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Conversation One. 1.15pm

Hello. Welcome to British Gas. Calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

Me: Hello, I wonder whether you could help me. One of your engineers is coming to service my central heating boiler this afternoon - between 1pm and 6pm - and I just wondered whether there is any possibility of giving me a slightly more specific time. I'd love just to pop out and do a bit of shopping.

British Gas: Sorry but our afternoon appointments are always between one and six.

Me: But surely your engineer must know by now how many jobs he's doing and so could give a rough estimate of when he'll arrive here. It seems a bit ridiculous that he can't say whether it'll be before 3pm or after 3pm, don't you agree?

BG: Yes, I do agree. I'll try to track down the engineer and ring you back as soon as I can.

Me: Oh that's wonderful. Thank you so much, I'm most grateful.

Conversation Two. 2.05pm

Hello. Welcome to British Gas. Calls are being recorded etc ....

Me: Hello, I rang about an hour ago and a very nice colleague of yours - I didn't catch her name - said she would ring me back to let me know whether it might be possible for me to leave my house to do a bit of shopping for about 20 minutes between now and 6pm when the engineer is supposed to come. She hasn't rung.

BG: I do apologise. But we have a rule that we can only ring the engineer half way through the 1pm to 6pm period. So I'm sure you'll get a phone call shortly after 3.30pm.

Me: What? That seems a very ridiculous rule. Don't you agree? What's the reason for it?

BG: I don't know what the reason for it is. I agree, it seems a bit ridiculous.

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November 9th, 2012
9:11 AM
It was December time when my boiler decided to stop working. I have the top cover with British Gas so I called them to arrange an engineer to come out. I was told I would have to wait 7 days as they were only doing priority cases first. I explain that I had 3 small children and with no hot water or heating it should be a priority. I was told t wrap my children up and they would be fine. when i complained about that comment, the lady then proceeded to say " well at least you don't have cancer". I was absolutely shocked by this comment. To which I reapplied "how do you know what I may have". She replied by saying "we'll you didn't mention it in conversation". I was so angry and told her that if I had cancer, (which I don't) I would not be sharing that with a complete stranger. We argued for a further 5mins, but again that's all she could give me. When I called BG the following day to see if they could do anything for me, straight away a lovely man said " will tomorrow to ok". I was amazed as I was previously told there were no appointments and subjected to an assault. I often wonder if that call was ever used for training purposes.

Sue S
January 7th, 2009
10:01 AM
Yesterday, my boiler was making very strange noises so before it died, I made a call to British Gas. A very nice man told me "You've done the right thing in contacting us, Thursday morning ok?" In view of the fact that I still had heating & hot water, I agreed. Two hours later my boiler sadly died. I phoned British Gas back to explain the situation, bearing in mind their promise when I took out the agreement that "Phone before 9.30 and an engineer will call the same day". They said that as I had no hot water or heating that they would "Prioritize" my call and once again offered me an appointment on Thursday morning!? I couldn't have anything earlier because all of their engineers were busy, unless.....Pay an extra £3 a month and they will, as if by magic, send an engineer, the same day if you call by 10!!! I have had cover from BG for my kitchen appliances, boiler and central heating, drains, plumbing and electrical for over 6 years and have paid a fortune to them. When I need them, the service is typically not there. I will be seeking cover elsewhere in the future. I wonder, if indeed the engineer arrives; how many days it will be before the repair is actually completed???

Kathy P
January 6th, 2009
1:01 PM
I have had no hot water or heating for three days boiler broke down on Sunday morning and was told first appointment was Tuesday...Sunday night was -5 so I rang Monday to see if I could get an earlier appointment. Was told if I signed up to Timechoice I could have somone that day.... Obviously the £300+ I pay a year isn't sufficient to get an engineering visit even though the paperwork I have says 'in 8 out of 10 cases, same day call outs are guaranteed'... how do I make sure I am one of the 8/10 instead of the 2/10??!! I will definitely look for a different company for my next years insurance cover....

Bob Wylie
December 2nd, 2008
4:12 PM
I totally sympathise with you. I just yesterday got a an upsell letter telling me that I can cover my drains for an extra so many pounds per month, despite the fact that I am already on homecare 300!! I totally agree with you on the TimeChoice programme. Why pay twenty odd pounds a month when you can pay an extra 3 pounds so someone can come out!! Oh I am really on my soapbox now - It annoys me that you can not have any cover, and still get the £99 (we'll fix anything) cover! now breath...

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