Mike the Boilerman -
Your Gas Safe Registered boiler
and central heating repair technician for
London, Thames Valley and south coast
Why use me...?
Feedback from customers tells me that I'm not the cheapest gas engineer in the book, but nor am I the most expensive. This is just as I would like it to be, because I take pride in offering good value for money rather than trying to compete on cost alone.
There are several things that I do that will hopefully mean good value for money to you...
1) I offer you fixed time appointments if this is important to you. Many firms will expect you to stay in all morning (or all day even) so they can turn up when it suits them. If you work normal office hours then tell me and I'll visit in the early evening when you get home, or first thing in the morning so you only need take an hour or two off work.
2) I am fair with my time charges. I charge for all the time needed to carry out your repair, and this includes time spent travelling to and from your home. However if my next call is nearby I would not need charge for the return journey. (Further, on longer or more time-consuming journeys if two or more customers in the same road or development group together to book me, then the travelling time only needs to be paid once and can therefore be shared amongst them all.) Otherwise I only charge you for time I've spent on your repair. Unfortunately many firms will go the the merchant for parts and keep the clock running without telling you, then give you a bill for three or four hours when they barely spent an hour actually in your house. I don't do this as it's open to abuse. If I don't have the right parts in my van, my policy is to make a new appointment to re-visit after my next trip to the merchant (when I'll buy parts for several customers in one visit). I'll only charge for time spent buying spares if you instruct me to make a dedicated trip out to a merchant during the repair to obtain parts urgently.
3) I'll go anywhere to fix a boiler! If you are happy to pay for the time I spent travelling then I'm happy to drive to London, Bournemouth, Nottingham or wherever you happen to be. The downside it that the further you are from me here in Reading, Berkshire the more expensive the visit will be, but YOU make that decision. Further, I only accept longer-distance repairs if I can be reasonably certain of achieving a successful repair in a single visit. This will mean a detailed discussion of the fault with you on the phone so I can determine what is most likely to be wrong and I can arrive with the correct parts and tools/equipment.
4) I am good with 'difficult' boilers. Many technicians simply refuse to work on rarer boilers that they don't understand. 'Powermax' boilers are a good example. These and other thermal store boilers (such as the Gulfstream, Electramate, Systemate, Boilermate and Pulsacoil) are surprisingly difficult to get mended. I specialise in these boilers and will arrive with a stock of spares in the van so I can fix in a single visit. But like other technicians, there are also certain boilers I don't like working on and avoid whenever possible. Now I bet you are busting with curiosity! Ok, Worcester Greenstar, Potterton Promax, and anything by Ariston will have me hoping you don't need a visit ;-)
5) Proper diagnosis. I may spend quite a bit of time diagnosing your boiler fault. I may appear to be doing nothing apart from scratching my head and reading notes. I prefer to find the fault for certain by checking, testing, thinking. The 'other' way, favoured by many unfortunately, is to announce confidently that (for example) "it's the fan", then fit a new fan. If this doesn't work, then choose something else than often goes wrong and replace that. This 'part changing' method can cost you dearly. Better to pay to have the faulty part positively identified in the first place in my opinion.
6) Reliability. I turn up when I said I would. If I'm significantly delayed I'll call you and re-schedule. I'll never leave you waiting all day and not turn up. That's a promise. Communicating with customers is important.
7) I explain things to you properly so you understand what needs to be done, and why. Customers often say things to me like "well you're the first person who's ever told us that!"
Can't think of anything else for now.... ;-)
No, hang on, here's another!
8) I LOVE recovering condemned boilers. If you've been told by another technician that your boiler is old, dangerous and cannot be repaired but you just don't believe it, then you may well be right. Especially if they seem terribly keen to provide you with a quotation for a NEW boiler. By all means contact me for a second opinion. I just might be able to get parts after all for your apparently dead boiler and give it a new lease of life. Don't bank on it but there is a significant chance.
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Copyright Michael Bryant 2019
Site first published 16th January 2004
Last updated 7th March 2019
Gas Safe Register 197499, CIPHE registration number 56207