British Gas Customer Service

  Newuser939 18:53 21 Oct 2011

Does anybody else feel that British Gas' customer service is going from bad to worse? My sorry saga goes like this.

I have a Homecare Plan to cover my central heating. When it went on the blink, I booked an engineer's visit for today, Friday morning. At about 11.00am I got a phone call to say that the engineer would probably be delayed until the afternoon. At 5.20pm, I get another call to say that he won't be coming at all today and that the next available slot is next Wednesday! In other words, British Gas mess up and I get sent to the back of the queue.

No small business would dare to treat its customers like that. Obviously my next task is to find another company offering central heating cover, but which has a decent reputation for customer service. There must be one - mustn't there?

  birdface 19:02 21 Oct 2011

British Gas' customer service is going from bad to worse[I don't think they can.]

Wait till they tell you that your central heating system is knackered and they can no longer get the parts for it.

Then switch your central heating off over Xmas till you decide to buy a new system from them.

My opinion a firm not to be trusted.

  canarieslover 19:40 21 Oct 2011

Three years ago a British Gas engineer serviced my mother's boiler as part of her Homeserve plan. He tried to leave with the boiler not working when it had been working well until he 'serviced' it. He didn't know that the boiler had an overheat cut-out that had tripped due to it being on maximum heat for approx. 30 mins. Fortunately I had been there to let him in, as my mother was bedridden, and I was not going to let him leave my mother with no heating in the middle of November. A couple of phone calls later he had the information that he needed to reset the boiler and two minutes later he was on his way. Had I not been there he would have left without doubt. I used a local gas fitter the following year and saved her money as well as having less aggravation.

  Wuggy 23:03 21 Oct 2011

Just to show the other side of the coin on Wednesday night I came home from work to learn that when my central heating had come on there was a bang from the fireplace (back boiler) and the relevant contact breaker had tripped and we had no heating or hot water. I also saw that the fuse had blown at the control unit. Reset breaker, replaced fuse and same thing happened again. At 0800 next morning, Thursday, I phoned British Gas who arranged a visit that same afternoon after 12 noon. At 1.30pm got a call from engineer that he would be with me in about half an hour. At 1.55 engineer arrived. I explained problem, he stripped down the boiler and discovered a charred cable. He replaced the cable and then asked when boiler had last been serviced. I told him over a year ago and that I was going to arrange when my time off from work suited. Told me not to bother and that he would carry out the service while he was here. He was as good as his word, serviced boiler and fire and left about 3.15. I really don't think I can get better service than that and I certainly consider my Homecare monthly payments well worth the money.

  sunnystaines 06:25 22 Oct 2011

we have had the 3star cover for years, mostly good service, but their call centre staff are becoming dreadful, they give you a time slot but tell the engineer its a all day option, had this a few tines recently.

  Newuser939 09:48 22 Oct 2011

Hi, Wuggy,

I am pleased that you had such a good experience. British Gas do, of course, have a seperate system for emegencies. There might be a case for treating the correction of their mistakes as akin to an emergency instead of adopting the rather cavalier attitude that they did with me. A number of businesses (particularly smaller ones) would regard correcting a mistake as an emergency.

  Wuggy 11:19 22 Oct 2011

As far as I know it was treated as a normal breakdown. Nobody had any idea, least of all me, that a charred cable was involved until the engineer discovered it. I maybe just got them on a slack day, but, nonetheless, I was grateful for the speedy service as it was bloody cold without it.

  brindly 15:16 22 Oct 2011

I have a condensing boiler and had to call them out last winter. It tuned out to be a frozen outlet pipe but they also tried to leave with it not working properly. When I discovered it might be the outlet pipe I had to fix it by cutting the pipe above the elbow where it had frozen the engineer said he wasn't allowed to climb ladders, he just watched me fix it, I am 72 years old. The boiler has worked properly ever since, I also managed to get my £50 call out charge back.

  ICF 17:55 22 Oct 2011

Have been with their service plan 4 years and have used it twice both times they came on time and repaired the boiler.I can't fault them.

  octal 19:29 22 Oct 2011

I wouldn't let British Gas anywhere near my installation, British Gas don't carry out the repairs or servicing themselves, it is all farmed out to contractors, so if you get good service you are lucky.

All my business goes to a local guy that we have known for a long time, sadly the old engineer died we had been with for 30 years, the new engineer took over his work and we are more than satisfied and his charges are reasonable.

So hunt around and find someone that is local and can be recommended.

  BJN 08:37 25 Oct 2011

Well until 4months ago I have used BG servicing for my heating system for over 20 years. At my old house no problems at all, I moved nearly 9 years ago and asked BG for a service agreement for my new home. They came to inspect the heating system and the engineer could not be bothered to open our loft hatch and look at the hot water cylinder. There was easy access loft ladders,light and loft floor boarded out. Then a week later a letter saying they could not cover the system due to no access to hot water cylinder.I telephoned to complain but was fighting a losing battle the as they said engineers report was right and that was that. A few weeks later the boiler failed and as it was very old back boiler we decided to install a new combi boiler. During the installation by a local heating company a BG supervisor called to reinspect the access to the hot water cylinder. He was agreed the previous inspection was incorrect and offered to cover the system. I gave him a polite refusal and informed him of their poor previous employees visit had lost them the contract.

The new combi worked perfectly and was annually serviced by the local installer for the next 4 years before he retired. It was at this point and I don't know why I contacted BG for a service contract, they called and the boiler was accepted.About 18 months ago the hot water was going from hot to cold intermittently.Called BG they said it was a blocked heat exchanger and it was not covered by their service agreement,we paid them to use an ultra sonic bath to clear blockage, after boiler was working again they dropped into the conversation I needed to install equipment costing over £600 to stop it happening again as they could not fully clear the blockage. I declined the offer and all worked well for the next18 months.I've since found out a new hot water heat exchanger costs £46 and BG charged me £175 for the ultra sonic bath.Would have been better and cheaper to fit new unit

4 Mouths ago I changed to Scottish Power for my gas/electric and under the agreement they included boiler cover. They inspected system and gave me option of when I wanted an appointment the next week to suite my arrangements and all was OK boiler accepted. On Saturday the hot water problem reappeared intermittent hot water, called SP they sent engineer Monday who inspected they system and ordered a new heat exchanger and water sensor. I'm awaiting a call today to say when parts are being delivered and fitted.

From my experience of BG I'd avoid them in the future very expensive my cover increased each year to £250+ before I left them. SP service so far faultless and their cover seems better as they cover parts BG don't.My experience with BG was not good over cover and charges! Others may not agree as a large company is only as good as it last employees visit? and BG last three for me fell below expectations.

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