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Chimneys & Fireplaces

My mum has chimney debris issues. gas was smelled...i fear i smell something else after the 1st quote.

"Bill and Ben" the Chimney Men....Came , Saw and came out with the following Chestnuts of advice to my mum. They look behind her Fire and peeked down the 2nd story flat chimney. That was £80 for less than a hours work. No receipt given/offered.

I have searched the Net for info on them and I find "Hee Haw" so far. But they shall remain anonymous, consider this True and I respectfully ask some Experts here, if I am too suspicious or am justified as Gas Fumes can kill after all and I think I am gonna call them tomorrow and ask them what my Mum was scared too. I imagine I'll try the Insurance 1st , but offer work if an Expert can help me.

They told my mum it will cost her "£280" . But after the wee climb and Peek and the Mobile call back to a "Lassie" back at the office... It became £560. They told her they will do it in under 2 weeks from now and it will take a day.
If 8 hours it will be £70/hour if they blitz it in less time it could even be £560/hour for an hours work ??

I am asking respected Chimney/Fire/Gas Safety Tradesmen here if they can do it cheaper. I am not usually so vocal and I hope people here can offer their views and Expertise. I am also thinking of getting my mum to claim the cash back through Building and Contents Cover after the work is done.
The "Specialists" told her she can't use her Buildings and C Cover for the work....I ask my mum was their Crystal Ball visible and "They must have a copy of your B+C Criteria. I think my Mum fell at hurdle when she says to them "Its okay Ive got Money"...

"Mrs****** ...You have a Birdnest up in yer Chimney.We also need to remove some debris from behind the Fire also. We will put a tube up the chimney also. "

Apart from that, I have no more information to offer. I am unsure if some Maintenance is required apart from removing the above "Debris behind the Fire"

I feel Guilty I had to work the day they came. My mum worries and the information above is all I can gain. My Father died 3 Years ago and its hard to keep my Eyes on everything for the Family.

Its not the Money its the Principle, and what goes around , comes around in Life. If I sound an arse, feel free to tell me that if you wish.


2 Answers from MyBuilder Chimney & Fireplace Specialists

Best Answer

Hi, i assume that they where called in to sweep chimney ? If they could not fix the problem i don't feel that they should have charged your mum £80.00 for just diagnosing the problem .
I fear from reading this, they are definitely conmen .

So the quotation for the next stage was for " removing the birdsnest , removing some debris from behind the fire " I dont quite understand your meaning of putting a tube up the chimney . Is this possibly relining the chimney for the gas fire ?

Did they do a smoke test ? Did they shout up the chimney to identify which chimney pot it was from the chimney stack ? Or did they basically just look up and down the chimney and decide, this is easy money ??

The correct way to find fault in a chimney would be -
1. Shout chimney from the bottom and the top ,this identifies the flue/chimney pot and any potential blockages from the top of the chimney stack .
2. Smoke test flue/chimney, this identifies any broken bridges/areas of the flue that may be leaking into neighbouring chimneys, also if smoke bellows back into the room then a blockage is definitely in the flue, it maybe a bird nest, loose mortar or a half brick or worse case scenario a complete collapse in the chimney stack between flues ! This will take no more than 15mins to perform correctly .

If you could contact me at i can answer your questions .

Kind Regards .



Answered 1st Oct 2011

First of all, get your money back of Bill and Ben, the flower pot men.
If its a gas issue, get a Gas Safe engineer, he will check and advise what is needed.
You can place your job on this site, under Post a Job you should get at least 3 fixed prices.
If the flue needs cleaning before hand, they might do it, or will know some one that can do it, they will also tell you if you need a liner.
You cant be to safe with Gas, use the right person.


Answered 1st Oct 2011

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