Elderly couple exploited by boiler company

The Problem:

Mr A an elderly and frail man in his 80s was the main carer for his disabled wife, who was bedridden and relied on her husband for personal care needs. The couple had a maintenance and service plan for their boiler from Company X which included “supply and installation of new boiler absolutely free if they could not repair the boiler within 12 year from installation”.  When the boiler started to leak the supplier claimed this type of boiler was not covered by the plan and after much negotiation Company X only offered £500 towards the cost of a new boiler. At this time Mrs A was very ill and Mr A was warned that moving her might be fatal. The couple were unable to live without heating or hot water, so Mr A gets a new boiler installed by British Gas at cost of £3,300. Company X continues to collect the plan fee.  Shortly after this Mrs A dies; Mr A is devasted; the couple have been married for more than 60 years. Mr A turned to Citizens Advice for help, feeling that Company X had misled him over the contract.  Our experienced adviser helped Mr A to evidence his case and to handle some rather unpleasant negotiation. Mr A needed a great deal of support as the court system made him very anxious.  Once a date for the hearing was set the Company X made an  out of court settlement of £2,500 and Mr A was advised to claim the court costs.

The Outcome:

Mr A was very happy and relieved to receive a settlement of  £2,500 plus court costs without having to go to court.