Gas / Electricity
Family of 4 left with unsafe boiler for 8 months
11 June 2012
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I am signed up for both gas and electricity so of course it made perfect sense to take out their home team policy.
They carried out an initial inspection of my boiler in 2009 before agreeing to insure my boiler.
In oct/nov 2011 I rang to report a leak in my boiler and radiator in my sitting room. The engineer came out but unfortunately I had been called into London so my husband had to be in for the day.
The engineer turned up looked at the boiler - told my husband to bleed the radiators and that the flu for the boiler was not built in correctly and that we needed builders to fix the issue and left! He never even took his tools out of his toolbox.
I will explain - we live a property built in January 2006 - had no previous issue with the boiler associated with huge amounts of water pouring down the walls of the kitchen so this didn't ring true.
In the next couple of months, fitted around christmas/new year I arranged for a builder to give me a second opinion. It was therefore February this year before I could confirm that your engineer was wrong! Boiler still leaking, also radiator still leaking.
In february 2012 the engineer who came to do the yearly service put in a report confirming the issue with the boiler - an engineer was due to visit in march - the engineer did not turn up! I booked another appointment for repair to be made - engineer turned up - confirmed again that boiler was broken. Upshot is two mor engineers down the line I had an appointment for the fix to happen on Friday 1 June 2012 - 11.30am received a call parts did not turn up - engineer not coming!
To the credit of the Home Team (only one!!!) the staff at this point tried to get the parts couriered to me in order that fix could be done that evening or following day - however, being jubilee bank holiday weekend and beginning of half term - the parts did not turn up until 7.45pm on Friday 1 June so would not have been able to be fixed that evening - I was already booked with commitments for the weekend.
I therefore arranged for engineer to come today 11 June 2012. This engineer stripped the boiler to get to what the guessed problem was and finally fix. The problem was not as diagnosed (I was not surprised to be honest I expected a no fix at this point). The problem is that on installation of my boiler when the house was built in 2005/2006 some bright spark sawed through the connector to the flu!!!
MY BOILER HAS BEEN CONDEMNED AS UNSAFE - I am not covered by my policy - I have been left with two young children with no heating - luckily we have a immersion heater for water! It is not the hottest summer and nights are cold!
My issue with NPower - is that my family have been left at risk since that first engineer visit! This could have been a different story! Why did the first engineer not strip the boiler back and find the problem?
I have now been quoted £184.71 to fix the boiler! I appreciate that it has finally been diagnosed as an existing condition, but who compensates me for all the wasted time waiting in for engineers, fixes that didn't happen, parts which did not turn up. I am a freelance digital producer charging £350 per day - surely I have earnt my fix in loss of earnings alone, let alone personal risk my family were left in, and distress and frustration!!
Npower want payment up front to fix the boiler. Even before they order the part - I don't have it. They wont even spread it over time with my £181 monthly direct debit.
I have today moved away from them switching to another company. I have written to the CEO Volker Beckers no response. I have also lodged a complaint. They don't get it. They are all too ready to tell me I'm not covered as it is pre-existing. I am not arguing this, but think people need to be aware that they are happy to leave a family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with no remorse. Happy to waste people's time to wait for engineers who don't come or don't fix at extreme costs to self. And it seems they are happy to leave a long term customers family with no boiler/heating/hot water with no immediate resolution.
Needless to say I am stressed to the max!
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