A WIDOWER in Fordbridge was left without hot water for five weeks and forced to clean her teeth in stagnant water for two years.
A plumber from Iguana Services Ltd (now Eaga) had wrongly connected her mains taps to a stagnant tank of water when installing a new boiler. His error meant that Mrs Bradford was using water that had been left uncovered in her loft for 18 years to clean her teeth.
It also caused a plethora of problems for Mrs Bradford, which led to her repeatedly calling out emergency plumbing assistance. It culminated in June of this year when she was left without hot water for five weeks, while the company responsible refused to mend the boiler, claiming that her guarantee had run out.
“They kept fobbing me off and fobbing me off,” 65-year-old Pauline Bradford said. “I had to keep boiling the kettle and washing myself downstairs.”
Mrs Bradford, who is partially disabled, had first had her boiler installed under the government’s ‘Warm Front’ initiative which provides senior citizens with a free boiler replacement.
It was only when Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Ed Williams and occasional Solihull News columnist David Jamieson took up Pauline’s case that Eaga agreed to do the necessary work.
“The government’s Warmfront scheme is an excellent way of helping older people keep warm and save on their fuel bills by fitting new boilers and insulation,” said Ed Williams. “It is a pity that it is being given a bad name by a contractor who has not given proper satisfaction to their customer. There should be an immediate investigation into whether the boiler was installed to the strict Gas safe requirements.”
A Warm Front spokesman said: “Warm Front has helped almost 2 million households since 2000, by making their homes warmer and more affordable to heat. It is making a huge difference to the peoples’ lives, and because of this we treat all customer service issues extremely seriously.
“We regret the inconvenience caused to Mrs Branford and we are sorry for the frustration she has experienced.
“Since Mrs Branford’s system was installed, two years ago, we have also set up a dedicated customer service team to ensure issues such as this are resolved far more quickly.
“The overwhelming majority of Warm Front customers are entirely happy with the service provided. Indeed, more than 90 per cent of customers would recommend the service to a friend or relative.”