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Broken Boiler Remuneration

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I'm looking for some advice as to how to handle a problem I have had.

 

A few weeks ago, I had an offer from our Energy Supplier (Bulb) to install Smart Meters for free.

I thought 'why not' and arranged the installation.

The installation process was sub-contracted to Siemens.

 

The Siemens Engineer arrived as arranged and installed the new meters.

As he was leaving, I noticed that the boiler (Gas Combi boiler) was now not working (we had not had any problems whatsoever since living in the property for the last 5 months).

 

He looked at the boiler, and said he thought it may be a problem with the control board of the boiler, which may have been exacerbated by switching the electrical supply off and on again, but that he couldn't repair it himself. He left the house and went to his van to call his manager.

 

A few minutes later he came back inside and said that his manager had advised that we arrange a repair ourselves, and that Siemens would pay us back for the cost of the repair. As he put it 'your boiler worked before we did anything, and now it's not working'. This seemed fair, and we asked for the name of the manager who had authorised this, and were given the name (let's call him Mr X).

 

He told us to call Bulb the next morning when the phone lines opened, to raise a complaint so it could be passed on to Siemens to tie it all together so that they could arrange to pay us back once we had sent the invoice. This was all said to us verbally by the Siemens Engineer relaying the discussion to us.

I arranged a repair, which ended up costing £580, and confirmed that it was a fault with the control board.

 

I went through the complaints procedure, and supplied Siemens with the invoices they asked for, and also allowed them to come back again to inspect the work that had been done.

 

After about 2 weeks, I heard back from Siemens, who said that after conducting an investigation they didn't feel the boiler breaking was their fault.

They said that the fault with the boiler would have occurred at any time the power was switched off, and so was not their responsibility.

Meaning they would not pay the repair costs.

 

I asked about us being told by Mr X via the Siemens Engineer that the repair would be paid for by Siemens, and they said that both the engineer and the manager (Mr X) could not recall saying this at any point. As this offer was made verbally, it is a case of their word against me and my wife who was also present at the time.

They have passed the complaint back to Bulb, and I am waiting to hear back from them about what they want to do next, but am expecting them to deny responsibility for the cost of the repair.

What should I do next?

 

As I see it, if Bulb say they cannot do anything, the next step would be to escalate to the Ombudsman, but I am not sure where I stand about the offer of remuneration being verbal with no record of it being said? I really don't want to be left footing the cost of the repair myself!

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There is no ombudsman who will deal with this. I'm afraid that you're absolutely right it is your word against theirs. I'm really not too sure as to what to advise.

If you wanted to you could bring a small claim in the County Court and I anticipate that there will be a settlement but that you wouldn't get all the money that you are asking for. It might be a reasonable example of a case to go to mediation and I can imagine that to avoid costs, Siemens would agree a compromise.

Unfortunately when this kind of thing happens, you need to get a written confirmation such as a signature before you enter into the arrangement. A late to say this now and I realise that what I'm saying is not really very helpful and not good news.

If you did see them in the County Court then you would have a chance of getting all of your money – but your chances of success would probably be no better than about 65%, in my view. You would risk losing your court fee and your hearing fee if you lost the case. This will probably be about hundred and £50 or so in total.


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They said that the fault with the boiler would have occurred at any time the power was switched off, and so was not their responsibility.

Meaning they would not pay the repair costs.

 

really .........

 

i'd be demanding the inspection report of the old board.

showing how they came to this decision

does sit right with me.

 

 

that's a bit like a motor retailer saying well never turn off the car as we know the battery is stuffed.

 

 


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