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to think British Gas are utter rubbish as they broke my in laws boiler

(63 Posts)
WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 14:13:22

my inlaws had an annual service as part of their British Gas service contract.

There was nothing wrong, all working ok. Nothing wrong at all.

The lad who did the service removed a part then said 'it will not go back in' and left saying they would be back tomorrow. My in laws had no hot water but were happy to wait till tomorrow.

They were told they had to remove a portion of worktop to get tp the boiler the next day (this would involve sawing it in half etc etc) and they wern't best pleased.

They were then told they dont need to saw their worktop but it would be fixed asap.

11 Days later they have been told the boiler is obsolete and they need to buy a whole new one.

So their boiler was broken by a British Gas contractor during a routine service and they have been without hot water for 11 days (and counting) now need to shell out for a whole new boiler.

My inlaws are almost 80 and very mild mannered (and actually very nice indeed ! ) and have rang to complain but 'do not want to make a fuss'.

If it were me I would be complaining a lot.

AIBU to think British Gas are being complete rubbish breaking a working boiler and not fixing it then not paying for a replacement ??

Should I complain on their behalf and how ? Would they speak to me or just quote data protection shit ?

chickenwingsmmmm Wed 22-Aug-12 14:15:58

They won't discuss it with you unless the account holder is there.
tbh, he may not have broken it. If he needed to remove the part, he needed to remove the part.
Do they British gas homecare or homecare cover. If its homecare cover, they may get a replacment.
How old is the boiler.

chickenwingsmmmm Wed 22-Aug-12 14:18:15

Oh and data protection isn't shit. People get screwed over when its ignored.

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 14:25:59

yes I realise data protection is not shit. It is just frustrating as they seem unwilling to 'make a fuss' and dont email so will not really complain about it.

chickenwingsmmmm Wed 22-Aug-12 14:36:12

But that's their choice. Its really quite frustrating for family though. You have my sympathy.
If you can let me know how old it is I can advise you.

CharminglyOdd Wed 22-Aug-12 14:37:24

OP Please read my post

Sorry for the highlights blush but the exact thing happened to my (elderly) Dad and (much younger, but she was out at the time so as far as the guy knew he was dealing with an elderly couple) Mum.

Guy removed a part, said it was broken, switched off something, said part/boiler obsolete and my DF would have to buy a new boiler. Dad got suspicious when he googled the part piece and found loads online so got a local plumber to have a look.

The boiler and the part were FINE. The 'engineer' had broken the part and turned off the boiler. They get commission, apparently, for selling new boilers. Dad was absolutely furious and is in the very slow process of getting his money back. Local plumber fixed the boiler at a cost that Dad is also trying to get back from British Gas. He feels betrayed as he is a lifelong customer and expected better than someone trying to make a fast sell.

Please google the part they removed and check as your case sounds so similar.

CharminglyOdd Wed 22-Aug-12 14:39:01

NB - by breaking the part even though it was fine I mean he cut the wires so it couldn't be used (local plumber soldered it back in) and when local plumber tested it he said there was nothing wrong with the part.

chickenwingsmmmm Wed 22-Aug-12 14:42:50

The problem is by skate close to the line.
The part maybe obsolete. But still available. If by have none left and they will not buy it again. They are under no obligation to do so.
It these circumstances they do not get commission for selling a boiler if it broke during a service.
I can give some guidence on the steps to take to resolve this.

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 14:44:31

I will ask them what part is actually broken.

They have a nephew who is a plumber and has looked but they will not let him touch it as it would invalidate their homecare cover - not sure if this is the case.

The boiler is about 12 years old but was working with no problems at all until it was 'serviced'.

We always get a lot of pressure too to buy a new boiler from British Gas but as the new ones have a short lifespan it is not worth it !

mowbraygirl Wed 22-Aug-12 15:33:51

CharminglyOdd exactly the same thing happened to DHs elderly Aunt last year when she was 100 and still 100% with it IYKWIM. British Gas said part broken now obsolete need new boiler she said she would think about it. She asked her friends sons who is a plumber to look at it he said nothing worng with boiler he could get spare part tomorrow and did and fixed it. Needless to say she cancelled contract with British Gas they were not happy wanted to know details of person who fixed it. All she told them was he was fully qualified Gas Fitter and Plumber and she had his Gas Safe membership number.
Boiler still going strong so is Aunty who is now 101.

lurkerspeaks Wed 22-Aug-12 15:49:58

Happened to my not elderly parents.

Dad bought part on eBay. Independent guy fitted it. Home care cancelled. Boiler still working about 10years later.

I think they should replace it due to efficiency but a 12 year old boiler shouldn't be too bad for that.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 22-Aug-12 15:55:34

WurgidTilly

When you ask for the part, also ask for the part number as well. (you can then google using both)

try to get them to include a descrip[tion of what the art does.

BionicEmu Wed 22-Aug-12 17:05:56

This happened to me as well! Do you remember the 2010-11 winter, how it was absolutely freezing cold and snowing for what seemed like forever? I was home alone with 4 week-old DS who had just been home from SCBU for a week when we had our boiler serviced by British Gas.

It had been working fine beforehand, but the engineer serviced it then said one of the parts was broken. After faffing on his laptop he announced that that part was now obsolete and we'd need a new boiler. He arranged for a member of the sales team to come the next day. A couple of hours after he left, I had a call from the sales team saying they were very sorry but due to high demand they couldn't make us an appointment for another 5 days. So I was left in the middle of winter with a tiny, fragile baby, without any heating or hot water, except for an open coal fire in the living room.

I posted something about it on Facebook, then a colleague called me and it turned out her brother was a plumber. So he came round to have a look, and said the boiler was absolutely fine and safe, but the British Gas engineer had just removed and then snapped off the end of the bit the spark came out of. (Sorry, can't remember the name of it, it looked like a ceramic tube with a metal wire coming out of it!). He managed to get us a new one and fit it that day, i think it cost us about £20, and we've not had any problems since.

I made a bit of an attempt at complaining to British Gas, but then DS went back into hospital for quite a while so never really got round to chasing it up properly.

Anyway, apologies for the long post! Might be worth seeing if you can get an independent plumber to have a look, given some of the stories on here? Re: talking to British Gas, could you go round to your ILs, get one of them to call British Gas and then say that your ILs would like you to talk to British Gas?

snickers251 Wed 22-Aug-12 17:17:29

My dh heating engineer husband just shook his head sadly as I read your post to him. He also has asked what boiler it is and he will tell you if it's obsolete!

He works for a very well known boiler manufacturing company and they are well aware of the crappy engineers British gas employs.

Do not get British gas to fit their new boiler, they overcharge and all I've heard from dh are horror stories of the bad install jobs he has to attend to.

As for getting money from them, I do not know how you could prove it was their 'fault' as such although we all know it is. Have they left any worksheets explaining what they have done? Xxx

Naoko Wed 22-Aug-12 18:00:56

You can talk to BG on their behalf if they give permission. Would they be willing to phone up while you're there, tell the operator there's a problem and they give you permission to handle it for them, and hand the phone over to you so you can explain just how unacceptable this all is?

northcountrygirl Wed 22-Aug-12 18:07:36

The same thing happened with my 92 year old Grandma.

It was a gas fire though and the knob was broken. They said it was obsolete and then sent a sales rep round. Apparently she would need a whole new central heating system, and boiler, and gas fire.

A local plumber fixed the knob for £42!

northcountrygirl Wed 22-Aug-12 18:09:06

Oh forgot to say - British Gas "fixed" the knob back on with blue tack. They didn't bring their own though - they had to use my Grandma's bluetack!

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 20:07:29

still waiting to hear what the actual part is.

It does seem this happens quite often with British Gas ........

shattereddreams Wed 22-Aug-12 20:15:23

Not quite same
We had a new boiler put in our flat about 10 years ago.
Moved out and rented place out. Took on British gas homecare.
Every year for about 6 years, I would sit in my car outside for hours waiting the the annual service (9-5 appointment)

Every year without fail... You need a magna clean missus.
Every year I refused. Boiler packed up. Called them out. Boiler kaput they tell me.
I get a 2nd opinion.
Apparently the front cover screw was jammed and had to be soldered off. British gas did not once look at my boiler in all those years.
They lie. They cheat.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 22-Aug-12 20:16:12

Wow! This threads a bit of an eye opener!

I am stunned that a company like British Gas could do this angry It's even worse with them because they are a company that most people feel they can trust.

Give them hell OP!

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 20:32:39

right the boiler is a Potterton 60 and is 14 yrs old ( was working perfectly)

the part is a flue collectoe adapter.

I am off to google, any help much appreciated.

In laws also having to pay an electrician as new boiler neds to go ina completley different place.

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 20:33:11

collector not collectoe

BlackOutTheSun Wed 22-Aug-12 20:39:36

I'm sure this was on watchdog

Would it be worth reporting to trading standards?

WurgidTilly Wed 22-Aug-12 20:40:40

yes I will report it if I find out the part is still available.

Any more stories ?

ThisIsNotHoneyDragon Wed 22-Aug-12 20:42:46

BG fl

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