Yesterday, our central heating system broke.
I’m guessing it did, as I’m no heater-expert…

The little flame isn’t burning anymore, and it’s not coming back on. No matter how hard I try.

We kind of figured it would happen some day, as the system was built in back in 1992, and wih an average lifespan of about 15 years, ours has survived for about 2 more years. So no worries there, we saw it coming and now we have to to two things.
Firstly, the apparatus has to be mended on a very short term as I’m particularly fond of a hot shower instead of a *very* cold shower.
Secondly, we want to get ourselves a new one as our old one is old. (You must’ve seen that one coming!)

So I pick up the phone and called the telephone-number of the company with whom the previous owner has had a maintenance contract for the apparatus with. The nice lady on the other side looked up our address after I explained what was wrong and we made an appointment for the mechanic to pay us a visit and mend our heater. After a little while, she figured out the contract hasn’t been paid for (nor by the original owner, nor by me) and we had to cancel the appointment, as there wasn’t anyone to credit for the mending.

She gave me the following choice:
Either I signed a two year maintenance contract for the current heater, or I would buy a new one.

Well, that’s fine by me, but I want both! I want both my heater fixed, and after that I want a new one. The lady told me that was certainly *not* an option, as the contract could not be broken before the end of the two-year period. So, if I wanted a new heater, I should wait for two years and then come back. Funny thing is: buying a new one straight away was also not an option, as it would take at least until late november for the sales-guy to show up and give us advice on what to buy, after which it would take at least 2 weeks for the heater to be installed in our house. If you’ve been counting, that would indeed add up to mid december!

I asked the nice lady whether I heard it correctly, and spelled it out for her.
It boiled down to this: If I want my heater fixed right away, I would have to get a full two-year contract, but if I want a new heater I would not get any warm water until at least mid-december!
The lady said yes, and I thanked her for her time while wasting mine and hung up. Worst thing: the lady didn’t think of it as being unacceptable for me, and just was trying to sell me their products without thinking properly.

After this I called another company, who offered to mend the heater right away (today!) and an appointment to get a new one next wednesday!
Now that’s better. ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT:
The heater-repair-man has fixed out heater! After a quick peek, and an evenly fast fix he was in and out of our house within the hour. ๐Ÿ˜€
Best thing of all: he knew the above problem from other clients, and has been trying to keep the fix as cheap as possible. (Meaning the heater is now error-prone and will have to be replaced soon; which we will!)
Maarten: now hot-water powered!