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 can visit in the early evening when you get home.
2) I am transparent 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. On longer or more time-consuming journeys if two or more customers in the same road or development wish to group together to book me, then the travelling time only needs to be paid once and can be shared amongst you all. I’ll ask one customer to agree to settle the whole bill then you can apportion the total cost and settle up amongst yourselves. Otherwise I only charge you for travelling time and time I've spent in hour house carrying out your repair. Unfortunately I hear accounts of firms who will go out to merchants for parts and keep the clock running, then give you a bill for several hours when they only spent perhaps an hour in your house. I don't do this. If I don't have the right parts in my van when I’m repairing one of the boilers I claim to stock parts for, my policy is to not charge for a merchant visit. This rarely needs to happen though as my stock control is generally good. Should you book me to repair a boiler for which I don’t claim to stock all parts, then I'll charge for a merchant trip to buy spares if you instruct me to make a specific trip out to obtain parts for your boiler there and then. Otherwise I’ll make a second appointment to visit in a day or two and buy your parts from the merchant in the interim, in my own time.
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 Electramate, Systemate, Boilermate and Pulsacoil) can be 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 bursting 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 much apart from scratching my head and fiddling with my phone. I’ll be reading my notes to myself about your specific model of boiler, stored in my phone! 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 11th May 2019
Gas Safe Register 197499, CIPHE registration number 56207