British Gas Quote

I would be very grateful for feedback on a quote we have received from British Gas. We are a family of 4 (2 kids under 5) who live in an average sized semi. Virtually every day we have a couple of showers and a small bath for the kids. We have a cold feed dishwasher and washing mashing so have little need for hot water throughout the day.
We have an 'Ideal Mexico' boiler which is (I think) coming to the end of it's life (needs a new pump at least). The boiler is in the kitchen with a vent on the outside wall at waist height - British Gas told us this was now illegal as it should be head height or above. The position of this vent is a pain - it's ugly and exhausts back into the kitchen via the only window we can open.
British Gas have tested our water pressure and told us it is very good (can't remember the stat). Based on all we have told them they have recommended replacing the boiler with a Bosch combination which they would put in the airing cupboard (1st floor, which has gas to it due to concrete floors on ground level). They would remove the hot water tank and make good. This sounds good to us as it will give us an extra cupboard and get rid of this vent which they would brick up and make good. A combination boiler also appeals as it should reduce our bills and not having to worry about 'putting the water on' will be a bonus.
The quote includes 9 thermostatic valves for radiators as we have a nightmare balancing temperatures round the house. It also includes a Mira gravity feed shower and fitting (our existing power shower is broken anyway).
The quote is just under 4,000 including one year of care. I would be very grateful for a sanity check on the above and a comment on the value for money (or otherwise!) of the quote.
We have accepted as their 400 discount deal (e.g. quote was 4,400) expired on the day the salesman came round (bonus!), but we still have the right to cancel.
Thank you very much.
James
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JAmes,
The 400 discount never ends, they are just trying to suck you. Get an alternative quote from a local gas engineer for a comparison and then make you mind up.
Regards
Steve
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<snip>

To compare - same work as you are suggesting minus the shower, but including the fitting of 4 new radiators, but using a Baxi Platinum boiler with 5yr warranty - and some anciallry works elsewhere came in at 2500 for us. The other places quote 3300-3600.
Cheers Dan.
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I would be very grateful for feedback on a quote we have received from British Gas. We are a family of 4 (2 kids under 5) who live in an average sized semi. Virtually every day we have a couple of showers and a small bath for the kids. We have a cold feed dishwasher and washing mashing so have little need for hot water throughout the day.
We have an 'Ideal Mexico' boiler which is (I think) coming to the end of it's life (needs a new pump at least). The boiler is in the kitchen with a vent on the outside wall at waist height - British Gas told us this was now illegal as it should be head height or above. The position of this vent is a pain - it's ugly and exhausts back into the kitchen via the only window we can open.
British Gas have tested our water pressure and told us it is very good (can't remember the stat). Based on all we have told them they have recommended replacing the boiler with a Bosch combination which they would put in the airing cupboard (1st floor, which has gas to it due to concrete floors on ground level). They would remove the hot water tank and make good. This sounds good to us as it will give us an extra cupboard and get rid of this vent which they would brick up and make good. A combination boiler also appeals as it should reduce our bills and not having to worry about 'putting the water on' will be a bonus.
The quote includes 9 thermostatic valves for radiators as we have a nightmare balancing temperatures round the house. It also includes a Mira gravity feed shower and fitting (our existing power shower is broken anyway).
The quote is just under 4,000 including one year of care. I would be very grateful for a sanity check on the above and a comment on the value for money (or otherwise!) of the quote.
We have accepted as their 400 discount deal (e.g. quote was 4,400) expired on the day the salesman came round (bonus!), but we still have the right to cancel.
Thank you very much.
James
You can pick up a top spec, fantastically economical Greenstar 35CDi Worcester bosch combi boiler for around a grand-
http://www.discountedheating.co.uk/shop/acatalog/Worcester_Greenstar_35CDI.html
Shouldn't take a plumber more that 3 days tops(if he's very slow) to do the work. So in all I'd be looking at 1600 tops all in.
Steve
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I would be very grateful for feedback on a quote we have received from British Gas. We are a family of 4 (2 kids under 5) who live in an average sized semi. Virtually every day we have a couple of showers and a small bath for the kids. We have a cold feed dishwasher and washing mashing so have little need for hot water throughout the day.
We have an 'Ideal Mexico' boiler which is (I think) coming to the end of it's life (needs a new pump at least). The boiler is in the kitchen with a vent on the outside wall at waist height - British Gas told us this was now illegal as it should be head height or above. The position of this vent is a pain - it's ugly and exhausts back into the kitchen via the only window we can open.
British Gas have tested our water pressure and told us it is very good (can't remember the stat). Based on all we have told them they have recommended replacing the boiler with a Bosch combination which they would put in the airing cupboard (1st floor, which has gas to it due to concrete floors on ground level). They would remove the hot water tank and make good. This sounds good to us as it will give us an extra cupboard and get rid of this vent which they would brick up and make good. A combination boiler also appeals as it should reduce our bills and not having to worry about 'putting the water on' will be a bonus.
The quote includes 9 thermostatic valves for radiators as we have a nightmare balancing temperatures round the house. It also includes a Mira gravity feed shower and fitting (our existing power shower is broken anyway).
The quote is just under 4,000 including one year of care. I would be very grateful for a sanity check on the above and a comment on the value for money (or otherwise!) of the quote.
We have accepted as their 400 discount deal (e.g. quote was 4,400) expired on the day the salesman came round (bonus!), but we still have the right to cancel.
Thank you very much.
James
______________________________________________________________
We had (last year) an Alpha CD32C condensing combi and 7 rads with thermostatic valves and a 7-day Wireless EasyStat installed. Along with that the guy also installed a gas hob (that we provided) and did the "wet" plumbing in the litchen.
He also removed and made good three old gas fires and supplied and fitted 2 new ones, as well as supplying and fitting a new toilet and basin and plumbing in a new electric shower and piping an existing bath - total cost 3612.
That was at my mothers house - we've just had a new central heating system fitted (same boiler and stat) with 7 rads and thermostatic valves and a Myson KickSpace heater in the kitchen. Cost 3500 - apparently because of the price of copper now.
John.
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Think about the components of the job:
New Boiler less than 1K Radstats less than 10 each
Labour, locally arranged - say 200 a day, certainly max outside London.
Misc pipes/pumps/etc
2000 to 3000 top wack...
When I challenged a BG salesrep over his >2.5k (post "disacount") for a straight-foward boiler replace quote, he said, "Well, we're very big company with huge overheads, lots of directors etc. that's why we have to charge so much".
(Fat lot of good all that stuff is to Jo-punter!)
Don't touch them. Ask around, find a local, decent Corgi-reg'd bloke or blokette who comes with warm recommendations from folks you trust. Discuss options, ask for how the costs build up and how you can get best value by choosing the right options. (If you can't have a grown up discuss, then your local man is as bad a tosser than the BG-rep).
The saddest thing is that if BG get your business, they will sub to local chaps, (nothing wrong with that), except, they'll add their mega margin on top, hence their mega-prices.
Why are BG the most expensive suppiers of Gas, too? Overheads, as well, perhaps?
EP
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On 2006-08-27 21:58:55 +0100, ephraim snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said:

Well at least he was honest.

Why does a dog lick its balls?
The point is that there are still a lot of people who feel a degree of security from dealing with "the gas board"
This is called branding by the marketeers.
If they can can make a good margin with this, do you imagine that they would walk away angst-ridden with guilt?
It's "free" money until enough customers realise that they can obtain the same things elsewhere. Nice while you can get it.
Of course the challenge will come when people do realise that they are being taken for a ride. Then the advertising campaigns like "Mrs. Jones' Pump" will be run more often on the TV. Some will feel cosy again for a while. So it goes on.
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In responce to the original poster. It's just a question of taking the time and shopping around. A relative has been looking for a new boiler to relace his old back boiler,One plumber wanted to install a combi, in a new position, at the cost of a grand for labour only. Others sugested an open vented system boiler. Some of the plumbers just didn't turn up. In the end he found a guy to fit a megaflow with a sytem boiler. Run 22mm to the front door, change 8 radiators and supply a hot and cold feed only for the bathroom, and hot to the sink. This is labour only, but in London.1100. One thing though is that the place is vacant and all making good is to be done by him. This is ok cause it will make for a neater job, i.e no visible external pipes anywhere but muggins (me) will have to make good.
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In responce to the original poster. It's just a question of taking the time and shopping around. A relative has been looking for a new boiler to relace his old back boiler,One plumber wanted to install a combi, in a new position, at the cost of a grand for labour only. Others sugested an open vented system boiler. Some of the plumbers just didn't turn up. In the end he found a guy to fit a megaflow with a sytem boiler. Run 22mm to the front door, change 8 radiators and supply a hot and cold feed only for the bathroom, and hot to the sink. This is labour only, but in London.1100. One thing though is that the place is vacant and all making good is to be done by him. This is ok cause it will make for a neater job, i.e no visible external pipes anywhere but muggins (me) will have to make good.
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James wrote:

I don't see that a combi will be *much* cheaper to run than a well-insulated storage system and with proper controls you shouldn't have to worry about 'putting the water on' anyway.

If it's a comb it should be a mains pressure shower. Especially with small children in the house you should ask specific questions about the anti-scalding provisions of the proposed product.

BG are *always* expensive.
Owain
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Owain wrote:

new condensers are around 90% efficient compared with older boilers, especially open flued boilers which are around 60%
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Gav wrote:

Yes, but that doesn't mean that a *combi* will be much cheaper to run than a *storage* system. Both can use efficient condensing boilers.
There is also the option, not often offered by professional installers it seems, of having a combi for instant mains pressure shower and running a cylinder off the radiator circuit for stored hot water for baths.
Owain
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Tear it up, throw it away and get someone who isn't a thief and a liar to come and do the work instead.
--
"Other people are not your property."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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James wrote:

we quoted for (and got the job) a chap we were recomended to. he wanted a back boiler out and new combi in loft. no probs we said `anything else??? rads he said, no probs. so he will be getting 4 new rads, new trv's new boiler, old one out and all clean and tidy for when he returns from hols. then when he does some other work we will be moving the pipes we have installed in a cupboard to the new location for free. BG, without rads came in at 4600, we have come in just shy of 3000 with rads! and the boiler we are putting in exceeds BG's spec! worcester bosch too!
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James wrote:

Not sure it is illegal. It wil need to be guarded to make sure people can't touch it and get burnt. It will also need to be far enough away from opening windows.

Having enough pressure is only half the equation. You also need enough flow rate and the two are not the same. If you time filling a bucket from yout kitchen cold tap you should get a better idea. Anything less than 20 litres per minute will start to be marginal with a combi boiler.

*any* correctly installed system with decent controls, insulation and timers will ensure the water is hot whenever you need it.

You don't want a gravity fed shower on a mains pressure water system.

The system suggested sounds fine (except the shower) if you have the cold water flow rate. The Price as ever with BG is well over the top.
However make sure the boiler has enough power to deliver a decent flow rate of hot water. 35kW would be a good starting point. Stay well away from the small 24kW units as these will make filling even a small bath for the kids tedious.

Gosh that was a coincidense! Pity the poor soul the salesman goes to see tommorow having to pay 400 more.... NOT!

Get some other quotes PDQ, and be prepared to use that right!
(the work you have described is no more than five man days tops. The hardware supplied will be less than 1500 (in fact probably less!) so a total in the region of 2000 to 2750 does not sound unreasonable - perhaps a few hundred more in London etc)
--
Cheers,

John.

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James wrote:

I've just a Baxi Combi Instant 105HE installed for 2400 including all the pipe work
--
zaax

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James wrote:

It's british gas, run away. A year ago I had an Ideal Mexico replace by a Worcester-Bosch combi. That was in a 2nd floor flat with very awkward acess to fit the flue, it also required and upgrade of the gas pipe and more awkward work to remove tanks and fit new radiators. Even in a central London location the cost was significantly less than 3,000.
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"James" wrote: I would be very grateful for feedback on a quote we have received from British Gas. We are a family of 4 (2 kids under 5) who live in an average sized semi. Virtually every day we have a couple of showers and a small bath for the kids. We have a cold feed dishwasher and washing mashing so have little need for hot water throughout the day.
We have an 'Ideal Mexico' boiler which is (I think) coming to the end of it's life (needs a new pump at least). The boiler is in the kitchen with a vent on the outside wall at waist height - British Gas told us this was now illegal as it should be head height or above. The position of this vent is a pain - it's ugly and exhausts back into the kitchen via the only window we can open.
British Gas have tested our water pressure and told us it is very good (can't remember the stat). Based on all we have told them they have recommended replacing the boiler with a Bosch combination which they would put in the airing cupboard (1st floor, which has gas to it due to concrete floors on ground level). They would remove the hot water tank and make good. This sounds good to us as it will give us an extra cupboard and get rid of this vent which they would brick up and make good. A combination boiler also appeals as it should reduce our bills and not having to worry about 'putting the water on' will be a bonus.
The quote includes 9 thermostatic valves for radiators as we have a nightmare balancing temperatures round the house. It also includes a Mira gravity feed shower and fitting (our existing power shower is broken anyway).
The quote is just under 4,000 including one year of care. I would be very grateful for a sanity check on the above and a comment on the value for money (or otherwise!) of the quote.
We have accepted as their 400 discount deal (e.g. quote was 4,400) expired on the day the salesman came round (bonus!), but we still have the right to cancel.
Thank you very much.
James
[===================================]
It's incredible how these discount deals always expire on the day the salesman comes round. A sprat to catch a mackerel springs to mind. The 400 for discount will have been added on to be knocked off later. Be aware that of the 4 grand the salesman will be getting up to one grand. As with any major item of household expenditure you should always get SEVERAL QUOTES. A good plumbing/central heating firm will not have salesmen on fat commission, will not indulge in sham discounts and will probably have a waiting list due to the volume of work. Are you aware that much BG work is sub-contracted to local plumbing firms?
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On 2006-08-28 07:38:27 +0100, "Phil Anthropist"

While I don't hold any candle at all for BG or would suggest ever buying anything from them, I think that your analysis is a little extreme....
- Discount deals are the same as any other offer, such as three for the price of two in the supermarket, January sales, ...... They are there to incent the customer to buy.
- If they are there 100% of the time, it would be legitimate to say that the discount amount was added on in the first place. If it's not then the amount is in effect taken from gross margin on the deal.
- Having deals that are only available on the day is a way of getting the customer to take an action on the day. It's rather naff in concept, but it works. If the customer can be closed, he is less likely to look at the competition and the salesman can move on to the next opportunity. In principle this is not any different to any other promotional pricing or sale - only the timescale is different.
- Do you have specific knowledge of BG's commission plans? It is highly unlikely that the salesman would make 1000 on a 4000 sale unless he is on commission only or an extremely small basic salary.Even so, the figures don't stand scrutiny. The market price with a small installer for this job appears to be in the 2500 to 3000 range. BG is an enormous corporation with overheads to match. I think it is highly unlikely that almost all the incremental amount over the market rate would find its way into the salesman's pocket.
- A commission of 5-10% of the deal is much more typical for a part salaried salesman in the consumer products and services sector. Work out the numbers. Let's say the salesman makes 4 visits a day with an average sale value of 3000. A 30% conversion rate is probably about right for a branded service company like BG. At 48 working weeks a year, this amounts to a revenue of 864000. A commission rate of 25% would result in earnings of 216000 per annum. Somehow, I think that's unlikely and an OTE of 50k or perhaps a little more is much more likely, and hence the lower commission rate in tghe 5-10% range - hardly fat.
- Now contrast with the sole trader. He also has to visit customers, do quotes and win only a certain percentage of the business he quotes for. His time is not free for doing this - it comes out of his gross margin. In terms of proportion of time taken, and hence cost, it is also likely to be in the 5-10% range. The customer pays for that just in the same way as for a salesman's commission.
- I would agree with you that the good sole trader has plenty of work and probably doesn't need to offer special deals to make business happen at certain times.
So really, the reality of the comparison is that BG is a large corporation which buys and sells services and makes a margin for doing so. The difference in the price is all about feeding that.
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Andy Hall wrote:

Some years ago I had a number of quotes for a complete central heating installation, BG were the highest by a fair margin. I subsequently had it installed by a large local firm. Over the next YEAR I kept receiving revised quotes from BG until they were the cheapest. If they still do this and you want BG perhaps you should just wait a while.
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