It's not an issue of being bastards or not caring about the sick and
elderly. That's the job of the various public services for which we
pay outrageous sums and receive poor value for money, and also, of
course, the family.
An accident and emergency service related to healthcare may well have
to prioritise its resources but this is not the same thing at all.
BG, as far as this contract offering is concerned is not a charity,
neither is it a public service organisation. There is a place for
those, but not in the market of heating service contracts in the
It's really very simple. They should provision appropriately for the
levels of service and the response times and offer services with
guaranteed response times.
I'll give you a simple example. I have a number of items of
networking equipment manufactured by Cisco. Some of them are
critical to my business and I can purchase a 4 hour support contract
for them; for others I can buy 8 hour a day, 5 day a week, next
business day support because that is good enough. The prices are
based on the product and the level of service.
I recently had occasion to use the 8x5xNBD support for a failed
wireless access point. I had already worked out that there was a
hardware problem with the radio section but it wouldn't have mattered.
I logged the call on Cisco's web site (could have been by phone or
email), received a phone call 20 minutes later and went through the
problem with the support person. OK, the questions were fairly
basic, but in 5 minutes, he had come to the same conclusion as I had
before I called. He actioned a replacement and it was in my hands
by 10am the following morning. All I had to do was to pack the
faulty part and return it using the pre-addressed label.
So it is perfectly possible to offer a service, actually at a fair
price, and to operate it correctly.
I suspect that BG fail at this through a lack of business expertise
and the wrong culture. The attitude that they are doing their
customers a favour, like the NHS seems to have, does not cut any ice
in the modern world.
I called the AA out one night and the chap they sent phoned me up en route
to say he'd be delayed as a more urgent job had come in. 1 hour later he
rolls up and apologises for the delay but as women are a priority then the
dozy mare that put petrol in a diesel Disco got a priority tag whereas me
with a broken cambelt was left til later. So much for equality.
They flat refused to come out to my partner with a flat battery because a
Transit 120 is "above their weight limit". I moved to the AA from the RAC
after the latter decided that they would go into the ambulance chasing
business. Looks like I will be putting my business elsewhere again!
AJL Electronics (G6FGO) Ltd : Satellite and TV aerial systems
http://www.classicmicrocars.co.uk : http://www.ajlelectronics.co.uk
On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 16:07:32 +0000, "Andy Luckman (AJL Electronics)"
The RAC will do exactly the same in the wrong circumstances. Neither
organisation seems to have any consistent set of size/ weight
standards. Both organisations will consistently tell you the other
does *not* recover your vehicle. Earlier this year the AA happily
recovered my LDV400 LWB 3.5 tonner without demur. They always sub out
van recovery anyway, and the subbie invariably sends at least a 10
Last RAC rep trying to get me to switch said I should do so because AA
wouldn't touch it and they would.
Is it a coincidence that the AA and B Gas are now both cash-cow divisions of
the dreaded Centrica??
Don't have anything to do with either of them. They are not the companies
they used to be ... probably not even British either.
A Keston engineer (off the record) said that the best thing to
do with their boilers if working OK and giving the correct CO
was to leave well alone regardless of what the book says.
Downfiring condensing boilers are basically self cleansing by
design though. My (upfiring) Potterton Envoy collects all sorts
of stuff in the burner, but whether this would show up on an
exhaust gas analysis, I don't know.
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser
I'd be interested to know the outcome of this as I've been considering a
'maintenance and breakdown cover' policy for my CH boiler which is coming up
to 3 years mod 2004.
I also agree with what you say about the maintenance expetations. But
knowing what companies can be like they'd probably class this as a service
and charge thru the nose for it!
Just out of interest, I didn't touch my newly installed system with the
express desire of seeing just how long it would run without a 'service'.
The answer - 12 years. Then it needed a good clean out. Natural gas burns
pretty cleanly and doesn't require the ancient idea of an annual clean out
that town gas did. IMHO, there's nothing in a modern system that an annual
service from BG etc is needed. It's simply an insurance contract. And it's
up to you whether this is worthwhile or not.
*Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
I would have thought that there should be some maintenance instructions for the
boiler which would tell you what servicing is required.
(Maybe you need to get a copy from manufacturer.)
In my (old) experience the thermo couples fail and need replacing if you don't
want to stay cold.
You might find that something like inspection of the burners is covered, but
replacment is not.
They do next to nothing. Cancel the contract and save your money.
I haven't had one for > 20 years so have saved myself enough money for 2
boilers when the time comes...
I watched them do 2 "services" not long ago at my ma-in-laws and another.
They were barely there 20 minutes in each case.
In one they failed to do anything about the very noisy pump which they had
to replace the following week.
In the other they did nothing about the combi cold pressure of <0.5 which
was a 10sec job to fix.
Both contracts were cancelled by the householders...
B Gas are now nothing more than a milk-cow division of Centrica, who have
also f***ed up the AA.
They're probably not even British ....
I have AA buildings and contents insurance. It's the worst level of
service I've ever had in my life. When applying for it, it took 10
iterations of the policy before they managed to get it right. I even
faxed them an altered copy of their own document with instructions to
change it so it looks like THIS. They still didn't get it right. They
also couldn't get their heads round me wanting my wife and I named on
the policy as Mr & Mrs X...they managed every combination of MR & MRs
<firstname> <lastname> you could think of. At one stage I thought they
were just taking the p1ss.
I'm in the process of finding another provider now..
You should see the knuckleheads that work there, I have.
And their IT, its unbelievable. The PCs they have to use you wouldn't give
skip room to.
All the AAs & and B Gas "servers" have been centralised together in Mitcham
(at the gas works) and a right hodge-bodge it is too :-).
Most of the orig AA IT staff left under acrimonious circumstances and they
seem to rely on contractors now.
On 29 Dec 2003 08:26:01 -0800, email@example.com (ANt) wrote:
Some boilers need a strip down and clean out/wash burners etc,adjust
this n that,some don;t. Its horses for courses.
For modern boilers,a lot of the fee is really for insurance as modern
appliances are more technologically advanced and therefore cost more
to fix when they go wrong.
You pays your money you take your choice. The way people bleat on here
about BG you;d think they were the worst ever organisation. Beleive
me,they are not. They are just an easy target for people to shoot
down. Mind you,people not happy with them could try the yellow pages
or small ads. I expect there are lots of fully
qualified,dependable,honest tradespeople on there.
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