“Having been without heating or hot water for 7 days (last 2 of which were admittedly because we were not available on the day for which the parts and engineer could be arranged), following an ititial loss of heating on New Years eve, I feel it necessary to draw the attention of any-one reading these reviews to the lack of service from Swale support staff (the engineers are excellent when they eventually arrive!).
For the record the initial fault had been admirably responded to, and fault diagnosed /fixed within 5 hours. However this may possibly have been only because we had a toddler in the house at the time and were classified as a vulnerable household. It was not reflected in ensuing faults and responses.
Firstly, over the period including New Year, when the issue started, the average time (over around 10 calls) taken for a person to come on the phone was 10 minutes “ as we are experiencing a higher volume of calls than anticipated”. It would therefore seem that the call centre must be understaffed and/or they do not monitor their response times and adjust staffing accordingly?
Secondly Swales strap line of "RELY ON US TO KEEP YOU WARM" cannot be relied on as it clearly relies on various of their other advertised/stated claims/positions such as :
1. We offer (for service) 365 days 24 hr. availability
2. We have a fully stocked team of service engineers able to repair breakdowns as quickly and efficiently as possible.
3. We (uniquely) store and deliver all our materials from our warehouse facility (in Sittingbourne?).
4. Our engineers are despatched ….in our fleet of modern comprehensively stocked vans
Unfortunately from my experience:
a. The 365/24 cover only seems to apply if its not a weekend and no spare parts are required
b. The service engineers are not fully stocked; parts are not held in Swales warehouse and the vans are not comprehensively stocked, so repairs cannot be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible
When I raised these issues with senior staff and planners, when trying to expedite my repair, I was told that that they cannot be expected to stock/carry all parts and thus rely on Plumb Centre to provide spares as required. As this is usually within 36/48 hours (by the time parts availability is married with engineer availability), a similar delay is automatically built into any response time?
For example, my initial fault resulted in a recommendation for a new pump, on 14-day delivery, followed by 28mm isolation valves being required which were on 2-day delivery. The latter only being required as an engineer had left the system with a broken valve when fitting the new pump.
Such pumps and valves must be common to many systems and should arguably be carried on the “comprehensively stocked vans”.
It would also seem that Swale have no mechanism in place for urgent procurement of standard spares (my parts were ex-stock from their suppliers) for prolonged /urgent issues, such as collection by an engineer or expedited delivery by supplier but rely on rigid adherence to “our Logistics Department” which is outside planners control and not open at weekends!
Thirdly, be aware that if the engineer provides 2 electric heaters, verifies you have an immersion heater and gas fire (even only a decorative one), you will go to the back of any queue as you are deemed to have working heating and hot water! Swale planners etc. ignore the fact that it’s almost impossible to adequately heat a 4-bedroom house with only 2 off 2 kW fan heaters, refusing requests to prioritise/expedite issue “manually”!”
“This is the third winter in a row that Swale Heating have left my mother and father in law without working heating.
They are in their 90s and Swales are aware of this.
Swales fitted a new boiler in August 2019 and now will not send anyone to fix it for 6 days !
I'm going to move to British Gas.”
“I emailed Swale Heating in the morning letting them know I had a problem with the boiler and within an hour received a phone call to book an engineer that afternoon. He turned up promptly was very friendly and informative and fixed the boiler within half an hour.
Fantastic service as always from everyone at Swale Heating”
“Had annual service in Nov.2019, no issues.
Two weeks later, issues with some radiators not heating properly despite bleeding them.
Engineer called yesterday to check radiators etc.. and informed me the system needs balancing, draining down each radiator individually to check the system.
Emailed this info. to the office today.
At about 4pm. loud noises and knocking sounds coming from the boiler, immediately switced it off and attempted to call the office on both phone. nos. using to phones.Waited, waited and waited, 40 minutes on hold,of course no reply.
This company must be one of theworst for so called customer services.
In the end emailed with the issue and am awaiting reply.
Having paid two payments of £80 a time prior to the jobs being undertaken somehow feel taken for a ride.
Will wait and see the outcome.”
“We have an annual service plan which includes an annual boiler service. In three years Swale have failed to notify us for our annual service and we have to chase them every step. We have LPG so need an LPG trained engineer last year they sent a non LPG engineer out. This year we chased for appointment only to have them cancel twice! On 3rd appointment the engineer literally didn’t have a Scooby doo about our boiler, when I asked him what time the settings were for he said he had no idea it had a clock!..hardly filled me with confidence!..he checked if any leaks, tested hot water and left. Next morning woke to plenty hot water but no heating!..Phoned Swale obviously angry as was only a routine service and boiler was working perfectly up to day of service!..Phoned up and after usual 20 minute wait to get through they were going to send same man the next day..Eh no, I don’t damn well think so says I...I finally got to speak to the regional manager and he sent someone out to me within the hour who sorted the problem caused by the incompetent man from day before. We will now be cancelling our service agreement with Swale and will find a local company who can offer a decent service.”
“I am completely appalled once again by Swale Heating. My advice to any person considering using this company is please DO NOT USE SWALE HEATING. From the simple installation of a new boiler and radiators there has been nothing but incompetency from start to finish. And now in less than a year since installation my boiler is losing pressure, and I am now looking to replace the 3rd thermostat as I am told it could be a "bad batch" - completely and utterly unacceptable!!! On requesting a new thermostat to be fitted as still under guarantee and broken on two previous occasions (the last one only fitted 5 weeks ago) I specifically requested the engineer arrived with the part and of course on two occasions they didn't, I have now been told that the next available appointment is in January 2020. Added to which because the brand new boiler has been losing pressure since installation the Swale Heating Engineer requested a leak sealant be added without consulting me or having the courtesy to say that I would be charged for this and I have now been invoiced £91 for something I did not request. Swale Heating now tell me that they will not fit the 3rd faulty thermostat without me paying for the leak sealant that was ordered by their engineer without my consent. How is this company actually functioning? Ultimately I am now left still under guarantee with no functioning heating system and staff that do not communicate with each other. I will not accept somebody on the end of the phone (having waited in a queue once again for 50 minutes) saying sorry. This company need to be held responsible for the way they treat their customers.”
“I have had very varying experiences with swale heating some very negative indeed. However I have had a good response recently when the boiler broke down and also today when I had the annual service done. The engineer was pleasant and as far as I could tell did the job competently.”
“Been left with only one room with heating in the house for a week already not able to come until 5 dec really bad service
No concern that there is a disabled person living here
Very bad company if I had a choice I would stay well away”
“Poor customer service.
Swale Heating were supposed to send round an engineer today to make good an earlier sub standard installation they had carried out. They were aware it was going to take most of the day but when the engineer turned up this morning they had allowed him only 1 hour. In the circumstances the engineer left saying the office would have to book a fresh appointment. A total waste of my time and sub standard installation still not fixed.”
“Had a new boiler fitted in summer and all seemed good until it got cold and I started to use it. Problems started immediately with screaming noises and vibrations that the neighbors could hear! Contacted Swale to send someone to check t, but was informed that I would be charged for a call out as I hadn't taken out their contract! . When l queried the guarantee I was told that this was with the boiler company, and Swale were basically washing their hands of it once it was in and they had been paid! I have no issues with paying for a service but you expect a new appliance to work at least for the first year and on principle I object to a charge to fix faulty workmanship or equipment! The attitude of the person who took my call did little to help the situation. I do hope the call was recorded for training purposes!!I will take out a contract elsewhere. Meantime I will be asking trading standards to look into this mess and would advise anyone to give Swale heating a miss.”
“Swale Heating recently supplied a replacement boiler for us. However the vent on the new boiler is both much smaller and exits higher up through the wall than the previous vent. Swale Heating were supposed to brick up the hole in the external wall left over after the old vent was removed and use breeze blocks and plaster to repair the whole in the internal wall. However their engineer appears to have made a decision to take a shortcut and simply fit the boiler over the large hole in the internal wall. Since finding this out I have looked at reviews of Swale Heating and discovered that this is not the first time they have done this. If you have had a boiler fitted by Swale Heating to an external wall try looking behind it to see if they have done the job properly. I cannot see how the job they have done for us meets Building Regulations.”
“Phoned to ask technical advice (As mentioned on their recorded message system) on a boiler system Swale fitted a few months ago. Told cant give information advice over the phone and i would have to pay£80 upfront and they would send an engineer out. Phoned manufacturer of component that was not working properly.Manufacturer sorted the problem over the phone in two minutes and did not charge me! Thats proper customer service! A bit different that Swale wanted to offer ,Unbelievable!!”
“Don’t use this company as they never turn up for appointments and always make up excuses like van broken down or had to attend emergency or whatever they can think of its not even winter so much for their promise of piece of mind. Engineers are good when you can get one but management are rubbish”
“Shocking. Quoted my mum a full boiler replacement and then when they turned up to do the job, the engineer was too scared to go on the roof, forcing her to fork out for scaffolding, which was not part of the quote. As a pensioner on a fixed income she was bullied and left with no choice but to agree to the extra charge. Adding insult to injury the system doesn’t work - it’s a BH weekend and she now has no hot water. Shocking treatment. If you survey and quote for a job, the mistake made should be funded by the company not the poor person who accepts it in good faith. Buying decisions are often made on price so this feels like fraudulent practice to secure the job - hopefully not. Come on Swale Heating - tighten up your customer service and own your mistakes. Don’t bully pensioners into taking second best.”
“Having replaced our boiler with swale heating we were surprised it had appeared to have stopped working after just 17 months we called out a heating engineer who traced the problem to the thermostat the batteries had run out , we did not ask for, or want a "wifi " thermostat as they are unreliable, the swale electrician had cut the wires to install the new one without even informing us
I was advised by the person on the phone if we wanted a wired one we would have to pay, as according to them he had fitted the thermostat at great cost £190 !! Free , a quick check online showed this to be a huge exaggeration they retail at around £80 and I would question that it was fitted free of charge we are now stuck with a thermostat we would never have had installed... shameful !!”
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