Ripped off by hob repair service?

31 Mar 2015
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United Kingdom
Hope this is the right place to post it. It's about a gas hob, but has to do with electrics and not gas.

I have a gas hob with 4 burners. The electric ignition stopped working on two of them.

I booked repair with a nationwide service, which uses local firms, and the payment plan I chose was a fixed rate for the call out & labour (£119), plus separate payment for the parts needed on top of that.

They assigned me to a local firm, which sent engineers (different ones) on two occasions.

The first engineer visit didn't seem very fruitful. He just tried lighting each of the burners one by one to confirm two of them were not lighting (which I had told them already) and based on that alone, without even opening the cover, he said the ignition head electrodes needed replacing. He told me he'd order them and schedule another visit.

The nationwide company, which was handling the payments, sent me an invoice for £72 for the parts, which I had to pay before we could proceed.

A second engineer visit was scheduled. The man replaced the electrodes and it didn't change anything. He said he had to replace another part, the spark generator, which he happened to have on him. Replacing it solved the problem.

A few days later I received a call from the nationwide company asking me to pay an extra £42 for that extra part. I paid, but told him I wasn't happy. He sent me an email address for their customer service to complain to.

Now, the way I see it, it wasn't the ignition electrodes that were the problem, but the spark generator. They ordered them 'just in case' and made me pay for them. When it turned out it wasn't those, they replaced the spark generator and made me pay for it.

Looking at online part prices, I see the spark generator for my make (Neff) is indeed £42. The electrodes, however, are £14 each. So the price I paid for the generator sounds about right, but the one I paid for the electrodes, not so much... unless you include the generator: indeed, 2 * £14 + £42 = £70. It would thus seem I've paid for the spark generator twice, on top of paying for the electrodes I most likely didn't even need.

All in all, I paid £119 for the labour and £70 + £42 for the parts, totalling £231.

I'm posting this in hope some of you who are more in the know can confirm this makes sense and I'm on firm ground, so I don't embarrass myself filing a complaint?

In the future if it happens again I'll just replace the spark generator myself.
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I am no expert but i would have thought if 2 of them still worked then the spark generater was not at fault and i too would have expected the 2 electrodes be at fault
Why not just go to someone local? Why do people use these national companies? They’re just there to cream the top off the job. They make the money.
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If I can't fix myself by watching YouTube I just buy a new appliance. Recently fixed washing machine with two screws at the back. Lift lid. Pull small pipe off and blow to clear and put all back. Job took all of 5mins having watched YouTube. With the price you paid though for 2 skilled people visiting plus parts was not a bad deal (everyone's got to eat) but better just to replace with a new one some would say. It would of cost you £70+£42 to start if you tried to fix yourself.
No easy answer I guess.
Oh I must add. Mother in law 72. On her own replaced oven heating element. I still think she is pulling one and got help but she says no. Just a few screws she's said inside and was easy. I don't believe her though. :)
With the initial quote of £119 plus parts I'd have gone out and bought a box of matches. It's not that difficult to light a burner with a match like we all used to do.
With the initial quote of £119 plus parts I'd have gone out and bought a box of matches. It's not that difficult to light a burner with a match like we all used to do.
Or, for £3.99 (and free postage), something like ..

No. No. No.

When they fit the electrodes and it doesn't make any difference you tell them to replace the old ones and don't pay. There may be a bit of a fight but stick to your guns.
Thanks guys. A new hob would have cost me £130 or so, I'd still have had to get a gas certified engineer to install it though.

I'll use a local company in the future. I couldn't find one (with good reviews) at first, but admittedly didn't search thoroughly. The local company the job was passed on to had very poor reviews still; in fact, it was one of the worst rated.

The old electrodes are gone, but I'll still file a complaint.

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