I was threatened with debt collectors over £6k botched boiler install – British Gas left us freezing, I was horrified | The Sun

DAD of one Jaz Bagdi, 40, was left horrified when he opened a letter threatening to send debt collectors to his home over an unpaid bill.

British Gas said he owed £5951.39 for installing a new boiler and making upgrades to his heating system – work engineers failed to make.

The botched boiler install left Jaz and his family – wife Dee, 40, and son Rokai, 9 – with no heating for months over winter.

On some days Rokai, who is severely asthmatic, was sleeping in a bedroom that would barely warm above 10 degrees Celsius.

The couple from Leek, Staffordshire have refused to pay the remaining amount of the £6,612 total bill to British Gas after engineers failed to fix several mistakes.

The boiler was fitted by British Gas Home Services which offers, repairs, boiler and central heating cover.

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Jaz said: "At this stage, I'm so fed up with hearing British Gas' excuses.

"They've had five months to come and get our central heating system in order and instead of doing so, they just sent letters demanding payment.

"It was horrifying to receive one at the end of March that said the firm has passed my details onto a debt collection agency – but why should I pay for something that isn't working?"

The family moved into a period property in Leek back in 2020. It had a fully working heating system until the boiler broke down in August last year.

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As a result, Jaz got a quote from British Gas Home Services to come and replace the oil system with a gas boiler in early December 2022.

But he claims his family has been left freezing all winter after the gas engineer failed to install the boiler correctly.

This includes not completing a power flush to get rid of the sludge in the pipes which is preventing Jaz's new boiler from heating up the radiators around his home.

The engineer also failed to install a central heating filter and carbon monoxide detector near the new boiler, Jaz says.

"I complained to British Gas after Christmas to try and get someone to come out and rectify what needed to be done.

"But even then they were hesitant about doing a power flush for free even though it was itemised on my original invoice.

"They said they'd send someone out in the New Year so we were left in a freezing home all winter.

"Fast forward to April and we've still not had the issue rectified so I don't see why I should hand over the money until it's fixed."

After The Sun got in touch with British Gas on Jaz's behalf, the company confirmed an engineer was meant to visit in the New Year to rectify the issue – but that never happened.

British Gas missed the opportunity to fix Jaz's system when he made contact in January due to "human error".

The firm said that it sent an "invoice and reminder" but did not send the debt on to a collection agency, instead putting the invoice on hold until the work was completed.

But Jaz says he was not informed of this and received a letter saying that his account had been passed over to a debt collection agency.

A British Gas spokesperson said: "We've been in regular contact with Mr Bagdi and have been attempting to arrange a return visit.

"We’ve reached out to him to say sorry for any distress caused and have offered to complete the outstanding works free of charge."

British Gas has also offered a "goodwill gesture" but has not reached out to Jaz to confirm how much this will amount to or when it'll be paid.

How do I complain to British Gas Home Services?

If you're unhappy about work that's been carried out by British Gas engineers you'll need to complain to British Gas Home Services.

You'll need to let the company know what has happened and what you want it to do to put things right.

Depending on your complaint type, you'll be able to contact our team by web chat, telephone or by post.

The fastest way to submit a complaint is through the British Gas web chat which is available on its website.

It's open between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.

If you'd prefer to ring, you can call British Gas Home Services between 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm on Saturday on 0333 200 8899.

Customers wishing to write to the firm should send their complaint to Services Customer Relations, PO Box 699, Winchester, SO23 5AR.

Once you've submitted your complaint British Gas Home Services will aim to acknowledge it within 48 hours.

If your case is complex or involves a number of issues, the firm may need more time to make sure it's covered everything.

If that's the case, it'll make sure to keep you up to date – either by telephone or in writing.

If you can't reach an agreement with British Gas Home Services after eight weeks, you can ask for a "deadlock letter", which enables you to take your case to the Utilities Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

How do I take my complaint to the Utilities ADR?

The Utilities ADR is there to help if you have a complaint about issues like boiler installations and servicing, combined heat and power services and plumbing.

Before you can submit your complaint to it, you must have logged a formal complaint with your provider and worked with the firm to resolve it.

You must also have received a so-called deadlock letter, where the provider refers your complaint to the Utilities ADR.

You can also complain if you haven't had a satisfactory solution to your problem within eight weeks.

To make a complaint fill in the Utilities ADR online claims form on its website.

If you'd prefer to write to the ADR, send your complaint to 12 Walker Ave, Stratford Office Village, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TW.

The Utilities ADR then bases its decision on the evidence you and the company submit.

If you choose to accept its decision, your supplier will then have 28 days to comply.

If an individual chooses not to accept the ADR's final decision, they lose the right to the resolution offer.

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Customers still have the right to take their complaints further through the courts.

But remember this can be a costly and lengthy exercise, so it's worth thinking carefully before taking this step.

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