Residents in Ennerdale House E3 woke on Saturday 31st December with the prospect of spending four days at least over the New Year period without a working communal boiler which provides hot water and central heating to 90 flats. Many residents took advantage of the advertised out of hours emergency contact number only to be told that an engineer could not attend until Tuesday 3rd January. (see a typical response to residents below)
The maintenance contractors Breyer won the £3 million (+VAT) four year contract in March 2011.
The Contract states the following:-
Title attributed to the contract
“General Building Maintenance, Responsive Repairs and Out-of-Hours Emergency Works.”
“The Service Providers will provide an out-of-hours emergency service (24 hrs/day, 365 days/year, attendance within 1 hour completion within and 24 hours) for specified emergency responsive repairs outside normal working hours.”
“During the term of the agreement, the appointed Service Providers may also be asked to provide the same services as the “Reserve Service Provider” on other EastendHomes estates”.
So why was it that residents were told that they will have to wait until Tuesday for the boiler to be repaired.
After repeated calls from residents and the involvement of Bernie Cameron (Chair – Mile End East Board) Breyer changed their tune and agreed to send an engineer.
The boiler was returned to service around 7.00 PM and hot water and central heating returned by mid-evening.
Residents in Ennerdale House will be demanding answers to some important questions bought up by this kind of service. Perhaps a job for the recently formed Scrutiny Panel.
Typical conversation with the Breyer “Emergency Hotline”
Breyer:- “Hello Breyer Group ****** speaking. How can I help?”
A Resident:- “We have a problem in Ennerdale House E3. We have no hot water or heating this morning”.
Breyer:- “Unfortunately it is a communal boiler you have there and our engineers are not able to attend a communal boiler because they are quite big and they don’t have the parts out of hours. We have put it through on the system but it wont be dealt with until Tuesday”.
A Resident:- “So that is when EastendHomes come back from their holidays”.
Breyer:- “Yes that’s right because they have specialist engineers for their boilers”.
A Resident:- “What if it is nothing serious and the boiler has just tripped out as it does sometimes and just needs to be turned back on again”.
Breyer:- “Well unfortunately our engineer won’t go out for a communal boiler today. We have already tried to pass it out to him”.
A Resident:- “So he is just not going to do it?”
Breyer:- “He won’t go out for the communal ones unfortunately”.
A Resident:- “Its hardly a service is it?”
Breyer:- “I can only apologise…..”
A Resident:- “Four days without heating or hot water is not acceptable”.
Breyer:- “I can understand where you are coming from but we have tried to pass it to him (the engineer)“.
A Resident:- “So the “emergency service” is not an emergency service?”
Breyer:- “Not for communal boilers”.
A Resident:- “OK”
A Resident:- “Bye bye”