or is Dh? Re: boiler breakdown and waiting for appointment

(23 Posts)
bollywoodfan Tue 05-Feb-13 17:58:49

So boiler has gone off today. Its snowing & freezing! We have two DC, 5 and 1. We have boiler insurance with EON and they have given us a 'priority' appointment for Thurs - in 3 days time. It was originally 7 days if not on priority list.
DH made me ring again and wanted me to make a fuss to get an earlier appointment. I didn't think there was any point in shouting at the advisor though. Do you think if I did make more of a fuss it would make a difference?
Is 3 days an unreasonable time to wait? I do think that if you pay insurance they should come within 24 hours, but is there any other company that is actually better?
We have electric fan heaters, so not totally without heating. No hot water though...

What does it say in your contract?

SarkyPants Tue 05-Feb-13 18:02:21

What does your policy say?

Doesn't really matter what we think is reasonable. All that matters is what they are legally contracted to provide.

starfleet Tue 05-Feb-13 18:05:18

Ours is with British Gas and from past experience they do try and do within 24 hours especially if there are young children in the house. You shouldn't have to wait up to 3 days. Even our washing repair service (through hotpoint) tries for 2 working days max.

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 18:07:17

Why doesn't your DH ring them - how on earth did he "make" you ring them?

Mutley77 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:07:18

I would say 3 days in this weather with 2 young children is far too long to wait. If that is within their policy then cancel it - you would do better just ringing round and getting a local plumber out.

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 18:08:29

No harm in trying if you "make a fuss" politely.

nannynick Tue 05-Feb-13 18:09:37

Priority is probably less than 7 days.

Have you checked the pressure gauge, checked that any outlet pipe (if a condenser boiler) has not frozen. Checked if pilot is on, gone through restart sequence, that sort of thing. Sometimes in winter it can be something simple such as the condenser discharge pipe freezing, especially if it runs outside the house. Boil kettle, drink coffee, pour the now slightly cooled hot water remaining in the kettle along the outlet pipe, especially at bend in pipe to help defrost it.

Remember: do not open up gas boilers but do pop down the flap (if there is one) to see if the system is indicating what the error may be.

nefertarii Tue 05-Feb-13 18:10:13

British gas will only prioritise children 6 months and under or medical conditions.
engineers are encourages to slave the house if the person says they have a baby and they don't.

You will find their terms and conditions will have this written in.

British gas for example aim to get out in 24hrs and talk about their same day service. However snow and extreme weather are on of their clauses.

Ring back and make a fuss. It may get you somewhere. Although try to be polite when you 'make a fuss' as customers get nowhere if they are rude ime.

Also 3 days seems about right in snow.

British gas will come in 24 hours if you have small kids so they are being unreasonable IMO.

Check you haven't got an immersion switch though as can be easily missed and could be the answer to your problems.

Also is your boiler a condenser one? Ours kept going off when the outside condensing pipe kept freezing. Just had to pour boiling water over it and hey presto!!!

nefertarii Tue 05-Feb-13 18:12:35

*you would do better just ringing round and getting a local plumber out.-

Not really. As these policies usually include parts an labour. The op won't be given her premiums back for the year so far AND have a large call out, parts and labour barge from a local plumber.

MmeLindor Tue 05-Feb-13 18:14:19

I'd phone back and say - politely - you know that this is already classed as a priority, but you have young kids and are worried and no hot water or heating. Ask if they ever have last minute cancellations, and say that you are willing to be flexible on appointment times, that you will take anything.

Sound desperate rather than bolshy and you might be lucky.

nefertarii Tue 05-Feb-13 18:14:39

madame I worked for British gas service and repair for 10 years. Where possible they come out within 24hrs its not a guarantee and is based on things like how many engineers are in that area. Some areas have loads, some have less.

maxbradbury Tue 05-Feb-13 18:18:04

Dh is a gas man (self employed)
He had a call out last night at 10.30pm Family had a young baby and no heating. He was there ten mins after and only charges £50 call out. You should consider a local gas man if you are desperate. They do tend to be much more reliable and come much quicker.

bollywoodfan Tue 05-Feb-13 18:29:14

The policy is in my name and that is why I have to speak to them. I have done the 'polite fuss' already and she told me we were on the priority list & that was the next available engineer. I haven't checked the policy but I suspect they will have covered themselves for 'higher volumes'. I have tried to reset etc, it is not a combi boiler.
Is british gas better then?

starfleet Tue 05-Feb-13 19:06:57

I don't know if they are better as they seem to up the premiums for insurance every year but they have been quick and telephone (IME) if they are going to be delayed or even early. There is no harm in trying to ring again and see if they can better the time but if the weather is as crap where you are as it is here (NW) they may be experiencing delays. Hope you get it sorted soon.

nefertarii Tue 05-Feb-13 19:16:55

All in all British gas is better, imo.

They try to ring ahead to replace last minute cancellations, call you to tell you they are on their way etc.

But how quickly they come out depends on loads of things. Alot is your area. Some areas have loads of engineers others don't. It takes years of training and they try to keep a certain amount in each area but its not always possible. Then it depends on what time of day you call (earlier the better) and also who else has called in your area. British gas will always put those whose life is at risk above everyone else. So if it happens that alot of very ill people have called that day, a person with young children will get bumped down the list.

Personally, I wouldn't use a policy like this. I have an account for things like this that I have saved in for years. however i live in a new build so haven't had to touch the account for 2 years. So am quite lucky i can save without it taking a big hit recently.

Have you checked your pressure gauge?

Mutley77 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:46:52

nefertarrii sorry i was being too quick, i didnt necessarily mean ring a local person in this particular instance but rather in general dont bother paying for a policy that doesnt give you any particular advantage. We do the same as you.

MyDarlingClementine Tue 05-Feb-13 22:48:13

bollywoodfan

I think this is disgusting personally, you have paid for a service and yet you could call out a local person in less time than this insurance policy will get someone out to you - as a priority? confused.

I would call back and ask to speak to someone more senior and say its not good enough with a small baby in the house. You have paid into a policy that should protect you from instances such as these and yet you are not protected as you have to wait three long days without hot water and proper heating.

I think nefertarii plan of a seperate account for these things is an excellent idea for the future.

Google BG - I don't think they are any better. They are all rip off merchants. I had to google BG recenlty and I was shocked by what they had been up too.

LiegeAndLief Tue 05-Feb-13 22:53:33

We've called out British Gas a few times and they have always come within 24 hours. Never in the snow though!

ceeveebee Tue 05-Feb-13 22:59:22

British Gas came to us on NY day within 12 hours - I made a big deal about having 13 month old twins and they put me as first call of the next day. Even before DCs I don't remember waiting more than 24 hours for any boiler issue with British Gas

BG always came witching 24 hours. Most of their repairmen didn't have a clue what they were doing and we ended up with multiple visits with various parts being ordered until someone who knew what they were doing happened to arrive. We now don't have boiler cover but will suck up the costs of a local plumber when needed.

That probably should have said "within" rather than "witching". Though the use of a broom rather than a van may explain why the BG staff were so ill-prepared.

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