Posts Tagged 'customer service'

British Gas: Much better

Back in May, my patience snapped with British Gas’ customer service and whipped-up one quick mini-rant. After today, I’m happy to take this all back, as they’ve been absolutely fantastic.

Without gong into the fascinating and extensive history of the aging boiler, having got back after Christmas it was clear the appliance was sick. Very sick indeed. And that meant the house was cold. Very cold indeed. Three layers of clothing plus three forms of duvet were just about enough to keep me warm.

And here’s where British Gas came into their own. I rang up and got an appointment for the next day (today) ‘between 8am and 1pm’.

At 8am their engineer rang to say he’d be twenty minutes. Twenty minutes later, he was beginning to give the whole thing a clean and once-over, plus replacing a few parts. And then declared the boiler was on its way out so kindly left behind a form recommending the landlord replace the boiler before saying to call if anything went wrong in the next hour.

It might be because it’s New Year’s Eve and may be a bit quieter than normal, but the service was quick, efficient, friendly and excellent.

It’s all too easy to be somebody who sits ranting at a keyboard at any perceived slight, which is why I rarely like blogging about the failings of assorted companies unless they get to the point where it’s either let or steam or lose sanity. Last May, I’d definitely reached that point.

But I think it’s also fair that, if the same company gets something right, it’s only right that I redress the balance, especially considering I get a fair few hits each day for ‘British Gas Customer Service’.

Of course I’m not arrogant enough to assume what I wrote in the spring had any effect on them, but it’s nice that when dealing with a company you’ve had bad experiences with in the past, that they surprise you.

***NOTE: Since writing this a few of you have used the comments below t rant about your bad experiences with British Gas. That’s cool, I have no problem with that. After all, I did the same when I run out of patience with them last year. And, as I constantly bang on about the power of the web to get things done, I’ll leave them there unless the commenters want them removed.

What I will say, though, is if you’re upset with British Gas’ customer service (and lawd knows this doesn’t appear to be an uncommon occurance), you might be better letting off steam elsewhere. There’s probably some excellent consumer forums out there where people will be able to give you advice on how to kick them into action. And, if British Gas has any sense, they’ll monitor these places. Again, I’ve no problem with you letting off steam here, but other than catharsis, it probably won’t be a great deal of help in getting the problem solved.

Also, just to clarify, this post is nothing to do with British Gas whatsoever. I *always* disclose if a blog post is the result of a PR pitch. This one isn’t. I just thought it was only fair, after ranting about them, that I should at least offer praise for them getting something right.

And to people who’ve emailed me asking if I think their problem is acceptable customer service, the answer is it probably isn’t. But beyond that I really can’t help. I’m not a gas engineer, I know absolutely nothing about boilers and I don’t work for British Gas. I can offer sympathy, given that I’ve been in similar situations, but nothing else.

Seriously, just because I’ve had one good experience and one bad experience with the company doesn’t mean I know everything about how the system works or am qualified to offer advice on your boiler. If you’re really having problems, try Energywatch or Ofgem, or moneysavingexpert.com. They will probably be far more useful that I can ever be on this. Much as I’d love to fix you central heating, I really can’t.

Right, hope that clarifies stuff. Rant away, although if you’re being exceptionally abusive I may delete your comment. And I don’t reply to abusive emails, no matter what you think I’ve done to my non-existent sister.***

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Yes, this is my name. And my email. Use it wisely or you're not getting a biscuit with your tea: garyllewellynandrews [at] gmail [dot] com