Part of British Gas unregulated?

  bof:) 14:01 29 Jul 2007

Hi all, we have a Homecare policy with British Gas that covers all of our central heating system.

We asked on Friday (27th) for a call out and were given a time of 12am - 6pm the following day.

Having waited until 5pm we rang them to check we were still getting an engineer calling, we were told "yes you are still in the system for a call".

By 10 to 6 it was obvious we would not be getting a call so we rang again only to be told that "the system had been down most of the day", we mentioned it was still running ok at 5pm when we had phoned earlier.

The call taker said this could not have been so, and we needed to rebook a time for a new visit.

I asked to be compensated for the fact that I'd waited in all afternoon on a Saturday and the engineer had not turned up. (I usually dont do this but thought I'd give it a try).

I was told by the person on the phone that because they where HomeCare and not part of British gas, they were not regulated and as such didnt have to keep appointments.

They were not obliged to make any type of payout for not keeping an appointment.

When the engineer arrived and fixed the boiler, he said he was actually from Centrica.

So, has any one else tried to get compensation for a missed appointment with British Gas?

Does anyone know if British Gas HomeCare are regulated or not?

Thankk you all,


  Kate B 15:12 29 Jul 2007

I have to say that paying for that kind of cover strikes me as a route to penury and frustration. I'd rather put the money I don't spend on a Homecare policy in my rainy-day account and spend it on the reliable bloke who looks after my boiler if it goes wrong. He can't always come on the same day if I call him, but I don't have to deal with a frustrating call centre, I know the guy, he turns up when he says he will and I'm not giving a chunk of money to a company that doesn't really care about me. My bottom line is that I don't buy insurance I don't need.

  Pine Man 18:14 29 Jul 2007

Couldn't agree more.

I deal with the same sort of person. A year ago he gave me a quote for a new heating system which was £1500 cheaper than British Gas. The system was due for its first service last week and the charge - nothing. Future services will be £40 at todays rates and he turns up within a couple of days of getting a call.

These sort of contracts are a rip off IMHO.

  Stuartli 18:25 29 Jul 2007

Most forms of extended warranty are a waste of money.

  bof:) 19:52 29 Jul 2007

Hi all, thanks for the advice but being on a limited budget and never seeming to have enough free money to have a rainy day account I use the Homecare service. Plus the boiler is now over 20 years old and I know it needs replacing eventually.

Unfortunatly I am not in a position to pay call out charges and cost of parts etc.

I know you are going to say that I'm already doing so but paying each month is the option I have at the moment.

But does anyone out there know if British Gas Homecare is unregulated? As per my original question.


  Kate B 21:07 29 Jul 2007

Pay the money each month into a savings account rather than to British Gas.

  bof:) 12:53 30 Jul 2007

ok I give one knows the answer to the question I actually asked. :-(

  TopCat® 13:36 30 Jul 2007
  TopCat® 13:38 30 Jul 2007

As I think BG use an agency it might not be regulated as BG is. TC.

  spuds 14:19 30 Jul 2007

Considering that HomeCare are well listed within British Gas literature, and the engineer stated that they worked and was actually from Centrica, then I would suggest the answer is available from: British Gas is part of the Centrica Group of companies. Centrica plc, Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 5GD.

All British Gas companies have a published code of conduct. Try writing to the above address or click here for further help.

Would mention that a boiler of 20 years may not have serviceable component's in the eyes of British Gas, in which case they could void the warranty, as possibly per their terms and conditions. If you contact Defra or your local Energy Saving Advisory office or similar government sponsored outlet, you may find that you could be entitled to a free new or replacement boiler, central heating system plus house insulation, if you fit into a certain criteria, like over 60/65 on low income or on certain benefits. I would suggest that you check this out, you could be in for a pleasant surprise!.

For information on the government Defra/Warm Front grant 0800 952 1555 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm).

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