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British Gas - Leaves me cold


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I have a service agreement with British Gas. Towards the end on November, I contacted British Gas customer service, because my central heating had failed. On December 4, they sent an engineer who diagnosed that the system was clogged and needed flushing.

 

As the system had been flushed in 2002 at a cost of over £500, the engineer established that it was still under guarantee, and stated that British Gas would undertake to flush the system free of charge. He also promised to get the flushing organised, and said we would hear from British Gas shortly.

 

After waiting for a week to hear from them, I phoned them 3 times on December 11, on each occasion they promised to call me back the same day. When they had not responded by December 12, I phoned them yet again, and they said they would get on the case. I phoned them again on December 14, and later in the day received a reply to my call of December 12 (from the call-centre), to say that the engineers would be in contact.

 

I called them again today (December 18), and the call centre operative said they could not get in contact with the engineers by phone, but they would email them. Needless to say they have not responded, and it appears that My Wife (who is 74 years old and in very poor health) and I, will have to spend Christmas with no heating.

 

I have been unable to locate a complaints department on the British Gas website (house.co.uk). I can only contact their call-centre, but each time I come up against a brick wall.

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BG In all its guises offer a lamentable service to consumers. 'Flushing' a CH system wouldn't cost £500 in itself, are you sure this was not also the cost of an annual service contract? If they had the goodd sense to put rust inhibitor into the pipework once it was refilled you be good for many years to come, but they wouldn't. They are quick to condemn (more opportunity for sales), and their customer service is an oxymoron.

 

I'd suggest you send them a letter by Recorded Delivery, stating that you are far from happy weith the service provided to date and in the absence of any engineer, you require a refund of the premium paid. That might get some action.

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You have a srvice agreement with them, they have an obligation to mend your heating within a reasonable period. I had a problem with them last xmas with heating. At the time I had my mother staying, and 3 children to keep warm. They would have left us freezing until well into the new year had I let them..

 

Phone them, tell them your wife it unwell and of no age to be left in a cold house, tell them you want them to provide you with heaters until they can get their @rses into gear and mend your heating. If they tell you can't do this, they are lying. They have a batch of heaters they provide to customers in cases where they can't mend the heating, they can be delivered to you within hours. They will also make a payment towards running the heaters, you need your last 2 bills, and when you receive the next one they will pay the difference of running the heaters.

Mr & Mrs Bigboy

 

14/09/06 - Prelim letter sent

15/09/06 - Prelim letters received in Leeds & Canary Wharf (our branch)

29/09/06- LBA Sent

02/10/06 - LBA's received in Leeds & Canary Wharf (our branch)

13/10/06 - Received part offer - rejected

16/10/06 - MCOL issued

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First post on this great site.... Hello to all :D

 

I'm sorry to learn of your poor handling at the hands of British Gas but unfortunately is par for the course. As has been mentioned, their customer service is non existent and as for flushing your system for £500.00 :eek:

 

I issued proceedings earlier in the year and cancelled two Home Care contracts as they are poor value for money. In my case they failed to turn up for an annual inspection as contracted and when they did turn up they placed an 'At Risk' sticker on the boiler. The wording in the letter I received from them subsequently led me to believe this was nothing more than a ploy to have me spend thousands of pounds on a new boiler.

 

I tested my theory, pulled the 'AT Risk' sticker off the appliance and had an independant CORGI registered engineer carry out a 'Landords Safety Certificate' test. The appliance passed.

 

Outcome: I recovered 15 months HomeCare charges plus the cost of the independant test and court costs. As part of the settlement BG wanted me to sign a 'Tomlin Order' which I refused and further confirmed my suspicion that they are ripping off thousands of customers.

 

My advice, find an independant heating engineer recommended by a friend or relative and cancel your agreement. In the long run it will be much cheaper.

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Guest Battleaxe

Doesn't British Gas purport to have a Duty to Social Care policy for elderly people.

 

I would ring my MP immediately, explain what is going on and what has happened and as the government introduced this Social Care for the Elderley, I think BG might just get a kick up the proverbial jacksy over this.

 

They do have supply of heaters they provide to keep the houses of the elderly warm, so what is happening is unconsiable (sic).

 

I would also investigate the £500.00 for the so called flushing of the system. Ihad ours done last year and it cost me less £200.00 and I had a new circulation pump installed. I wouldn't touch BG with a barge pole, certainly not after my neighbours experience with them and their so called Home care package.

 

This is not much help for your situation, but first MP, and then BG corporate office and ask to speak the Head Honcho. Oh, maybe your Local Council social services MIGHT be able to help and definitely the CAB.

 

Sorry I can't do better than this.

 

Please keep us posted.

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Battleaxe is correct. As you are elderley go straight to your MP and secondly contact Age Concern. In the electricity industry, if your heating fails, it is an "urgent job that requires attention within 24 hours. BGAS are ripping you off and now is a good time to take them to ourt as they have not honoured their contract. As for charging £500 for flushing the system a total rip off. I did our system myself and although it took almost a full day, did not cost me more than £10 and it is still working perfectly 3 years later.

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Send a letter of complaint asap to Energywatch, also go to their website and email a complaint energywatch: Home Page.

 

Energywatch

Head Office 4th Floor

Artillery House

Artillery Row

London

SW1P 1RT

 

Up until this week I have had problems with BGAS for several months. They enforced legal proceedings on me for money I didn't owe them. As I was getting knowhere with them on the phone, I was advised to send a letter of complaint to Energywatch. I did this and Energywatch replied within days, and a few days later my on going dispute with BGAS has come to an end.

 

If you get Energywatch on your side British Gas will sort your heating out very quickly. I hope they do anyway. Good Luck.

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I wouldn't hold your breath if you expect Energywatch to be useful in all cases. I had a slam dunk of a problem, a misreading resulted in a bill for £2,870 when it would usually be £54. No sense out of BG, promises from Energywatch, but their local office were given the run-around. BG treat them in the same regard as customers, with contempt. The best solution is to move, I went with EDF and never looked back.

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Many thanks for all your suggestions. I contacted British Gas yesterday, December 19, and told them I was going to contact EnergyWatch.

 

They called me back today with an appointment to fix the heating on January 2, 2007. Result!!

 

Once again, thanks for all advice.

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