Monday, April 28, 2008


I really enjoyed being off work on Friday. When I used to work at a university I used to go for a walk on my lunch break and I would look at some of the people who were seemingly wandering aimlessly about the local streets and wonder how they were able to be do leisurely things on a working day. I like doing leisurely things on a working day and should try and do them more often.

Anyway, the first order of the day was British Gas. They, as I already knew, are very expensive. The quote I had from another firm is for £3400. British Gas would be £4400. BUT, I would get a £250 discount because they would trade in my old boiler. So, they came in at about £4150.

I have a few thoughts about British Gas’s offers. First, they are just very expensive, although I don’t mind paying a bit more if I think the quality of the work will be better. But that £250 trade in is a con – they are going to do nothing with people’s old boilers but chuck them away, so they are basically making you think that you are getting a discount, when actually they could have just given the lower quote – but then the customer doesn’t think they are getting a bit more of a bargain. If I was one of their homecare customers, they would have given me another £150 off – but if they have fitted the system right then presumably I would be unlikely to need the service, and they probably get a lot of customers who continue to keep the service (and therefore British Gas get lots of money in subsequent years). So it's just a way for them to make money in the longer term.

I told the chap that I didn’t really think their quote was very competitive and he said that they do normally come in about £5-600 more than local firms, but he then told me why they were still such a great choice. However, he then said he could give me another £200 off if I would sign the contract that day because he "wouldn’t have to come back to get the paper work”. Two thoughts came to mind with that. First, it costs £200 to collect some paperwork??! But also that it is just a sales pitch because surely I could post the paperwork, but also it must make people sign because they will want to save £200 if they can. I imagine that if I hadn’t already got a quote and don’t also have another appointment booked then I might have thought that it was best to sign to save £200. Despite the fact that British Gas just aren’t that competitive. The chap wasn’t doing the hard sell, by the way, he was very pleasant, but I think that by the time he left he was thinking he was unlikely to get my business.

Anyway, after all that I went out and got my hair cut. I went somewhere different to normal because it was easier to get it done in Central London. The hair cut was fine, but a bit shorter then it has been for quite some time, so I’m trying to decide if I like it like that. G liked it though, so I have do have an endorsement of it.

Then I saw my financial adviser and it was interesting talking to him about his thoughts on the current ‘credit crunch’ and I am just very glad that I don’t need a new mortgage at the moment.

G was over for the weekend and we went for a very nice walk in the sunshine in Windsor Great Park on Saturday. That was very pleasant and I just so like going out for a walk in the sunshine and Saturday was a particularly nice day to do that.

Then last night I went over for dinner with one of my housemates from university, which was just so nice. We used to see each other loads but recently that has been more difficult to do and I have just missed the opportunity to spend time together and chat. We put the world to rights, as ever and ate lots of nice food. All good.


Spudgy said...

I had a boiler fitted by British Gas once - I paid interest free over a year so took the option as I wasn't exactly flushed. The fecked up the installation and it took 3 attempts (different Engineers) to fgure out what was wrong. Their salesmen also talk through their arse when it comes to local gas men!! (In my experience that is)

Random Reflections said...

spudgy - well, I guess I am glad they were really uncompetitive then because the chances of me using them are almost nil.

We'll see what the chap from a local firm comes up with tomorrow...