Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money problems
My boiler cover proved useless
I rang 24/7 Home Rescue, with which I had cover, to say the pressure on my boiler kept going down. I paid £75 for an engineer visit.
When one came I told him that there might have been a leak on one of the radiators. He ignored this and spent about 15 minutes concentrating on the boiler.
Then he said that a part had to be ordered.
The office rang me the next day and I was told that the boiler was “uneconomical to repair”. However, if
I paid another £245 an engineer would come from the manufacturer, repair it and bring it up to “manufacturing standard”, and that would give approximately three years more life to the boiler.
After speaking to someone about this I paid the money on the basis that a copy of the report would be sent to me.
Then the manufacturer’s engineer came, inspected the boiler and asked what was wrong with it. He asked if I had a leak on one of the radiators. The first one he looked at showed signs of a leak and he tightened up a connection. He then serviced the boiler. I thought that was something the 24/7 Home Rescue policy did.
Anyway, as the policy has not served the purpose I took it out for I want to cancel it. Now I am told that if I do so there will be a hefty penalty. GB, WEST MIDLANDS Initially you paid £75, which 24/7 Home Rescue described as a “security payment”. The company says this is charged at its absolute sole discretion where the breakdown is deemed pre-existing or intermittent.
This payment may be refunded once the engineer has reported his or her findings and confirmed that the fault being reported is covered under the agreement.
Then, in a panic, you agreed to a much larger fee. All this when you had so far paid £102 for seven months’ cover of the policy itself.
24/7 Home Rescue said that as you had made a claim on the policy you couldn’t cancel. This must have seemed exasperating as the claim you made hadn’t been successful. But four days after I contacted the company it paid you £155, made up of a contribution towards the manufacturer’s repair and premiums paid. It also agreed to cancel the policy, waiving the £144 cancellation fee.
I still felt the answers I was getting were confused and less than satisfactory and that the redress was not enough.
Then the company came back saying that it would reimburse you the full amount. This turned out to mean £123.90 more, which was made up of the £75 security payment and a further contribution towards premiums paid.
You have moved your boiler cover elsewhere and the omens for this different service seem good.
24/7 Home Rescue said it had strict protocols to deal with the few complaints it said it got.
It said there was a difference of opinion between the two engineers. KW, NORTHUMBERLAND The Gambling Commission regulates betting. However, it does not itself take on individual complaints.
For a dispute such as yours, after checking the terms and conditions that have to be readily available and perhaps appear on the wall of the betting shop, take the matter as far as you can within the firm being complained about.
If the outcome is unsatisfactory try whichever alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service is relevant to the complaint and the provider being complained about.
A reader used their 24/7 Home Rescue cover for a broken boiler