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AIBU to expect British Gas to honour its contract?

(86 Posts)
OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 21:19:47

Tonight at 7.30 pm our boiler broke down. It’s -3 outside and falling.

We have a Homecare agreement with British Gas plus our boiler is monitored 24/7 under a scheme we pay extra for.

So we rang the 24/7 ‘helpline’ (I use the term loosely) and it was engaged, and engaged and engaged. You could not use ringback on this number. I redialled and redialled and redialled.

Meanwhile DH was ringing other British Gas numbers and not getting through. After almost 2 hours we’ve given up. Apparently they are ‘very busy’ according to one answer machine he managed to access before the voice said to ‘ring back at a less busy time’ before cutting him off. ?

So here we are two OAPs in our 70s in a freezing cold house. No heating and no hot water. Our kind neighbours have lent us a couple of electric heaters and we’ve dug out the hot water bottles.

So much for British Gas....and this time I DO SO HOPE that this thread gets picked up by the DM as .....I’m about to shout BRITISH GAS HOMECARE IS CRAP - with apologies to those who don’t like naughty words. ???

Elegran Thu 01-Mar-18 21:45:49

Their Facebook page at is full of similar stories. Can you add yours and possibly get them to pay attention?

Admittedly they probably ARE very busy, and not fully staffed, but they have taken your money (and from others) to be on call for just such emergencies. They should have a fall-back plan.

Actualy, redialling is no use - you go to the back of the queue each time you dial. If you hang on and wait, you are ate least moving slowly up the list. But expect a long wait!

Elegran Thu 01-Mar-18 21:47:35

Get into bed with the hot-water bottles and a flask of hot drink, and dial from there. Don't go to sleep and drop the phone!

OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 21:51:37

I will certainly do that, thanks for link Elegran

OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 21:52:45

I’ve given up on BG but a local boiler repair man will be round first thing tomorrow.

Elegran Thu 01-Mar-18 21:57:22

These might help too. If you go to there are live links to all these contacts.

British Gas complaints contacts

Call Customer Complaints on 0800 107 0184

Email Customer Complaints on [email protected]

Visit Customer Complaints

Email Iain Conn (CEO) on [email protected]

Tweet British Gas

Tweet British Gas Help

OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 22:02:17

Have you looked all those up just tonight for me Elegran ..that’s so kind.

Thank you. .

Cleverblonde Thu 01-Mar-18 22:16:46

We had frozen pipes. The pipes that lead outside from the boiler. A gentle trickle of boiling kettle water on the pipes and boiler reset and all was fine. Maybe worth a try? We’ve done it 4 times this week!

hulahoop Thu 01-Mar-18 22:19:34

Same here old Meg have been sat on hold listening to someone saying thanks for waiting for three hours then went online and no joy it said they were having technical problems luckily we have heater for upstairs I appreciate it will be busy and staff may not have got the in but they should have back up plans . Our boiler isn't a year old yet and we were told it wouldn't freeze up !!!

OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 22:19:36

Cleverblonde. I have checked that - first thing I did. Also I’ve turned boiler off and then reset. But after a few minutes it emits a strange growling sound like a bear and the pilot light goes out.

OldMeg Thu 01-Mar-18 22:22:41

Absolutely right hulahoop this could have been anticipated and plans made. I’m wondering about gas pressure possibly being low???

I’ve given up and am in bed with hot water bottle and wishing I hadn’t trained the dog to sleep in his basket. Could just have done with a warm furry body ??

Bathsheba Thu 01-Mar-18 22:24:58

It is more than likely as Cleverblonde says - a frozen condenser pipe outside. Ours froze this morning and the boiler stopped. It happened some years ago, the last time we had prolonged sub zero temperatures (very rare in our neck of the woods) and afterwards my DH lagged the pipe. But over time that had started to fall to bits and the inevitable happened.
So yes, remaining lagging pulled off, boiling water poured over it, and reset the boiler. All working within 20 minutes or so. Then DH spent over an hour re-lagging it this afternoon, in a blizzard shock

Bathsheba Thu 01-Mar-18 22:26:00

Sorry, OldMeg - X posts. I see now that you did check that.

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 07:07:52

How about this from their Facebook page? ??

MawBroon Fri 02-Mar-18 07:24:28

Bloody cheek!
They are in breach of contract. End of.
Only it’s not “end of” for you while you suffer and freeze.
So much for a 24/7 “helpline”
I wish I could offer something more constructive though.

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 07:34:36

MawBroon just having you react in support is a help.

I’ve emailed that facile postto their CEO Mark Hodge. Also copied and pasted in onto my Facebook page and gone ‘Public’.

However it’s not just me. There’s a single mum with a young baby who’s been without heating and hot water for two days. British Gas are an absolute disgrace.

jenpax Fri 02-Mar-18 07:36:56

I have been without heating and hot water for several days? I too have a British Gas Home care agreement they have been out 3 times but each time told me that they need yet another part (which has to be ordered in!) I do have log burning stoves and a fan heater and an electric shower and I am not going into the spare rooms❄️? but urgh❄️?

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 07:43:47

What a waste of time and engineers jenpax

This just about sums up BG. All their fancy adverts show they’re all ‘fur coat and no knickers’

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 07:51:08

Ha ha! Just had this text

BOILER IQ ALERT (that’s the service we pay extra for)
Your boiler appears to have stopped working (yes! We noticed)
If this is an emergency call us now on 0800 294 8321

That’s the number we rang with no one answering.

I’m not going to let this go.

Elrel Fri 02-Mar-18 08:08:10

My boiler works but when on is dripping water. Yesterday I held on one line for TWO and a HALF HOURS to no avail. I have BG's HOME CARE 'SERVICE' and am 'a vulnerable customer'.
I also tried online and had a text chat with someone who gave me no help.

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 08:25:07

Let’s hope Elrel someone is watching this thread. For a small online community seems to be a lot of us having the same problem.

I’ve just tried the number that was faxed to me earlier (see above) in the hope that this morning they’d have got their act together and the phone would be answered by a sympathetic woman with a lovely Scottish or Geordie accent!

Guess what it rang, went on about not using my phone if I was drinking and then cut me off.

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 08:27:19

Just turned boiler back on to see if it might reset!

Can smell gas!

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 08:47:51

Now sitting here with doors and windows wide open. If I don’t post again I’ll have even frozen solid or been blown up.

OldMeg Fri 02-Mar-18 08:48:14

I’ll have either ...

humptydumpty Fri 02-Mar-18 08:52:02

Old Meg this sounds awful. Try getting BG to refund the money you pay the local engineer. And maybe in future get a contract with the local engineer!