I need some advice please for my mum (she's 85), sorry this post is long but have put as much detail as I can.
My mum has a boiler cover plan with YourRepair. It covers annual servicing. The boiler is about 12 years old and has been working fine. The service was carried out last week – YourRepair subcontracts the work to local plumbers. The engineer came last Tuesday. Whatever work he did resulted in the boiler pressure showing low and he reported 3 faults, saying he didn’t have any authorisation to fix anything but that the boiler was in a safe condition to be left even though the red button on it had started flashing. His report says it passed visual inspection and told my mum he’d left it in a safe condition despite showing low pressure and the red button flashing.
That evening, by brother detected a faint smell of burning. My mum went to bed and discovered the radiator behind her bed was mad hot so she went downstairs to turn the thermostat down (did this action save her life?)
Next morning mum noticed the boiler had stopped working. Spoke to YourRepair who arranged another engineer to come on Friday.
My mum started to feel sick and had difficulties breathing Wednesday and Thursday – and actually ended up calling an ambulance and was taken to hospital on Thursday. At the time we didn’t link any boiler problems with her feeling unwell.
2nd engineer from a different company came on Friday and gave a red notice to say the boiler was in an unsafe state and turned it off. He said he’s never seen a boiler being left in such a state as the internal wires had melted – hence the burning smell detected.
Spoke to YourRepair and they arranged a 3rd engineer from a different company to come out on Sunday. My brother was there and recorded the conversation on video. The engineer said that the 1st engineer had replaced a seal, but in doing so he had failed to tighten a nut which meant it was not compressing down on the heat exchanger, meaning the heat was escaping through the gap and systematically burnt through all the cables. He shook the inside to show how loose it was. He said that the boiler was ruined and mum would need a new one.
I spoke to YourRepair on Saturday and he said that there was nothing they could do and that mum would have to claim through the 1st engineer’s public liability insurance, as YourRepair legally couldn’t claim because it wasn’t their property damaged, it was my mums. They said a claim would typically be 3-4 weeks assuming it wasn’t contested so we would need to go through this process to claim the cost of a new boiler. All the while leaving my mum without heating or hot water.
I tried explaining that my mum’s contract is with YourRepair so we expect them to sort it – it’s them who brought in the 1st company, not us, so we expect them to sort it. But they maintain that the only solution is for us to claim under the 1st company’s PL insurance.
I’ve spoken to YourRepair again today who have organised for the manufacturers of the boiler to come on Wednesday as they seem to think they can fix the boiler. We’ll see. But if they can’t we’re back to square one.
There is a clause in the YourRepair contract stating “We may at any time transfer any or all our rights or responsibilities under this agreement to any other organisation. We will tell you as soon as we reasonably can if we do so. We may also subcontract anything we have agreed to do under this agreement. None of this affects your rights.”
Does that clause exempt YourRepair from being responsible for the cost of a new boiler?
Do we have no choice but to claim through the first company’s PL insurance ourselves?
My mum is 85 and this whole episode is stressing her out. Not to mention serious health and safety concerns - there could be a link to her being hospitalised if the boiler was omitting dangerous odours and if she hadnt gone and turned the thermostat down that evening and if the boiler didn't have inbuilt shut off safety features, the boiler could have caught fire overnight and burnt the house down..... What ifs, but the potential consequences are scary...
I’ve reported the first company to Gas Safe. They seem to have Gas Safe registration but in talking to the 2nd and 3rd engineers who have come out, they’ve both said they’ve never seen such a mess made to a boiler and can’t believe the engineer didn’t tighten that nut.
The report from the 1st engineer and the pictures he took clearly show that the nut was loose because of the gap in the screw thread. So we have enough evidence to pursue a claim as his own images show the nut that he failed to tighten. But we just want YourRepair to take responsibility and fix or replace the boiler for her.
I would like to know what our rights are. Thank you.