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BEWARE - Corgi HomePlan

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  • Mutton_Geoff
    Mutton_Geoff Posts: 3,846 Forumite
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    hybernia wrote: »
    I don't know, and neither do you, if what Corgi Homecare is forking out in license fees nowadays includes the right to re-use the Corgi logo


    I bet they don't pay. They have probably looked up the copyright and chosen not to put the word Corgi inside the shield or use the word "gas" and escaped any liability. If the old Corgi has gone, maybe there is nobody to bother pursuing close imitations like this.


    Individually there is probably no copyright on an orange shield or the word "corgi" so they can get away with this.
    Signature on holiday for two weeks
  • timusathem28
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    HI all

    I came to this page after receiving their pamphlet in the post and was thinking about them, so thank you for the warnings!

    Just one question: if you feel they are deliberately misusing the Corgi brand, why are they listed as a service on the Corgi Services website? Or are you saying that the Corgi website is not the old Corgi website? Sorry confused!

    thanks again!
  • hybernia
    hybernia Posts: 390 Forumite
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    If the old Corgi has gone, maybe there is nobody to bother pursuing close imitations like this.
    Individually there is probably no copyright on an orange shield or the word "corgi" so they can get away with this.

    And this:
    Just one question: if you feel they are deliberately misusing the Corgi brand, why are they listed as a service on the Corgi Services website? Or are you saying that the Corgi website is not the old Corgi website? Sorry confused!
    thanks again!

    Hopefully, ol' Philpho won't mind me quoting from post #57 in this very same thread where he took the trouble to patiently explain the background to today's 'Corgi HomePlan' and why it is a marketing device trading on the back of a formerly well-known and widely respected officially recognised name.

    For those who don't have time to scroll back through the posts, here's what Phylpho had to say -- and really, he couldn't have been more clear):

    CORGI is a dog that had its day. Go to this link and you'll see why:

    http://www.corgiservices.com/about/

    and particularly note:

    "By capitalising on the proud heritage of CORGI – and over 90% consumer awareness as a trusted brand – CORGI Services Limited is able to support industry stakeholders, and provide funds to support the work of The Gas Safety Trust.

    "Currently the CORGI brand is licensed for use by a carefully selected range of businesses, including Insurance, Certification, Van Sales, Warranties, Underfloor Heating, Telecoms, Controls, Technical Services and industry-related product lines."

    In other words: pay enough to use the name, and you, too, can tell everyone that you are. . . CORGI. (And instantly become a corgi from a "carefully selected range of businesses": now, where have we all heard that oh-so convincing phrase before??)

    Our home has just received the latest mail-out from CORGI: "Last chance for Corgi Boiler Offer", says the outer envelope, as if there is such a thing as a Corgi boiler (though some misguided souls might think so).

    Opening the envelope and out tumbles a piece of sales literature within which inconvenient truths are omitted and a knowingly misleading misrepresentation is systematically crafted, all of this to lure the unwary into thinking that the headline stuff about CORGI being "formed" in 1968 proves, beyond doubt, how long this outfit has been in business, and why its record of "Safety since 1968" makes it the best by far choice for home central heating insurance.

    None of this is true.

    The mail is not from a company "formed" in 1968, and is not the work of people with a record of "Safety since 1968".

    For the record, and because CORGI Homeplan fails to mention it, CORGI was a voluntary standards watchdog -- NOT a company, NOT a business -- set up in 1970. Its full title was the Confederation for the Registration of Gas Installers.

    As CRaGI wasn't exactly the snappiest of titles, it became CORGI in 1978, the Council for Registered Gas Installers.

    As a Council (NOT a business), as an authorised watchdog backed by UK legislation (again: NOT a company) CORGI profited from registration fees that began to pour in when in 1991, Government insisted that all gas installers must register with CORGI.

    Today -- at least according to the impression contrived by the authors of the junk mail campaign -- CORGI's heritage is impressive. . . so impressive and so dependable that CORGI HomePlan is built on it.

    What the sales spiel doesn't say is that so amazingly impressive was CORGI that Government stripped it of its status in 2009 / 2010 and handed that function to a new entity: Gas Safe Register, managed by Capita Group on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive.

    Be aware, then, that the CORGI that may recently have come through your door is NOT the CORGI you might once have known and learned to trust in. . .

    --
    So, er, no. It's not a question of "if the old Corgi has gone".

    Because the old Corgi most definitely has gone. And did so, long, long ago.

    As for the other poster's question about the entitlement of the HomePlan insurance outfit to use the dead dog's name in its sales pitches, that's all made perfectly clear in Phylpho's post, too.

    The insurer (whose employees may very well have never fixed a tap in their entire lives, never mind a central heating boiler) has secured the right to use the name from the mysterious Corgi Services Ltd, which claims to have been set up in 1996 to "offer specialist services to the trade and consumers".

    The identity of who actually did the setting up remains hidden.

    As for the blurb about 'offering specialist services', the verbiage is obviously meaningless, something evidently hashed together to obscure the specifics of the what, why, who and where of "Corgi Services Ltd" operation.

    The blunt truth is that someone somewhere figured that as the CORGI name had imprinted itself on the nation's consciousness once upon a time, CORGI would be ideal for continuing profitable exploitation, this despite the fact that CORGI has nothing whatsoever to do with any registered 'Council' or semi statutory agency or anything else, still less gas, gas supplies, gas boilers and gas central heating.

    However, if enough people out there were too stupid ever to look into it, and simply thought that "Ah! CORGI = gas!", then financial success was assured.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the true owners of Corgi Services Limited have chosen to wrap themselves up in claims of good works -- for which reason, it is presumably hoped by them that they can continue on indefinitely, unhampered by challenge or even simple, basic questions.

    After all, being really lovely, lovely (if anonymous) people who have placed the commercial profits racked up by Corgi Services Limited into a special Corgi Trust, this Trust seemingly now at the forefront of funding research into carbon monoxide poisoning, nothing gets more noble than that, does it?

    Of course . . . if you're not entirely bowled over by all these protestations of charitable do-gooding and the blatant nonsense about "offering specialist services" -- as if The Council for the Registration of Gas Installers decided, at the time Government brought its existence to an end, that ooer, hey guys, we really must start offering our services to others: (Oh really? What on earth could such a bureaucratic body possibly have to offer, other than experience in vetting qualifications in a particular industry?) then you should treat both Corgi HomePlan and Corgi Services Ltd with the same contempt that they have (note: they may possibly be one and the same) for your intelligence.

    You should write to your constituency MP (her or his address will be the House of Commons) asking him or her to refer your concern to the Energy Secretary, with a view towards a governmental examination of the real provenance and actual activity of Corgi Services Limited, established 1996 by person /persons unknown, and "the Corgi Trust", well as the insurance outfit Corgi HomePlan and its UK operations.

    You should ask who, if anyone, or which Government agency, should such be the case, owned the rights to the name Council for the Registration of Gas installers.

    And what permission / what authority did they have to sell those rights (and for how much?)

    You can also ask your MP to enquire into just how much cash the registered charity The Gas Safety Trust is receiving from the Corgi Trust, seeing as how monies pouring into the secretive coffers of Corgi Services Limited are said by its owners to be going to good causes like the investigation of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    (It's obviously pure coincidence:rotfl: that the company has chosen to associate itself so closely with something which has the word 'gas' in its title, an association that surely has nothing to do with any intention to keep as many naive people as possible thinking Corgi, thinking gas, for as long as is profitably possible.)

    As to what else to do in addition to raising the CORGI issue with your Member of Parliament, you may like to consider saving your money and tearing up any correspondence you get from any so-called home heating / boiler repair cover specialist, be it Corgi HomePlan, British Gas, or any of the smaller outfits (amongst which latter are well-nigh criminal enterprises that figure on MSE from time to time.)

    If you reckon that a modern boiler has a lamentably short lifespan of around 7 years, and that if during that period you keep forking out the equivalent of a small fortune each year in monthly Direct debits to some insurer or other, you'll have paid several times over for a new boiler anyway by the time it's due for replacement.

    Your insurance premiums will be so much dead money that you could've saved towards the cost of boiler replacement.

    My family did the math and packed in British Gas in October 2015 when its extortionate monthly charge reached £23 a month / £276 a year. (That's now a comparatively cheap price to pay for British Gas boiler cover.)

    We found a local heating engineer who undertook our annual boiler service and, when our boiler finally reached the end of its useful life we arranged for him to fit a replacement. The cost was vastly cheaper than British Gas, which cynically invented an entirely fictitious "discount" on a new boiler and its installation: the company "reduced" by £300 its quote, having first inflated the quote by that £300 amount. Even so, a friend of ours who had a replacement boiler identical to ours fitted around the same time, still paid several £100 more than we did to British Gas, the mythical "£300 OFF!" special offer notwithstanding. (Moral of the story, were such needed: do NOT trust British Gas to tell the truth. Ever.)

    As a new boiler comes with a manufacturer's warranty anyway and as a good, decent, local heating engineer (not merely a plumber) shouldn't be that hard to find, there's no sense in signing up to insurance deals (because that's all they are) at inflated prices.

    We cancelled our British Gas cover in October 2015. Our cheapo and oft-times malfunctioning Glow-worm boiler (installed by a cost-slashing scummy builder when our house was new) died on us in Spring this year. The new Bosch-Worcester central heating boiler replacement and its installation cost us £1,200. The amount of money we had not paid to British Gas totalled 42 months at £23 = £966. For servicing/minor repairs in 2016-2018 inclusive, we had also paid our local heating engineer 3 x £70: £210.

    So we were actually better off to the tune of at least £966 minus £210 = £756 by the time it became necessary to pay for the new boiler. British Gas cover did not provide for boiler replacement so we could just as well have continued forking out right up to the point that the sum of £1,200 was needed. In other words, by not continuing on with a gas central heating / boiler insurance agreement, we actually saved £756 towards the £1,200 cost of the new boiler and its installation.

    The insurance industry is, like any vulture, keen to feed wherever and on whatever it can, and the way its practitioners have moved in on homeowners and their anxiety about central heating failures says much about the industry's appetite for easy profits.

    Corgi HomePlan is in the insurance business, so don't think it's some kind of nationwide gas servicing and central heating repair company, because it's not. And don't make the mistake of thinking its insurance clerks have or ever have had anything meaningful to do with the long defunct Council of Registered Gas installers.

    Corgi HomePlan is, instead, all about a commercial relationship between an insurance outfit with an affinity for misrepresentation with the unnamed, unknown individuals who own and profit from Companies House registered Private Limited Company number 03268198.

    Hope that's cleared that up! (Apologies to Phylpho for nicking his post, but sometimes it's impossible to get across to people that if only they did the equivalent of reading the manual first . . .) :)
  • tugair
    tugair Posts: 4 Newbie
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    Corgi Homeplan!
    I was not aware of the shambles this company is and assumed the cover offered was what we needed. 
    However, water coming through the ceiling in the Spring of 2020 was not something they could deal with, unless I could identify where specifically the leak was coming from and they refused to turn out.

    So, I attempted to cancel the policy and then found that despite Martin's warnings regarding 'inertia payments', this was the case here, but with some mitigation.  Basically, the 'Homeplan' was taken out in 2018, but other than the original offer letter, we never received any other paperwork.  Renewal time came around in 2019 and the policy renewed, apparently after they sent emails to that effect.  Problem was, none were ever received, so if I did receive them, then I assume my spam filter had them and deleted them after 30 days.

    On attempting to cancel, I was told it would cost £31 to terminate!  I've sent various emails and just had a 'robust' discussion with one of their operatives.
    They state that them sending an email without any further documentation is enough, in their eyes, to prove I was aware of the terms and conditions, or I could have read them on the website & therefore, must pay.  I've told them I disagree, not knowing of contract conditions, or that the policy has renewed, is not notification and why was not a confirmation letter not sent?
     
    Conclusion, I've allowed an 'inertia' to renew & I now await their paperwork!
    Don't use this compant!
  • David22491
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    Hi guys, I just had my yearly boiler service from Corgi, and now there is a water leek coming from the unit. I rang Corgi and they told me that I need to pay £60 for someone to come out and fix it. I pointed out that this has only happened since they did the service. They said that there is no prof, but may refund the £60 if they find that they were at fault. Fed up of CON UK! 
  • metalmick
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    Benn a Corgi Homeplan user for about three years. Called them out for a repair last week and the engineer discovered it was sludge that had blocked the boiler and unfortunately that isn't covered by the insurance. I accepted this and have decided to replace the whole heating system as it's fairly old. I called Corgi and asked to cancel my plan when I was told this wasn't a problem but they would want £90 to pay for the rest of the policy. I was totally gobsmacked! I said " so you've decided that my boiler isn't covered because of sludge damage leaving me a boiler that's is totally useless, you now wnat me to pay for another six months of cover for a boiler that YOU have decided you can't cover (so I am paying for nothing) and then in two years time when my new boiler is out of warranty you will be expecting me to come back and start paying you again" Unbelievable! No way.
  • hybernia
    hybernia Posts: 390 Forumite
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    @metalmick: My sympathies, but you're not powerless to do anything.
    It's actually a simple straightforward process to find out who your Member of Parliament is and then write to her/him, setting out the facts of your situation and also drawing his attention to the facts that were earlier furnished here in a post by phylpho (to which I referred to earlier)..
    Once upon a time, central government had a close connection with CORGI. It no longer has that connection, but because of previous involvement it retains a residual interest in learning if and how and when the CORGI name is being exploited and abused.
    You'll terrify the lot of 'em at Corgi Home Plan by saying not only are you not paying the £90 they're demanding, but you're also asking your MP to refer their business and its business practices to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State for Energy, Business and Clean Growth,  for formal investigation.
    Never forget that the odds really are stacked against as shabby an outfit as Corgi HomePlan when UK citizens / UK consumers realise that they themselves -- individually and collectively-- are considerably more powerful than pathetic creatures desperately chasing grubby £90 fictions..
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