Beware of useless boiler maintenance contracts?

Beware of useless boiler maintenance contracts?

9:40 AM, 18th February 2021, About 3 years ago 20

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I had a gas safety check carried out on one of our properties last Friday afternoon for a tenant, his wife and four children by Your Repair. The engineer carried out the gas safety on the boiler and said all was working well, but noticed a grill was missing from the flue pipe outside, to which he promptly came back into the property, shut the gas off and put a sticker on the boiler saying “DO NOT USE” and told the tenant not to use it.

This was on one of the coldest spells in the South East of England with snow on the ground. The tenant asked if there was something that could be done so that the heating and hot water could go back on as they are both key workers and have a young family. They needed the handwashing facilities intact. The engineer said there was nothing he could do. The tenant offered to pay for anything he could do to get the gas back on, but nothing was suggested. The engineer just said the flue pipe was not covered by the contract.

I find this surprising because if there is something wrong with the flue pipe it is irrelevant whether the boiler or the rest of the central heating is functioning or not because the gas would still be turned off. The engineer said it is not his job and left. The tenant contacted me late on Friday evening to tell me what had happened. I tried to get an emergency gas engineer out, but a lot did not want to know because of the weather.

It would have been helpful if Your Repair could have notified me as the policyholder that there was a problem with a possibility of arranging some emergency work through their advertised 5000 gas safe engineers as well as the one on-site.

The following day I did manage to get somebody to put a made up grill on the flue, just so no birds could make a nest in it which is what the engineer pointed out could happen.

So, before you sign up you do need to fully understand what you are signing up to. They seem to be a company with no common sense or empathy. These boiler service contract companies seem to be springing up. Thankfully I kept my other properties under the British Gas contracts. It is more expensive, but you get what you pay for.


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21:09 PM, 18th February 2021, About 3 years ago

I am not using any insurance plans on my 8 properties. What I read above has confirmed my worst fears about it. I use a local gas engineer I have known for about ten years. He knows the boilers and their history, gives me a very good deal on the servicing and gas certificates and as I am a valued client he would not rip me off. There is nothing like personal service.

Jessie Jones

10:18 AM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Lee Bailey at 18/02/2021 - 10:26
The trouble with British Gas cover is that if one of their engineers decides that a particular part needs to be replaced, they have to go through their own channels to get that part. If the part isn't currently available in their depot, and worse still is manufactured abroad, you can wait weeks for them to do the repair.
A local gas engineer is free to get that same part from any number of suppliers, maybe even an OEM part and fix your boiler there and then. Same part, same repair, but without the bureaucracy that comes with a service plan.

Edwin Cowper

10:36 AM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

British Gas maintenance contracts are useless too. BG has refused to attend a breakdown until 13th March. Yes, 13th March.

They have said in writing we can hire an engineer (why dont they do that) and send them the bill which I will have paid. In that case, why use BG and pay them? I have lodged a complaint and asked them for chapter and verse to say how they can simply pass the buck to me. All lawyers have the same qualifications, like heating engineers, but I wouldn't know who to use.

British Gas are pointless.

Edwin Cowper

10:38 AM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

And another thing. If we get an engineer, then the price might be higher than they are willing to pay.

I also told them that there was a vulnerable person in the household but that did not change anything


11:06 AM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

As a retired multi skilled building service technician, one of the certificates I held was corgi registration. My own observation is that these quals, Corgi and Gas safe etc, prove you are trained to work with gas. It does not mean that one is competent working and diagnosing faults on the complex electronics on modern boilers. My own worst experience of this was when my agent used a gas registered "technician" to repair my boiler. He had no clue. His bill was a long rambling statement to justify the nearly £600 cost, in which he explained why he had spent over 4 hours changing components, 2 of which had been fitted new in the last 9 months, until he hit the jackpot. Fortunately I had the knowledge and experience to challenge him on his competence and he backed down.

Anthony Osman

17:50 PM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

I'm a plumber and I got fed up with missed appointments from BG, Baxi and independent gas engineers. I also worked out how much I was spending each year on my properties with annual certs, and repairs. It worked out cheaper to get qualified as a gas engineer. So in December I enrolled on my gas engineers course and am due to get my Gas Safe accreditation in 2 months time. Over the next five years, the savings I make just on annual certs will more than pay for my course (plus I'll get paid for carrying out gas work for others in my hometown).


18:16 PM, 20th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Edwin Cowper at 20/02/2021 - 10:36
Yes, a familiar story.
I had a tenant last week with no central heating and with a baby of 14 months.
After holding on the phone for ever and a day listening to Covid 19 messages along with numerous automated appointment dates a month away I was told that it wasn't an emergency because the baby was over 12 months.
Was then advised to call out a local engineer and send them this bill !
I find this unacceptable when i pay B.Gas a monthly fee to avoid any potential hassle of trying to find someone at short notice .
P.S. energy companies like B.Gas hold a priority register and a household with anyone under the age of 5 is considered vulnerable.
How can they expect anyone to wait a month to attend a breakdown.

Michael Bond

19:57 PM, 21st February 2021, About 3 years ago

I had a similar with Worcester Bosch. My local plumber hit a problem which he was not sure about and advised me to call one of their engineers. The man arrived, took one look at the problem which required him to work a couple of steps up a ladder (indoors), said something about health and safety, and left. I never even saw him, though my son did. He was out of the house within 10 minutes.

Bob S

4:50 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 18/02/2021 - 10:34
I’ll always self insure when able to do so. Better the investment in my bank account for my decision making than someone else’s with a promise to provide a potentially less than 100% service to me whilst I hold the risk.
I avoid trades (national and local) using expensive looking liveried vans for marketing purposes. I find the unnamed silver grey ones deliver a service gained by word of mouth. They may cost a little more but you’re after service.
Also, if you’re half decent with DIY use a next day delivery shopping service for those parts you’re allowed to fit, like the grille over the flue, but use a qualified person for those you’re not allowed to.


8:45 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

We use 0800 repair and have done for years. £10.99 a month and they always do a brilliant job. Covers the boiler repairs plus service and CP12. It’s a local company to the North East though which is probably why the service is better than the national suppliers. Money well spent considering we pay £50 for a CP12 and service anyway on our boilers with warranties. 😃

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