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Gass issue! Please help

(19 Posts)
Laurenrl Thu 05-Nov-15 23:47:33


First post as a new homeowner!

Unfortunately we haven't had a great first experience owning a home after today

Our new gas hob needed connecting so I called a local plumbing company to come out, I needed to give my long credit card number and 3 digit security code to secure the booking. I agreed with her verbally to pay £110.

Gas man came to the house and immediately caused a gas leak by pulling at a pipe!

I called the company to explain the woman was very rude to me and told me she was invoicing me for £110 per hour (by this point the guy had been here 2 hours trying to fix the leak he had caused) I asked her not to invoice me anything yet as the work was not complete and to put right the damage that the plumber had caused? She told me the cost to put it right was £400 which I did not want to pay so the plumber left

We are now without gas as if we turn it on it is dangerous because of the leak

Even worse I checked my bank statement and they have charged my card £500! Immediately called my bank to tell them I had not authorised payment however it had already gone out so Natwest are now treating it as a fraudulent charge (in the mean time it is out of my account)

Does anyone have any advice I feel really stupid for making such a big mistake a week in to owning a house (and freezing with no heating )


wowfudge Fri 06-Nov-15 00:06:20

Was the plumber Gas Safe registered?

Laurenrl Fri 06-Nov-15 05:48:48

Yes he was, I got his registered number

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 06-Nov-15 06:18:25

Trading standards?

Ring the company back and ask to speak to a manager/owner?

Laurenrl Fri 06-Nov-15 06:23:51

The lady said she was the owner.

I've now reported to gas safe and will call trading standards when they open.

I will also put the sequence of events and what was/wasn't agreed in writing to the company.

Not sure how likely it is I'll ever see my money again sad I had no idea a company could take any amount from my account with such little information, I will always be dealing in cash going forward (bank card also now cancelled in case they decide to help themselves to any more of my funds!)

sandgrown Fri 06-Nov-15 06:27:08

I had similar with a plumber who tried to charge me for the time it took for the water tank to empty . Total charge,£250 to fit a part that cost about £2 and should have taken 30 mins. . I only paid what I thought the job was worth and eventually they backed down . They were subsequently featured on Watchdog! Can you contact his trade association? Submit a formal written complaint.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 06-Nov-15 06:29:16

I'd rings them back and tell them you're informing trading standards and also the police.....because surely it's also theft? Bastards.

And also tell them that you're going to leave reviews on every review site you can find, all over local FB groups, etc. Obviously any reviews need to be truthful but if this is what has happened then you can put that in writing in reviews.

PissPotPourri Fri 06-Nov-15 06:35:48

Sorry to hear of what happened, that's awful. DH is gas safe registered and says that even if you sent the guy home, he should never have left an open pipe. If he did, you have a serious complaint there, even without their abuse of your card details.

TotalConfucius Fri 06-Nov-15 06:39:35

I would ring British Gas and sign up for their Homecare scheme, on a direct debit. You can get their emergency cover for your heating and gas system, electrics and plumbing. They will deal with this for you. And you will have someone to call for any other emergencies that arise which you may find helpful for the first year at least.

LIZS Fri 06-Nov-15 06:59:44

Can you call your cc company, they may be able to help you reclaim the charge.

PissPotPourri Fri 06-Nov-15 07:25:53

Total I agree about a carefree package but British Gas are WAY more expensive than most independent companies offering the same.

PissPotPourri Fri 06-Nov-15 07:36:05

Also, it's worth pointing out that although the British Gas package is more competitive at the moment, at no level will they sort out faults caused by others. It is not included (understandably) and would be charged as extra.

Laurenrl Fri 06-Nov-15 08:18:28

Thanks so much for all your replies. I have informed gas safe and hope that they will ensure this man doesn't leave any other households with open gas pipes (he turned the gas off before he left but not really the point) I will also be on to trading standard when they open at 9.

Unfortunately as I have asked the company twice to put this right without a 400 charge and they have refused we cannot wait. We have an open pipe and no gas. I have asthma and have been off work for 2 weeks with a pretty bad virus so need heating pretty urgently??

I'm not sure British Gas would cover us for existing issues but maybe worth me calling?

My bank are trying to help me reclaim the charge I have all of the forms to fill in, I'm pretty sure it's fraudulent to just charge anything despite a verbal contract but maybe should have got the quote in writing!

You live and you learn hey?!

wonkylegs Fri 06-Nov-15 08:26:55

Oh dear not a good start.
When we moved into our last house, I kept smelling gas but as all the doors we open and a good breeze was blowing through the house as the movers unloaded I couldn't be sure. Finally persuaded DH we really did need to call out a gas man.... He found that the developer had installed the gas range oven himself and when he had tightened the pipe had split it in two, we were very lucky that we hadn't had an explosion.
You could introduce yourselves to the neighbours by asking if they knew a good plumber, word of mouth is often the best way to find people.

specialsubject Fri 06-Nov-15 10:47:01

you don't need a plumber!! You need a gas safe technician - which you thought you had, and he's a rip off merchant. Gas safe will rip him off, rest assured.

look for another local gas person; the good ones get booked up.

wonkylegs Fri 06-Nov-15 12:28:44

Sorry - My plumber is a Gas Safe technician as well so thats what I meant obviously you need to check that who you hire is too.
Just because they are registered doesn't mean they are not going to rip you off, its a register of competence but it does mean you have somebody to complain to if they do and they cause a problem

Laurenrl Fri 06-Nov-15 12:38:21

Rang insurance who advised us to call a different company out and get a report as proof that the damage was caused by the engineer yesterday.

Plumbing force sent someone within the hour, he confirmed and wrote a report that the damage was caused by the initial engineer and told us he could fix it within the hour which we had to pay him call out anyway.

I am now with working, none leaking pipes, a working hob and a report that the damage was caused by the person yesterday.

So now just to recoup my money which I've been advised should be possible at least in part either by the bank or from writing to the company with the proof I now have.

Overall a better day, but still £700 (500 with original company and 200 with one this morning, including parts) lighter for the meantime!

wowfudge Fri 06-Nov-15 12:57:19

Well the bill from this morning's company shows the others were overcharging if you paid a total of £200 which was call out, completing original job and fixing the broken pipe.

Laurenrl Fri 06-Nov-15 13:02:31

Completely! another point I will make in my recorded letter to the initial company, which I have the wording for from my call with citizens advice and will write as soon as I have had a hot bath and cup of tea! brew

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