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Boiler Breakdown Repair Claim declined


Lunar69
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Good evening, 

 

I am currently in dispute with my Boiler Breakdown cover Company -  247HomeResecue.  I have enclosed the terms and conditions in case someone would like to check them over.

My claim for boiler repair was declined by 247HomeResecue, Reason given - my boiler is Beyond Economical Repair (BER). They have sent me the calculations and confirmed the BER amount is £270. Their own Engineer quoted £440 to do the repair , so they declined stating the boiler was BER. But in the same telephone call they offered to phone the manufacturer of the boiler direct and organiise the repair at my full cost.  The repair was organised by them at a cost of £246, which I had to pay in full. 

 

I would like to get my £246 refunded as I think it should have been covered by this plan.

 

My reasoning is -

I can see nowhere in the plan that the repair can not be outsourced by them to the manufacturer. 

I can see nowhere in the plan that if they defer they are not liable for costs.

 

That being the case is there any way I can sue for Breach of Contract? 

 

This Company is not covered by the FCA and have been unhelpful at every stage. I have followed the complaint process tot the final stage and I am now at the point of issuing a Letter Before Action. To date the Company have refused my claim in full. 

 

I would appreciate any advice/help on any legal advice that can be offered to me/ next step advice / chances of success.

My boiler terms for date I signed up.pdf

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Do you have evidence that the write-off value is calculated at £270?

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In that case you must be absolutely right and I'm astonished at the story.

 

Quote

Dear Sir/Mdm

Reference number XXX

You have calculated the write off value of my boiler (BER) at £270.

You organised a repair which cost £246 and which I paid at your insistence.

On the basis that your own engineer – acting for you – estimated the cost of repair at £440, you have refused to reimburse me the cost of repairs.

It is clear that your reliance upon your engineers report is self-serving and calculated to enable you to escape your contractual obligations to pay for the repair of my central heating boiler.

If you do not reimburse me my £246 within 14 days then I shall sue you in the County Court and without any further notice

Yours faithfully

 

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Thank you BankFodder for your letter.

 

I have threatened Legal action before and they haven't moved one inch. If I have to submit a claim via the Small Claims Court - what legal 'precedent' would it be? Breach of Contract? Unfair Contract? 

 

Does anyone see a get out of jail card for 247HomeRescue in the Contract I supplied?

 

I have read it and I can't see anything but I'm not legal minded and this would be my first 'claim' so I'm a little nervous. 

 

Thank you.

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Why have you made a threat not carried it out? If there's anything calculated to undermine the credibility it is that.

Never bluff.

They haven't moved because they don't believe you – and so far it looks as if they were right.

Your cause of action would simply be breach of contract.

Spend a couple of days reading up on this forum about the steps involved in taking a small claim in the County Court. It's pretty straightforward but it's worth being in charge of the steps before you begin because that will give you confidence.
Once you know the steps and you are certain you are going to go ahead then send them the letter of claim.
Then find the County Court money claim website and start preparing your claim. You will register on the website, then you will follow the steps and when it comes to explaining what has happened, post a draft here.

On day 15 click off the claim. Don't muck around.

I rate your chances of success extremely high – better than 90%.

Frankly I can't imagine they want to go to court for this and they will put their hands up once they realise that you are serious – but you will have to show them that you are serious by issuing the claim.
Never ever threaten legal action unless you are prepared to carry out your threat.

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Thanks BankFodder for your help.

 

I am about to issue the Letter Before Action, I've only got the Final Response email from their Complaints team today,  but just wanted some reassurance before doing so as Im not legally savvy and the terminology in the contract is a little confusing.

 

 

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Well I've suggested the letter of claim above.

It's up to you if you want to send it

I've suggested to you that you spend a little bit of time reading up before you do.

 

 

 

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Firstly, never threaten legal action unless you are willing to take it!

 

Can you post up the 'Final Response' you received from them today as a pdf with all identifying detail removed.

 

I've read their T&C you posted and it has a frankly baffling description of how it calculates the BER:

 

BEYOND ECONOMICAL REPAIR - In the opinion of our approved engineer, we are unable to repair your boiler.

 

We use an industry standard formula to calculate the BER value, using the boilers purchase value, age, make and model. The table illustrated below outlines how the BER value is calculated. The boilers current market value is calculated by looking at the purchase value and applying a 10% depreciation on this value for each year that the boiler has been in use (age of the boiler). We may provide repairs of up to 80% of the boiler’s current market value.

 

Version 3.0 Boiler Type Vaillant Eco-TEC Plus 938

Purchase Value RRP £2,521.00

Age 5

Depreciation 10% for each year boiler has been in use

Current Market value £1488.63

Threshold £893.18

Cost of Repair £350.00

Outcome Repair Authorised 

 

I eventually worked out how they got from the original price to the 'Current Market Value' [it's not straight line depreciation, for the mathemetically minded it's  (((((£2,521 * 0.9)*0.9)*0.9)*0.9)*0.9) = £2,521*0.59049 = £1,488.63].

 

But what does 'Threshold' mean?  Not defined or explained anywhere. It isn't the 80% of the boiler's current market value that they refer to. £893.18 is 60% of of the current market value of £1,488.63, not 80%. 

 

So it's hard to tell from their TEC what they mean when they told you "BER limit £270".

 

Do they mean that £270 is their calculation of 80% of the boiler's current market value? In which case  £246 you want back is well within their limit. Do what Bank Fodder recommends and see what they say.

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Final offer emails-  there is a typo in it - I am Not entitled to a refund in point 1, I did send my email back saying I accept as his typo said I was eligible - but he quickly sent another email saying it was a typo and I was not entitled to a refund. 

 

 

Email 1

 

Quote

 

Thank you for your response. We are sorry to learn that you are not happy with the provided resolution. 

In regards to your further query, we can confirm that we are now authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, your matter does not relate to a contract of insurance, but in fact a plan. Therefore, you do not have the benefit of reporting this matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

In terms of your queries, please be advised as follows: 

1. Your request: “Refund of the cost you charged me for the boiler repair of £246.” 

We have clarified and summed up your concern regarding the repair cost of £246 in our previous response dated 2nd December 2021. As we instructed the manufacturer who attended your property on 13th November 2021 and completed the job successfully. Therefore, you are entitled to a refund. 

2. Your Request: "In addition, an exgratia payment of £100 for the poor handling of this repair and complaint."

We have clarified and summed up your concern that you logged the claim online and provided your tenant's contact information. As per our record, our relevant team contacted your tenants only on 7th November, 10th November & 11th November. We shared the exact information with the manufacturer so that you or your tenant would not fail to take advantage of your appointment and to ensure matters were resolved swiftly without any further delays.

3. Your Request: "To be freed from my plan immediately with no penalty charged."

We have clarified and summed up your concern regarding the cancellation in our previous response dated 26th November 2021. Either you can provide a 30-days notice or for immediate cancellation, there will be a cancellation fee of £144.

However, as a resolution to your complaint, we can cancel your plan with immediate effect as a gesture of goodwill by waiving the cancellation fee of £144 that you would normally be required to pay as per the terms and conditions of your plan.

Please be advised that we maintain our position and our further gesture of goodwill offer in the sum of £30 remains open to you for acceptance in the full and final settlement. 

Please note the following points as discussed regarding your concerns:

1. The cancellation fee of £144 has been waived and offered to cancel your plan with immediate effect.

2. Offered a refund of £30 as a gesture of goodwill.

 Once again, we are sorry for the inconvenience we caused you and hope you will find that the points above offer an appropriate explanation and a fair resolution. 

 

 

 

Email 2

Quote

 

As you mentioned, your boiler was repairable and it got fixed by a reputable nationwide company for the total cost of £246.

In regards to the misunderstanding, we have never addressed your boiler as unrepairable, we always advise you that it was beyond economical repair, in which we use the boiler's purchase value, age, make, and model. The calculation illustrated below outlines how the BER value is calculated. The
boilers current market value is calculated by looking at the purchase value and applying a 10%
depreciation on this value for each year that the boiler has been in use (age of the boiler). We cover
repairs of up to 80% of the boiler’s current market value.

As you were concerned about the breakup and calculation of the repair cost which you were offered in the first place, the detail mentioned below:

Boiler Type: Ideal (Mini C24, 24KW Combi Boiler)
Boiler Value: £566
Market Value: 272.72
BER Limit: £270.72
Part: £320.37
Part + VAT: £384.44
Labor: £54
Total Cost of Repair: (Part + VAT: £384.44) + (Labor: £54) = £438.44

In regards to the repair, our technical team offered an option with the manufacturer (Ideal) repair for £246. As we instructed the manufacturer who attended your property on 13th November 2021 and completed the job successfully.

There is not a breakdown for the manufactures offer, as it is cheaper than the original cost of the repair. We offer manufacturing repair for a fixed fee.

Therefore, please be advised that we maintain our position and our gesture of goodwill offer in the sum of £30 remains open to you for acceptance in the full and final settlement.

 Once again, we are sorry for the inconvenience we caused you and hope you will find that the points above offer an appropriate explanation and a fair resolution.

Under the terms of our Complaints Procedure, this is our final response.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello

 

This is my draft Small Claims form explanation of what has happened. Having read the guide I'm conscious that it should be a brief explanation. Any advice on bits to add/delete appreciated. The 15th day is this Friday.

 

Thank you.

 

 

I submitted a claim to the defendant to fix my faulty boiler on 7th November 2021. The defendant declined my claim on 9th November 2021 stating reason as their Engineer had deemed Boiler was Beyond Economical Repair (BER).

Defendant telephoned to advise me of the claim decline, at same time, offered Boiler repair by manufacturer as an alternative solution at a cost of £246 to me in full. This repair was arranged by the defendant via a telephone call with myself and I paid them on the telephone by credit card.

 

The defendant breached their contract by

a)       Failing to repair my boiler.

b)      Failing in their duty of care to correctly calculate the BER.

c)       Applying unfair pricing to both part and boiler costs within their BER calculations that unfairly advantaged the claimant.

d)      Unfair contract terms in advertising a free annual boiler service on their website but once purchased, within the contract terms then bind the claimant to an additional minimum 12 month contract once the offer of the free annual boiler is taken up.

e)      On the 30th November 2021 the claimant sent a Subject Access Request to the defendant. The defendant failed to comply fully to this request.

f)        On the 15th December 2021 the claimant sent another Subject Access Request to the defendant for the missing information. The defendant failed to comply fully to this request also.

 

 

 

 

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if thats your particulars of claim

 

thats not CPR Compliant.

 

dx

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you Dx

 

I can only find instruction on this site to state the basic facts of the case. Im using the online service. Since you posted I have re-read and searched and can not find any other pages that suggest more to add. Would you kindly point me in the direction of the page that would give me better guidance on what to add, to make it CPR Compliant.

Thank you.

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Have a look at this proposed particulars of claim and see if it is correct, if there is anything missing, and if you are prepared to sign it off as a statement of truth.

 

Quote

The claimant had a boiler breakdown repair insurance contract with the defendant – reference number XXX in respect of a tenanted property at XXX address. The defendant was fully aware that a tenant was in place.

On XXX date the claimant's boiler broke down.
In breach of their contract defendant refused to honour their obligations to repair the boiler but recommended to the claimant that he should have the boiler repaired at his own expense using a repair service which was recommended and organised by the defendant.
In view of the cold weather and mindful of the interests of the tenant the claimant had no choice other than to have the boiler repaired at a cost of £246.
The tenant was without heating or hot water for a period of XXX days and the claimant was obliged to remit a rental payment of £50 plus a goodwill payment of £20 in respect of the inconvenience to the tenant.
The claimant seeks reimbursement of £246 repairs, plus £50 plus £20 plus interest pursuant to section 69 of the County Court act 1984+ costs.


 


As a matter of interest, what date did you send in your letter of claim?

 

 

 

Also, how long did this go on for before the boiler was repaired? Did you incur any additional expenses such as heating et cetera? What were the temperatures like on those days that you had no heating?
Did you have hot water?

Edited by BankFodder
edits in red
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And before you send this off, I'm wondering if you would like a little extra fun and a bit of extra compensation because I suddenly realise that these people are an insurance company and regulated by the FCA

LP.247HOMERESCUE.CO.UK

 

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Thank you BankFodder.

 

My email to them, giving them 14 days before action, was on 16th December 2021. (All our communication has been by email or telephone calls.)

 

My claim was made on 7th November. The boiler was fixed on November 13th. The tenant was left with no hot water and no heating. We refunded the tenant £50 rent and gave him a gift-in- kind of £20.    247 Homerescue have offered £30 compensation, immediate cancellation of policy and to refund £59 in unused premiums (the offer was made with no caveats), so I would like to claim these all at the same time. 

 

247 Homeresecue are now regulated by the FCA but they weren't when I took the policy out and as its a plan and not insurance, the FCA said they would not get involved. 

 

I do have a voice recording that they sent me under the SAR request, where the Customer Service Agent says that they are unwilling to pay out more than my policy cost. I have listened to it a few times and Im pretty sure that is what she said, I questioned her on it in the call and then she denies saying it. I have played it to my husband and he agrees with me that she did say this. Can I submit this as evidence too? They supplied the recording. I can transcript that section (the call itself is 30 mins long but that section is about 5 mins long.

 

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Okay we'll skip the FCA stuff then.

Why do you want the policy cancelled?

Does home rescue know that the policy was intended to cover a rented property? In other words might they have been aware that it was a rent paying tenant that was going to suffer rather than you?

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Why cancel? I have no faith left in this Company at all. The more I have dealt with them and googled them, the less I want to deal with them. They have appeared on the BBC TV Rogue Traders program - which does not surprise me now.  They constantly send me emails about their free annual boiler service but hidden within this contract it states that if you take up the boiler service, they can then tie you in for another 12 months. I think I am best shot of this contract all together.

 

Yes, they did know it was a tenanted property and worse still I advised them on numerous occasions that he was in his first week of a new job and that they were not to telephone him, but to contact me, regarding getting this boiler repaired. But on numerous occasions they kept phoning him and the tenant complained to us about it, potential to risk him losing his job. 247 then continued to do so. They do state in there last email to me 'we are sorry for the inconvenience we caused you'

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Thank you.

I understand that you feel the need to cancel – but that assumes that other companies are better. They aren't – they are all the same.

If you're going to deliver a good slap to this company, then I see a basis for staying with them. Their preference would be that you leave them and go and cause trouble for somebody else. If they want you to go then as far as I'm concerned, that's an excellent reason to stay.

Give them the lesson and then stay with them so they know that in future if they try anything funny, they know what's coming. Otherwise you will have go to another company that will behave in some similar way at some point and you will have to start the lessons all over again.

Not only that, you may have to answer in some future application form whether or not you had a previous policy which has been stopped or cancelled. This kind of thing can cause you problems later on.

I have to say that I don't particularly see anything wrong with offering you a free boiler service in return for renewing your policy for a further 12 months. After all they aren't operating a charity so I don't think there's much to complain about there.

If they knew that it was a tenanted property then they could easily foresee that there will be a loss of rent and also the ex gratia payment is not unreasonable so I think we should that that to your claim.

Stand by for edits to the proposed particulars of claim which will be in red


 

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Please let us know if the proposed particulars of claim does the job.

When you issue the claim, they will be quick to put up their hands to the £246 but they will try to grind their heels in on the rest and they will probably say that the payments were not reasonably foreseeable.

I would advise you to stand your ground. If the only thing they eventually try to contest is the £70, then it's most unlikely that they will really want to go to court over £70 and I think eventually they will put their hands up to the lot.

It may will go to mediation – but stand your ground there as well. Don't compromise.

For good accounts as to the mediation journey, read up on the Hermes sub- forum because there are lots of excellent mediation stories there because it is the way that Hermes always goes.

Come back here and ask questions

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Thank you BankFodder for your help and I appreciate your viewpoint on the situation. I will certainly bear this in mind, I hadn't thought about the complications of cancelling a policy going forward.

 

Do you have a viewpoint on the voice recording of the agent? I know its not relevant at this stage but as I will have to start transcribing, I thought I would ask you now.

 

I shall sleep easier tonight. Thank you again.

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There will be no problem using a transcript of the recording if they say something which is untrue and you then need to show that they are telling porkies.

I doubt whether it is necessary to transcribe the entire piece. Just the one or two minutes which are relevant to your claim – and which are relevant to disprove something which they say.

For the moment, you should simply make sure that you look after the recording and keep it well backed up. Let's see what happens.

I'll be interested to see what their defence is. I expect they will want to go to mediation and they will want to compromise. I expect that their ideal compromise will be to pay the £246 without interest and not pay you the 70 quid.

If you do your reading of the mediation stories, you will gain confidence about standing your ground.

There's no way they can win this case. Their reasoning is just really quite perverse.

If it comes down to it would you like to talk to somebody in the press. I think this story is intriguing enough that it might make a little piece of scandal in one of the rags

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