Gas central heating and boilers seem to be the most singular things that confuse a lot of people. Not everyone – there are those who know exactly what a boiler is, and all the details. It’s very refreshing when these people call in.
Every single day we get a least one person who calls in and the boiler or central heating is completely foreign to them. I always find it surprising that people don’t know whether their boiler is gas, electric or oil. Surely people know what bills they pay? Or do they have so much money that they can pay bills without even looking at them or being bothered what they are for? It must be great to be to be in that state of affairs, where money is no object.
If I had a £1 for the amount of times that I’ve had to ask someone if they have a gas metre on their property I’d be a millionaire now. And the amount of times a customer has said they don’t know – I’d have amassed thousands. How can you not know whether you have a gas metre or not? How can you not know whether or not you pay for oil delivery?
Surely if you own a property you would have some kind of knowledge of how it runs and works? Surely you would know what keeps it warm? Surely you would know what heats the water? Or am I being naïve?
This week at work was no different, except that I had a couple of other memorable calls around the boiler subject.
One person wanted us to go and do the annual service on the boiler. This is not unusual – we do many annual services. It would have been a straight forward request except that she wanted the engineer to turn the boiler on for her, as she didn’t know how to do it. She thought that getting the service done would ensure that the engineer would have to turn the boiler on to check it was working! Why she didn’t just read the booklet that comes with the boiler I really couldn’t answer.
Then there was the guy who wanted to take out a policy for his central heating. I asked if there was anything wrong with the boiler. The answer was a firm no. The boiler was working fine and there was no problem whatsoever. A bit further into the call I began to get suspicious so I asked again.
‘No, there’s nothing wrong with the boiler. I just can’t turn it on.’
I’ve not yet been asked for an electrician to show someone how to switch on a light – change the light bulb, yes – but not switch on the light. Time yet.