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    • reck_uk
    • By reck_uk 27th Jun 09, 2:23 PM
    • 112Posts
    • 42Thanks
    How are HomeServe still in business
    • #1
    • 27th Jun 09, 2:23 PM
    How are HomeServe still in business 27th Jun 09 at 2:23 PM
    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.
Page 2
    • macman
    • By macman 10th Feb 11, 11:04 PM
    • 42,686 Posts
    • 17,957 Thanks
    I didn't say that they would cover it.That does not prevent you taking civil action against them for breach of contract and consequent recovery of costs..
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • mrich536
    • By mrich536 14th Feb 11, 2:12 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Homesserve - water supply pipe insurance
    Just to alert folks that Homeserve are, in my opinion, trying a novel way of drumming up business with a scare tactic for water supply pipe bursts.

    Received a call today saying that because of all the recent freezing temperatures they could offer me (for a nominal £1 for 12 months) cover in case my mains supply pipe up to my house which provides "all your fresh drinking water" to quote the chap, should burst and I would be liable for it all. So nice of them to be so caring! I asked him what happens in year two - is it still a £1? At first he didnt know - but then whether someone was listening in and feeding him the details he suddenly tells me it will go up to £36.

    Having some knowledge of this issue, I asked him directly what had happened to the undetaking given by water companies to John Prescott in the last Government. Whilst he was on I googled up the details. Just type in 'water firms pledge to offer free pipe repair' to see more details.

    No mention of it in his earlier sales pitch but back the chap comes with yes this agreement would still be honoured but in taking out a policy I would get an engineer within two - three hours rather than a "non-emergency" response timing if I didnt pay up. Out of interest I asked him to send me full details in writing first - he said he would, but would also put the plan into place but not to "worry as the payment wouldnt be taken until next month". I strongly told him NOT to start up the plan and just to send me the details. I also asked him to remove my number for sale purposes!!!

    Anyway - if the pipe does go I can isolate it at the main stop tap by meter which is on the public footpath anyway and then call them out under the free promise they gave.

    I worry that this sales pitch will play on the minds of vunerable people who will pay up without hesitation for something which is potentially free! After all to have your mains pipe go twice in one year would be terrible bad luck.
  • BackOnTrack
    Anyway - if the pipe does go I can isolate it at the main stop tap by meter which is on the public footpath anyway and then call them out under the free promise they gave.
    Originally posted by mrich536
    You've got a shock coming to you if it does burst and think you won't have to pay.

    I still consider the insurance a waste of money though even though I would have to pay if it did burst.
    There's no sense crying over every mistake.
    You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
  • lavieenrose
    Homeserve is DISHONEST!!
    Without going into too much detail, Homeserve stated that the lack of hot water and heating at home for the last 3 weeks required remedial action by me (at an approx cost of £500) before Homeserve would agree to fit the part that was needed. When I queried this in their T&Cs, no-one could clarify it for me and from the call centre through to managers, they repeated ad infinitum that I had to carry out this work first and I was made to feel like a bad parent in letting my kids suffer for the sake of £500 (coz we've all got that lying around the place at the moment! - that's why I have a monthly insurance plan d'oh!).
    When I finally made an "official" complaint, I was told that all that repeated advice to me to get the remedial work done first was a MISTAKE and that they would be happy to fit the part HOWEVER there would be a risk doing it that way and of course I would be liaible to pay (that £500) if further damage was caused. So, I'm damned if I do or damned if I don't.
    In my opinion, from the top to the bottom of that crappy company, dishonesty is the name of the game. I wished I hadn't changed from Domestic General (got "tricked" into taking out Complete Cover with Homeserve). At least Domestic and General's T&Cs are, even with their list of exclusions, at least clear unlike Homeserve's ambiguity (which is obviously how they like it!).
    PS - Unfortunately when I took out the policy I didn't realise that it was Homeserve who left my 77-yr old father without heating for 3 weeks last year in that cold spell - and surprise surprise - he is still waiting for the work to be fully completed!!
  • Scotland1
    Homeserve are a disaster
    I recently invited Homeserve into our home to resolove a boiler issue under our agreement. What followed is not short of "shocking" firstly they sent a plumber for a boiler fault, one week later they sent a heating engineer who stated he would get a part and return. One month later after several calls discusing the issue which they tried to state the repair was out of terms they sent another engineer who imeadiatley condemed the bolier and stated that the boiler had been left by the first engineer untested and leaking carbon minoxide.


    • Sagz
    • By Sagz 22nd Feb 11, 6:09 PM
    • 5,658 Posts
    • 8,396 Thanks

    Homeserve has asked us to post this on its behalf, it says the email address is a specific one to which your issue can be escalated so it can help. MSE doesn't endorse anything a company says or does on the forum.

    “HomeServe are sorry that you are having issues, please contact and we will be happy to assist you”
    Originally posted by MSE Andrea
    Thanks for the email addy, have sent a complaint today....... reading the other posts on here I'm not holding my breath.

    (although it may be safer to hold my breath as my 3 times 'repaired' boiler has just had a part drop off it!)
    Some days you're the dog..... most days you're the tree!
    • Sagz
    • By Sagz 22nd Feb 11, 8:36 PM
    • 5,658 Posts
    • 8,396 Thanks
    OK, good start - got a personal acknowledgement within 30 mins. Lets see what happens next....

    Cold tonight again - a week with no hot water or heating
    Some days you're the dog..... most days you're the tree!
    • themull1
    • By themull1 22nd Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    • 4,195 Posts
    • 4,113 Thanks
    Ive never had any problem claiming through Homeserve. Had a leak from radiator in bathroom coming through ceiling and spotlight in kitchen that the wire had burned behind it and was blowing the fusebox all the time. Rang up, and they sent someone really quickly, can't fault them.!!
    • Sagz
    • By Sagz 23rd Feb 11, 11:56 AM
    • 5,658 Posts
    • 8,396 Thanks
    Well Done to Homeserves complaints dept!

    Following yesterday evenings email I had a call just before 9am this moring to say an engineer (with the part that was going to take 24hours to get) would be here this morning. Just been and gone and we now have hot water and heating - fingers crossed the repair will last longer than before!
    Some days you're the dog..... most days you're the tree!
  • daveg72
    Agree 100%, RBS bank accounts employ the services of Homeserve for their cover and I know lots of people who have had plenty of issues with them, including my BIL who was without heating for 6 weeks, my FIL who was without heating for 4 weeks both during the cold period before Christmas and myself who had to have 4 visits from their contractors, PH Jones to fix a central heating pump!

    I purchased a Landlord Gas Safety Check through which, I did not know was Homeserve otherwise I would have avoided. I paid upfront and guess what? Problems..., complained but dont hold out much hope of a response, but they had better process a refund in a timely fashion.
  • classic123
    I have made three claims in the past and have to say they have been brilliant...
    Last December had a leak in the loft due to frozen pipe in the loft so called HS to have a look at it only to find out I was not covered at the time as my dd had stopped about 4 months back (my fault).

    They came round the next day and fixed the over flow pipe and billed me £140 it was a simple 15 min job . I called them up to ask about their price and after speaking to their engineers was put through their manager who reduce the price to £75 and signed me up for 1 year foc which i thought was a good deal. I would recommend them as I have had very good service from them so far.
    • macman
    • By macman 8th Mar 11, 8:33 AM
    • 42,686 Posts
    • 17,957 Thanks
    Eh? They ripped you off for £140 for a call out and 15m work, and then halved that after you queried it?
    And you call them 'brilliant'?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • sharnad
    • By sharnad 8th Mar 11, 6:28 PM
    • 8,562 Posts
    • 8,498 Thanks
    Well called them yesterday for a blocked drain they said they would come today. Got a call from them cancelling as their man is stuck at a job so booked for between 5 to 10 tomorrow see if they turn up tommorow
  • francheska433
    I used to work for a company called safe and secure that have now gone bust. they had a one million pound contract with homeserve. I was a in key accounts for them. so whenever they could not get a contractor out they would phone us and try and get one from us. all I can say is safe and secure were sh*t and so was homeserve. We or them could never get out engineers on time, as promised by the homeserve and it was complete joke. speaking from someone who used to work along side them, they are total crap and never deliver. I would not bother with them.
  • concernedcitizen
    For anyone looking to take out any type of maintenance/emergency cover DO NOT USE Homeserve. Their customer service is polite, i.e. the bit about getting your money, however, their contractors are absolutely appalling.

    I've experienced contractors not turning up, being rude - including an experience of one unwilling to pay for a parking ticket to visit the property, refusal to lift a man-hole cover, etc.

    It's a company which takes our money and does little else.

    Avoid. Major fail.
  • mackone
    So after reading these issues with Homeserve can anyone here offer some alternative companies?
    I am looking for Plumbing/drains and also Gas/boiler care.

    Looking at website the gas/boiler care is about half what I am currently paying Scottish Gas and Scottish Water are offering me a homeserve plumbing/drainage cover for 99p/month.
    • macman
    • By macman 18th Mar 11, 12:10 AM
    • 42,686 Posts
    • 17,957 Thanks
    Use a local independent GSR RGI for your CH, and a plumber for the other work.
    How often would you actually need any work on your drains?-if you don't block them up they should work just fine for many years-nothing much to go wrong otherwise.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • meer53
    • By meer53 22nd Mar 11, 8:36 PM
    • 9,288 Posts
    • 13,505 Thanks
    The week before Christmas last year i had a huge burst pipe BEHIND my newly installed kitchen cupboards. The burst pipe was in the corner of the kitchen and was boxed in (soil pipe also in this area) I have a Homeserve policy which covers emergencies like this. It happened on a Sunday afternoon luckily, if i'd been at work my house would have floated away !
    I called Homeserve after managing to turn off the water at the mains. It took about 10 mins to get through but i wasn't surprised as it was minus 11 outside and several of my neighbours were also having plumbing problems (combi boilers mainly, pipes freezing, mine is an old type thankfully)
    They told me someone would call me when they were on their way. Their plumber called me on Monday afternoon and was with me within the hour. He worked for 3 hours repairing the burst pipe after having to partially demolish the section which was boxed in to get to the pipe, i can't fault their service or the plumber, admittedly they couldn't get to me on the day it happened but that was due to the weather conditions ( nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground ) i spoke to people who were having to wait up to a week for a local plumber, i was only without heat or water for 24 hours.
    I'm so glad that i paid for the Homeserve cover, i dread to think what it would have cost me otherwise. I can't fault them.
  • Lapchien
    BBC Watchdog
    On TV tonight Watchdog featured a rip off merchant called Jim Pharaoh, the same guy that was trained to be a plumber by Reactfast - who are owned by, guess who - Homeserve!
  • chatters73
    Whats all the fuss about HomeServe?
    I'm sick to death on hearing the negativity towards HomeServe and it's time that one of it's many happy customers makes a stand. HomeServe has a huge number of members, like me, who are totally happy with the service they receive. I have had cover with other companies like bg and barclays but when it came to needing an emergency response, no one has come close to competing with HomeServe. A burst pipe leaking through a ceiling is not what i asked for on new years eve, but to their credit HomeServe arrived within the 2 hour timeframe and repaired the burst at no charge. I have no complaints about HomeServe and having used their service, i would recommend them strongly as an emergency service. Can other members please respond?
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