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Heating system upgrade is causing stress

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I am absolutely furious with British Gas regarding their attitude to elderly people who are having new heating systems fitted via government initiative!  In the past seven months I have had my octogenarian in-laws up roots to come over and stay with us FOUR times!  First three times when my poor father-in-law went over to his house in morning it was to find workmen and no radiators or boiler for them to put in.  Someone had "forgotten", ON THREE OCCASIONS, to put the order through so the goods would be there for the workmen to do what should have been a same day job.  This time around we thought hallelujah!  But no, yet more problems delayed the work.

Father-in-law: This stress is making him ill.

I have actually lost track of excuses etc.  being given now.  The job was meant to be done last Thursday, so again over they came to stay with us to find that no workmen turned up on Thursday as expected as the contractor had not been informed!  By now thoroughly fed up, my father-in-law fired off an e-mail to the chap in the Scottish executive with regards to situation who was horrified and lo and behold the job, that could not be done before Monday this week at least, was suddenly done on the Friday - only one day late.  Yippee we all thought, but alas it wasn't that easy

Two of the radiators were way too tall for the space in the front rooms they were meant for and had to be re-ordered.  The valve that needed fitting to his fire once the old back boiler was removed had not been ordered either!  He was told that radiators would not arrive until this Friday and valve apparently would have to be dealt with by a private contractor as the fire is an existing feature!! 

Hello they are removing the back boiler and cutting the gas off to his fire as it could not be isolated, so shouldn't they fit the valve once old boiler is out to give this elderly couple their fire back?

Now the reason I am so angry with all this is not because I have had them here to stay.  They are a lovely couple whom I love to bits.  No, the reason I am angry is because of the stress it has placed squarely on the shoulders of my father-in-law.  My mother-in-law has Alzheimers and can barely lift her feet, but over here she has no option but climb stairs to bedroom.  She has a carer morning and night over the road to get her up washed and dressed etc.  But due to these issues with British Gas, has only had carer at night, so that my father-in-law has had to deal with morning routine which puts a tremendous strain on him on top of everything else.

Heating system causing elderly stress I haven't mentioned yet that he has severe angina and has had a serious heart attack in past.  This stress is making him ill.  I can see it, but due to my own arthritis he will not hear of me dealing with my mother-in-law for him!  He insists Im doing enough by cooking and caring for them during their stay with us.  He's not a man to argue with on that score!

He is, as I write this, on his way over to the house again to let the workmen in.  Hopefully they will finally fit the two radiators leave their house habitable once more as I think any more strain could have him in hospital, which incidentally is where his OLDER sister is due to the stress heaped on her with the same carry-on in another town regarding the putting in of the new heating systems!

We have since heard from his neighbours who are in their seventies that they too had to put up with many cancelled jobs whilst having their heating systems upgraded before work finally started, only to find wrong sizes ordered which took weeks in their case to be sorted out!

Is this some kind of underhanded ploy to rid our country of the burden of elderly people?  If this is the way elderly people are generally treated, then British Gas should be ashamed of themselves.

By: Nona


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Do the whole sum!

Do the whole sum!

Don't bother with gas boilers. Gas boiler maintenance is a rip off. We have just had an 80 litre electric boiler replaced in our bathroom, absolutely new, for £140, after 15 years, with zero maintenance or contracts in between.

With a gas boiler you are going to pay £20 maintenance charge. Brass Monkeys appendages! BAH!
Do the whole sum!
5th May 14 13:14

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MikeP

MikeP

While your about it, why don't you spam the site with adverts for your own company?
MikeP
23rd May 11 18:20

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the gasfather

the gasfather

I think you should check carefully because if your outlaws are keeping the fire the bacck boiler needs to stay in situ as it is part of the flue for fire
the gasfather
10th Jul 10 11:11

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Riped off

Riped off

Anyone with a service contract with British Gas for boiler maintinance check to see if the anual service time is being extended each year ( my service times Feb 05 May 06 Sept 07 March 09 )result only 4 services in 5 years should I have a refund for the year I paid and received no service. Thats one way to make BIG proffits
Riped off
11th Mar 09 23:24

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Anon

Anon

:I wish to hear of anyone else who has suffered poor service from Fuelcare Heating Services. I took out a heating care contract over 12months ago and have recently been advised my policy is in credit??, it is in credit because they downgraded my policy without advising me due to not being able to provide a full service contract on a two year old (Warmflow) boiler?? I contacted them and said surely when the agreement was taken out this should have been pointed out, they said no, it would come to light at annual inspection, after which time they have taken 12 months payments from you. Beware of this company as they will try every trick in the trade to wriggle out of issues and simply refer to all the small print in their terms & conditions. Please continue any comments re this company and the more people expose this company the better and they will finally realise how bad things are.
Anon
17th Feb 09 10:49

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woopsi

woopsi

I am a Heating engineer and have had previous encounters with the company named and shamed. I worked for Transco and there were several times where I had to switch someones gas off because of a leak that they left when they were servicing the boiler. And it still took them over 2 days to get out and sort the problem, even though they caused the problem in the first place! They will also charge a lot more on any job. As for anyone who doesn't work for them, we are not all cow boys!!
woopsi
14th Nov 07 11:10

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Devongirl

Devongirl

I wonder if the government have fallen for the same British Gas 'scam' that private households also suffer. Last year my parents-in-law needed a new boiler, and upgraded heating system (couple of new radiators, pipe checks etc). Quite a big job in all, so they were looking at spending upwards of £2k. My father-in-law did his research, got plenty of quotes, checked the credentials of the firms quoting etc - and eventually they went for British Gas. the guy that quoted was very professional, a higly qualified gas engineer - so they decided it was worth the £500 more than the local cowboy outfit were charging.

When the 'British Gas' engineer turned up to do the work - lo and behold it was the local cowboy outfit, subcontracted out from BG!!! The job was a disaster, resulting in new beams, floor and carpet in one room due to bad workmanship, ran over by months and caused massive stress.

The point is - write to your local MP, or whoever in government is co-ordinating the scheme. they may have little or no awareness of the sub-contractor quality employed by BG for the scheme. Hopefully they will learn and future contracts will include a minimum qualification and experience level for any subcontractors used etc.

Good luck though - I hope your in-laws recover from this OK. Alzheimers is awful enough without being uprooted and stuck in an unfamiliar house.
Devongirl
14th Aug 07 12:49

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Not quite dead yet

Not quite dead yet

Nik

Er... because I have no idea what you are talking about, I have no-one to let in and I think it unlikely that the griper will give me his father-in-law's address.
Not quite dead yet
13th Aug 07 14:00

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Not quite dead yet

Not quite dead yet

Nik

Hyperthermia? Unlikely in this country! I thought we were worried about them being cold, not baked.

My point is that when I am old I would much rather just be given the 2 grand than be told I can only have it in the form of central heating installation and TV licenses. People survived before central heating and it is up to the individual whether they want it or something else instead.

Central heating is a total waste of money. You only need the heating, not the central. My aging relly had no fancy timers and stuff, just had a stiflingly hot room kept going by... a heater. Too cold: turn up. Too hot: turn down. Cost of equipment: three and sixpence, or whatever it cost in 1955, and he was quite happy until 92.

Also: "thousands of pensioners die". What's new? If someone is 92 the question is not "are they probably going to die soon" it is "given that they probably are going to die soon, how is it going to happen". You saying "I don't want them to die of hyperthermia (sic)" is equivalent to saying "I want them to die of a heart attack or cancer, after living for six months more than they otherwise would have".
Not quite dead yet
11th Aug 07 15:34

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Nik

Nik

Not quite dead yet

Have YOU ever been cold, I mean REALLY cold.

Thousnads of pensioners every year DIE of Hyperthermia every year, because they DON'T have a decent central heating system, YES they also get £200 a year to PAY for the running of it.

If YOU deny pensioners their independence, then shame on you.

If they also want help,due to their disabilties, they can get it, they ONLY have to ask.

Why is it, your father-in-law has to go over and let the workers in, WHY don't YOU go, or is thet to hard to do.
Nik
11th Aug 07 06:06

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Not quite dead yet

Not quite dead yet

Why not just put their pensions up instead? God forbid the elderly should be better able to decide what to do with their money than the government. They could spend the money on central heating (and might get better service if the suppliers had to compete for paying customers), OR a TV license (if they really want to waste it), or whatever.

Anyway, putting brand new central heating into a house for someone who is by definition probably not going to be around that much longer is in most cases just giving money to their inheritees when they come to sell the (improved) house - less 40% grasping Brown clawback of course. Maybe they'd like to just wear a thicker jumper and spend the money going somewhere warm sometimes instead.
Not quite dead yet
9th Aug 07 12:30

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John

John

You should stop and think, YOUR in-laws are NOT the only ones having this done.If you WAS the only one, then yes complain.

New heating systems fitted via government initiative, is a LARGE undertaking,there are thousands of old people having this kind of work done,and yes there will be problems along the way. You can't just blame British Gas, It could well be THEIR suppliers who have "Cocked" up.

At least when it's finished, they will be more comfortable.

I live on a council estate, where ALL the house have been upgraded with double glazing, new central heating, loft, and cavity wall insulation. It took over 18 MONTHS to complete, and YES there was disruptions, and days when I thought when will it finish.

But now, CHEAPER bills, comfort, it was WELL worth the hassle.
John
9th Aug 07 05:05

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yoyo

yoyo

That's terrible and disgracefull. Elderly are so vulnerable to the cold. :(
I guess it's a good thing they're messing up during the summer rather than the winter, but it's still not good enough. I think you should send them a link to this gripe so they can see just what an appaling company they are and how many people are disgusted with them.
yoyo
8th Aug 07 23:37

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