Homeserve – Complaint for not fixing boiler

Letter to Homeserve

Dear Sirs,

HomeServe Policy Number XXXXXXXX
Address of Property

I refer to the above Policy initiated on XXXXXXX covering the Gas Central Heating
System at Address of Property. On XXXXXXX, a Technician
attended the property, inspected the Boiler and confirmed it was operating correctly and therefore fit
for cover under the Policy. This was a Landlord Policy for a Vaillant Combination Boiler, TURBOmax
VUW GB242E which was the only source of heating and hot water at the tenanted property.
On December 15 th, I reported a small leak at the rear of the Boiler which, nether the less, was
operating normally and fully functional. I called HomeServe initiating a Claim and was asked to pay the
excess of £50, due under the Policy Terms. I was assured there would be no further charges. HomeServe
then instructed a nominated Contractor from XXXXX in XXXXXX, whose Mobile Number
was XXXXXX, and who, the Tenant informed me, called at approximately 17.00 on December 16 th .
The Tenant also informed me that, whilst seemingly correcting the leak, the Contractor had observed
that the Gas Valve on the Boiler was faulty and turned the system off. The Tenant was advised that a
new part would be obtained and fitted after approval from HomeServe.
On Monday December 18 th, I made seven calls to HomeServe and received some calls back in
return. I was advised that the part required may be “obsolete” but XXXXXX was endeavouring to
locate one. Whilst I mitigated the lack of heating at the property with electric fan heaters, the Tenant
had no hot water, except for that provided by an electric kettle!
On December 19 th, I made a further four calls to HomeServe who had no further news from
XXXXXX. I lodged a Complaint “on line” on the HomeServe site.
On December 20 th, I again made two calls to HomeServe and was advised in a call back that a
Gas Valve had been located by XXXXXX and they would contact me direct to arrange an
appointment to fit it. I then received a call from XXXXX who informed me the earliest they could
attend was Friday December 22 nd between 12 and 6pm
On December 21 st at 08.48 XXXXX from HomeServe called me to ask if I had received a call from
XXXXX and whether an appointment had been made; I confirmed positively.
On December 22 nd at approximately 16.00 I received a call from the same Contractor from
XXXXXXX who had attended on December 16 th and met him at the property. He retrieved a package
from his van, inspected it and commented that it was incomplete. It was in fact the solenoid only and
not the complete Gas Valve. He attempted to fit the part but to no avail and the result was still an
inoperable system. At this point the Tenant had been without hot water for six days and it was two days
before Christmas Day.

I received no further calls from HomeServe after the Technician’s visit that day. Regardless of
the Policy Cover I had legal obligations to the Tenant and had to attempt urgent arrangements to try to
restore both the heating and hot water at the property which had been unavailable for 7 days.
On December 23 rd, I received a letter from HomeServe dated December 19 th informing me the
that the part was obsolete and, as a consequence, Policy Cover was being cancelled. If the Policy had not
been cancelled I would have been entitled to a new boiler at a subsidised cost which was my intent.
I was however fortunate enough to be able to locate a local company who could fit a
compatible boiler that very same day and restore the Tenants facilities and hence confidence.
On December 24 th, I took the initiative of searching “on line” for a Gas Valve for the Vaillant
Boiler Gas Valve part number 053210 and found two genuine Vaillant parts at either XXXXX in
Bradford or XXXX in Chorley. I also e mailed Vaillant who confirmed on January 2 nd that parts may be
available from XXXXX.
I therefore consider HomeServe’s action in failing to locate and replace the Gas Valve, which
was, and is readily available, in a reasonable time as Breach of Contract. Further in sending a Contractor
late on December 22 nd with an incomplete part limited the options available to restore the system,
especially before Christmas. This is Negligence. Further still, cancellation of that Contract denied me the
opportunity of a compatible new boiler under the Policy Terms. As a consequence, I have incurred the
cost of a new boiler with others.
I therefore make Claim against HomeServe for Breach of Contract in this unacceptable matter in
a sum approaching £2,000. I will detail these costs in any action I may be forced to pursue to recover the
same.

Yours

Reply from Homeserve

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your recent experience. We
pride ourselves on delivering effortless service for our Customers and are sorry we
didn’t get it right for you this time.
As discussed in our previous telephone call, I am very sorry for the service you have
received during the claim for your boiler. Our records show that there was
confusion regarding the required part being obsolete. When our engineers believed
they located the part, on arrival, they found this was not complete. They have
since confirmed the part is obsolete from our reputable suppliers.
What happens next?
I appreciate you were in a difficult position with it being Christmas time.
However, had you not have replaced the boiler privately, we would have supplied a
boiler for free, but you would need to meet the installation costs.
Therefore, I am happy to reimburse £402 for the costs we would have incurred to
supply the boiler. To compensate for the errors caused in the claim, I will raise an
additional £100. Please allow a total of £502 to credit the bank account you paid
your premiums from.
I believe this outcome is fair based on our investigations. However, if you feel I
have misunderstood any detail, or you have additional information to add, please
contact me. I am also happy to discuss your case and my findings with you.

Legal info
At this point, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial
Ombudsman Service and I understand that you may want to consider this route.
This service is free of charge. If you decide to do this then you must contact the
Ombudsman within six months from the date of this letter.
If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Ombudsman will not have our
permission to consider your complaint and so will only be able to do so in very
limited circumstances. For example, if the Ombudsman believes that the delay was
a result of exceptional circumstances.
A link to their leaflet is as follows: http://www.financial-
ombudsman.org.uk/publications/consumer-leaflet.htm and they can be contacted
at:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
London
E14 9SR
They can also be contacted by e-mail at [email protected]
ombudsman.org.uk, by telephone on 0300 123 9123, or by logging on to their
website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: