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HA Agent shut gas off/couldnt carry out service? not due yet *UPHELD* but happening again!

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today I arrived home to find a notice for my attention in the main foyer of my block of flats

from the company who do my annual gas check service.

 

They have turned off my gas supply at the meter because it is at risk as my appliances have been unserviced.

 

My gas appliances were last checked in September last year (so ten months) and all was OK.

I was told to expect to hear from them in August this year.

 

They normally send out a letter a couple of weeks beforehand saying when they will be coming out.

I have not had anything through the post.

 

They usually stick a card in the main foyer if they have been out and were unable to gain access with details of how to get in touch.

 

I have not seen a card saying they have been prior to today (not that I have been expecting one but I normally check the foyer most days just in case).

 

As far as I am aware this was their first attempt.

 

I have checked my meter and they have stuck a "do not use" sticker on it.

 

A quick check suggests that I do indeed have no gas and no hot water (as that runs off the boiler).

 

So my question is can they do this and where to go from here?

 

I can't do anything tonight as they only work office hours but I am really annoyed.

 

For all they know, I could be vulnerable or have small children.

 

Any help would be much appreciated.


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Why not report to your supplier/transporter that someone has tampered with the meter a

nd they need to send someone out as an emergency.

 

As you weren't there when it happened, you didn't give permission and you don't know who tampered with it.

 

Use of the words 'tampered' and 'safety' should get a quick response.

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urm they cant do that...they are only the service agent

 

that I assume is contracted by your HA>

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Why not report to your supplier/transporter that someone has tampered with the meter a

nd they need to send someone out as an emergency.

 

As you weren't there when it happened, you didn't give permission and you don't know who tampered with it.

 

Use of the words 'tampered' and 'safety' should get a quick response.

 

Thank you for that idea, I did just try my energy supplier (managed to get in there just before closing time). I was given a 24 hour helpline, but I was advised that they would be looking into who cut it off and why, so I guess I am currently back to square one there as they will only tell me what I already know.


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urm they cant do that...they are only the service agent

 

that I assume is contracted by your HA>

 

dx

 

Yes, that is correct, they are contracted to my Housing Association.


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I know this may sound silly. If the meter is still there why not just turn the gas back on!

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then you are within 12mts they've no authourity me thinks

 

i'm gonna move this to the residential section

 

there are more knowledgeable ones there.

 

is it not just the silver lever handle that's been set to off?

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I know this may sound silly. If the meter is still there why not just turn the gas back on!

 

It's not silly - I'm the silly one who doesn't understand things like this!

 

I did get in touch with the 24 hour helpline I mentioned a few posts up,

 

but they felt it was a housing association matter

(I neglected to mention I already knew who stuck the label in the meter box

but the guy felt that it was not an energy supplier issue).

 

He asked me to check whether the emergency control valve (or whatever he called it) was set to off,

but the box is outside and to be honest I've had enough going backwards and forwards

so I will check it first thing tomorrow. I don't need it anymore tonight.


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Oh, and thank you dx for moving the thread and changing the thread title.


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Hi Good Sister

 

First you need that Gas back on so phone up that 24hr contractors number and insist/demand that the contact the HA emergency callout number which they will have as the HA has to provide a 24hr on call number to them as any HA does this for emergencies and in your case this actually is so don't let them fob you off.

 

Note everything down in writing when you contact them again name if fobbed off demand to speak to supervisor.

 

Next you need to Make a full written Formal Complaint (title it as this) to the HA as contractor failed to inform you in writing of any appointment, failed to put a card through your door and cut off your Gas Supply to the property without your knowledge.

 

Put the dates and if you have it a photocopy of your last Gas Safety Inspection Certificate.

 

Also ask for copies of the following documents:

 

1. Complaint Procedure.

2. Annual Gas safety Check Policy & Procedure.

 

You now require clarification as to why your Gas was cut off without any warning not even a letter from the contractor explaining they were attending on that specific day and time and how the HA is going to remedy this as a matter of urgency.


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DON'T turn the gas back on yourself, if there is a leak you and the block may disappear in flames.

Get action from HA tomorrow.

If you see anyone 'tampering' with meter ask to see their GasSafe ID card.

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Have an update.

 

My gas is being reconnected first thing tomorrow morning (they wanted to do it today but they couldn't give a time so I would rather wait than sit around all day. I've only just got back from holiday so I can't be taking any more time off work than necessary). They will be doing the annual gas check at the same time.

 

The contractor said they cut off the gas as per my housing association's policy as they have visited three times (!) Goodness knows how they let me about those visits.

 

I have asked my housing association for a copy of the complaints procedure and their annual gas safety check policy. I will be making my complaint to them in writing but will be reading through the gas check policy first so I know how I should have been notified and how many times before I was cut off. I am not sure where I have placed my last certificate but I know it was done 6th September 2013.

 

Thanks to those who have offered help so far, if anyone has any other suggestions in the meantime or anything else I might need for the complaint, please let me know.


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Hi Good Sister

 

Remember in your written complaint to ask them for copies of the letters the contractor sent about appointment/access to property.


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Hello again,

 

Silly question time.

 

I am now in receipt of my housing association's complaints procedure.

 

However, it is marked with "Next Review: June 2014."

 

Does this mean it is out-of-date and should I be pushing for the 'latest' version

or should I just make reference to the fact it has not been updated in my complaint?

 

You would think for an organisation that effectively pushed me into having my gas service six weeks early

that they would have their house in order but there you go!

 

They are apparently sending the annual gas safety check policy and procedure separately.

 

Thank you in advance.


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I always thought that they could only check the appliances that belong to them i.e. heating and if it was your own stove, they would not be able to insist that it has a safety certificate?

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Hi Good Sister

 

Just to clarify for you that Complaint Procedure is not out of date although due review June 2014 but you could point out the review date and ask this if this review is taking place


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Hi Good Sister

 

Just to clarify for you that Complaint Procedure is not out of date although due review June 2014 but you could point out the review date and ask this if this review is taking place

 

Thank you stu007 for clarifying. I am putting together my complaint over the weekend so I will find a way of putting that in without trying to detract from the issue at hand.


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I decided to check with my HA today about whether the annual gas safety check policy was on its way (really want to get the complaint out now), after being passed from HA to the contractor and back again, my HA now inform me that tenants are not permitted to have a copy of the annual gas safety check policy.

 

The woman I spoke to said my gas was switched off due to "the law", telling me to Google Corgi's website (which I believe is now Gas Safe, though I could not find anything there).

 

Looks like I am doing this complaint with a hand tied behind my back, unless anyone knows of the law that is being referred to?

 

Thanks.


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The Shelter website says:

 

The gas engineer will take whatever action is needed to make the installation safe, which could include disconnecting faulty equipment. They can also ask the Gas Emergency Service provider to cut off the supply to the property if necessary.

which implies that they *have* to ask the Gas Emergency Service provider if they want to cut off the supply. Did they?

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To me, that reads that the engineer has to ask the Gas Emergency Service provider to do the actual 'cutting off', not do it himself.

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The Shelter website says:

 

 

which implies that they *have* to ask the Gas Emergency Service provider if they want to cut off the supply. Did they?

 

An interesting question - I will try to find out the answer to that one. My HA are very good at evading awkward questions, whilst the contractors say they turned off the gas as per my housing association's policy (presumably the same policy I am not allowed a copy of).

 

Thank you for providing that info from Shelter.


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Hi Good Sister

 

So the HA have used an excuse to not provide the Annual Gas Safety Policy by saying you are not entitled to this.

 

This is a shocking attitude of your HA and is further evidence that your HA is not been open and accountable to its Service Users as they have used that policy against you as a Service User so therefore you are entitled to a copy of that policy to confirm that they have indeed followed there own policy.

 

Therefore you require the HA to clarify in writing only why it is refusing to provide you with a copy of the Annual Gas Safety Policy which they have used this policy against you as a Service User and your require this information to confirm whether the HA did indeed follow its own policy and further refusal raises the question of the HA actually been Open, Transparent and Accountable to its Service User.

 

To inform a Service User with a Gas Complaint to look at CORGI Website when it is now and has been for sometime GAS SAFE not CORGI and they should have informed you of the proper website: http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ you must make a point in your complaint of pointing this out and exactly who the individual was that stated this incorrect information.


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Hi stu007,

 

Thank you for your response. I did decide in the end to send out the complaint today (recorded delivery) as I wanted to send it while everything was fresh.

 

I did however make a point in my written complaint that denying me access to the policy has meant that I have had no option other than raise the whole issue as a formal complaint as I have had no guidelines to have made an informed decision as to whether I had a need to make a complaint. I also asked for copies of all letters and details of all other communications I should have received and if I felt that this had not been fully addressed and that if I felt there were discrepancies between what they are saying I should have received and what the contractors are saying I should have received, then I would be exercising my right to escalate the complaint to Stage 2.

 

I did also ask them to clarify which law(s) they were referring to which state they can cut off my gas supply as I was fed misinformation; the woman who told me to look up Corgi has been named in the complaint.

 

To be honest, the cynic in me felt at the time they have something to hide, firstly by passing the buck onto the contractors and then saying they could not let me have a copy of the policy. But they like to defend their position when they are backed into a corner, so with a bit of luck, they should be supplying me with the info that shows they are in the right... alternatively I expect to be told to go through the contractors' complaints procedure first just to be awkward.

 

Incidentally, when I asked the woman today if she was happy for me to put I had been denied access to the annual gas safety check policy in the complaint I was submitting to the HA, she said I "could phrase it however I liked."

 

That is the level of the customer service I am dealing with here...


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Just remember if they still refuse to give you that policy to just hit back with "How is this the HA being Open, Transparent and Accountable to its Service Users".

 

Now if they try the get out to go through the Contractors Complaints Procedure Point blank refuse to do this as you are following the HA Complaints Procedure and issues with the Contractor are for the HA to resolve not the Service User as it is the HA that contracted said contractor to carry out this work not the Service User.

 

Something else that springs to mind to ask for or check the HA website is look for 'Customer Care Standards' if they have read it and just think of your experience and as you read DID THEY DO THAT if no mark it and point it out to them.

 

Please keep us updated


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Hi Good Sister

 

Just thought Id pop in to see how your issue is going?


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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