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Elderly customer left without heating for EIGHT days – despite paying £246 a year for boiler cover

AN 89-year-old man was left without hot water or central heating for eight days after his boiler went kaput despite paying 246 a year in insurance to cover it.

Edward Powells boiler began playing up earlier this month, switching itself off in the middle of the night when temperatures in Lincolnshire where helives were dropping below zero.

Edward Powell was left without heating and hot water for eight days during the middle of winter

After a few days, the standard Ariston boiler became less and less reliable and stopped working entirely.

Edwards son Brian Powell contactedHomeserve, which provides emergency boiler insurance cover at a cost of around 246 a year.

A Homeserve engineer showed up the following day, but he needed additional parts that he didnt have with him, so couldnt complete the job.

Over the next few days the Powells hadnt heard anything from Homeserve or the engineer, and Edward, a former plant operator for Thames Water, was forced to leave his freezing home to live with his son inNorthamptonshire more than an hour-and-a-half away.

Homeserve say they help customers 24/7, 365 days a year, and if a customer needs help urgently with an emergency, it says it will offer customers a same day or next day appointment.

But after several phone calls to Homeserve, the Powells were told thework would be completed on January 18th eight days after they told the firm that the boiler had stopped working.

Brian asked that the team if they could complete the work any earlier, as his dadhad a hospital appointment that day and wanted to return to his own home afterwards, but he was told this would not be possible.

Speaking to the Sun Online, Brian said: There was just no urgency to it at all. My elderly father was left without heating and hot water for eight days and this is despite the fact that he pays a lot of money each month for emergency cover should things go wrong.

This issue was happening during a particularly cold snap, so my father came to live with us because he would have frozen in his own home.

A spokesperson for Homeserve said: We are really sorry that we did not fix Mr Powells boiler sooner. Being an older customer, we should have made Mr. Powell a priority when he needed us.

It is our absolute aim to fix a customers boiler as quickly as possible, but there are things that we have to take into account like if a boiler needs new parts, or if it is beyond economical repair and a new boiler is needed.

We understand that Mr. Powell was able to stay with his son during the time that we were sourcing parts to fix the boiler, but we recognise this is inconvenient.

While the boiler is now fixed and fully working, we are in contact with Mr Powell and will compensate him for his inconvenience.

Is boiler insurance worth the cost?

Emma Bush,uSwitch.comenergy expert, says that boiler cover can provide some families with peace of mind during the winter, butconsumer body Which? says that cover is only worthwhile for around three per cent of home-owners.

With boiler cover costing an average of247 a year, most people would save money by paying for an annual boiler service instead, which costs 72 on average. And then covering any emergency repairs that might come up (the average repair cost is 145).

Which? said thatthe only time youre ever better off with boiler cover is if you need an expensive repair.And, statistically speaking, thats unlikely to happen.

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