UNPROFESSIONAL GAS ENGINEERS – NO PPE.
(As per date of publication).
This is a personal experience I have endured with a local Cardiff Gas Engineers today.
I had an appointment yesterday for a consultation and re-scheduled all my appointments to fit in with the engineer arriving as I have a fault with low pressure and my combi-boiler cutting out at least twice a day.
(I do not like conducting my business in front of my landlord or contractors he sends out, even though I once specifically asked the landlord not to turn up because I had an important call, he purposely ignored my request and turned up anyway. He did not forget because I reminded him half an hour earlier and he agreed he would not, yet he still turned up).
The engineer yesterday was a no-show, they never phoned or texted they could not make it. So I lost a day’s work waiting for them (I do not like discussing my business in front of contractors).
Seeing as I was not paying for the call-out I was not going to chase them and thought no more of it until a day later, as the matter was not urgent or an emergency, and I attempted to go about my day, trying to catch up from the day before.
I gave strict instructions if they were outside my property to phone or text me as I have a problem with my hearing and cannot hear the doorbell if I am on my own.
However today my daughter was with me and she would hear the bell if it were pressed, (which was not), I will come to this in a moment.
So my daughter and I are in the middle of working when she hears someone walking up our stairs calling my name (I could not hear anything as I am partially deaf). She answers and goes to see who it was, and a man she did not recognize is on our stairs inside our property. He never rang the bell or knocked on the door, just walked in unexpectedly and unannounced.
Entering a property unlawfully is called trespassing and one cannot just enter uninvited or pre-arranged unless it is an emergency or in the case of the Police, a warrant. *The thing is I have a witness and I made an unofficial complaint to the building contractor the following day.
I then got up and realized it was the engineer. I immediately said you were supposed to come yesterday and he replied “oh, was I”, with no apology or anything…(totally ignorant and rude). I did not want to kick off and say “have you never heard of knocking”?
NO FACEMASK (Regulations at the time of publication of this article)
I noted he was not wearing a facemask and I said hold on I will go get my facemask to which he replied: “do you want me to put one on”.
It is actually mandatory to wear a facemask when visiting residential properties, whereby the resident is present: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/
I suspect they were trying their luck hoping no one was in.
The landlord should not have given them keys so I think this was planned because why else would they have had keys to the property if they knew 100% someone would be in?
There is something quite off with this now that I am thinking about it.
NO SOCIAL DISTANCING
The engineer told me to show how low the pressure gauge drops but that meant I had to be less than a foot away from him as my kitchen is a confined space with only room for one person. I was reluctant to go anywhere near him but had no choice to comply with his wishes.
CONTRACTOR COVID REGULATIONS
A contractor must wash their hands and sanitize them before touching anything and that did not happen. In fact, he even leaned on the banister touching freshly washed clothes with his outer clothing that could have potentially cross-contaminated any pathogens he may have carried on his uniform. My daughter after he had gone had to re-wash her clothes and sanitize all the surfaces he had touched including the boiler.
At this stage, I did not want to make waves and went to put my mask on even though he should have had one on without asking me if I wanted him to or not. I felt had I insisted he wears his mask it would have caused animosity.
I explained the problem I was having to adjust the pressure twice a day every day and this is where it got personal. I have known this engineer for the length of time of my tenancy and over the years I have told him I suffer from OCD. I am not ashamed to say it and I am an advocate and editor for mental health on my online journal www.disabilityuk.co.uk and this is where my daughter and I picked up on his insensitive and rather rude remark and what he said: “are you sure you that you have to adjust the gauge twice a day or are you just saying it because you are high on your meds” he continued to say, although I did not hear him say it, however, my daughter did “I must be special or a lunatic”.
I have a witness to what he said.
People who have mental health issues should not be humiliated and made a mockery of, not everyone with mental health issues is going to be a patient of mental asylums in which I felt was what he was insinuating.
I am so tempted to name and shame him and the company he represents and give them bad press.
He insinuated I was making things up told my daughter to make track of how many times I adjusted the boiler without telling me and also insinuated that both my daughter and I were lying about the leaking radiator, which was not leaking in front of him. He did however state he would be coming back next week to fix the radiator that was hanging off the wall in another room.
Considering he turned up unannounced and I excused myself and said I had to get back to my work and he went “yer right” like I was making it up or something and he did not believe me.
It was approximately a year ago that he came out to install my cooker I bought that could not be fitted at the time of delivery because I had a problem with my “Hot Zone” in the kitchen whereby another local Cardiff Electricians (I am not mentioning any names but I did tell my landlord about their incompetence at the time when he had to rewire my electrics) failed to notice the problem when they did an electrical inspection. When I mentioned this to the Gas engineer he too did not know what a “Hot Zone” was either until I sent him a link.
He told me I should not report the electricians and should not start making waves. I took that he was threatening me in some way.
Also when I mentioned that I may have had a leak in the pipes last week over the phone to the gas engineers director, he said floorboards would have to be pulled up and I corrected him and said a thermal camera would spot the leak which costs about £700 and he said no one in Cardiff has anything like that. Some people do not like being corrected and a gadget like that is an investment to any plumber and they should have it as part of their tools.
So for me not to have a cooker over Christmas and New Year 2019/2020 as I could not get it fitted because the electrics needed re-wiring was not a big problem to anyone other than me who spent £1,500 on take-outs over a period of two months for myself and my family as I could not cook any food. Who is going to compensate me for this? This is why I am documenting everything and I have receipts.
I feel I am being humiliated and intimidated by these engineers as they are friendly with my landlord and anything I say to any of the contractors goes back to my landlord.
This type of disrespect, humiliation, and intimidation is causing emotional distress. Who can I complain to about rogue contractors and unprofessional traders? This is why I am unwell because people do not abide by rules and Covid Regulations and are very judgemental. Some people simply think they are better than you and will try to ridicule you as in the case today.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
I will not mention this company other than they are not on the first page of Google for the search terms “Cardiff Gas Engineers” and have a hyphen in their domain name. But what I will do is document everything and go out of my way to help one of their competitors because they should not be making waves with me.
I have in fact most recently renewed the domain name www.cardiffgasengineers.co.uk and originally was going to make the domain into a directory of “Cardiff Gas Engineers” purposely to exclude them, but now I will help any company other than them.
People underestimate me and what I do and am capable of.
It is unprofessional to be personal to a tenant and make a mockery of their disability regardless of whether their disability is physical or mental.
I once had a detective (CID) demoted to police constable for entering my property unannounced and without a warrant, and I still suffer PTSD from that which has brought back memories. This is added to my emotional distress.
Also, one is not exempt from wearing facemasks, even though some may think they do.
It is not the first time other engineers working for the same company in question have visited my property without wearing facemasks and I have complained previously. But if I was to again I suspect I would be complaining about the partner of the business as I believe he is and also a friend of the landlord and I guess he feels invincible.
If he mocked me about my mental health and medication he would have also mocked my landlord who also suffers from mental health problems.
I feel if someone complains too much is then deemed as a nuisance, so I have to keep my mouth shut but have learned over time to document everything.
BREACH OF TERMS OF AGREEMENT
Imagine if my daughter and I were not home and he let himself in, my insurance would become void.
Another scenario could have been, my daughter or I could have been half-dressed coming out of the bathroom or bedroom as was the case with the detective many moons ago.
24 HOURS NOTICE
A landlord, the contractor, or letting agent needs to give you 24 hours’ notice before entering your rented premises unless it is an emergency. They cannot walk in unless they have notified you first when they are arriving and even then, they cannot just walk in if they know someone is present. The resident needs to agree and give consent.
When you rent a property from a landlord it becomes your home. A landlord, contractor, or letting agent, should only enter the property without you being there, if you have given prior permission for them to do so, or if it is a genuine emergency.
While your landlord, contractor, or letting agent will need to gain access to the property to carry out inspections, repairs, and maintenance, the law says that they must give you 24-hours written notice.
REPORTING A LANDLORD IN WALES
Should you wish to make a complaint about your landlord and you live in Wales, you should contact “Rent Smart Wales”:
REPORTING A GAS ENGINEER
If you wish to make a complaint about a Gas Engineer visit the following site:
Remember whatever you do there are consequences to your actions. If you report your landlord he /she may serve you an eviction notice. The same goes with engineers they may try to sue you, so you have to have the evidence documented and have a plan A and plan B before you start complaining.
Oh, I forgot to mention as he was leaving he said to my daughter I had successfully wasted his time. Even though he recognized the radiator needed fixing and said he would and I quote “have to book it in”, yet had no regard that I had to pay people yesterday to manage the chat widgets on my client’s sites and could not monitor them properly this morning as I was rudely interrupted, in fact, I had a missed chat today and my client noticed which does not look good for me. So wasting my time is fine?…
I made an indirect complaint to the contractor that came to work in my bathroom today, something different from the gas engineer’s job yesterday, knowing that my disdain will get back to my landlord. Even the contractor agreed the Gas Engineer was out of order and that I should make an official complaint. Let’s see what transpires next week when he has to return to fix the radiator in one of the bedrooms, I will be having words with him one to one, and I will record him in stealth mode if he bothers to turn up.
As you can imagine he failed to return.
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