Gas boiler 3 star cover 'scam'

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
32 replies 16K views
bowfbowf Forumite
67 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
I'm a newbie,so apologies if this has been covered before at some point.
Anyone who has the British/Scottish Gas 3 star cover should be very aware of a 'scam' they appear to be running where they will tell you perfectly serviceable boilers are in need of replacement,either because they are completely worn out or because they cannot get the spares.
They will then offer one of their sales people to contact you regarding replacement,offering such 'incentives' as a £100 trade-in for your old boiler.
Now,in my case,they lied about the spares.
It took me 10 minutes to find out spares were readily available.However I was looking at replacing it anyway so I entertained their salesman.He quoted me £2500 for a replacement boiler.When I showed him an alternative quote from a CORGI installer,for the same boiler,for £1150 he 'made his excuses and left'.
This salesman also tried to give the impression that they would not offer future 3 star cover unless the replacement was installed by them.This is also rubbish.
So...
NEVER accept their story that spares are unavailable without checking yourself.
NEVER accept that your boiler needs replacing without a second opinion.
NEVER accept BG's quote only.Always get a second quote from a CORGI registered installer.
«134

Replies

  • I do think that you are being a little unfair to BG here. As one of their engineers I do know about their 3*cover. BG have to inform a customer when their boiler is on a restricted parts list. This means that BG'S national parts centre in Leicester does not carry all the parts for that boiler, which means that the customer is paying a 3*cover with no guarantee that BG can fix the boiler(not a very good idea). It will also most probably be very inefficient to run. This is why they recommend an upgrade. This doesn't mean to say that Joe Bloggs LTD can't go on Ebay or somewhere and locate the part because he might do. Boiler parts are usually readily available for about 15 years, maybe longer bepending on the boiler. They then get less and less as they are used up. :o
    With regard to the quote BG is a big company and every thing has to be done the correct way(they have to follow procedures) that is why you will usually always get a better quote from a local tradesman because he wont hit the National news headlines if he doesn't install a boiler exactly according to procedure. What you do get is the job done right no one will do the job more right than BG and if your not happy they will sort it until you are. Will your local tradesman? ???

    With regards to BG not covering a boiler not installed by them, well that is rubbish. Most boilers BG cover aren't installed by them. They do have to be checked to make sure that they conform to certain standards before they can go on 3*cover. Be aware there are appliances out there that we can't get parts for even though they are brand new. So if your on 3*cover and thinking changing your appliance via a 3rd party check that it will be okay to stay on contract. It wont be the first or the last time when a customer has changed his/her boiler and found out later BG can't cover it. Lesson here is don't buy rubbish. :'(

    I hope this clears up the points mentioned above :)
  • welshblobwelshblob Forumite
    436 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    Will be interested to hear bowf's reply to this. But in the meantime to add fuel to the fire ...

    Surely in this situation it should be clearly explained to the customer that as BG can't obtain the parts it doesn't necessarily mean that other people can't and maybe the customer should cancel their 3* cover as BG can't meet the service agreement and to seek other gas fitter. A refund is perhaps in order as well for all those insurance payments backdated to when the parts for their boiler stopped being available to BG.
    It will also most probably be very inefficient to run.
    The boiler might be inefficient but how much does it cost for the 3* BG service cover and having to upgrade the boiler. In my (limited) experience newer boilers might be more efficient but they tend to have more problems and a shorter life expectancy.
    This is why they recommend an upgrade.
    Upgrade sounds like a very nice word, £2500 doesn't and without the facts I can see why bowf has a problem.
    With regard to the quote BG is a big company and every thing has to be done the correct way (they have to follow procedures) that is why you will usually always get a better quote from a local tradesman because he wont hit the National news headlines if he doesn't install a boiler exactly according to procedure. What you do get is the job done right no one will do the job more right than BG and if your not happy they will sort it until you are. Will your local tradesman?
    Agreed you will have more come back with a large national company. However don't forget that you will be paying for the inefficiencies that go with running a large company and the large advertising budget. I would question the statement that local tradesmen **won't** always follow procedure and it **won't** be done more right than BG. Yes there are cowboys out there but there are also hard working decent trades people also who do a damn good job and are cheaper because they don't have the overhead of running a large company.
    Just my thoughts
    Rob
  • mike_the_bike_2mike_the_bike_2 Forumite
    437 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    This is a subject close to my heart..

    I live on an estate built about 10 years ago which is heavily populated with pensioners who use the "Gas Board" to provide them with 3 star cover.

    Many boilers have already been replaced with lots of comings and goings of British Gas vans after maintenance (sorry vacuming duties)

    Just before last Christmas by next door but one neighbour who was 84 and had an 86 year old wife was told he needed a new boiler on the maintenance visit because the heat exchanger was faulty (dangerous) and that the part was not available. The weather was cold and he paid £4500 to have a new boiler fitted by the "Gas board"..Incidentally they had to come back four times as it didn't work properly an they had to spend time with their neighbours because the house was cold as the new boiler had to be switched off..

    I have the same original boiler fitted and found the heat exchanger readily available on the net in two minutes for £110 + VAT...I never told him because I didn't wan't him to realise he had been ripped off..He died a month later although I am not suggesting the events are related.

    I was so incensed that from my point of view BG are leeching of pensioners in this way that I cancelled my supply contract with BG that month and wil NEVER have ANYTHING to do with BG even if they are selling gas for nothing (In fact as we know they sell the most expensive gas anyway!)
    The Early bird may catch the worm ...but its the second mouse that gets all the cheese!
  • welshblobwelshblob Forumite
    436 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    £4500 :o . Sorry to hear about your neighbour Mike. The more I read this the more it sounds like a story off Watchdog about a large company abusing their position and fleecing the vulnerable. Maybe they need to be contacted? Also where did you get the part from? Was it ebay or proper boiler parts place?
    Incidentally they had to come back four times as it didn't work properly
    Well I take it the BG processes need to be addressed here as clearly things aren't being done the correct way. But I have to wonder whether the local trades people could have done better, no of course not because nobody else could do it more right than BG ;D
  • mike_the_bike_2mike_the_bike_2 Forumite
    437 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    <http://www.pricerightheating.com>

    Don't know anything about them in terms of making a recommendation ..but their web site shows every single part is currently available for my Worcester Boiler which BG are currently ripping out of my estate at every opportunity telling the people that are under 3 star service that they are obsolete and the parts are unobtainable! :'(
    The Early bird may catch the worm ...but its the second mouse that gets all the cheese!
  • Poppy9Poppy9 Forumite
    18.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have had 3* cover with BG  for the last 10 years because in my area it's the quickest call out service for the money.  As my boiler is over 20years old I keep expecting to get told it's knackered but never have been.  I have had good value for money having from memory a good few new thermo valves on radiotors, motorised pump, some other motor, hot water cylinder plus a check up every year.  When you consider that a plumber won't come out for less than £50 if you have 1 repair a year it's paid for itself.  The only issue I have is with the quality of the workmen.  

    Some are excellent - others leave  a lot to be desired.  i.e. when our hot water cylinder was replaced a 3 hour job according to the notice we were given a bolshy employee told me after 3 ours than the pipe work in our loft was all wrong and he had saved us from a huge overflow which would have brought down ceilings etc.  I told him that it had been fine for 5 years so it must have been something he had done.  Well he went back to check and he told me that they had delivered the wrong new cylinder and he had fitted it.  Something to do with Direct or Indirect (the new cylinder had huge stickers over it stating which it was) he said that I would have to wait for a new cylinder to be delivered and a new appointment would be made for an engineer to fit it.  I told him to get his boss on the phone now as I wanted the job completed that day.  He rang his boss and I heard his bollocking - a new cylinder was delivered 30 minutes later and he was there till 7pm fitting it.  However because he had cocked up the pipe work my new cylinder now sits on wooden blocks to hold it up to the pipes.  I am told this is acceptable.

    In my previous house a friend who was trained and worked for BG fitted a gas fire for me.  After complaining of a funny smell and calling out BG 3 times because I suspected there was a gas leak from it the last engineer discovered it had been fitted without a back plate which meant the fumes were coming back in the room.

    I now always watch the men at work in my house and question them closely and then ring and check with their head office anything they tell me.

    Not saying you would get a better service with non BG plumbers/engineers but don' t assume because they work for a big company that they are more competent.
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • I too was with British Gas 3* cover at our old house. They happily took our money for the cover and Yes they serviced and came out to it a few times No problem there.

    Then one day it stopped working so called them out and the engineer said main boiler casing cracked so would have to be "New Boiler" which under thier cover you are not covered for a replacement boiler only maintainance. :(

    I was not happy with that as it was a very common boiler and a friend luckily traced a replacement casing from acompany in Hull some 40 miles away. :)
    I contacted British Gas and told them of this and I wish I could have seen the guy's face on the other end of the line because he was spluttering and did not know what to say. ;);)

    The next day i received a phone call from a very nice apologetic man from BG who said that they had managed to find aboiler casing and would it be OK for them to fit it in 2 days time. He said that they had found one of thier depots had one but it had to be shipped from Bristol.
    Next day there was a delivery on behalf of British Gas of a boiler casing to my house, from---
    ??? ???HULL ??? ???

    I think they made a big mistake in having it delivered to my house, it should have gone to Leeds depot.
    Anyway they fitted it the next day and a month later I cancelled my contract with them and gave them the reason that I was not in the market to be ripped off as they blatently lied about no parts available and would not admit that i had done the work for them.

    We now use a different company for Central heating and boiler cover with plumbing emergency cover and replacement boiler if cannot repair for a lot less than BG charge. And the boiler is 23 years old.

    So British Gas or Centrica 3* is really -3* in my book.
    BYE- BYE BG
    I am not always right,

    But I am never wrong !!
  • COSCOS Forumite
    549 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Photogenic Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    They recently serviced mine giving it the all clear although the paper they left also said it was not up to their spec. How'ever since the service the boiler don't work and its making an awful grinding noise. I expect to see them with in 24 hours. for the repair.
    Rememember. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
    Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
    If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You get another chance. And finally, be really nice to your family and friends; you never know
    when, You might need them to empty your bedpan.
  • welshblobwelshblob Forumite
    436 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    COS aside from the fact that they have broken your boiler ...
    the paper they left also said it was not up to their spec
    Does that mean they won't be able to fix it if it does go wrong? If so then why are they still taking money from you as they can't meet the service they are paying for?

    Webdozen ...
    We now use a different company for Central heating and boiler cover with plumbing emergency cover and replacement boiler if cannot repair for a lot less than BG charge. And the boiler is 23 years old.
    Do you have any details of this company and how much they charge?
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
    22K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just cos they said "not up to spec" doesn't necessarily mean they won't repair it.
    They said this on my old boiler cos flue was to near to car-port. It just meant in event of new boiler being instead flue would not be able to go in same place. Best to get bloke to clarify what "not up to spec" means.

    At old house my boiler broke down beyond repair - no heating,water and plumber who dissappeared for 3 weeks in Dec - not much fun.

    I am with BG 5 star (CH & plumbing) at new house and have recently had boiler replaced cos I knew it was getting old and didn't relish repeat of above.

    Got BG to quote but too dear so had local plumber fit instead.

    I have had BG out when radiator sprang leak. Came out same day and replaced radiator.

    This cover is like any insurance, invaluable when you claim.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides

Cuts announced to alcohol and air passenger duties

And the levy on fuel frozen for 12th year in a row

MSE News

Autumn Budget 2021: full round-up

From minimum wage increases to fuel duty freezes

MSE News