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.