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HELP! They've cancelled our gas installation, we can't move in until we have heat, I'm 30 weeks pg... What can I do?

6 replies

designerbaby · 07/01/2010 15:38


Have recently bought an old dilapidated house in Wimbledon which we have been renovating for the last 6 months. During this time we discovered I am pregnant - due beginning March.

House had no central heating at all, but this is now in place and we're just waiting for a Gas connection which was supposed to happen tomorrow. I just phoned to check we were still OK for this, and have been told that no, they have no engineers working and the next available date is the 25th January!?

After connection the supply will take 4-5 days, apparently, to actually start coming through...

We were supposed to move in that week ? the gas having been installed and heating on to try and dry the place out. We've given notice on our rented flat, and on our daughter's nursery. I need to be in Wimbledon as have been discharged from the hospital I have been booked at in North London, and am in the middle of transferring my care to Kingston Hospital...

But we can't move in to a house with no heating or cooking facilities, with a 2 year old and me heavily pregnant... and the place won't dry out unless we can start heating it.

I've tried to explain our circumstances to the "customer service" representative, but he, basically couldn't care less. He said he'd put us on the "cancellation waiting list" but that there were quite a few people on it already and didn't think it would make much difference...

Is there anything else I can do? Does anyone know of any recourse I have to challenge this and get something done? I feel like they really have us over a barrel as there's no-one else we can source this service from.

It's incredibly stressful - as if moving house at 35 week pregnant and a toddler in tow wasn't hectic enough...

Thanks in anticipation of your wisdom...


OP posts:
GrendelsMum · 07/01/2010 16:00

What a tough situation for you!

Do you have proof in writing from them that you were scheduled for tomorrow? You might try contacting the Office of the CEO for the company with proof that you were scheduled for tomorrow. You could also try going to your local paper with a sob story about pregnant woman left homeless by evil gas company.

However, if this doesn't work, can you see if there are any of those apartments available for short-term lease to business people in the Wimbledon area? It would cost a lot, but might be less stressful.

GrendelsMum · 07/01/2010 16:01

p.s. does it actually have no heating facilities at all? You didn't happen to install a wood stove, did you? You can manage with that if you need to, even in this cold weather.

designerbaby · 07/01/2010 21:00

Nope, none... It had open firplaces in each room, but they've been taken out as are in the process of being replaced, there was an ancient electric hot water tank, but that's also been taken out and replaced with a new, GAS one in the loft. There was no other heating in place at all... Two little old ladies had inherited it from their father who bought it when it was first built, (in the very early thirties) and basically they'd done nothing to it... a dream property in many respects, but it means there's no existing infrastructure to fall back on.

Basically everything's been in place waiting for the gas to be connected for almost a month - tomorrow was the earliest they'd do it in the first place, we asked for it a LOT earlier... and now another three week delay, and zero customer service.

Yes, we have everything in writing, but, because there's been SNOW well, all bets are off... No engineers working for three days, and the best solution they can come up with for all those people who haven;t had their services connected is to put them at the back of the queue again...

I've emailed them about it, explaining the situation in more depth, and called again to try and speak to someone higher up the food chain, apparently a 'manager' is going to call me back tomorrow, so we'll see.

I just makes me so that they KNOW they have you over a barrell, that you can't go anywhere esle instead, so there's no incentive to do anything to help. It's all on their terms, and that makes me furious.

I thought everything was going a bit too smoothly!

A short let is an idea, although we're drastically short of funds having ploughed every spare cent we have into this project... We may just have to try and find it somehow, I guess - we're running out of options...

Anyone want some stress? I've got some going spare... Or rage, got a bit of that extra too...

Thanks for responding though ? I may threaten to set the press on them tomorrow if I'm still getting no joy...


OP posts:
NoseyNooNoo · 07/01/2010 21:09

Call the press/media department of the company - they tend to be very helpful.

toja555 · 08/01/2010 09:34

Firstly, congratulations on your 2nd baby on the way! Secondly, I would probably still move and try to survive as it is. Although it is very inconvenient but it is only about 3 weeks until heating will be on. For the time being you can 1) borrow some electric heaters from friends 2) heat and live in 1 room and kitchen only 3) arrange staying at friends on weekends 4) push gas company as advised here 5) most importantly do not stress! ? you will see your baby soon and you are moving in to your new house, think that in few weeks time everything will be sorted. Good luck!
P.S. I have heard from my colleague that she has no gas for 10 days no because of gas repairs on the street ? all street house have been staying without gas, heating, hot water etc ? you are not alone here!

designerbaby · 08/01/2010 12:18


Tahanks to everyone, but, to my surprise, DH got a call from the gas people, who had received bmy email and been contacted by the second customer service rep. I spoke to, and...


I'm gobsmacked.

And take it all back. Wonderful lot, all of them...

Amazing, they sounded so negative and unhelpful and ended up getting the job done, whereas the opposite is usually the case...


Soooo. Relieved.

Thanks for all your responses and your congrats toja... We'd talked about it last night, and decided that if no joy, DH would camp, and DD and I (both asthmatic types and not good in very damp conditions) would try and impose on a friends' spare bedroom for a couple of weeks...


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