Monday, January 07, 2008


Ah, the fun one has with the big corporations in the UK. British Gas this time.

I subscribe to the British Gas "Home Care" scheme which includes an annual "Safety and Maintenance Inspection" of the central heating system. In August last year (2007) the engineer visited and told us that everything was fine. He handed over a big wad of paper to prove it, which I didn't bother to read until last month when I was doing my end of year filing.

The front page of the tome is a "Landlord's Gas Safety Record" which is a document that I am required to keep for a minimum of two years (or else, no doubt).

Right there, on that front page, the engineer had noted a "defective flue". A dodgy flue can kill people, so this is not something to be taken lightly. But why did the engineer tell us that everything was OK if the flue was defective? Eeeep!

We got in touch with the engineer who said, in essence: Oh, it's OK. Don't worry about it. Hmmm.

I called British Gas HQ and explained the situation and asked for advice. I was told that they would schedule an engineer to visit the flat and carry out another inspection from which I would get a new report. Super duper.

Today I got a message to say that the engineer had cancelled the visit since he felt that the original report was fine. Again it was: Ignore that flue defect in the report. Don't worry, be happy.

Back to British Gas HQ to whom I gave an update. I put it to them that either the report needs to be redone or I need a letter from them saying, in black and white, that they felt everything was OK and that there was indeed no need to worry. After some back and forth with some more experienced people I was told that if it's on the "Landlord's Gas Safety Record" then I *should* worry and that it was my responsibility to get have things sorted out!

I put it to British Gas that they were being somewhat inconsistent with something that could cause harm to people. I was told that the more experienced people would call me right back to discuss the matter and work out what needed to happen next.

And of course no call came. Pretty defective, I'd say.

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