Boiler repair cost me £245 – but my insurer refuses to pay

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I called out 24|7 Home Rescue under our insurance contract because our boiler was not firing up. I am a carer for my husband, who is seriously disabled, so we need the boiler to work.

The insurer told me that as the boiler is more than 11 years old, I would have to pay a £75 excess charge, though I can find no mention in our contract.

The engineer who came took photographs and said we would need two new parts. I received a call the following day to say it was not economically viable to repair the boiler.

One reader said she called out 24|7 Home Rescue under her insurance contract because her boiler was not firing up. She was then charged £245 for repair and is yet to be reimbursed 

One reader said she called out 24|7 Home Rescue under her insurance contract because her boiler was not firing up. She was then charged £245 for repair and is yet to be reimbursed 

One reader said she called out 24|7 Home Rescue under her insurance contract because her boiler was not firing up. She was then charged £245 for repair and is yet to be reimbursed 

They said they could arrange for an engineer from the boiler company to repair it to the minimum standard, but this would cost a further £245.

I agreed — however, when the engineer called, he said there was nothing wrong, but that the jets needing cleaning. I have asked 24|7 to refund the additional £245, but it said there was no error on its part. Mrs S. B., Rutland, E. Mids. 

24|7 Home Rescue says the external engineer it sent reported that components were required with a total cost of £399.28.

Due to the age of the boiler and the cost of the repair, 24|7’s technical department declined the claim on the basis that it was beyond economical repair.

They suggested a specialist from the boiler manufacturer could carry out the repair. This service is offered outside the terms of the insurance agreement. However, it was arranged by 24|7 at a cost of £245.

Fired up: Another reader found herself in a pickle over her energy bills

Fired up: Another reader found herself in a pickle over her energy bills

Fired up: Another reader found herself in a pickle over her energy bills

The manufacturer’s engineer carried out work that was different to that suggested by the first engineer. 24|7 accepts that there is a difference of opinion between the diagnosis made by the first and second engineers.

I’d go with the diagnosis of the specialist, rather than a third party who might have something to gain by racking up the bill. Incidentally, the manufacturer’s engineer did carry out work costing £210, 24|7 Home Rescue says.

The firm has queried the diagnosis from the first engineer, who stands by his assessment.

A spokesman says: ‘We appreciate the distress caused. We have refunded £35, which is the difference between the quoted cost and the repair cost, and have reached out to offer £50 as a gesture of goodwill.’

One other point: 24|7 Home Rescue says the £75 excess for a boiler of this age is in its terms and conditions. I checked and it is under the heading ‘Excess Payments’ in Section 23 on page 11.

YOU HAVE YOUR SAY 

Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories.

Here are some from our report on Gideon Roseman, a barrister who turned the tables on fraudsters by tracking down the £20,400 he lost in a banking scam… 

Not only is my nursery not offering free hours, but it hasn’t registered for the tax-free childcare scheme. That means I get nothing. Nurseries should be forced to sign up to give parents the vital support they need.

R. S., Rickmansworth, Herts.

My little boy is one, and I pay £650 a month for childcare so he can go three days a week. It is ruining me financially. I’m 28, and my generation need both parents in work just to survive.

A. G., West Midlands.

I understand that childcare is expensive, but how many couples without children get tax perks? You shouldn’t automatically get help just because you choose to have children.

M. Y., Aberdeen.

I can’t stand it when parents scream for more help. They receive child benefit, tax credits and free school meals. Why should taxpayers fund childcare, too? If you want children, make sure you can afford them.

O. D., Reading.

This strikes me as another brilliant idea that fails as the Government doesn’t have the expertise to carry it out properly. Politicians need to plan these initiatives carefully, because the effects can be devastating.

E. B., Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Write to Tony Hazell at Ask Tony,Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email asktony@dailymail.co.ukplease include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.

I moved into my current address on April 18 last year. First Utility had supplied gas and electricity at my previous home, so I requested that it take over at my new one.

The electricity switch went ahead, but there was a problem with the gas.

I am led to understand the national gas database had flats 1 and 2 wrongly assigned, so it would appear my neighbour had their supply incorrectly taken over. I told First Utility, which, after considerable delay, arranged for a test.

The engineer confirmed the correct meter details together with the readings. It seemed that First Utility had mistyped one of the meter number digits and assigned a number to my property that doesn’t actually exist.

At this point, I was officially a customer of another supplier, which conducted its own test. The other company credited me £120 and admitted it should have corrected the database.

The Ombudsman has referred me back to First Utility — but I wish to sever ties with it.

I am often housebound due to a long-term back condition. I also have Asperger syndrome, which affects my ability to cope with life in general. I am reliant on support from third parties. R. X., Ramsgate, Kent.

My head was spinning by the time I finished your letter. The energy industry has made a right mess of supplying your property, which has disrupted both you and your neighbour.

I went to First Utility, as it was the firm to which you tried to move your new supply. Most importantly, it has sent abject apologies for the trials you suffered. A spokesman explains that there is an industry database which links all the properties in the UK to the gas and electricity meters. This is something you had already worked out.

As you said, the details of the gas meter for your new property were incorrect, which meant First Utility took over a different meter. Once this became clear, it ran the test you describe to determine which was the correct meter for your home, updated the database and brought the correct gas meter on to its supply.

I know you said you no longer wish to be with First Utility, but that is where you are right now. You could move, but now the issue is resolved, I suspect you may prefer to stay put.

First Utility has produced an up-to-date invoice and offered you £75 as a gesture of goodwill to apologise for your experience. 

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT 

I read that thousands of people may get a refund because they were overcharged when applying for Power of Attorney. Does this also apply to people who have applied to be a deputy via the Court of Protection?

D. F., via email.

I’m afraid not. Attornies and deputies are handled by separate departments, and the fees are different — £400 with the Court of Protection and £82 for Power of Attorney.

*** 

My energy bills have soared — but without a computer, how can I find a cheaper deal?

H. W., Leeds.

Check our Best Buy tables on page 50 and call Energy Helpline on 0800 074 0745 or uSwitch on 0800 688 8557.

*** 

I received a suspicious postcard from a courier, claiming it had tried to deliver a letter from Barclaycard. The bank said to send it back, which I did. But on my next statement, it said I owed £270 for purchases I hadn’t made, plus £12 in late payment fees. My credit limit was then cut from £6,000 to £350.

R. P., London.

Barclaycard has apologised, restored your credit limit and paid a £50 goodwill gesture. The letter contained your new credit card. You won’t pay for the fraudulent transactions.

*** 

I bought nearly £5,000 worth of shares in a firm called Ultrasis in 2000. Now I can’t find any trace of the firm or shares online.

G. L., Northampton.

The firm went out of business on July 21. That means your shares are worthless. You should be able to offset the losses on these shares against gains you’ve made on other investments when it comes to your capital gains tax allowance.

THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST BROADBAND DEALS



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