How are HomeServe still in business

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
176 replies 176.9K views
reck_ukreck_uk Forumite
113 Posts
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
Got my usual bi-monthly begging letter from homeserver today asking me to take out their insurance cover for burst water pipes. Normally it goes straight in the bin but this time i'd thought i'd check what other people thought of them online as i'd heard they had a bad reputation from work colleagues, friends etc.

So I went to google and did a search and was amazed at the overwhelming bad response I got. It seems at peoples hour of need homeserve hardly ever pay out, normally citing some clause in the terms and conditions. I search on this forum and some others as well and again I was getting the same message, WHATEVER YOU DO STAY AWAY FROM HOMESERVE.

It just makes me wonder now that they have such a bad reputation how can they still be in business? I suppose they must have hundreds of customers paying their premiums each month not knowing that the when the day comes that they need their help the chances are they are going to be disappointed.

Needless to say the begging letter went in the bin like all the rest.
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Replies

  • reck_ukreck_uk Forumite
    113 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Anyone used them?
  • reck_uk wrote: »
    Anyone used them?


    HOMESERVE are a nightmare, stay clear, They will say you are not covered even when you are, If you call them have your policy handy and check ALL what they say, Their conractors are useless and how the electricians ever got their qualifaction is beyond me....

    MY STORY:mad:


    Called Homeseve because consumer unit crackling and sparking, Assistant said sorry your not covered as it is not an emergany WHAT!!!, spoke to supervisor and said cancel my cover, Oh ok we will send someone out, 2 HOMESERVE electricians later, no fault found, Oh ok, I will try an electricion out of the phonebook, 2 minutes in the property and identifies problem, consumer unit very dangerous and could go on fire any time now WHAT!!!!!! cue call back to homeserve whilst my emectrician still in property, Sorry your not covered for consumer unit, OK so your electricians put my life in danger by not identifying problem and my electrician takes two minutes to identify, My electrician speaks to HOMESERVE,(himself angry at what they have done (OR NOT DONE) OK
    we will come out and put new consumer unit in free of charge Great...
    Job Done, just to be on safe side my electrician pops back to check on work, UH OH consumer unit not earthed, This is in regulations that they must be, Cue call to homeserve, Not our responsibility its upto you to earth unit... WHAT!!!! another argument and complaint, electrician comes out no problem it will be fine, OK now I am losing the will to live, just leave it as assured not dangerous.... 2 months down the line, BANG, all sockets blow, I know!! call HOMESERVE, sorry your not covered you have called us out 3 times this year that is the maximum, BUT could it not be a fault with the consumer unit (STILL UNDER GUARANTEE) and also sure policy states UNLIMITED electrical call out, Speak to supervisor, NO sorry I have read the policy document YOU ARE DEFINATELY NOT COVERED, Ok so I have the policy in front of me there it is in black and white UNLIMITED CALL OUT......... Oh right we will get electrician out...... She arrives (same one as other times) Its your dishwasher, dont use it and buy a new one, BYE.... Ok suddenly a thought, I will just try another socket just in case, No Bang, dishwasher fine, ok I will try another appliance in that socket BANG, Its the socket NOT the appliance....... Call Homeserve (This was Saturday just gone) explain problem, Ok I will find the details and call you back in the next twenty minutes. Guess What I am still waiting, Cue call to bank cancel D/D, an E-Mail to Watchdog, Complaint to homeserve, and I will tell everyone who will liste,

    Thankyou and sorry for the long long message:T
  • reck_ukreck_uk Forumite
    113 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    This is what I was talking about. I've never used them myself, just get the letters all the time asking me to sign up. But i've heard similar stories to yourself regarding the service (or not) that homeserve provides.

    If I was in the situation where I needed to call them out I would want to know that would happen and not have to spend time on the phone trying to convince someone i'm covered or maybe not because of small print.

    In principle I would consider a service like this but not with homeserve because i've yet to come across one person who's recommend them and I keep hearing these horror stories. Instead i've decided to set a little extra aside in a savings account each month to cover me in case instead of relying on a third party who may or may not turn up.

    BTW did homeserve sort you out in the end?
  • I have been 'On & Off' without Heating and Hot water since 23rd January, during the Coldest spell in recent history.
    On the first night, despite charging me £50 for an 'Emergency Call Out' NO ONE ATTENDED. Since then I have tried to make contact on around 20 occassions and been told they have not receicved ANY messages via their 'CONTACT US' forum ?????? This despite me Cut & Pasting them to numerous departments, INCLUDING their Press Office !!!!.
    Since then I have been 'Lied' to and not acknowledged
    I am still in dispute with them up until now (28th March) and usure if my heating has been sorted.
    For those of you who Dont Know the legislation, I suggest you do the following in order to get a reaction from Governing bodies is :-
    a) Put in a 'Subject Access Request' to Homeserve for details of ALL of the communications betrween you and them. This MAY cost you £10 but is well worth it to gain evidence for your complaint.
    b) Make a 'Freedom of Information Request' as per the Act of 2000. to the Ombudsmans Office asking 'How Many' complaints they have received against this company. This will cost you nothing and is in 'THE PUBLIC INTEREST'
    c) If you feel that they have breached and of the Data integrity issues or not complied with your request, as at 1) above, complain to the 'Information Commssioner's Office' who grant the Data Protection Licencee.
    It is only by displaying our depth of feeling and discontent, with a company who charge for a Service but do not deliver, will we get a reaction.
    My experience show that this company have NO RESPECT for its customers whatsoever and I WISH I had stayed with BRITISH GAS who I regret leaving.,
    Thank You
    Stuart KNIGHT
  • lapatlapat Forumite
    816 Posts
    drainage cover is the worst aspect of homeserve.they will come out and repair the problem no issues as waste water is health issue. wait a couple of months and the letter will drop on your doorstep asking you for your home insurance supplier and policy details so they can claim there costs back. policy canceled with emmidate effect.
    need to have a lightbulb moment
  • can only agree with the bad comments. moved house in july, tried to get boiler serviced ever since, no luck ! after approx. 15 phone calls eventually got an appointment for friday last week, engineer turned up on thursday, left a card.another phone call, reconfirmed friday's appointment, stayed in all day, no engineer ! cancelled dd, have been told no refund available 'read terms and conditions' in spite of homeserve being in breach of contract. they and their contractors are a complete waste of space, i'm just about to contact watchdog ! do not touch them with the proverbial.
  • smo59smo59 Forumite
    21 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    We had Homeserve drain cover for a year but I decided to cancel it when the renewal came.

    I rang the call centre and asked if I had the right dept. to cancel my cover.

    Rather than answering my question, I was giving a 5 minute script on why I would be legally responsible for the end of the world if it happened to start from our sewer pipe, and how Homeserve could protect against this.

    I asked if my original question could be answered "do I have the right dept. to cancel my cover?".

    Bloke on the other end just launched into his script again.

    I'm always very polite on the phone, but this guy really got my back up so I started to talk over him and ask my question again, and again, and again.

    Each time he just started anew on the script.

    After ~10mins he stopped and said "So should I book you in for a renewal then?"

    Me: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooo".
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    48.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Homeserve + Warm sure = Home swerve!

    The list of terrible, shocking service issues are too long to go into but after two weeks we are still waiting to get our boiler fixed. We even offered to get the parts ourselves!

    DO NOT use either company. They clearly don't care and it is very unfair that they are able to trade.

    Meanwhile .....what do we do? We are at a loss to know how to get hot water or heating!

    You do what you should have done in the first place-call out a local independent recommended GSR RGI.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • edited 3 February 2011 at 9:10PM
    bigdavegbigdaveg Forumite
    15 Posts
    edited 3 February 2011 at 9:10PM
    I foolishly had 3 policies with Homeserve, on xmas eve all my lights died and because of the weather & recorded message (stay on line if life threatening) I did'nt make a claim until the 27th Dec. it's now the 3rd Feb and the work is unfinished. Both home serve & the electrician admitted to making mistakes, HS claim to respond in 2 hours it was actually 3 days before I saw an electrician, he continued to rip off a light switch (which even I did'nt think was the problem) and to realise it was'nt the problem :T

    And despite forgetting to turn up and then breaking down the next day (28th & 29th) and with the problem still undiagnosed; "i'm gonna have to come back, probably on Monday" (this was on the 30th, a Thursday), after expressing my concerns he came back the next day (31st) and thanks to my efforts the fault was finally found, in the loft, again thanks to my efforts he disconnected a cable & said he'd be back, that was on the 31st Dec.

    2 letters with deadlines and the mention of the goods and services act later, and still nothing, I have been to consumer direct but realistically what can they do ?, I would imagine HS have got so professional at facing complaints that they just ignore them.

    I made over 30 calls to various homeserve numbers and actually managed to speak to a 3 people, who pass you on to another "busy line".

    I've ditched one policy, another will go this week and the lecky cover I'm keeping live while the "job remains unfinished".

    Is there any chance of an home emergency type review, which should hopefully lead all sensible people away from such an inept and uncustomer friendly organiation, in simple terms; want Home emergency cover; avoid HOMESERVE at all costs..
  • vernternverntern Forumite
    247 Posts
    bigdaveg wrote: »
    I foolishly had 3 policies with Homeserve, on xmas eve all my lights died and because of the weather & recorded message (stay on line if life threatening) I did'nt make a claim until the 27th Dec. it's now the 3rd Feb and the work is unfinished. Both home serve & the electrician admitted to making mistakes, HS claim to respond in 2 hours it was actually 3 days before I saw an electrician, he continued to rip off a light switch (which even I did'nt think was the problem) and to realise it was'nt the problem :T

    And despite forgetting to turn up and then breaking down the next day (28th & 29th) and with the problem still undiagnosed; "i'm gonna have to come back, probably on Monday" (this was on the 30th, a Thursday), after expressing my concerns he came back the next day (31st) and thanks to my efforts the fault was finally found, in the loft, again thanks to my efforts he disconnected a cable & said he'd be back, that was on the 31st Dec.

    2 letters with deadlines and the mention of the goods and services act later, and still nothing, I have been to consumer direct but realistically what can they do ?, I would imagine HS have got so professional at facing complaints that they just ignore them.

    I made over 30 calls to various homeserve numbers and actually managed to speak to a 3 people, who pass you on to another "busy line".

    I've ditched one policy, another will go this week and the lecky cover I'm keeping live while the "job remains unfinished".

    Is there any chance of an home emergency type review, which should hopefully lead all sensible people away from such an inept and uncustomer friendly organiation, in simple terms; want Home emergency cover; avoid HOMESERVE at all costs..

    Well said bigdaveg. I'm just trying to get compensation from Homeserve for their 'engineer' who never completed the job and in the process broke my loft ladder and damaged a wall and door. Repeated, standard letters from Homeserve that they are 'investigating' the problem.
    To all who read this. Do NOT waste your money with a service plan with Homeserve. Ask around for recommendations for a local heating engineer/plumber or electrician. Begin to set aside a monthly sum in a savings account and build up money to cover emergencies. If you have an existing Homeserve policy and are dissatisfied with their attempts to avoid resolving your complaint and problem. CANCEL your policy and STOP your Direct Debit.
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