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Is this boiler engineer U, or am I?

65 replies

PeeAche2 · 04/10/2022 21:18

Today it was my boiler’s annual service and a British Gas engineer arrived as planned.
He was immediately so mardy with me that I thought I must be dreaming!!

2 things he said:

  1. He legitimately told me off for having my thermostat set at 17. He said it was “irresponsible” with kids. I have a 10yo, an 8yo and I was holding my 4mo at the time. He said babies need 21 degrees. Straight up cannot afford 21 degrees right now. Always kept it more like 18 anyway, and it’s never done any of my kids any harm. So I’ve knocked off a degree. Like, isn’t everyone making hard choices like this at the moment? Bought the kids a second hand Oodie each for extra 🔥
  2. He said we should get a newer boiler. Our old one has passed the service just fine but it is old. (20 years). We aren’t planning on getting a new one until it’s on last legs. Engineer pointed at my baby and said “if I were you, for the sake of her, I’d have bought a new boiler over getting that extension done”


We are in the midst of adding a granny flat for my MIL who has suffered a stroke and now needs to move in. It’s not like we’re putting in a bloody home gym or something!!

My husband who WFH overheard the second comment and came and threw the man out!!

Currently a like-for-like boiler replacement for our size house would be about £8k. So, although it would be more energy efficient, we’d like to wait.

We aren’t rich or poor. Just middle. Have zero leftover income each month at the moment and don’t know who TF he thinks he is telling me how to spend my money and care for my kids. Please vindicate me by telling me you think he’s an unreasonable tosser!!!
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MoominFeatures · 04/10/2022 22:49

Yep, grade A wanker. UANBU.

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mogsrus · 04/10/2022 22:52

Gentle report to BG I think, get them to deal with him

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Whatacarryonthisis · 04/10/2022 22:52

How bizarre, imagine it’s more than his jobs worth to make those comments

if your boiler is that old though there may be grants available to help change it for a more efficient one

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Hotandbothereds · 04/10/2022 22:55

What a twat, you’re not paying paying for his unwanted opinions, you’re only after a boiler service, I’d be annoyed too.

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ICouldHaveCheckedFirst · 04/10/2022 22:56

I suspect that, like Liz Truss, he just didn't communicate very well.

If he can service your current boiler, then he should, because that's what you contracted him to do. If it's actually not functioning, or it needs a part that is no longer available (happened to us) then he needs to say so, so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed from here. Maybe he's on commission to sell new boilers ...

Sorry about your mother, hope it works out for all of you.

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lanthanum · 04/10/2022 23:05

Once MIL moves in, will there be a bit more cash available for household finance? Obviously the extension is the priority at the moment, but maybe the boiler needs to be next. (MIL might also need a higher temperature.)

Yes, he was a little rude. On the other hand, I relied on the chap who services our boiler to tell me when it had moved from "it's quite old but still doing a very good job" to "it would now be worth replacing it" (and in your case, it sounds like it may have reached "it's still working but its inefficiency is costing you and there's a risk that it may peg out and leave you all cold").

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altmember · 04/10/2022 23:05

Kudos to your husband for throwing him out! That definitely wasn't unreasonable. I'd complain to BG about him. Their technicians are probably on commission for selling new boilers.

Shouldn't cost 8k either, if it's just swapping the boiler out. Should be able to get a whole new system for that sort of money (which may not be necessary) And not worth doing until you old boiler gives up, you won't save that much on efficiency improvements. The main consideration would be reliability - if your current boiler gives up in the depths of winter could you cope until you can get a new one fitted? Are you ok with that concern or would you prefer the peace of mind a new one should (they're not always reliable from new) bring?

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WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 04/10/2022 23:06

Cheeky arsehole. Complain to the company. It has fuck all to do with him what you have your boiler set at!

Some people are so rude and cheeky. My friend who rents from a housing association had HER boiler service man - who was a contractor who worked for the housing association - lecturing her on how WRONG she was to be renting. How it was 'dead money' how she would regret it long term, and how he and his fiancé have just bought a house... A £220,000 one, which they managed to buy with a £50,000 cash gift from her nan as a deposit. He carried on going on about how his nan was gifting him £75,000 when he hit 40 (in 5 years,) and he was going to buy a house to rent out for extra income.

THEN he started banging on about his Mercedes that his uncle bought him for his 30th birthday, that was worth £50,000. It was as clear as day that he was a total fantasist, but it was wholly inappropriate. Ranted on and on about the cash gifts (and the inheritances he and his fiancé were going to get, when their parents die.) My friend said he was irksome, arrogant, and full of himself, as well as being rude, and presumptuous, and bloody obnoxious.

The jobs these men have must be very tedious for them to drone on about shit that's not true, and scold the customers for nothing!

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MrsMoastyToasty · 05/10/2022 00:03

I was with BG. They are always trying to sell you one of their boilers, a system flush, a new thermostat. The list goes on. That's why I left them.

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HighlandPony · 05/10/2022 00:09

Ignore. My baby’s younger than yours and my house is nowhere near 17. Never has been with any of the kids. Neither was the house I grew up in. British Gas in general are shite. I’d have bit back with if your shareholders weren’t such greedy bastards maybe we could all afford it up at 21. Then I’d have spat in his tea

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5foot5 · 05/10/2022 00:17

It was none of his business what you have your thermostat set to. But he might have a point about your boiler.

We had our 22 year old boiler replaced last year and when we got a good look inside the old one not a moment too soon. New one is much more efficient and didn't cost anything like £8k or even half that.

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Yoloohno · 05/10/2022 00:20

Swap you the Mardy wanker that cut my gas supply off because we asked him to wait outside while we finished in the bathroom.

said boiler is in the bathroom and they turned up unannounced and we were using it.

He caused another problem, company came out and capped off a leaky radiator. I’d have your engineer than ours.

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TooMuchToDoTooLittleInclination · 05/10/2022 00:23

I like your D!!

im sorry to hear about your

it's none of his business what you have your heating set at!!

17 is fine, I grew up without central heating, my mum grew up with an outside toilet - CH wasn't even 'a thing'. As long as the wee one has appropriate clothing they'll be fine

i think you should get some actual quotes for a replacement boiler though. £8k just for a boiler replacement is huge, where has that figure come from?

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PeeAche2 · 05/10/2022 08:42

Thank you ladies. ❤️ He was a total twassock.

£8k at 5 years interest free was what he said it would cost. Because there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

I’m so lucky that I live in a big house (the extension is not for extra space but so that MIL can have adapted living quarters and not go into a home for 20 years. At the moment she’s in our conservatory 🤦🏻‍♀️) but it does mean that we need a big powerful boiler.

Haven't actually priced what we need independently, because we don’t need a new boiler yet! 😂

Also, we have a log burner in 3 rooms and an open fire in one of our bedrooms so we have other heat sources.

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StillNotWarm · 05/10/2022 08:58

Turn your thermostat back to where it needs to be for your comfort. 18 is normal for us. I'm sure 17 would be fine.

Our engineer has told us to run the boiler into the ground, and replace once it's broken beyond repair.

I agree with feeding back to BG about his comments, and that DS had no choice but to ask him to leave (don't say throw him out!).

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mamabear715 · 05/10/2022 09:00

WT actual F???

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WireSkills · 05/10/2022 09:39

Keep your thermostat where it is. 17 degrees on ours translates to 21 degrees in some rooms as the stat is in a cold spot.

Most importantly, continue doing what you're doing (with the knowledge in the back of your mind that your boiler won't be fixable if it breaks), but mostly, make a complaint about the engineer!

He has no right to be offering personal opinions. If he's said that to you, he'll have said similar to others and he deserves a bollocking from his bosses!

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Getoff · 05/10/2022 09:54

Shouldn't cost 8k either, if it's just swapping the boiler out.

If it's that old, it will be a swap to a condensing boiler, which might require hugely expensive work to lay a waste pipe.

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Getoff · 05/10/2022 09:55

My boiler is 20 years old. British gas engineers have been telling me to replace it since it was 10 years old. Except for the most recent one, who implied it probably had a good few years left in it.

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GimmeSleep · 05/10/2022 09:56

Ah BG still at it with their overpriced new boilers. They quoted us something ridiculous years ago, local indie gas safe plumber fitted a new one for about £1600

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billyt · 05/10/2022 09:58

BG Engineers are pushed to flog over-priced boiler replacements.

He had no right to question the temp your house is set at, no right at all.

No point complaining though, BG won't do a bloody thing.

We use a local company for our boiler servicing. If I could be arsed to sort my suppliers out I wouldn't let BG supply our gas.

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Interestingmauve · 05/10/2022 10:00

You're really very unreasonable to be using British Gas to service your boiler 😆

Their "engineers" have targets to sell you a new boiler and will use any tactics to meet them. My parents' boiler has apparently needed replacing for the last 20 years. I wonder how long the new one BG wanted to sell them would have lasted.

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MrsSkylerWhite · 05/10/2022 10:00

I think he came to our house 😁
I’d call in. Your thermostat setting is none of his business and he needs to be told by his manager to keep his opinions to himself.
If your boiler is working it doesn’t need replacing. They’ve probably been told to drum up business.

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GasPanic · 05/10/2022 10:03

Re changing the boiler, provided that one is ok and you can get spares for it OK and it is not in danger of breaking down any time soon then I wouldn't replace it. If he has serviced it must have checked out OK.

The problem is if it breaks down at an inconvenient time (say middle of winter) and you need to get a new one. It is better to be proactive if this is likely to happen. I think the reason they pressurise people is because they get huge queues of people in the middle of winter trying to get their boiler replaced urgently (like me for example!) and all of a sudden your problem becomes their emergency. Remember waiting in a 6 week queue for a boiler in the middle of winter is no fun.

Re should you prioritise the boiler rather than the extension - well you probably should, but that is really non of his business and to be honest his comments seem inflammatory. I would have told him where to go (provided I didn't anticipate needing to call him out on Xmas eve to fix a broken boiler).

Re house being heated at a specific temperature to help babies I have no clue.

Re British Gas in general, I had my boiler replaced by them 1 year ago, and I found them very good, but a bit expensive.

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Thatiswild · 05/10/2022 10:06

Thermostat setting totally depends on where it is, I really feel the cold but ours is usually on 18 and that’s fine, my dh and kids are always boiling!

BG pricing for our new boiler was at least 25% higher than the next most expensive.

He was very rude, your dh is great for getting him to leave and definitely complain, that’s so inappropriate. I’m really sorry about your MIL, it’s lovely what you’re doing for her.

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