Wednesday, 6 January 2010


This advert contains a fib. Either that, or a porky. Not a lie, you understand, a lie could be construed as an attempt to deliberately mislead the public and I certainly don't want to levy accusations like that on the grand old institution of Grittish Bass. No, sir, not me. You see, a porky or a fib is somewhat different to a lie, it's a bit more tame, something mildly defensable which doesn't quite hold up to scrutiny if you call it into question.

I am, of course, referring to Grittish Bass's promise on last month's TV advertisement that if your boiler breaks down over the festive season: "You can reach us everyday, even over Christmas." OK, so how do they define 'reach'? Do they mean you can 'reach' somebody on the telephone, speaking to a customer service operative? If so, that's hardly gonna rectify the problem of a broken boiler, especially if that's the limit of all they can do. If the events in the advert are to believed, it appears to suggest that if your boiler breaks on, say, Christmas Day, a boiler repair man will arrive at the family home, fix it, then bugger off to enjoy his turkey dinner.

Needless to say, the only reason I'm mentioning this is that last month, just before Christmas, the boiler in our house broke. Yes, that's right, our new house, the one we've only just moved into. Grittish Bass swiftly arranged for a boiler repair man to visit us on December 22nd. He told me that our fan was preventing the boiler from igniting, andthat a new fan needed to be ordered. There was also a leaky pipe which he said he'd look at the following day. Fair enough, I thought.

The boiler repair man came back on December 23rd, with a new fan, which he promptly fitted. At that point, he claimed to have got the boiler working, stating that he could have left it like that and revisited us after Christmas to fix the minor problem of the leaky pipe. As it happened, he switched the boiler off, attempted to fix the leaky pipe, dropped a clip down the back of the unit, lost it, effing and blinding to himself in the kitchen, later dropping the bombshell to me that he couldn't fix the boiler because the leaky pipe quite unforeseeably had to be ordered and replaced too.

"I'm really sorry," he said, "I'm not going to be able to come back to fix your boiler until December 29th now." I remembered the TV advertisement, naively thinking that Grittish Bass might honour their promise. "But your advert said that boilers can be fixed over the Christmas period," I said. The boiler repair man visibly winced. "We do come out to fix boilers over Christmas, but in a lot of cases, there's very little we can actually do, especially if parts need to be replaced because we can't order the new bits in the post because of public holidays, etc."

Resigned to the fate of having to spend Christmas freezing my balls off (without hot water, I must add), I told him that I understood, and bid him adieu. Thankfully, the boiler repair man did honour his pledge to return on December 29th, and the issue is resolved now, so I hold no grudges. After all, Grittish Bass were fairly apt in fixing the boiler, so I'm grateful for the fact that it's now working for New Year.

It's just a bloody shame that their TV advertisement led me to believe that I wouldn't have to endure Christmas Day (or Boxing Day) without any sodding heating. How misleading is that? As a result, I didn't get to roast my chestnuts by the radiator, as is the seasonal custom in my family. Let's hope next Christmas goes a bit more smoothly and my chestnuts roast in warmer circumstances, eh?

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