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Cheapest Boiler Cover Discussion

edited 14 June 2010 at 4:21PM in Energy
539 replies 357.8K views
1356754

Replies

  • zoebelzoebel Forumite
    63 posts
    That just goes to show how these companies work. They try it on and hope that we'll just go along with it.

    All the time you hear about British Gas gradually increasing the price at renewal, hoping customers will either not notice or not care. Before you know it you are paying twice the price offered to new customers. We should not accept this and make sure we get the same deal as new customers. After all it costs them a lot more money to get new customers than keep existing ones - they should charge us less if anything!
  • KJF1KJF1 Forumite
    3 posts
    Just a warning about Homeserve, which we've been with for the past 18 months. We needed them once, and they delivered - no complaints.

    However every month or two we were getting marketing calls for their other insurance products- electrics, outside drains and the likes. We kept asking not to be contacted, but the calls kept coming.

    Had enough of the marketing, so I cancelled them and went with another provider. They've called me up to say that every time they automatically renew my policy with them, I am locked in for 12 months. Apparently I was sent some paperwork last summer (I dont remember but its all carefully recorded on their database) which gave me the opportunity to cancel.

    It's a small amount I'm signed up for, but the principle that some small print forces me to be a customer really annoys me. It will be perfectly legal of course.

    I am now waiting for the summer, as their wonderful database won't allow me to cancel this early. I'd complain, but the script the telesales girl was clearly reading and the marketing calls give me no hope that it would do anything.
  • I'm not sure they can do that. Have a look at the T&C's on the British Gas website under the cancellation section and it does not mention 12 months lock in. I've extracted the following :

    "If you pay each year in advance (by cash, cheque, credit card or debit card) instead of by monthly direct debit and cancel the agreement during that year, we will give you a refund based on how long is left of any 12-month advance payment. This will depend on any deduction we may make under the ‘Minimum charges’ below. If you pay by monthly direct debit, you will not receive a refund of any payment you have made, and your agreement will run until your payment runs out."

    So if you pay by monthly direct debit just cancel it.

    If you have any problems I can provide the email address for the CEO at Centrica (just send me a PM).

    I'm currently in dispute with them as we have been without hot water and heating for over 4 days now. Appointments have been set, missed and even cancelled due to "system errors".
  • Just got some advice reference my boiler a potterton powermax 155 from my local engineer said it is not worth having the heating contract do what martin says put the money in an account that you would spend on a contract and either use this for repairs or replacemnt.
    Sorted out a service through the manufacturers and they have taken the money 6 weeks before they do it is that allowed ???
  • BG gave me the whole mind bending jargon over the phone and talked me round to taking 100cover out for the boiler in the property costing £13.95 pr month,i was a bit dubious when they pushed a inspection on me 2 days later and call it a service! Dont think it was a service as he was just checking bolier met spec for taking me on. I told the BG guy i was a little unsure wether i wanted to have the cover as i only rent he said i would have to prove it was landlords responsibility then i could cancel but from that moment i was under contract for 1yr. Day later they phone me to "see when i was in for a service????"Told a lady on phone 'just had a service' & i was unsure i needed cover & i only rent property & she said i would then have to pay £148 for service. Have i been swindled not paid a payment yet, can anyone tell me where i stand as i am on benefits due to spinal injury with 2 kids and a very tight budget.
  • codgercodger Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    A sad indictment of the times in which we live, but every consumer nowadays realises that when companies start monkeying around with the English language, there must be a reason for it -- and that the reason has everything to do with maximising profit. Not customer service.

    Here's our situation. We live in a 30-month old new-build property. Everything works fine, including the gas central heating (a Glow Worm boiler with a stupid -- and known -- manufacturing design fault involving a small, flexible pipe, though we've been shown how to fix it by a friendly local plumber: you just tap it to free up the kink.)

    The boiler has never been serviced since commissioning. Following the current news update from Martin on this topic, we've just visited the BG website and yes, it's offering a "Boiler Service" for £49 instead of £79 up until August 15th. By coincidence, a flyer has also just dropped through our letterbox from BG offering Homecare 100, 200, 300 and 400 options.

    Cheapest monthly option is the 100 Flexi Plan: £9 a month plus £50 fixed fee per repair. (Otherwise, £13 a month and no repair fees. )

    Nowhere in the Homecare schedule is the phrase "Boiler Service" mentioned.

    Instead, the terminology is: Yearly Safety & Maintenance inspection. Along with the phrase: "Includes parts and labour costs".

    By contrast, the BG website offer, which uses the phrase "Boiler Service", makes no mention at all of "includes parts and labour costs".

    So what's that all about? (Martin: you following this? ;) )

    Because where our car is concerned, a service is £X, but a check of its mechanical condition -- which is all that an "inspection" can truly be -- costs considerably less at £Y: the former includes parts and labour, the latter is labour alone.

    On the face of it, British Gas is therefore offering an annual maintenance inspection (a check) that includes parts and labour. But a full service that doesn't.

    I know British Gas's communication skills are minimal, but one would've thought the £000s this outfit spends on marketing-speak each year might at least have paid for the employment of someone capable of grasping the difference between inspections and services.

    But then: perhaps British Gas has. In which case. . . ????? Answers appreciated.

    Oh, and as for HomeCare, what would wise heads recommend here?

    1) £49 for a BG engineer to undertake a one-off "gas pressure check, a flue test, an inspection of boiler and controls to check they're working properly and a visual inspection of your boiler to check for corrosion and leaks" OR:

    2) £108 (12 months x £9) for one year's cover of the boiler and controls including parts and labour, unlimited call-outs, Yearly Safety & Maintenance Inspection (sic), plus a fixed £50 additional fee for any repair.


    :confused:

    PS: yup, we're aware of the small-print lock-in on the Homecare offer, 12 months' Direct Debit (which we'd cancel at the end of the term.)

    PPS: have now discovered from BG website that the company is using the word "inspection" and the word "service" to mean the same thing. I think.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    Interesting post.

    I have recently left BG homecare after many years because of the price, so have no axe to grind.

    I have 2 boilers an Ideal and a Worcester combi and used to watch their service - certainly the written documentation for Homecare I have(for 2007) includes the word service several times.

    Their service does consist purely of some cleaning and a quick check of a couple of items - there was never any adjusting of any item.

    I have the full Servicing shedule for both boilers and indeed the requirements are exactly that - cleaning and a couple of checks.

    I am no plumber but there is nothing that anyone with the most basic of DIY skills couldn't perform.

    My boilers are not the modern condensing type as I suspect your 30 month old model will be; but it would be interesting to know just what 'servicing' is entailed - the manuals are usually available on-line.

    P.S.
    Your £63 is confusing me! - 12 x £9?
  • codgercodger Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Thanks Cardew!

    (And please, send me a pocket calculator. . . £63 indeed. It should, of course, have read: £2,786. Whoops, start again: £108. I am going to edit my post about BG's questionable literary skills in light of my own non-existent numeracy skills.)

    Good point about the service manuals: I'll look into that.

    Since posting, by the way, I've had time to plough through the various pages of BG's website and there isn't -- apparently -- any difference between what is meant by "annual inspection" and "annual service". It is, er, a service, and it does include parts and labour.

    In which case, and disregarding the numerical gibberish in the earlier post (now about to be edited) we're thinking the £49 service is a better bet than the £14,963 cost of an annual HomeCare 100 contract.

    Though then again. . .
  • I have had British Gas cover /Eon for years and had a service every year. I pay for full cover and have just been told I am not covered for breakdown of my central heating system, as I have not used an inhibitor. What on earth is this! Why if they service boiler every year have they not mentioned this before. Watch them they are very reluctant to keep to their promise of complete cover.
  • Just helping out my gf Nan and she was paying £656 once removed microwave cover and other crap reduces to £432 but might become a new customer and add the £50 excess and should drop to around £200 ish £17 pm I think ... ?
    Help me to help you :santa2:
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