"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Homeserve? Huh!

There must be very many households in Britain which have emergency cover with Homeserve in case they wake up one morning and find a pipe has burst or the boiler has broken down. They probably think they can relax secure in the knowledge that, should such an occasion arise, all they have to do is pick up the phone and help will be on its way - well, within two hours, according to their website.
If Dad's experience is anything to go by, there will be a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved and no capable workman will appear on the doorstep at the end of it, which leaves Dad and me wondering why he is paying over £10 per month for no help when it's needed.
On Thursday, Dad discovered a leak in the kitchen under the floor, so he rang Homeserve. "Ah," said some bright spark at the other end of the phone, "we can have someone with you on Saturday morning."
"But it's only Thursday," Dad pointed out. The call centre operative couldn't disagree with that. "We'll ring you back in an hour and let you know if we can provide someone sooner."
An hour and a half later, Dad, tired of waiting, rang them back and spoke to someone else. "Ah yes, we are sending you someone on Saturday." So he explained patiently that he had been told that strenuous efforts were apparently being made to provide someone before that and that someone should have rung him with that information over half an hour previously.
There followed a series of conversations with different departments and different people, all of which prefaced the conversation with, "Ah yes, we have you down. We're sending you a plumber on Saturday."
In the end, he told them not to bother, that he would see to it himself.
"Are you able to do that?" they asked, hopefully.
"I'm a time-served engineer," he informed them, and asked his nephew to come and help him sort it out.
When he told me about this on the phone that evening, I pointed out to him that he was paying for a service and that service should be provided and immediately set about ringing Homeserve myself.
"Well, the customer did say he could do the repair himself," said the man on the phone. I pointed out that Dad was paying for a service that they had been unable to provide, that he is 86 and has recently had a hip replacement so, although technically he can do the repair, physically he would find it difficult (to put it mildly) to lie on the floor effecting the said repair and were they really prepared to leave him without water for two and a half days?
More promises ensued, with the result that a few minutes later, Homeserve rang Dad to tell him....
That they couldn't provide a plumber before Saturday.
What makes it worse is that, a few weeks ago, he had a cracked soil pipe and went through exactly the same rigmarole, which ended in them promising to ring him back within the hour.
Yes, you've guessed it. He's still waiting.....
So, Homeserve, if anyone from there is reading this, please be advised that Dad is cancelling his cover with you and that letters of complaint will soon be winging their way to you and to Trading Standards.


Mick's Page. said...

Hi Jenny. Doesn’t it want to make you spit. Firms, authorities, organisations who promise so much to start with and then give so little even though you point out to them they are not for filling their agreed terms and conditions which you having been paying for.

Read the small print you will find there’s always a clause there that they will squeeze through. They tell you our immediate action, call answered in 30-secs. ...... plumber promised, visit with in 48-hours, thats their immediate action. “So what’s the problem?”.

Trading standards, CAB and other such like bodies, don’t hold your breath - !!!!!. Why not try ‘Watchdog’ the TV-program. Mick.

Jennyta said...

Might try that next, Mick.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Perhaps Homeserve should rename themselves Selfserve...

Jennyta said...

Well, they are certainly not providing much of a service to their customers, YP.

jay said...

Good grief, that's utterly disgraceful!! I'd get really heavy with them, and I hope you get somewhere with your complaints. Insurance companies all want your money for nothing, but at least most of them do come up with the (minimum) goods when it comes down to it!

Jennyta said...

We'll do our best, Jay. :)

Anonymous said...

My parents, 75 & 80 years old, have been without heating for over a week. Still waiting for Homeserve. The boiler has broken down. I'm waiting for the Engineers to pick up the phone right now....just ringing and ringing. Do they want to kill old people?? I've checked the company's info and the board directors are making millions out of gullible people. DISGUSTING.


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