British Gas dispute pours cold water on speedy boiler repairs

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    UK Sentinel
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    British Gas customers are being told they will have to wait up to month in the cold snap to get their boilers fixed after the walkout of hundreds of engineers.

    The company has told some homeowners to hire independent engineers and plumbers for repairs and then claim the money back to avoid long waits, customers said.

    Some say that they have been left out of pocket with bills of up to £400 while they await reimbursement from British Gas.

    British Gas said while its services had been affected by the recent walk-outs it was still managing to attend over 97 per cent of emergency jobs within 24 hours.

    The news comes after around 500 engineers quit the energy company last week due to a dispute over new contracts.

    British Gas has been accused of employing “fire and rehire” tactics after engineers were asked to sign contracts that would effectively mean working more hours for the same pay.

    Centrica, which owns British Gas, said this week around 2 per cent of its workers left the company after failing to agree to the new terms. The dispute has also provoked a spate of strikes from engineers in recent weeks.

    However, the disruption has also left customers facing long waits for boiler repairs as Britain has been in the grip of a cold snap last week, with temperatures plunging to -3C and much of the country seeing snowfall.

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