Gone are the days of the Gas Board we owned and trusted. Thanks to privatisation the 'business' British Gas was born... and it's no longer just about gas supply. British Gas is now part of a competitive market offering almost everything you need for modern living - from Internet and phone calls to homecare insurance. All promoted with a simple promise 'British Gas - doing the right thing'. A number of Watchdog viewers have contacted us to tell us otherwise.
Jen Harding took out a British Gas Homecare agreement for peace of mind. For about £23 a month British Gas will cover you if anything goes wrong with your central heating, electrical appliances and plumbing and drains. When the Hardings discovered a leak in their airing cupboard they called in British Gas. They needed a new hot water tank. It took British Gas three engineers and nearly two weeks to get it sorted. After the work was done they found they had more leaks, flooding their conservatory. It took another two engineers, two more tanks and another week to get the Harding's hot water back on.
Helen Woodward called on her plumbing and drains care cover when she discovered a sewage smell in her house. British Gas sent out two plumbing engineers. They came and went but the smell remained. The family moved into their caravan for three weeks to escape the smell. The local council identified that a waste water pipe was to blame, a simple problem and she should've been covered. After five weeks Helen, in desperation, paid £250 for a plumber who fixed the problem immediately.
The Mathiy family contacted British Gas when they discovered problems with their central heating. Visits from two engineers didn't solve the problem. British Gas left the family with no hot water and no heating, just a promise that the parts needed to fix it would arrive in 24 hours. They didn't. We were there when they finally did arrive - and an important part was wrong. British Gas did eventually get the part and fixed their boiler the following day. Despite numerous phone calls, excuses and call-outs, British Gas left the family with no hot water and heating for two weeks.
All three cases found it very difficult to get through to British Gas and were disappointed with their customer services. British Gas - doing the right thing?
If you have a complaint regarding British Gas Homecare contact your local Trading Standards office. Contact details can be found at www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
(BBC Tv Watchdog)
UK Whitegoods have launched an insurance scheme to compete with British Gas Homecare that costs less and you can use a local repairer. No more waiting for days on an engineer to become available!