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  • FIRST POST
    • reck_uk
    • By reck_uk 27th Jun 09, 2:23 PM
    • 111Posts
    • 38Thanks
    reck_uk
    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 3
    • keystone
    • By keystone 21st Apr 11, 8:53 AM
    • 10,782 Posts
    • 5,874 Thanks
    keystone
    I'm sick to death on hearing the negativity towards HomeServe............
    Originally posted by chatters73
    Theres always the "don't read it option" though.

    HomeServe has a huge number of members, like me, who are totally happy with the service they receive.
    You'll forgive for observing that this sentence reads just as though it was drafted by Homeserve's marketing department.

    Cheers
    • keystone
    • By keystone 21st Apr 11, 8:54 AM
    • 10,782 Posts
    • 5,874 Thanks
    keystone
    I rang the call centre and asked if I had the right dept. to cancel my cover.
    Originally posted by yangmeily
    and they said?

    Cheers
  • frightnurse 88
    Homeserve ? No thank you.
    When my Homeserve Plumbing and drainage cover came up for automatic renewal in March of this year. I rang Homeserve to say I would not be renewing with them as the service I had had on two occasions in the preceding year had been unacceptable. I then was persuaded to carry on with them by being offered a huge discount on my premium. Being a pensioner on limited income this was a tempting offer and I decided to give them another chance. Wrong move!

    Early May I found that the upstairs stop taps for the central heating
    were weeping and decided to call out Homeserve. Fitter came , fixed them, 10 minutes of a job, easily accessible and he did not even have to turn off the water.

    Result? I had TWO CLAIMS applied to my policy leaving me with no leaks cover for the rest of the year.

    I thought perhaps a little discretion could have been applied here as I pointed out that if it had been a massive burst and taken hours or days it would only have been ONE claim. Was told policy states Two leaks = two claims. No argument!

    I then checked when my direct debit for my insurance was due and found to my disgust that I was still paying full premium and the promised discount had not been applied.

    I rang to cancel my policy and was told that for another £3 per month on top of the £10.66 I could have unlimited call outs.

    No thank you! I said Sorry but I don't trust you anymore.

    I am now with British Gas. Let's hope I do better with them. Fingers crossed.
    And I am looking seriously at joining a simple plumbing course at the local college.
  • johnnytheshark
    I am having the same problem as yourself with Homeserve.......should I hold out and try and get them to pay for the new parts as per the T & C's and only pay for the recommended Power Flush. I have been without a boiler now for over a week and it is not pleasant to live without hot water although I,m grateful its not snowing !!!!! Any suggestions???
  • s5cotty
    Had a doorstep visit from Homeserve this evening. My 81yr old mum answered the door. The spiel...they were clearing the drains next-door and wanted to check if our drain was also blocked. She let them in and they had a look and said yes the drain was blocked but they could clear it for a price. She told me about this and I said to her not to allow them to do any work. If we have problems with drainage we will call someone ourselves. What I wanted to ask was is it common practice for this kind of doorstep call? Do you think they were genuinely concerned about a possible blockage at our home? Was it more likely to be a ruse to get some extra cash from a vulnerable lady? Was I just being paranoid? Should I have allowed the work to be carried out? Any thoughts on the subject welcome...
    • macman
    • By macman 8th Jun 11, 10:15 PM
    • 41,920 Posts
    • 17,396 Thanks
    macman
    Probably just going to ask cash and pocket it for themselves...a tactic usually employed by dodgy roofers working next door, who will offer to fix the 'slipped tile' (that they've just slipped before they knocked on the door) for a small cash sum.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • dan909
    • By dan909 10th Jun 11, 1:41 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    dan909
    Here's my story
    Hi guys,

    I've read these forums and this thread in particular over the past few months and feel that it's time I told my story!

    My issue is simply down to needing a Gas Safety Certificate for my property. To cut a very long story short, I needed this CP12 Certificate at the end of January 2011. After three visits from Homeserve where they refused to carry out the certificate until 'remedial work had been carried out' (a standard get out), I had my own engineer come out and sort it. By this time is was March 2011.
    Six weeks and over twenty phone calls it took to resolve and it wasn't Homeserve that resolved it.

    Homeserve will ALWAYS claim that 'you are not covered' and sadly it's up to you to prove that you are. My engineer told me that 'any decent engineer' would know that the work was covered (he used to do a bit of work for them).

    Now here's the next part of the story; I raised a complaint stating that I would like to be reimbursed for the cost of the phonecalls to their call centre and also for the cost of the engineer who actually resolved the issue. The complaint was raised in March, it's now June. Go figure! I'm drafting another letter to Homeserve as well as a letter to the Financial Ombudsman.

    I stopped paying for my policy whilst they investigated my complaint and they have now cancelled the policy. I would imagine will probably now not progress the complaint but I will not give up!

    My boiler broke down shortly after Homeserve cancelled my policy. Typical! Or perhaps it's coincidental?!
    I've asked the same engineer to go out and investigate and put in writing if he feels it's broken down due to an issue that should have been picked up in one of the three Homeserve visits. I feel this complaint may be escalated further...
  • welsman1
    Homeserve
    An elderly friend of mine is currently being badgered by the Homeserve sales people trying to scare him over the cost of drain blockages electrical blow ups etc. I have had experience of Homeserve on two occasions; the first was a leak in the mains water pipe to the house under a cupboard in a kitchen unit. The leak was under the stop !!!! so it had to be turned off in the road. I had to call the water company to turn off the water as the Homeserve people wouldn't do it. I was told that on the phone. Then I found that the 'two hour response' was actually only to get someone to phone me up and tell me that no one was available until the following day.. when he did come the following afternoon the 'plumber' said that he had to have me sign an indemnity against him damaging anything otherwise he wouldn't play. I signed it and he proceeded to smash up the shelves in the cupboard and then knock the side panel off. He fixed the leak and then left. I had to get it all re built but it's still not the same. Oh and the leak came back after two weeks. This time a real plumber fixed it with no cupboard removal and no smashing anything. £45. I also had them come out on a previous occasion to a leak in a pipe above a hallway ceiling. Again the indemnity and this time it was a whole landing carpet up to work on an area of 3 square feet. Pipe boxing removed elsewhere - with a crowbar - and he left me with a bill for decorating and a carpet fitter. They are certainly a strange operation.
  • Surreygal1982
    Very unhappy with Homeserve - complete a boiler service - everything fine and safe - excellent!! More than two weeks later receive letter telling me I have to get "remedial" work carried out within 28 days!! Apparently the work isn't covered by my policy and my policy will not be reinstated until Homeserve receive proof the work has been carried out! What is the point of having cover if any work needed isn't covered anyway?!?! I have absolutely no idea how much this work will cost me and Homeserve haven't even suggested a reputable company who will do the work! Apparently my boiler isn't safe which is why the work needs to be carried out so quickly - well why didn't the engineer tell me that and why did they wait at least two weeks to inform me!! I have had previous problems with their "customer services" operators and this is the last straw! Somehow I think Homeserve will be losing my custom!!
    • macman
    • By macman 21st Aug 11, 1:56 PM
    • 41,920 Posts
    • 17,396 Thanks
    macman
    I bet they say that it needs a powerflush?
    Cancel the useless policy and ue a local independent GSR RGI for future wok.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
  • Foggyboy
    DO NOT TOUCH HOMESERVE!!!!!!!!!!

    They use subcontractors and pay them 40% less than their own jobs from say Yellow Pages. You are low priority and way down the list irrespective of how urgent your job is. Do you want no heat or hot water in the middle of winter?!

    My story:
    My boiler broke down 2weeks ago. Called Homeserve at 6.30pm one Thursday to say I had not heat or hot water and a 1yr old in the house so I needed urgent action. I was called at 9am the next day to say an engineer would be out between 9am-5pm that day. I was supposed to get a 30min phone call to say the engineer was on his way - nothing heard.

    He turned up at 4.55 on Friday and was in the house for all of 2mins. I needed a part but the parts store closed early on a Friday. So he couldn't order it until MOnday morning and it can take 3-4 days. "So what am I supposed to do without hot water and a baby?" "Call Homeserve" was the reply.

    I called Homeserve who simply told me there is nothing they can do without the part and the girl on the phone said "Tough". Superb customer service eh? I called on Monday (day 5 without the boiler) to make an official complaint and the boiler was fixed the next day when I mentioned that a relative works for a well-known national newspaper and would be happy to hear all about it. The boiler was fixed the next day but again between 9-5 (turned up at 3pm) and again all of 2mins in and out. I asked for my £50 call out charge back and have been repeatedly ignored. Therefore cancelled it and here I am.

    Customer service is a joke - nasty staff, sub contractors who don't give a toss. Thats what your paying for!

    AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!! TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!!
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 31st Aug 11, 9:54 AM
    • 9,052 Posts
    • 21,862 Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Hi Foggyboy

    Homeserve has asked us to post a reply. MSE doesn't endorse anything a company says on the forum

    HomeServe are sorry that you are having issues please contact heretohelp@homeserve.com and we will be happy to try and assist you.
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 31st Aug 11, 11:57 PM
    • 6,516 Posts
    • 2,491 Thanks
    Pincher
    Ask for senior management to commit seppuku,
    to prove their sense of honour and high standards.

    The severed heads should be posted outside HomeServe offices,
    as a constant reminder of HomeServe's expectations for customer service.
  • Underscore
    Was going to ask if it was worth a discounted price of 2.xx per month that I have just been offered on the phone.

    Looks like its worth less than 2p a month - so thanks all for reporting your experiences.
  • eurekar
    Our boiler was only firing up for hot water when the heating was on so we called Homeserve as we had a policy tagged on to an HSBC financial product. Customer service were good, they booked us an appointment and the engineer turned up on time....good start!
    During the visit they allegedly replaced the diaphragm & PCB....however after a call to 'Ideal' they stated that none of the remedies had worked and in fact we needed a power flush....I asked if we were covered for a power flush and they said 'no, it will cost in the region of 5-600 pounds'...the engineer asked if I had a sharp thin implement to attempt a fix on the boiler....I gave him a kirby grip.....Why did he not have the correct tools????
    Meanwhile we have now been left with neither heating or hot water!
    Customer services informed us that until we had a power flush our insurance was 'suspended'....

    Not convinced that the engineer had a clue what he was doing we contacted a recommended plumber for a second opinion...He found that the diaphragm had NOT benn replaced & neither had the PCB....'Ideal' recommended that he replace both and a new pump before he could tell if the system needed a powerflush!!!

    We put in a formal complaint to 'Homeserve' and waited the 8 weeks before we could go to Ombudsman. Miraculously they contacted us just after the 8 weeks were up and sent an engineer to rectify the problem. It was the same engineer...again no tools??? He asked me what the problem was and said there was no point looking at the boiler as it hadn't been powerflushed. I explained that we had had an independent plumber out that had found his work to be inconsistent with his alleged findings....RED RAG TO A BULL! He refused to look at the boiler as our plumber had left the casing off (as a favour to Homeserve) He proclaimed that as it was third party handled he would not be doing anything...

    At this point I challenged him and asked why he was not aware of the reason for his visit...he said he had to call 'the office'. I told him to leave as it was a total waste of time him coming here with no intention of sorting problem.

    We have been promised £500 towards fixing problem by our own plumber....fingers crossed.....

    Duration so far 4 months no hot water or heating and 2 young children....
  • Warks
    Another Bad Homeserve Experience
    On 11/3/2011 our toilet drain blocked. I phoned HOMESERVE. "Andy" arrived promptly in a shiny signwritten van fitted with a high pressure water pump.
    He opened a drain inspection cover about 3 metres from the house. Taking the hose with a heavy metal nozzle from his water pump, he rammed it forcefully up the drain from the inspction cover towards the house, shattering the ground floor WC pan.
    Several large pieces of porcelain broken from the WC pan went down the drain pipe - not good for the chances of a future drain blockage.
    "Andy" told me this breakage was not covered by insurance, and drove away.
    Despite letters, photographs, and phone calls, HOMESERVE have adamantly refused to admit responsibility for this breakage. They have paid no compensation.
    So, incompetence, irresponsibility and dishonesty from HOMESERVE.
    A local plumber replaced the broken WC pan on 31/3/2011 at a cost of £312.
    I was originally introduced to HOMESERVE by an unsolicited letter from SEVERN TRENT WATER in May 2008.
    The SEVERN TRENT logo appears on later correspondence from HOMESERVE.
    So, SEVERN TRENT, what is your relation to HOMESERVE, with its charlatans and cheats?
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 30th Sep 11, 10:03 PM
    • 12,346 Posts
    • 16,654 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    Andrea,

    Hi Foggyboy

    Homeserve has asked us to post a reply. MSE doesn't endorse anything a company says on the forum

    HomeServe are sorry that you are having issues please contact heretohelp@homeserve.com and we will be happy to try and assist you.
    Originally posted by MSE Andrea
    This is the 2nd time in this thread that Homeserve have asked MSE to post this exact text - perhaps if they spent more time, effort and money on their processes, they might actually be able to improve?

    Doubt it will happen though
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021

    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
    • jess1974
    • By jess1974 7th Oct 11, 11:12 AM
    • 982 Posts
    • 1,134 Thanks
    jess1974
    I get repeated letters from Homeserve seemingly endorsed by Anglian Water, i have never been tempted to take out the cover as i have a fairly competent husband who can fix most leaks, blockages etc.
    If something goes wrong with my boiler, i will call a local boiler repairman who trades on his reputation, not this bunch of incompetent cowboys.....
    • macman
    • By macman 7th Oct 11, 11:20 AM
    • 41,920 Posts
    • 17,396 Thanks
    macman
    On 11/3/2011 our toilet drain blocked. I phoned HOMESERVE. "Andy" arrived promptly in a shiny signwritten van fitted with a high pressure water pump.
    He opened a drain inspection cover about 3 metres from the house. Taking the hose with a heavy metal nozzle from his water pump, he rammed it forcefully up the drain from the inspction cover towards the house, shattering the ground floor WC pan.
    Several large pieces of porcelain broken from the WC pan went down the drain pipe - not good for the chances of a future drain blockage.
    "Andy" told me this breakage was not covered by insurance, and drove away.
    Despite letters, photographs, and phone calls, HOMESERVE have adamantly refused to admit responsibility for this breakage. They have paid no compensation.
    So, incompetence, irresponsibility and dishonesty from HOMESERVE.
    A local plumber replaced the broken WC pan on 31/3/2011 at a cost of £312.
    I was originally introduced to HOMESERVE by an unsolicited letter from SEVERN TRENT WATER in May 2008.
    The SEVERN TRENT logo appears on later correspondence from HOMESERVE.
    So, SEVERN TRENT, what is your relation to HOMESERVE, with its charlatans and cheats?
    Originally posted by Warks
    Why haven't you pursued a claim through the Small Claims Process for the costs incurred?
    ST will simply get a referral fee from Homeserve.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
  • Mehdi
    I took out cover with Homeserve in December 2010. My boiler developed a kettling fault in March 2011. The engineer claimed their was debris in the diverter valve and the 3 year old boiler needed a powerflush which, conveniently, was not covered in the policy. I cancelled immediately.

    I got boiler cover as part of my contract with Scottish Power. The engineer serviced the boiler, said the kettling was due to a faulty diverter cartridge, ordered the part, fitted it 3 days later, kettling gone. As I expected, Homeserve did not repair my boiler in order to save labour and parts costs. Disgraceful company.
    Last edited by Mehdi; 09-10-2011 at 3:26 AM.
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