British Gas boiler install

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
9 replies 1.3K views
ajrr1ajrr1 Forumite
8 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I've just had a new boiler installed by British Gas. When the salesman visited I explained we wanted a combi, and why. We were advised we didn't have adequate water pressure (they ran a test off the mixer tap in the kitchen sink). We went ahead with a standard boiler.
Firstly, there were delays caused by a sick installer, and then the electrics not being checked correctly when the salesman visited.
Once finally installed (after 2 extra days holiday needed to be taken!) we still had problems with a big drip from the exhaust flue, noisy pipes, radiators not bled, heating controls not installed as requested (7 day not 5/2 day cycle) etc.

however, the worst thing is that when they turned off the internal stopcock, and turned it back on again, we actually have amazing water pressure, so could have had a combi. Basically the stopcock was not fully open. The old boiler had been on british gas service contract by us and the previous owners, and noone other than British Gas would have touched the stopcock in that time.
I am withholding payment & arguing I have been sold the wrong product, because British Gas should have checked our pressure properly. Their telephone customer services guys seem to agree, but I am getting nowhere fast (district sales manager doesn't seem to want to contact me).
Bearing in mind we are extending into the attic, we really need a combi (the long term alternative is extremely expensive re-piping work). If British Gas will not pay for it, I will have to, which means I will have wasted £2800.

I think my consumer rights support me, my clear preference for a combi was made clear, and the water pressure would support it. Is it a fair expectation for them to replace what they have installed with a combi?

many thanks for any advice.
Alex

Replies

  • ollskiollski Forumite
    943 Posts
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    What is your dynamic pressure? and why the preference for a combi?
  • These British Gas fitters are allegedly the experts in their field - see the TV ads.He should have checked the stopcock as part of his assessment. How can he leave without checking the system and bleeding the radiators ? Send British Gas a bill for your extra work, time and rectification work as negociation leverage.
  • Did you sign the contract that said you were happy for all the appropriate items to be installed, with a cooling off period? Personally, I don't think you have a leg to stand on.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    48.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    You probably don't want to hear this, but you've also paid at least 30% more than an independent RGI would have charged you to do it properly with the same boiler.
    BG pricing is invariably way OTT. Did you get 3 quotes?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • edited 1 March 2011 at 9:53AM
    ajrr1ajrr1 Forumite
    8 Posts
    edited 1 March 2011 at 9:53AM
    Macman - I did get other quotes. It was more expensive than independents, but not the other energy suppliers. Cost was slightly offset by the 2 years boiler cover, plus I have been stung in the past by an independent installer - I mistakenly thought I was paying for peace of mind.

    sametheman - I did sign a contract. However, I made a clear statement that I wanted a combi, and only accepted a standard boiler because I was categorically told it was not possible to have a combi. If this was financial services it would be considered mis-selling, and I would be getting compensation. I do think I have a leg to stand on, as I have paid for experts, and got someone with less knowledge than me! I'll let you know how I get on anyway.

    ollski - not sure of my pressure. I had a friend of my father (ex Corgi installer) come around with one of those meters that goes over the tap. I can say that the pressure is now so powerful if I try to fill a pint glass from the tap without turning it down, none of the water stays in the glass! Before the stopcock was fully open it would take approx 10 seconds to fill a pint glass (I could dribble faster!). I will try to let you know measurements when I get someone back in an official capacity. I need a combi because we are going to convert the attic. Alternative is some very expensive re-plumbing work to move tanks 'somewhere else', or moving house!

    Thank you all for your feedback.

    Alex
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    2 years boiler cover is fairly pointless when you have a minimum one year warranty anyway-and some manufacturers provide 2 years. Make and model of the boiler?
    Why did you think that BG meant 'peace of mind'? Plenty of threads on here demonstrate otherwise I'm afraid.
    I suggest you study the small print in the contract, but I think you'll have a struggle proving their incompetence.
    The ace you hold is that you say you haven't paid in full, so the onus is on them to act.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • ajrr1ajrr1 Forumite
    8 Posts
    Sorry, I should have clarified re: peace of mind. It's more from a safety point of view following previous boiler work I had done (Corgi registered, but you wouldn't have known it when flames shot across the room from our old back boiler after work!).
    I realise now that British Gas doesn't mean peace of mind, and I wish I'd known previously!
    It's now been raised as a formal customer complaint. The regional sales manager has till thurs to call me (he's has shorter deadlines in the past to call me!), but at least this time it's been moved a step forward.
    I can't see anything in the contract re: making sure they recommended the correct product. I think if I decided to pursue it further and they wouldn't back down then it's likely to come down to a judgement call on what they should/shouldn't be checking when they spec the system.
  • ajrr1ajrr1 Forumite
    8 Posts
    Ollski - not sure if this is exactly the same as dynamic pressure. However, when the district heating manager came to sort the teething problems with the system this morning, he said our flow rate was 15 litres per minute, reducing to 13 litres per minute when he turned it down to 1 bar (I think that's the correct terminology).
    He is happy it is sufficient for a combi, but of course explained all the downsides of a combi - which thankfully I already knew from our old property). To be fair this guy was extremely helpful.

    Now waiting to see what the District Sales Manager says about replacing the boiler that has been installed.
  • ajrr1ajrr1 Forumite
    8 Posts
    Just to close this thread.....

    British Gas did agree to replace the boiler they installed with a combination boiler. I paid the incremental cost over the original boiler install. I was able to choose the specific make/model (the original one recommended did not match what I wanted).
    The engineers sent to install (1 electrician and one plumber) did a great job.

    I do feel I had to fight for the issue to be resolved, but it's very much to their credit that they listened. It turned a VERY negative experience into something (after a bit of time) I am now happy with.

    My advice.... if you use a big company like BG, you may get a generic service, but if you are prepared to stand your ground (if your points are valid) they will listen, so there is some peace of mind.

    Alex
This discussion has been closed.
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