Npower Central Heating Install Disaster


Postby lucysettle » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:46 pm

Think Twice About Employing Npower to Install Central Heating In Your House!!! Has anyone experienced this before?

Last September me and my boyfriend employed Npower to install a full central heating system to our house. We were very proud first time buyers, but were realistic and knew that a full install including new pipes throughout would be disruptive - there's no way that the damage and mess caused by npower could ever be described as within acceptable levels.

We've started a blog with pictures, so hopefully they'll illustrate my rant a bit better!
Google "npower-gas-install-photos.posterous.com/"

To keep it brief, we went with npower over similar quotes from local contractors because they guaranteed they'd be in and out really quickly and I had my 30th birthday coming up, so this was important to us. The beautiful sales brochure shows npower workmen branded in npower sweatshirts with npower dust sheets, but without us knowing our job was then outsourced by them to a Glasgow based gas company who carried out the work. (300 miles away from our house?!?)

The work was very poor to say the least - including using the wrong sized gas pipe being installed, so even if it got that far the boiler probably wouldn't have worked anyway. Pipes were installed at funny angles on the wall, so that they couldn't be boxed in or pressed so close together they were rubbing and creaking. Joints weren't holding so we had gas leaks during the install that the engineers struggled to source and water leaks through the ceiling. Pipes weren't sleeved through exterior and interior walls - against GasSafe regulations. And on top of that a huge amount of damage was caused (burnt carpets, burnt wall paper, stained walls, stained carpets, snapped floorboards etc) and eventually nPower stopped the work in the middle of the install.

Despite us asking, no dust sheets were used to protect our belongings or carpets, there were no guards used on the blow torches, so skirting boards, carpets and wallpaper were burnt. And my brand new washing machine and dryer that I'd be given as a house warming gift only a couple of weeks previously, they used as a saw bench which scratched the top and they got covered in brick dust in the back vents. They used my brand new vacuum cleaner too to hoover up brick debris. They had no wet/dry hoover so they couldn't suck out the gunk from the old pipes, so they either let it drip down the walls or onto the walls or on a couple of occasions I grabbed a couple of my bath towels to mop it up.

Npower have since returned to our house with their 'best men' and have reinstalled the gas pipes and tried to fix the banging/creaking pipework. In the end my boyfriend, who has absolutely no diy knowledge or experience whatsoever fixed the creaking pipes after npower failed to do so after three separate visits by an engineer.

The house is now warm, thank goodness, but we are now faced with the enormous task of fixing the damage. This is our first house and although the decor is dated, we needed to do one room at a time and slowly, so we could save up! We're now faced with pretty much every room having some damage that needs fixing.

Npower to their credit have admitted that they've left themselves wide open to criticism, however they have not been forthcoming so far with the money to fix our house and we've had to outlay money or rely on exceedingly generous friends and family and local businesses to get our house roughly back to normal in time for a family Christmas.

You think you're paying for the best when going with such a big company as npower, but if they're going to subcontract out, then what's the point? We may as well have gone with a local firm. And although the two young lads who came initially to install it are completely to blame for the damage and mess, they were left with no support and barely any instruction from npower and we feel the damage caused was down to inexperience on their part and them panicing when things started to go wrong like the gas and water leaks. Despite a very lengthy planning meeting between us and the sales person from npower, all these two lads were given on the first day was a lined a4 piece of paper with a top down drawing of our house drawn in biro... is that the extent of npower's resources??

We're waiting to hear back from npower about our compensation claim...

Lucy
lucysettle
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Postby stoneyboy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:56 pm

lucysettle,
If you live in England you can use the small claims court for amounts up to £5000 - you certainly have enough evidence. See what npower offer and have a look at the Which? guide to small claims.
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stoneyboy
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