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British gas homecare 300 - worth carrying on?

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by cyber69, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. cyber69

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,666

    Location: Loogabarooga

    I've just had my renewal letter come through from British gas for the homecare 300 they provide to cover my boiler & controls, heating, plumbing & drains.

    I'm going through every direct debit I have at the moment to try and trim off some 'fat' that i've let accumilate and am thinking that £27 a month or £320 a year is getting a bit steep.

    They service the boiler once a year and the boiler itself is as old as the house, so about 16 years. It's an ideal standard boiler as far as I know and has gone wrong twice before. I think i've had two pumps replaced in the past 14 years or so.

    Is it worth carrying it on? British gas wouldn't replace the boiler if it went wrong as it's over 7 years old anyway.

    Or should I take off the heating & plumbing/drain cover and just have basic boiler/controls cover?
     
  2. shine

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 23, 2005

    Posts: 3,920

    Location: Beds

    I ring up every year and ask to cancel as its too expensive, they promptly discount it and I keep it.

    For me personally I like the peace of mind as even in winter they come out quickly and sort the problem.
     
  3. Westyfield2

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 14, 2005

    Posts: 12,496

    Location: Bath

    Don't cancel. I've had them fix a boiler on the afternoon/evening of Christmas Eve :cool:.
     
  4. nIckEl101

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 13, 2006

    Posts: 710

    Location: Thame

    i've found it to be good, with kids it especially good as you're a priority, they carry out yearly servicing and will fix pretty much most things quickly
     
  5. ~Divine~Wind~

    Underboss

    Joined: Jun 14, 2004

    Posts: 15,743

    Location: Newcastle U/T

    320 year? Thats almost a new boiler every 2 years!
    Is your boiler under warranty?
    If anythign went seriously wrong wouldn't you just claim on your house insurance?
     
  6. cyber69

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,666

    Location: Loogabarooga

    The boiler is over 16 years old, but still going ok. British gas service it once a year and they usually say 'we are going to struggle getting parts for this soon' but still take my money.

    Last engineer said there's no point replacing it yet.
     
  7. cyber69

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,666

    Location: Loogabarooga

    Just called BG and have managed to reduce the cost down to £17 from £27 by opting for a £50 excess payment incase of callout instead of the £0 I was paying. Sound quite reasonable, just fingers crossed now.
     
  8. Haggisman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 12,653

    Location: Birmingham

    Would house insurance cover it though? If it leaked water everywhere then it would cover the damage caused, but I can't imagine it covering something just breaking down due to normal use...

    We have npower homecare (or whatever it's called) and it's proven invaluable the last couple of months.

    Had a leak which shorted out the PCB, had the leak fixed and the PCB replaced, plus the annual service, for £15.50/month with £0 excess, and should be getting £80 cashback for it from Quidco too :p

    Ours is boiler/heating only though.

    The only problem is that our boiler is ~11 years old so if it gets to a point where they decide it's uneconomical to repair, or can't get parts, they won't replace it - instead they'll offer £400 towards a new one (supplied and fitted by them at a vastly inflated cost...). I would imagine the OP is in a similar position due to the age of his.
     
  9. pitchfork

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 21, 2007

    Posts: 8,715

    It's really not worth it, British Gas are a total ripoff for anything to do with buying, installing or maintaining boilers.

    Just put a few quid away every month and if it goes wrong you'll almost certainly have more than enough to cover an emergency plumber.
     
  10. TripleT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 9,204

    Location: Manchester City Centre

    Ours is 16years old and never gone wrong. Never bothered with any cover as it seems a rip off. Should something go wrong we'd just get a new one fitted. We've saved £1000's already by never taking it out the way I see it :p

    My brother in-law can fit boilers too so we should be able to get it done quite cheaply.
     
  11. Admiral Huddy

    Don

    Joined: Feb 17, 2003

    Posts: 29,104

    Location: Chelmsford & Broadgate

    Personally, I think it's worth it for convenience and piece of mind.. We've definitely got our money's worth over the years. I like the fact they can get someone out quickly and in an emergency. Decent Plumbers are hard to find and can't always drop everything to come out.. My families health and comfort is top priority.

    I started the day I returned my new born son (now 18 years old) from hospital and we came home to a broken system.. It was November and very cold.. I was running around everywhere to get a plumber.. took 5 days to put right.. BG Would have come out there and then..

    also, our boiler must have gone about 5 times in 2 year period.. they will fix it all the time it's fixable and they did so.. The last time it went 2 days before Christmas and it was fixed the next day. Can't argue with that..

    We've had a new boiler fitted since which has been under warranty for the first 2 years.. but i'll certainly be putting these under cover when it ends in August.

    It's ok saying you save £1000's but would you put that saving aside for such repairs as they arise?
     
  12. BadMojo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 7, 2012

    Posts: 1,191

    I was with NPower for the last year and their renewal had gone up quite a bit (can't remember how much exactly). I called them, but they couldn't budge on the price. Having called them out several times over the last year, I was keen to avoid a package with an excess even if it reduced the premium a little.

    I did have boiler and radiator cover, but decided to reduce it to boiler only. We have some new, designer radiators/valves and they would only be replaced with contract equivalents - so what's the point?

    I use cashback websites and usually can get a better overall price by annually switching provider. I'm now with BG.

    I thought about self-insuring, but I'd never be able to put enough aside to cover major repairs if they arose and with our boiler's history...
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  13. Richie

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,425

    Location: Leaving Hell...

    I am with BG also and have been looking to save a bit. Currently I am on Homecare 400 with £50 excess and paying £19.82 a month for it. I can get the same cover for £9.50 from Homeserve so looking into it.

    Here are their plans - http://www.homeserve.com/insurance/combined-comparison (the prices stated are with an excess but if you click on the one you like, you can then change the excess).


    My boiler is 18 years old (Vaillant) but, so far and touch wood, it flies through annual inspections with no issues.
     
  14. Imy

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 21, 2005

    Posts: 2,762

    Location: Nuneaton, UK

    You know you can still get BG to come out to fix your boiler if you're not a member and you're struggling to find a plumber yourself.
     
  15. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,121

    That is a good point. I've just done some quotes:

    £0 excess £204 a year
    £50 excess £150 a year with no callouts.
    £49 service plus £89 one off repair a year. £138.

    The one off prices seem quite reasonable?
     
  16. Imy

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 21, 2005

    Posts: 2,762

    Location: Nuneaton, UK

    You don't need any level of homecare to use their one-off fixes.

    Be aware though their one-off costs for fixes are based on time boundaries and almost always the lower boundary will be exceeded.
     
  17. pitchfork

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 21, 2007

    Posts: 8,715

    Wouldn't trust a BG plumber, I know some right twits who've gone to work for british gas.
     
  18. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,121

    That's rubbish then. £89 for half an hour and like a £100 more for the next 90 minutes? I assume the Homecare excess charges are not time limited then.
     
  19. Imy

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 21, 2005

    Posts: 2,762

    Location: Nuneaton, UK

    If you've got Homecare then you're paying for future fixes which may or may not happen and depending on the age of your boiler may not cover a full boiler replacement. It's like insurance basically.

    Perhaps for some people homecare packages are good if they got a particularly unreliable boiler. However, in my case my boiler (Ideal ISAR HE24) was installed in late 2006 and without any sort of cover for it, I've spent £365 on it since then. That figure includes a £199 BG one-off fix call out earlier this year.

    It's not a particularly good boiler - infact a lot of people consider it to be a piece of **** and yet, if I had been on Homecare 100 (£0 excess, no annual service, £126/year) during the period since the warranty expired, I would have spent at least £910 so I am currently a minimum of £545 better off.

    My boiler is now at an age that BG would not replace it if it became uneconomical to repair so Homecare is even less value for money now than it was in 2007.
     
  20. Maccapacca

    Don

    Joined: Apr 13, 2010

    Posts: 16,128

    Location: Sunny Sussex

    Very very rarely worth the money paying for this monthly, if you're worried or don't have ready cash to buy another if it breaks then put the money in an account you can't get at easily.

    These companies make massive profits and only for one reason, they get more cash in than they pay out for repairs, they wouldn't be doing it otherwise.

    Find a local plumber who is able to work on gas appliances then give him everything you have plumbing wise, my plumber charges me £80 a year to service and issue a cert for my rental properties.