boiler came with 2 years warranty plus for a sum less than one year of BG service an extra 3 years warranty and this includes the annual service.

  Legolas 07:59 07 May 2008

I'm not sure how it stands in England but in Scotland if you are an OAP you can get your central heating system tested and if it is under performing you can apply for a complete new heating system. My brothers father-in-law has just had his central heating system renewed at no cost to himself and as I stay with my father who is 87 I will be applying for the same thing.

  georgemac © 08:49 07 May 2008

Perhaps I should get my mother to move in with us - LOL - only joking

I have a mate who is corgi registered plumber - very handy when the boiler breaks down. He now advises all his customers to take out a service contract when he installs a new boiler - reason is he always carried spares but says it is not cost effective now given the wide range of boilers in the market.

My gas bills are now huge, but still can't bring myself to get rid of my very reliable but over 10 years old boiler, I am sure new boilers would be more efficient and perhaps if it was reliable would pay for itself in time.

  Bingalau 09:31 07 May 2008

Thanks for all the advice about boilers etc. It just so happens that "Warm Front" are coming to fit a new boiler in a couple of week's time. They are also doing the cavity wall insulation, all for free. So I can't grumble about that. I believe they also said that the boiler comes with three years free maintenance. So I can dispense with British Gas maintenance for at least three years. Then listening to some of the nice people on here I am under the impression that it will be cheaper to keep my money in my pocket and pay for repairs as necessary. Any advice on this point will be welcome. Live and learn is one of my motto's.

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