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neilh (8614)

neilh
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South East UK based. Perl, C, C++ hacker

Journal of neilh (8614)

Wednesday December 16, 2009
04:52 AM

Service (?) Contracts

[ #40025 ]

So two days ago, I get back from dropping the kids off at school to find that there's a large wet stain on the ceiling of the hall. The carpet in the bottom of the boiler cupboard is sodden.

Conclusion: the boiler is leaking.

I ring the letting agency. Jessica is very friendly and helpful and a little while later I get a call from a service company. Their man will call later that day. Result

But...

It turns out that their man ins only a plumber and is not CORGI registered and can't work on gas boilers. So he needs to escalate it to a heating engineer. He does this at ~3pm two days ago, saying (to me) that someone should phone me to arrange a time for the engineer to call. I pass this on to Jessica.

After a couple of hours, no phone call. So Jessica chases them. Nothing.

The next morning, I let Jessica know that I've heard nothing, and she chases again. A little later I get a phone call from a guy from another service company. He tells me that they'll send someone "tomorrow" (i.e. today). Given that we're had no heating for more than 24 hours now, I ask if there's any chance of it being the same day (yesterday) He very officiously tells me that they guarantee a next day call out service and they only got the fax this morning, and the engineer will phone me between 8-8:30 to arrange a time to call.

Conclusions:

  1. If you're renting and suffer a breakdown like this, you are more or less powerless as it sounds like there are two separate companies between me and the engineer
  2. I'm not sure why it'd called a service contract, when that word is patently not being supplied
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  • Heating engineer just left having tightened up the offending part (with a wrench whereas the plumber said should only be hand tight). He also said that the boiler can run perfectly well without its front cover, so there was no need to have been cold for the past two days - grrr. Also (apparently), this boiler (a Potterton PowerMax 155x) is fitted in lots of new house because it's cheap, not because it's any good. They break down frequently [miketheboilerman.com], and when they leak (usually because the tank has split), they sh
  • Remember us tenants are the lowest form of life, the agent rips us and the landlord off, the landlord rips us off, the bank rips the landlord off, we bail the bank out (or the bank rips us off)...

    I'm not being cynical or anything but why should the landlord install proper reliable and economic appliances when they can install the cheapest cr*p, and we are forced to pay the utility bill and take time off from work when it breaks.

    If it weren't for the insanity of UK property prices I'd have bought a house by

    --
    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."