Be patient when you call the Gas Man

This is going to be a bit of a rant, I’ll try to stay calm but the truth is I need to get this off my chest.

l-r: expansion vent on flow, feed
Image by guyweb via Flickr

Like many people I’ve got a gas central heating system and also, like a good number of people I’ve got – or rather been sold – a maintenance contract that covers “all you plumbing”. So on Friday night when we found water under our sink we phoned the Gas company to ask for help. The first response, to my wife, was that this wasn’t an emergency and they would get someone out on Monday sometime. We were given a reference number just to reassure us.

Not impressed with this answer, I called to explain that the water was causing damage. When I offered the reference number I was told that it wasn’t a Gas number, but a third party’s reference –  but they kindly upgraded the problem to an “Emergency” which meant that someone would call that night.

My wife went out and I stayed to await a plumber. He didn’t come! At just before 9, the usual knocking off time for a call centre, I called again to check on progress and was told that the job was scheduled for Monday morning. An exchange of opinions followed, after which I agreed to call again in the morning to set the ball rolling again.

Saturday: 08:00 I was on the phone and 15 minutes later had a new reference number for a new emergency. The plumber would be with us before 12. At 11:30 I called to check on progress and was advised that he was on his way. But would I like to insure my wiring. Er… not just now!

Within 2 minutes of putting the phone down the plumber called: he had only just been allocated the job, that is 3.5 hours after it had been rated an emergency for the second time.

When he arrived, 4 hours later, it tool him 2 minutes to decide that the job wasn’t covered by the insurance and that I’d need to get it fixed privately.

He then issued us a written quote for the work, but made it clear that he was not able, or allowed to do the work. Despite a number of questions we never did ascertain the purpose of the quote for work that could not be done.

Finally, on Monday morning we had a call from the same plumber who had now been allocated the original job from Friday night’s call. The work was allocated to him at around 11:00.

All in all a very poor performance from a company that takes a lot of money off me every year for both Gas and insurance. Is it all surprising that I rejected their sales pitch to insure my wiring when I was trying to get a leak fixed during the Saturday morning call.

I won’t divulge the name of the company, save to say that it is an anagram of “I Grabs Shit”!

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