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The clue must be in the name

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 Astropath 14 Oct 2021

Morning , 

I've been royally messed around with by British gas over the past few months.  

Totally unacceptable service .  

I've had no heating for 6 weeks and now no hot water for 5 days.

After much , much irritation , despair and low mood over this situation I'm having a brand new boiler fitted tomorrow.

Not by British Gas , they quoted me 2775 for the boiler I'm having fitted tomorrow for 1,895 (also I'll have double the warranty of 10 years)  

The inconvenience , stress and depression this has caused me has taught me to never use them again.

Crap .

I can't wait for a warm house , ability to dry clothes , and wash properly again.

It makes you appreciate things like this that we take for granted.

AP

In reply to Astropath:

Enjoy luxuriating in the time you have before you rejoin the rest of us in taking everything "normal" for granted.

Tis part of the human condition, so easy to not appreciate what we have.

 mostlyrambling 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

You have my sympathies, they left us in a similar situation a couple of weeks ago. The lack of heating wasn't too much of a problem as we've only just started using it again this past week but we had no hot water for 5 and a 1/2 days. Our shower runs directly off the hot water system rather than being electric, so we were reduced to using the kettle to provide hot water for all-over washes at the sink.

I did try a cold shower after two days, trying to remind myself of the supposed health benefits, but I discovered it's not nearly as refreshing in a cold house in October as it is when you return home from a long hike on a boiling hot summer's day! :-D

 LastBoyScout 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

I've had mixed experience with BG in the past. They were ok at a previous house (years ago), but when we moved into here last year, they totally mucked up setting up our account and direct debit and then started sending us threatening letters for a bill we hadn't paid, even though it was their fault! Resulted in us having to pay about £800 to cover all the months they hadn't been debiting us - not to mention the hours wasted on the phone trying to sort the mess out!

 Hat Dude 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

> Not by British Gas , they quoted me 2775 for the boiler I'm having fitted tomorrow for 1,895 (also I'll have double the warranty of 10 years)  

Very similar to when I had a new boiler a few years ago

British Gas quoted almost £1000 more for an inferior boiler, and I'm reliably informed that BG pay less for the boilers they supply than independent fitters

 Astropath 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

For anyone looking for a new boiler , 

I can recommend BOXT 

https://www.boxt.co.uk/

So far they have been brilliant.  

 Slackboot 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Looking on the bright side at least it wasn't an oil boiler!  I'm glad you're getting sorted though.

 john arran 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

The clue in the name?

Despite the clear direction of travel in recent years, surely we haven't yet got to the point where 'British' is synonymous with dysfunctional?

 Astropath 14 Oct 2021
In reply to john arran:

> The clue in the name?

> Despite the clear direction of travel in recent years, surely we haven't yet got to the point where 'British' is synonymous with dysfunctional?

Yes we have,   more than dysfunctional.

An atrocious company. 

https://www.reviews.io/company-reviews/store/british-gas

 lorentz 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

"Urrr...British Ass... Urrrr huh huh huh"

"Mmm Yeh.. Heh heh..  Those guys suck ass, Butthead. Heh heh. We should, like, set em on fire, like when we light our own ass gas. Heh heh"

"British Ass Gas. Huh huh huh.   Coooo-ool."

"Heh heh.. FIRE!! Heh heh."

".....urrrr. Dammit Beavis. Settle down or I'll kick your British Ass, dammit huh huh huh."

Etc etc... 

 Philip 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

That's okay until the gas runs out.

In reply to Astropath:

After years of poor service from British Gas and British Telecom in a previous house, I switched to Octopus for energy and Virgin for telephone/internet in my new house - and so far have had much better service from both. In another place, I had Eon as the electricity provider - they're another company to avoid.

In reply to John Stainforth:

Never mind, I reckon with all these companies going broke the government will soon be forced to renationalise energy supplies, just like they’re quietly bit by bit renationalising the railways.

 Astropath 15 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Day of installation .

installers arrived at 8:15 am 

Old boiler out by 9:15 am 

New boiler arrived just now ready for fitting.

Puts British G(ass) to shame .

:-D

 Astropath 15 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

What's even better is the boiler I brought has now gone up in price from 1895 to 2345.

I've already saved 450 quid 

:-D

 keith sanders 15 Oct 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

And the NHS

keith s

In reply to Astropath:

> I've had no heating for 6 weeks and now no hot water for 5 days.

How on earth did this come about?!

 Timmd 15 Oct 2021
In reply to john arran:

> The clue in the name?

> Despite the clear direction of travel in recent years, surely we haven't yet got to the point where 'British' is synonymous with dysfunctional?

That's what I wondered. On a different note, I've been mildly amused by some of the companies which have benefitted from our weird energy market combined with capitalism to charge people more than they can pay elsewhere for an essential service, now starting to talk about how difficult things are becoming for them, they can't have it both ways. In the right place a free market can be good (I own my own home because a parent did well), but people paying different amounts for a unit of gas (in a manner of speaking) because of how well they can look into things doesn't seem quite right to me since we all need to keep warm, the degree of internet savvy isn't the same in everybody.

Post edited at 20:55
 Astropath 15 Oct 2021
In reply to Toerag:

> How on earth did this come about?!

Home serve decided that they couldn't fix the old one after 4 (bumbling visits) and just condemned it and left.  I'd waited 6 weeks for someone to come and sort it and service it. I've had no heating this term , no hot water since Monday when they decid this out of the blue, without warning.

Their first visit they didn't seem to be aware it wanted fixing although I'd clearly booked a repair on the app.   Wasted a day of someone staying in the house all day for then to turn up.  

Inefficient , expensive, ridiculous,  generally naff. 

 SFM 16 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

We’ve used BG for years to service our boiler with no thought for concern. This year however, a private contractor turned up and was in and out within 15mins. I was working so didn’t initially realise how little time he’d spent on the service(normally a BG engineer is in for 30-60mins). After speaking with BG a BG engineer was sent out and proceeded to dismantle the boiler and replace bits. He was there for 2 hours. When I spoke to him afterwards he said it was all to frequent a scenario because BG fired a load of engineers then tried to rehire them on a lower rate. When folk refused to rejoin they turned to contractors who have tendency to cram as many services into a day as that’s how the contract pays best/works.

Sounds like you have been caught up in the chaos caused by BG’s mismanagement of their service contracts?

 arch 16 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

We've used British Gas for years and found them to be very good, we're even on first name terms with some of their Engineers. Also, they were the only company who would come out when our old boiler's fan broke down, no local firm was interested. Ok, we had to join their repair scheme at £12 per week, but the new fan was £125. So we were already in credit with them. They've replaced other parts of our system over the years and always been excellent. 

We used them for our new boiler as well, and found them competitive.

We've not had call to use them since they've reorganised their workforce, (which I don't agree with) so can't comment on how that effects their service.

 SouthernSteve 16 Oct 2021
In reply to arch:

> We've not had call to use them since they've reorganised their workforce, (which I don't agree with) so can't comment on how that effects their service.

We had water running through the house, but even with their plumbing / heating / more comprehensive repair cover had a 17 day wait last year. They did say to go and get someone else in the interim, but we really struggled to get hold of anyone - lots of telephone messages and emails never replied to. 

I agree the annual boiler service scheme seems to be effective practically and economically, but the customer service, interactions on the telephone and by email and response to our complaint  were lamentable. 

Large utilities do not seem to work for consumer service. My very frail and vulnerable mother had a debt collector at the door at one point - they had been sending the invoices to Edinburgh and she lived in Brighton. I should add she had never lived in Edinburgh and been supplied by these muppets at her previous address.  

Domestic happiness is markedly improved if you know or can access a reliable builder, plumber and electrician. This seems quite a tough ask in many places.

 robhorton 16 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

 We were with them for about 10 years - they weren't necessarily the cheapest but always sorted things out when we did have a problem. This year though when we had a problem they told us they didn't have anyone available and to find someone locally. Luckily we found someone who could come out the next day - suffice to say we'll be using them in future.

As an aside, I recommend a dehumidifier for getting clothes dry.

 Astropath 16 Oct 2021
In reply to SFM:

> We’ve used BG for years to service our boiler with no thought for concern. This year however, a private contractor turned up and was in and out within 15mins. I was working so didn’t initially realise how little time he’d spent on the service(normally a BG engineer is in for 30-60mins). After speaking with BG a BG engineer was sent out and proceeded to dismantle the boiler and replace bits. He was there for 2 hours. When I spoke to him afterwards he said it was all to frequent a scenario because BG fired a load of engineers then tried to rehire them on a lower rate. When folk refused to rejoin they turned to contractors who have tendency to cram as many services into a day as that’s how the contract pays best/works.

> Sounds like you have been caught up in the chaos caused by BG’s mismanagement of their service contracts?

I suspected on 3 visits they were contractors. 

 deepsoup 17 Oct 2021
In reply to SFM:

I was working with a guy who walked from BG die to the new contracts thing. (loving his new job) might have been bad blood but he was talking me when he started a boiler service was a service but it got chopped away over the years to the point where they were told to just brush out the dust, check the flu gas readings and if it was within tolerance move on to the next one without doing a service.

A lady in our office had BG install her a new boiler at £3k. I use a very good independent guy who quoted £1800. She went with BG. She said it was because they offered credit but when I offered that the company could advance her wage interest free she still went with BG because "you can trust the name"

Final BG story I promise. 2008 we moved house. The previous owner moved next door in to their kids house (built a granny flat) and brought forward their contracted BG boiler service to the day before they moved. 2 days later the boiler died. I opened the front and from the look of the staining the tank had been weeping for some time and had given up the ghost. No mention of the leaks on the service report. I had my guy fit a new boiler. 

In reply to arch:

Sounds like BT. The engineers know their stuff and are generally good guys, but as a company BT are absolutely disgraceful in their customer service. Still trying to get compensation for non existent broadband off them 4 months after they agreed to pay it. The last customer 'advisor' basically said tough shit, we aren't paying it because you left us.

Post edited at 18:06
 Maggot 17 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Because I claim a certain benefit, from a list, we got a nice new Worcester Bosch boiler fitted for free. We had to pay £250 to get the ground floor insulated to qualify.

It was a shit install and I reinstalled myself properly.  I'm well happy, got a Gas Safe certified new boiler for about a 6th of the price.

 petemeads 17 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

We updated our unreliable old boiler years ago with the modern equivalent (both Worcester/Bosch) via British Gas, and paid nearly £6,000. It was fitted by a contractor, who was brilliant but reckoned I was overpaying by £2,000 or more, and all was hunky dory for several years. Annual service and repair by BG was efficient. Then the problems started when they tried to renegotiate their technician's contracts - and unreliable contractors got sent in to work on complicated boilers. Last year's service could not be booked before winter, then the booked service had to be shifted by another few weeks, then the kid that got sent out actually fried the main circuit board and transformer whilst trying to get to the burners. Not allowed to do repair work. He left in a hurry, saying he would report back to BG but when I rang them they did not seem to be aware.. Got sent a new contractor next day who was excellent - all the laptop info and could order spares (had to phone India to collect parts from Fosse Park, 5 miles away..) It turned out he was ex-BG who had set up on his own and was picking up all their specialist work locally. Reluctant to book the next service, and certainly not before March 2022.

Centrica, the company that calls itself British Gas, is in a terrible state by all accounts - their share price was £4 in 2013, less than 60p at the moment, and I was daft enough to chuck extra cash at them when they got into bed with EDF to share their nuclear developments.

On the other side of the coin, my pension is paid by National Grid via Lattice, Transco and British Gas, as the company has been split up and taken over several times since 1975 when I started working for them. Somewhat ashamed of their current reputation.

 Astropath 20 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

https://news.sky.com/story/adverts-for-british-gas-and-alpro-almond-milk-in-hot-water-for-being-misleading-12438885

"The ads about the HomeCare service, which first aired in February, generated 24 complaints from customers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed that the advert was misleading for suggesting that emergency callouts were available to all customers at short notice."

"Over 87% of the complaints said they had either been waiting for up to three weeks for an emergency callout or were informed that one could not be provided due to severe limitations on services because of the COVID-19 pandemic and strike action.

Thirteen customers told the ASA that they had been waiting several months for an annual boiler service or were told that one could not be provided because of COVID or strike reasons."

 Root1 21 Oct 2021
In reply to Astropath:

They used to service my mums boiler. I got my own guy in when her hot water tank began to leak. He condemned the system immediately as the flue was,nt connected in the loft and fumes were leaking into the loft space and from there into the hot air system that fed into the house including her bedroom. 

I tackled them saying they had serviced system a few weeks earlier and had not done any safety checks. I was told two conflicting things 1) that the service contract only covered the boiler. (2 They would never leave a system in a dangerous state!!!

The upshot was that my mother who had dementia had no heating over that xmas. Corgi was the overseer of these companies at the time. They were not interested. It turns out they were funded by the installers and gas fitters. Their only interest was protecting their fitters the customers were not their paymasters and so didn't count.

Grrfrfr


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