Dyno Rod & British Gas Complaint Story

British Gas: A culture of up selling & appalling service.

scam

I  never complain at brands in social media,having represented a lot of large brands social media interests however, I know its often a better way of getting attention from them.

Its a long story but the salient points are:

  • I have HomeCare insurance from British Gas.
  • Following a leak to my bathroom sink, they sent a plumber (DynoRod division)
  • He wrongly diagnosed it as a problem with my bath, and SOLD me replacement plugs for it.
  • Those were fitted incorrectly.
  • This caused a large flood in my house.
  • They admitted liability as the problem was fully created by their engineer.
  • They have offered £36 in compensation to resolve the issue, I refused.
  • They have offered a “full and final settlement” of £250 – despite them causing THOUSANDS of pounds of damage.

 

If you want the full details, here is a facebook page: Dyno Rod British Gas Scam

 

So: British Gas & DynoRod – this is a public challenge to you:

Are you intending on fixing the damage caused to my property?  Its been three months now of constant phone calls to get this sorted.

Im guessing if I were a vulnerable person – perhaps elderly or more easily swayed by your arguments I would have settled by now – does that make you proud of your service?

 

What about this culture of upselling things that are not needed?  

Do you pay your staff bonuses based on what they can upsell people, even if its entirely made up and not needed?

 

 

Martin MacDonald
Previously: Head of SEO, Omnicom. Inbound Marketing Director, Expedia. Head of Content & SEO, Orbitz. Currently: Marketing Consultant to Fortune 500's and High Growth Startups locally in Silicon Valley. Retired BlackHat & Current Tech SEO Geek.
Martin MacDonald

@searchmartin

Fortune 500's Digital Marketing Consultant. Former Head of Content & SEO for Expedia / Orbitz / Omnicom. English & Español
@leehill73 ping me a DM if you want me to check anything in particular mate (also, just looked at your agency site,… https://t.co/zPXamWy6iT - 6 hours ago
24 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Jim Seward 4 years ago

    I’m currently an Eon customer, I was thinking of switching to British Gas as soon as my current deal ends.

    Now I won’t be.

    • Author
      Martin MacDonald 4 years ago

      Id say thats a good call Jim – thanks for leaving the comment, appreciated.

      • Jim Seward 4 years ago

        Also given you some social love and I’ll drop a link to this post on a few sites I control…

    • StalkerB 4 years ago

      Not that this is really the point, but I’ve just moved into a new place and chose Eon as my new providers and am switching from British Gas.

      Why were you going to go the other way?

      • Jim Seward 4 years ago

        They were meant to have good customer service…

        ….although having read that….that’s a ****ing joke

  2. Barrie 4 years ago

    Unreal mate.

    If you had been elderly or vulnerable and they left you in that position and you didn’t have the ability to challenge ? It’s diabolical and it’s a PR disaster.

    I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the customer service from brands in the UK in the last 12 months. We are simply treated like commodities and like you having worked with a large number I tend not to air comments.

    Think this is one for BBC Watchdog to be honest!

    Hope you get it sorted.

  3. Carl Wright 4 years ago

    All too common approach from big companies these days. They do as they please and don’t care for customers any more.

  4. Jason Brown 4 years ago

    At least your company should feel the pressure and make amends. Unlike Casey Movers and Acteva whom do not learn from bad press and sites dedicated to them. Acteva owes countless NPO’s, schools, Universities and groups thousands upon thousands of dollars. If you make a mistake, own up to it, address it and FIX it. Why on Earth would a company want to feel the wrath of Social Media in this day and age. There are certain people you never want to upset and anger; lawyers, seo/sm/ and reporters or their friends. Best of luck Martin. I will be interest to see what happens next, will they get it or will British Gas learn the Streisand Effect?

  5. ugo smith 4 years ago

    Im afraid Martin you have experienced British Gas “homecare” insurance at its best.

    You are lucky though, we had one week of no heating once during the coldest December ever recorded in London.

    All I can say is that it’s a battle of patience and determination to get things sorted and done properly (you are on 3 months? I recon it will take 6!).

    PS: we still have the same crap boiler that breaks every year and they refuse to fix even though financially [to replace] it would be better for them than sending an engineer (at least) twice a year.

    Look forward to their more elaborate response than talktous@ approach.

    Give them hell Martin!

  6. Author
    Martin MacDonald 4 years ago

    Here is a remarkably similar set of circumstances:

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/mar/09/british-gas-claim-flood-damage

    published last year by my friends at the guardian, Im thinking its time for another one…

  7. Edd 4 years ago

    That full and final settlement and selling you wrong parts is a joke. It’s unreal to think about people who would have accepted that and how British Gas can think they can get away with it. This case is clear that all their eyes are on the £££.

    I hope this gets their attention, even though it should have never got to this point. I’ll be staying away from them

  8. Gordon Campbell 4 years ago

    How can they offer your £250 when the damage was worth thousands? Shocking service, you’d think you could trust a company like British Gas with this kind of thing..

  9. Jonathan 4 years ago

    Utility companies are a joke. All about pleasing their share holders, no care for the customer so this doesn’t surprise me.

    What options do you have? You either go with British Gas who will profiteer off their customers all day long, or you choose one of the other big players who will also profiteer off you and are owned foreign owned. Yay to the UK!

  10. Gus Ferguson 4 years ago

    That’s despicable behaviour from British Gas… and I agree with Jonathan above that utility companies are one of the most anti-consumer types of business out there right now.

    There’s a polyopoly of profiteering swindlers, British Gas, EON, NPower, etc that care not one hoot for their customers, happy in the knowledge that all the competition is equally as bad, and that should any challenger brand come into the market they have the huge influence and resource to squash them.

    It’s a terrible example of capitalism gone wrong… companies shouldn’t be allowed to get so big that they can control a market. The consumer should control the market through choice… and in the case of the utility companies we’ve arrived at a situation where real choice is an impossibility.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your crusade here Martin and hope that this makes someone at BG sit up and think “shit, hope more people don’t start doing this!”… I also hope that it makes your readers sit up and think “I’m not going to stand for being taken advantage quietly anymore” and join the quest, or start their own!

    • Gordon Campbell 4 years ago

      Agreed. The government need to open up the market and allow for more competition.

  11. Steve Ollington 4 years ago

    This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. They have no ethics, much like a number of other large corporations (and government departments for that matter). Several times I’ve had situations where a company has screwed up and I’m expected to pay for it – in time and effort, as well as money… they mess something up then you have to spend hours on hold, write letters, etc… get back statements to prove you’re right, and so on. I’m not surprised that most people just give up and pay it.

    Mostly it seems due to their hiring standards. They outsource customer services and provide ‘policies’ to the staff. The staff do not understand how to make judgement calls for themselves and stick to their script (the script that says always tell the caller that the managers are all in a meeting, or that it can’t be put through without you explaining it to them first for the millionth time that week).

    Then they either hang up on you, transfer you into another queue which hangs up on you, or pass you back to the department you originally called that sent you to them.

    They don’t want to pay for competent staff who can make informed decisions so their customers suffer as a result.

    Anyway, that’s the experience I’ve been having with British Gas lately along with BT, Barclays, Orange, the DVLA, Inland Revenue, the Council Offices, EE, and countless other companies in the past. Granted not all are outsourced customer services, but they all outsource giving a fuck about their customers and their own ethics.

    /Rant

  12. Tony Dimmock 4 years ago

    Unbelievably poor service from yet another national “service” provider – and are they having a laugh with their paltry offer??

    In the UK, true customer service from large conglomerates is at an all-time low. Their number one concern is profit and as their market-share is so high, they frankly don’t give a shit.

    I think they know that those vulnerable or easily swayed will not fight (like you are) and will accept whatever is offered.

    And it’s wrong that you and others have to go to the lengths you are to defend your rights. Appalling..

    Agree with Gus, hopefully readers will sit up and take a stand to this crap.

    I hope they pull their heads out of their back-sides on this one Martin and compensate you for both the damage done AND their mis-selling.

    This OFGEM guide might help: http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Media/FactSheets/Documents1/409%20Domestic%20customer%20complaints%20factsheet_WEB%2018_2_13.pdf

    Extract from above guide: “If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction and either eight weeks have passed since the complaint was made or it reaches a point of deadlock (where the energy company says it can do no more to resolve the complaint,
    whichever is sooner), you can ask Ombudsman Services:
    Energy to investigate”

    Good luck!

  13. Mark Sesum 4 years ago

    As the owner of an electrical and plumbing company, this kind of thing really frustrates me. I would be very interested to know the genuine reasons why people sign up to Homecare or indeed have any work carried out by BG or any of the other huge firms? With all due respect, how anyone doesn’t foresee this kind of scenario, I just don’t know. Every time I see their advert on TV it grates on me, knowing how many hardworking, honest sole traders are losing business because people are so short sighted.

    This is not a case of myself knowing better because I’m in the trade. When my van needs a service or MOT, I go to my local, established, independent garage. The guy gets my repeat business because I know he does a good job, which he needs to, as he relies on reputation, not market domination and a multi-million pound marketing budget.

    Now its the AA sticking there fingers in the pie, the AA. In the home service market. Where does it end? I do full bathroom installations, I’m now competing with Tesco for this work. Tesco. My local town centre is decimated as no-one uses the independent, butchers, bakers etc. Everyone goes to the supermarket for mass produced rubbish. What can you do?

    As far as service goes, again, what do you expect? Ask yourself a simple question; what is the mentality of someone who chooses to work in a BG call centre?

    I understand that people are scared of the cowboy scenario but they easy to spot by their lack of professionalism. If they turn up in a banger, looking like a tramp and give you an ‘estimate’ on the back of a fag packet (or free Vistaprint ‘business card’) then don’t touch them. If they are polite, offer advice, fixed quotes and a contract of works then I’d say give them a chance. I’m also amazed at how many times people tell me they didn’t get a landline or address. This should be standard info on quotes and van signage.

    • Author
      Martin MacDonald 4 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      thanks for stopping by and leaving the comment – I absolutely hear what you’re saying and take your points on board.

      I guess its perhaps a bit of local knowledge naivety on my part, having moved back to the UK from abroad a couple of years ago, and to a new part of the country that I’d never been to before I lacked any local knowledge of such firms, so since moving back Ive tended to go to larger firms that advertise as you point out above.

      Its almost amusing, that in my industry (marketing) we have exactly the same type of issues, the huge multinationals on the whole offer a far worse customer experience than the local or regional specialist firms that are happy taking the time to understand your business rather than just seeing you as another number on a spreadsheet.

      Thanks again for the comment, appreciated!

      Martin

  14. Author
    Martin MacDonald 4 years ago

    INTERESTING REPLY FROM REDDIT:

    I’ve worked for British Gas, so I can answer one of your questions in the original post. British Gas certainly do give their staff serious sales incentives and very heavy sales targets. They would probably tell you that they don’t “pay bonuses” because they give vouchers and the like as rewards.
    However, your homecare contract almost certainly makes it clear that the engineers are not required to “make good”. That means that the floor they lifted to do the original work is your responsibility. Subsequent damage due to incorrect fitting etc. is a different matter.

    (original comment left on the reddit thread about this post, you can see it and others here: http://www.reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom/comments/1jy8gq/british_gas_are_scamming_bastards_offer_36/ )

  15. Lynne 4 years ago

    I have this week experienced the ‘delights’ of a Dyno plumbing visit under my British Gas Homecare 400 arrangement. I will be cancelling that forthwith. They took a week to finally come. Did a botched repair and left. I found the WC still leaked the first time I used it so called them up..when challenged they said because my WC was a “sub-standard” installation if I wanted them to come back they would charge as a full price job ie not under the insurance I pay BG £57 a month for! I told them to forget it.

    I got my own plumber out who came on same day, diagnosed the problem straight away, did a proper repair and had the whole problem sorted in less than 90 minutes (including time it took him to go back to his yard for part).

    The only decent thing in Homecare is the basic boiler care – the engineers I have had out for that I must say are always good. Everything else is a rip off. As for Dyno…I’m too polite to post what I think of them. Ps I hope you get all your money back as you are due.

  16. Tonia Jones 4 years ago

    I am sorry to hear about bad service experienced from British Gas Homecare service. I had the same service for 3 years and paid £50 a month for the comprehensive service which covered everything from washing machine breaking down to boiler, plumbing etc. We had a leak nearly every three months from the overhead tank in the loft which meant we woke up with no hot water the next morning as it would have leaked out while we were sleeping. BG sent over 10 engineers over a period of 2 years ad the problem was never resolved. In the 3rd year we discovered a plumber who figured out the problem was with a disused shower which was wrongly/badly connected to the pumps and was causing the leak. The moment the shower was disconnected the leaks stopped! This had gone on for 3 years and the genius so called engineers had not figured it out.

    To the gentleman who asked why people sign up with the likes of British gas is because most work men we call out in this area would simply not turn up or when they do, they diagnose the problem and still do not turn up! I would happily take the number of a good plumber who can also deal with boiler issues, flushing out the radiators etc

  17. Asjad Nazir 4 years ago

    I have had a terrible time with Dyno Rod & British Gas Homecare. A simple problem that could have been fixed in hours has taken weeks to repair and they still haven’t done it yet. I would absolutely not recommend Dyno Rod plumbing to anyone and am thinking about how I can let wider public know about their unprofessionalism.

    I have never experienced this level of unprofessionalism in my life and will be taking things further, whether its media or legally. They have wasted too much of my time and caused me no end of stress.

  18. ken mills 3 years ago

    Had Dyno Rod here to fix a leak in the overflow and was told by the engineer “I will send you a copy of the worksheet via your email” 3 weeks and I am still waiting for the sheet, no value to it but I would like to know what British Gas are charging me for on my maintenance agreement.

    Despite a phone call and several emails I am still waiting.

    GOODBYE BRITISH GAS IF THEY EMPLOY COWBOYS THEN I DONT WANT TO BE PART OF IT

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