/ Home & Energy

Scam watch: have you been cold called by a boiler scam?

Boiler

Be warned, cold calls flogging new boilers are on the rise. But as John suspected these are likely to be a scam.

John told us: ‘I’ve received cold calls from a range of numbers. The calls consist only of a recorded male voice telling me about new boiler regulations in Europe. It says that every household in my local area must install a new A-rated boiler by the end of 2016.

‘I am confident that existing non-A-rated domestic boilers will continue to be legitimate until they reach the end of their economically serviceable lives – and that these calls are a potential scam. I shudder to think what sales pitch some naive consumer might receive if they were to press the relevant button to follow up the call.’

Our advice on suspicious calls

Unfortunately, it appears there’s been an increase in cold callers trying to convince people they need a new boiler since the introduction of the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive in September 2015.

As part of this directive, boilers and other electrical products must meet new minimum energy efficiency requirements in order to be sold in Europe.

However, existing products aren’t affected by these regulations, so we’d imagine you’re correct to assume this is a ploy to trick you out of money. You should report these calls to the police, trading standards and Action Fraud. Don’t forget that you can also report the call to us too.

Never buy anything as a result of unsolicited contact. However, if a sale is agreed over the phone, then the Consumer Contracts Regulations apply and you have 14 days to cancel penalty-free.

Have you been nuisance called about an A-rated boiler?

[UPDATE 17 MARCH 2016] – A Scottish boiler replacement company has been fined £180,000 for making millions of automated nuisance calls. Glasgow-based FEP Heatcare Ltd made 2,692,217 unwanted automated calls between April and July 2015.

And despite being warned to stop making illegal calls by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), FEP started to do so again by bombarding people with recorded messages. The ICO traced these calls to FEP Heatcare even though the calls didn’t identify a caller.

Our executive director Richard Lloyd said:

‘The ICO is right to hit companies with hefty fines for bombarding people with nuisance calls, especially when they fail to listen to previous warnings.’

Comments
Guest
FF1981 says:
14 February 2017

Also get called several times a day say if I have no gas supply to my property I am entitled to a free boiler, press 2 to speak to advisor and 9 to opt out. Always delete message or hang up and always a witheld number or number missing a digit. Which, I hope you’re monitoring all this and perhaps start to help us do something about it.

Guest

Arrrrgh been getting loads of these stupid calls over the last week to my mobile. More annoying as they keep leaving a half voicemail which I end up having to check and delete. Today I actually managed to answer and press 9 to opt out, but by the sounds of it that isn’t going to do much good!

Guest
Trisha Adams says:
27 February 2017

Mine have been going on since early December and no relief from this even with the free BT call protect or a Callblocker. As previous posts have mentioned the numbers change each time and are a digit short (10) so there is no possible way of blocking these without affecting other calls that may be important. Unless something is done about this soon I am seriously considering cancelling my landline with BT, it is not fit for purpose, I am unable to switch my answer service on (it fills up within a few days with the nuisance calls), so therefore I am paying for a service that I cannot use! I find it unbelievable that BT are unable to stop these calls and it seems the calls are coming through via VOIP? Does it suit BT to ignore the problem which is getting worse, I can only assume they make good revenue from these calls and selling the enhanced package of the call protect? I would be interested to know if the paid service stops these calls as this would explain the reluctance to resolve the issue. I am TPS registered (irrelevant), I contacted the ICO who could offer no help (the lady I spoke to wasn’t very helpful or friendly) and suggested I email my local MP and BT suggested I use the new call protect service (useless). It seems the only way I can stop this is to no longer to have a landline (which other people I know affected by this are thinking the same). Surely there are enough people affected by this issue that someone can push BT to sort this problem out as I am sure they will lose more revenue by losing customers than allowing this to continue? Can anyone stop these boiler calls!!!!!!

Guest
Andrew Sturmey says:
3 March 2017

Trisha, I agree with everything you say (see my previous posts above). Isn’t the silence of both BT and Which deafening? I wonder what needs to be said or done before they’re shamed into commenting?

Guest
Linda says:
3 March 2017

For the last 3 weeks we have been receiving calls about free boilers in our are. Maybe 3 a day all from different numbers sometimes withheld sometimes international. Today 0194722788 rang. I pressed 2 and got through to a girl with an northern accent called Kelly. I asked why I was continually being called and she said that there were twenty companies using the same numbers I sais I was on the TP service and she said you will have to ring them all then won’t you and put the phone down.

Guest
Maureen says:
12 March 2017

Frequently. I press 9 to be removed from their calling list – to no avail.
Sometimes an English female voice/ once a Scottish one.

Guest

Press NOTHING Maureen you are only playing into their hands and it will mean you will be inundated with calls . Those callers have ZERO morals .

Guest

I agree with Duncan.

BT charge 55p if you press whatever number it is to ring back, and you have no idea what pressing 9 might do, where it will go, and how much you might get charged.

Also please never be tempted to call them back.

Guest

I’ve entered 60+ calls rec’d in last 3 months into a spreadsheet…and there have been lots more either deleted from answering machine prior to logging them or when machine became choked by sheer volume of calls (almost all re Windows and Boilers). It appears scammers have finally figured out that there’s no mains gas in my area as focus switched to oil / LPG boilers a few weeks back. I’m sending calls list to my MP to backup complaint letter but not holding out much hope of early resolution.
Has anyone any stats. re ‘break-even’ point for cold calls? For example if 1 in 10 were to take up their ‘offers’ the operation would be extremely profitable whereas 1 in 1 million would quickly result in their operations folding. If, via publicity, the public could be persuaded never to respond the ‘break-even’ point would be breached on the downside and problem would go away whereas relying on BT, ISP’s and the ISO to address the problem scammers will always be several steps ahead, not to mention the issue of International cold calls.