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AIBU?

To think a D&G 'annual boiler service' should be annual?

37 replies

irked1 · 20/01/2024 13:55

We have paid for D&G boiler cover for several years, £21 a month. It includes a free annual boiler service.

www.domesticandgeneral.com/heating

The last service was on 11 Feb 2023.

Just rung up to book this year's service, and been told "you can't open a request for a service until 12 Feb 2024, your last service is too recent".

Note this wasn't D&G actually booking it in for 12 Feb! Instead we have to phone back then and then they will phone the firm they outsource it to. So probably no actual service till March.

AIBU to think an annual service you pay for should be... annual?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

47 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
34%
You are NOT being unreasonable
66%
SgtJuneAckland · 20/01/2024 13:57

Well it is annual in that it's once every calendar year

irked1 · 20/01/2024 13:57

And in the meantime, the cover will renew, having gone up by 40% - and I can't threaten to cancel if we haven't had the annual service.

OP posts:
irked1 · 20/01/2024 13:58

SgtJuneAckland · 20/01/2024 13:57

Well it is annual in that it's once every calendar year

😂

OP posts:
Wadermellone · 20/01/2024 14:00

PP above is right. It’s once per contract year. I would guess if you check the t&cs it’s not a service every 12 months.

irked1 · 20/01/2024 14:00

The contact runs 15 Feb - 15 Feb

OP posts:
LIZS · 20/01/2024 14:01

British Gas are same

AhBiscuits · 20/01/2024 14:02

A boiler service is supposed to be done within 13 months of the last one.

irked1 · 20/01/2024 14:05

Surely "annual" means "once every 12 months"?

In the meantime they've whacked the price up to £28 and I can't cancel when the contact is up on 15 Feb, because they haven't done the "annual" service.

OP posts:
Wadermellone · 20/01/2024 14:07

irked1 · 20/01/2024 14:00

The contact runs 15 Feb - 15 Feb

So phone them and tell them if you can’t book until when they say, that means you haven’t had a service in the contract year 2023-2024

irked1 · 20/01/2024 14:09

Wadermellone · 20/01/2024 14:07

So phone them and tell them if you can’t book until when they say, that means you haven’t had a service in the contract year 2023-2024

That's what I said on the phone, they ignored me.

I guess I'll try a formal complaint.

OP posts:
Cotswoldbee · 20/01/2024 14:30

I doubt you will get anywhere with a complaint.
We were with D&G for our entire heating system but when the time came for the annual service they said they would only do it for an additional fee.
Went around in circles for months with every advisor agreeing with me that the policy was not fit for purpose but the "official" line was that I would have to pay for the service.
Just voted with my feet and cancelled the policy vowing to have nothing whatsoever to do with D&G ever again. ☹️

BashfulClam · 20/01/2024 14:31

LIZS · 20/01/2024 14:01

British Gas are same

British Gas are all over the shop. I tried to go with another boiler cover and they said they couldn’t do the service as the switch was behind a pipe..,I’m able to access it as are British Gas. It’s not behind the pipe at all it’s next to it.

PriOn1 · 20/01/2024 14:38

Is your point that it’s not actually annual, it’s being pushed back by a month each year?

Sorry, I’m slightly confused, but I think that’s the point.

If that’s the problem, then yes, you should be able to book for them to come on on the same day they came last year, or slightly before or after if they can’t manage that.

How has it worked in other years, if you’ve had it for several? Have they changed their policy?

And have you compared the number of years you’ve had the contract with the number of visits? Are they the same, or have you paid for more years than you’ve had visits and cancelling the policy will mean you lose one?

I’d be inclined to cut my losses either way, but I guess if you hassle hard enough, you might get them to send someone out between the 11th and the 15th. Sounds like a poor service though.

porridgecake · 20/01/2024 14:44

Find a local suitably qualified engineer and set up a contract with them.
I have found British Gas and D&G absolutely useless. I could write a book about BG incompetence.

Wils3011 · 20/01/2024 15:02

A boiler service is around £70 where I live. You'd be better off paying a local gas engineer and putting the rest away in a savings pot to cover any repairs etc. These boiler cover schemes are often a bit of an overpriced swizz

CherryRipe1 · 20/01/2024 15:21

It's the same with British gas. They also tried to raise my boiler service and repair insurance by a whopping £100! I got far cheaper quotes with uswitch etc with more included ie radiators, plumbing etc. I haggled with BG upon renewal and they kept it at the same rate. To be fair I've had some very costly things go wrong with my boiler ie pumps, mother boards, valves so it's been well worth it.

Bluevelvetsofa · 20/01/2024 16:32

British Gas’s annual service migrated to 23 months. They are past masters at cancelling on the morning or day before the appointment.

D&G weren’t any better. It’s all very well insisting on an annual service if you can’t actually get companies to do that.

stealthsquirrelnutkin · 20/01/2024 18:07

I phone a local firm to come and do a boiler service and write me out a gas safety certificate in June each year. They charged £85 last year, about ten quid more than the year before. I have home emergency cover on my house insurance but have never needed to use it in the 19 years I've been living here.

Ah, no actually I did have a disaster last year when I bled the radiator and the valve broke, sending a stream of water shooting out across the laminate floor. I called the "round the clock 24/7 emergency number" on the insurance and was told they could have a plumber at my house it two hours time. I was totally frazzled, the laminate was at risk of being ruined, and their idea of emergency coverage is "we can have someone there in a couple of hours!". They didn't even talk me through how to find the valve on the other side of the radiator that could be turned to switch off the incoming water supply. Just leave the old lady mopping frantically in an ever increasing lake of brown water, while your closest available plumber is a hundred miles away.

In desperation I called the local firm who do the annual boiler service, they said someone would be round in ten minutes, and talked me through switching off the water to the radiator over the phone. With the water no longer gushing I just had time to cancel the "for your peace of mind, 24 hour 365 days a year, emergency plumber" who was still 70 miles away before the local guy was ringing the doorbell.

They'd said 10 minutes but he got here in 7. A very calm chap, who reassured me that I wasn't to blame, explaining that that old valves do sometimes give out, and it wasn't due to my handfisted weilding of the radiator key. Then he changed the wrecked valve, mopped up all the water and charged me £72 including VAT for the work, including parts.

Just imagine if you'd been saving those £21/month payments into a reserve account, to be dipped into if/when the heating packed in. Chances are you'd soon build up a nice little fund, which would also come in handy when the washing machine or dishwasher decided to kark inconveniently.

All those individual insurance schemes seem like a bit of a swizz to me. Particularly the ones with hefty monthly fees. The reason all those energy firms push them so hard is that they are a nice little earner for them.

BrainInAJar · 20/01/2024 18:38

My boiler is over 30yrs old and never been serviced. Works like a dream. I'll be able to buy a new one if it doesn't outlive me just with the money I've saved not getting boiler cover or servicing.

I read on here last year that boilers don't need serviced as there are no moving parts. No idea if that's true or not.

caringcarer · 20/01/2024 18:49

irked1 · 20/01/2024 14:05

Surely "annual" means "once every 12 months"?

In the meantime they've whacked the price up to £28 and I can't cancel when the contact is up on 15 Feb, because they haven't done the "annual" service.

You get the annual service at the beginning of the contract year so for you February 15th. You have had the service for this year's 2023-4 contract. If you commit to another year in Feb once your contract expires then you get this year's annual service from Feb 15th 2024-5. What you can't do is take the free service at the beginning of the year then cancel the contract before the end of the contract year which in this case if you renewed would be February 15th 2025.

caringcarer · 20/01/2024 18:50

I pay £85 a year for a gas certificate and boiler service. If it breaks I have to pay for a repair though.

laclochette · 20/01/2024 18:52

You get one service per contract. Even if you could book one now for the time of your next contract it would only be fair if it were canceled should you cancel your contract on renewal. So there's really no way you're going to get two services at the first year price. That would, after all, be two services per year...

PriOn1 · 20/01/2024 23:25

laclochette · 20/01/2024 18:52

You get one service per contract. Even if you could book one now for the time of your next contract it would only be fair if it were canceled should you cancel your contract on renewal. So there's really no way you're going to get two services at the first year price. That would, after all, be two services per year...

I thought that too, but then reread the OP. It says they’ve paid for cover for several years, so it isn’t a first year price.

I asked OP to count the number of years and the number of services to see if they’re the same, or whether they’ve paid for five years (for example) and only had four services, in which case they should have one more, but the OP hasn’t returned yet.

irked1 · 21/01/2024 10:52

caringcarer · 20/01/2024 18:49

You get the annual service at the beginning of the contract year so for you February 15th. You have had the service for this year's 2023-4 contract. If you commit to another year in Feb once your contract expires then you get this year's annual service from Feb 15th 2024-5. What you can't do is take the free service at the beginning of the year then cancel the contract before the end of the contract year which in this case if you renewed would be February 15th 2025.

No, that's wrong, you get a boiler service at the end of the year you pay for.

OP posts:
irked1 · 21/01/2024 10:53

Wils3011 · 20/01/2024 15:02

A boiler service is around £70 where I live. You'd be better off paying a local gas engineer and putting the rest away in a savings pot to cover any repairs etc. These boiler cover schemes are often a bit of an overpriced swizz

Thanks! Yes I'm coming to the same conclusion. Loads of hassle and you'd be better off just saving the money into a boiler fund - and getting interest on it.

OP posts:
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