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jaycee331

BG Homecare - Wrong diagnosis & the legend that is PowerFlush - Advice Sought

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Love this forum, been a lurker for ages. Would be super grateful for any advice or opinion offerred. Been in this house for nearly 3 years. Boiler is as old as house, 23 yr old Thorn Apollo. Took out a Homecare contract on the heating and plumbing to keep the old girl goin a bit longer.... on their first visit they dropped the rads due to water quality and told me I needed a PowerFlush (yep that old chesnut).

 

The sample they showed me was of jet black water, so yeah it needs cleaning I guess. But the system was running OK, and I was put off by their stupid £600 cost for p/f. Considered getting an independant to do it, but no big rush... for it's age it's in good shape. There was nowt wrong with the boiler last time I used it 3-4 weeks ago, so I initially put down what happened next down to it being stagnant for a while.

 

So last week it's the boiler's 3rd annual visit. Once getting to the emissions test, the eng. noticed the burner was tripping out and it wasn't staying on long enough for him to get outside and get a reading. He appeared more worried about getting the reading for his paperwork than the fault.

 

Back to the boiler, it would fire, make swishing, bang and crashing noises (not just coming from the boiler itself, quite scarey to me!), then shutdown after 15-30 seconds. The eng. identified the top of the boiler was getting hot, the 'swishing' was the sound of the poor circulation due to the dirty system, blockage(s) of same kind must be causing the boiler to overheat and a safety thermostat was shutting it off. After it cooled again it would come back on and cycle like this.

 

He kept turning it on and off with a theory (which made sense to me at the time, I carried on trying this) that if it can just kick enough and self clear it might be get going again.

This didn't work, so BG left the job leaving with an inop boiler and said I needed a PowerFlush, Magnaclean or both. Being chargable options which I didnt want to commit to on the spot, that was that.

 

So I call a friendly and trustworthy plumber (Gassafe) who has done the odd job for me in the past. I was only after a 2nd quote for a flush. The independant plumber came tonight. Took him 2 minutes to tell the pump was inop and 10 to meter the electrics to be sure it's the pump itself. I watched all his work every step of the way as so deff no funny business.

 

My lucky night, had an exact spec new one in the van, so I now have a brand new pump and fully working system... not straightforward due to stiff non-sealing valves either side of the pump and an airlocks afterwards but he worked it through.

 

So i'm suitably chuffed the old Apollo is back in action, but it's just started dawning on me how huge this alledged negligence of British Gas is.

 

I now owe estimated £100 for callout+labour and £100pump+valves. He thinks I should send his bill to BG!

 

You'll appreciate I feel wronged and upset about this, and don't think i'll get over being out of pocked to this value to get something fixed that BG should have diagnosed, a part that is covered ON CONTRACT without any cost to myself. I want to make both a financial claim and a negligence complaint to Gassafe.

 

Having watched the plumber do his work and absorb what he was telling me, a child could have diagnosed an inop pump if you know what one looks like (I didn't) and was it sounds like (I didn't), but all BG did was leave and only return once i'd committed to a £600 p/f or £300 m/c. BG did look at where the pump is which does beg the question was it incompetence or lazyness.

 

I'm totally open to any input on the following please pretty please!

 

1] Did I screw up badly by paying someone else to fix it before informing BG of their error.

I'm familiar with laws about migitating damages and loss etc, but let's face it they were fair prices, whole job after 6pm. He's also fit Magnaclean for £150 vs BG's £300. Arent they just double the price of everything? But I digress. At the end of the day, new pump or not there'd be the callout.

 

2] Any good complaint routes into BG other than fighting through call centers and general complaints address?

 

3] Any advice around where I could get with Gassafe..

Who would they finger, the BG engineer or BG?

 

Basically, have I got a good case, any handy tips and arguments to use when filing these complaints... Thanks in advance for any input, sorry for the length, and at least if nothing comes of this, others can watch out for this kind of shocking service from BG! I wonder how often they do this... charge for a £600 flush, which fair enough they do, but then on the day they find the real fault and fix also as "part of the service"...

 

Cheers ya'll, jaycee331

Edited by jaycee331
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p.s. I didn't want to hijack the " British Gas & Power Flush " thread with such a large post, sorry if that was a bad

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when did you actually have your initial inspection jaycee, i.e the first service after you joined British Gas?

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Hi Handyman, first inspect+service was 3 years ago when I moved into the house. dirty water so rads off contract on 1st visit. Service the yr after, no issues other than age of installation, then this years service visit when it started cutting out unexpectedly.

 

I've reported it to BG and await a callback.

 

Hoping to have a strong argument for refund of labour costs in leui of callout and diagnosis, parts I wont push for as I should have given them refusal to supply, and whatever goodwill they think a homecare+dual fual customer is worth to them!

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you jaycee,

 

With regards to the problem at hand first of all, if the BG engineer had replaced the pump i'm quite sure this would have fixed the problem. However, BG engineers are under orders that if the repair will need done again in the near future due to an underlying problem which you already know about (ie dirty water damaging the pump, which they told you on the first visit) they wont do it. I think that, going by what you have seen and been told, you may well have the same problem again in a couple of months once this pump goes, so it's not economical to continue to replace parts when an upgrade (p/flush) would eradicate the problem completely.

 

I don't think they will pay you for what you have had done independently to be honest jaycee, as most likely it has just put a temp fix on your boiler.

 

I think the best case you could put is that you were not told on the first visit that we would not fix problems stemming from an inherent problem, and you have paid 3 yrs for a service you now can't use.

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MrHandyman, Thank you very much indeed for the kind advice.

 

So i've been in dialogue with BG and the indy plumber and most of what you have said came up with BG. Have to take my hat off to them for one thing - that if you ring in a complaint a dedicated Complaint Mgr phones within 24 hrs.

 

In the end I had to simmer down a bit when being pointed to the T&C stating that if PF had been recommended and not done, related faults would not be covered. BG also reckon the pump was working when the eng. was onsite. For various reasons i'll forever be skeptical on that one.

 

I do still feel let down though with the fact that when they took the contract on, they were happy to show me my black water sample, refuse to take on the rads but happily bag the boiler/controls/plumbing but failed to draw my attention in any way to the fact that the majority of system parts wouldn't be covered either. If on the following years visit they had said to me "must warn you Mr C, youve not done that PF yet so you're not covered on many items".... maybe a letter to the same effect. Anything pro-active from BG on this would have been appreciated. To this end, I have accepted a small goodwill payment from BG which is to their credit.

 

New pump could fail again soon, only time will tell. But indy plumber says the old was very old. I hope that suggests its not a recurring problem.

 

Anyways.... if you'd forgive me for going OT slightly, I do want to take action to clean the system up so BG won't slap me with this every time I need their help.

 

Their eng. (which I hope wasn't bad advice) said either a PF or a M/C will sort it out. I so wish I could just get BG to do it so it's all BG backed but I just cannot possibly afford to pay their 100% mark ups!

 

So Complaint Mgr says it is OK for me to get independant work done.

 

Indy suggests a non-power flush of drain/fill+chemical/run 2hrs/drain refill+inhibiter and install a M/C to clean up any left overs. Sounds like a decent cost/value option to me, but second of third opinions would be brilliant.

 

Thanks again Handy for taking the time out...

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Glad to hear you're getting somewhere Jaycee.

 

Another avenue you may be interested in exploring is that of escalating a field related complaint. In my experience, some of the technical managers in the field can sometimes (as a goodwill gesture) offer discount on any work BG may do for you, if they have caused / mishandled a problem in your system.

 

To be honest, the person who phoned you back is most likely a call centre manager, with limited knowledge about technical complaints. A field complaint will get you a phonecall / visit from the area technical manager at the very least.

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When you look around for power flushing quotes make sure the company is a member of the powerflush association - like me. 8-) You don't want just any idiot fooling around with your system, they can cause more damage than they fix.

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Hmn is that so ?

Aside from responding to a thread last active in 2009,It would seem to me that your post here,as with your username is a little vested dont you think ?

I trust that you have read site rules in consideration of posting.

The CAG site team equally often display a vested interest when there is a need to be flushing out registered users who may be here to fool with OUR system.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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When you look around for power flushing quotes make sure the company is a member of the powerflush association - like me. 8-) You don't want just any idiot fooling around with your system, they can cause more damage than they fix.

I am also a member of the powerflush association not sure that you need to post that here?.

Seems like BG was right to me and you did need a powerflush and if you had it done then the pump may not of failed .sorry but true.

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