Consumer: Simon Jeffers
Company: British Gas

Link to Other British Gas Complaints

Date: 14 November 2001
Posted: 25 November 2001


Having taken out cover with british gas for our washing machine we put it to use when our machine packed in after 1 year. We called British gas and after a few attempts got through to the electrical department who arranged an engineer - ironically not available in evenings and weekends? So I arranged my shifts around this and had to work lates to be available on a Tuesday.

The engineer showed up and was very polite -after tinkering he concluded that the machine needed a new board but he had to order it. Another appointment was arranged for the following Thursday. Again the engineer showed up but then after fitting the board concluded that a new motor was needed - again an order had to be made.

Next tuesday the engineer shows up again with the wrong motor. Next thursday the engineer shows up again and fits the motor but its still not working - so he concluded Hotpoint need to look at it. I was told by the engineer I would be contacted by them today to arrange an appointment.

Two days passed and nothing. So again we called british gas to be told that the electrical department would call us back shortly. Nothing.... SO we called again and was told the electrical department would call us back. 1 day passes - no callback. Eventually I call and get put through to the electrical department who advise they will arrange an appointment with Hotpoint and call me back. I do get a call back within 30 mins with an arranged appointment. Unfortunately it doesnt end there.....

The day before the appointment I'm advised by my workplace that I cant have the day off. So I call british gas to cancel the appointment. The representative told me if someone could be at the property after 4pm I would not need to cancel. So this was arranged. I went to work and returned to find no one had called, or so I thought. The following day I was getting into my car and noticed a white card sticking up from the soil in my front garden. It was a note to say that the engineer had called at 2pm! I called British Gas again who again promised callbacks that never happened.

One final attempt was for an engineer to come out on 13 November 2001. I waited all day and nobody showed. We called British Gas again. The electrical department had closed so we where promised a call 1st thing the next day. Next day came - no call. So I called again. I spoke to Elaine. She listened to my grievences and advised that she will take treat this as a formal complaint and I will recieve a callback within 90 mins from a manager. 90 minutes passed - no call - I called and spoke to Elaine again. I was told that I will be called back within 10 mins. 10 mins passed no call. I called again and spoke to Mathew who advised that he the manager is on the phone to Hotpoint and will give me a call back.

I have now recieved a callback and now await a call from Hotpoint tommorow after 12pm. This is not good customer service. It would be easier to buy a new machine rather than go through this again.

Editor's Note:
A Right of Reply email has been issued to British Gas.

update on 26 November 2001

Thank you for your enquiry on behalf of Mr Simon Jeffers. Issues
surrounding cover for our domestic appliances is not dealt with through this
office. I have forwarded a copy of your enquiry to
ANTHONY.CHMARNY@CENTRICA.CO.UK, who will arrange for a response to be sent
to you concerning this matter.

"I'm pleased to say that my washing machine is now working. This is by sheer fluke mind! Basically since submitting my complaint here I never received the call from Hotpoint. Instead I had a message left for me by a British gas agent to say that they will be sending a Hotpoint engineer on the following Friday 23rd November. This is all very well but its the one day I said I was not available that week. So I had to call and cancel the appointment and arrange a new date. No one wanted to help me, and it took 3 days of calling before I finally got a call to say the Hotpoint engineer will be coming on Tuesday 27th November. By this point I had given up hope and had no expectations of an engineer coming. However on the Friday 23rd I got home to discover that the Hotpoint engineer had called and left a card - the appointment was not cancelled. I have to assume that the Tuesday appointment promised was just an excuse to stop me calling for a few days. As luck would have it the Hotpoint engineer was in the locality on the Saturday and decided to see if we were in on the of chance. We were and he fixed the machine concluding that the parts previously fitted were incorrect. Hats off to Hotpoint. Thumbs down to British gas. I have sent a complaint letter to British gas and I don't expect a reply. If they do I only expect a 'soft skills' trained agent to try a smooth over what has been a dreadful experience of customer service". Grant Jeffers