The town’s biggest landlord has been forced to issue an apology to an 80-year-old arthritis patient who says she had no hot water for 13 days.
Christina Anderson of Marmion Road in Greenfaulds, who also has the blood disorder Raynaud’s disease, says she was ignored by Sanctuary staff – who passed the buck in their office premises when she came looking for help with a faulty boiler.
She received texts telling her that workmen would be arriving to address the issue – who frustratingly failed to turn up on several occasions – and were unable to fix the boiler when they eventually materialised.
Christina says that one of these texts was sent to her at 3am, waking her up in the process.
Former newspaper columnist and Salvation Army volunteer Christina said: “ Sanctuary need a kick up the backside.
“They need to remember that the customer comes first, not last. I couldn’t believe it when I went round to the office only to be told that this was nothing to do with Sanctuary - because it would be dealt with down south!”
The matter has also been brought to the attention of MSP Jamie Hepburn who said: “I would expect any issues that any person has with a lack of heating to be dealt with promptly, particularly so where they or someone in their household might be vulnerable.
“Not only that, where there is any problem identified, then the landlord should seek to learn from that and reduce the likelihood of recurrence at that particular property or more widely across their entire housing estate.”
Sanctuary’s Gas supervisor Simon Greenan would be drawn on the text issue but disputed that the problem had dragged on for two weeks.
He said: “Our annual service showed Mrs Anderson’s boiler needed a new gas valve. At that time, for Mrs Anderson’s safety, the boiler was rightly shut down.
“Unfortunately, the engineer who attended to fit the replacement gas valve did not do so correctly. This resulted in an incorrect diagnosis that the boiler needed a new flue. For Mrs Anderson’s safety the boiler remained shut down, and a new flue was ordered from the manufacturer.
“A different engineer visited Mrs Anderson to speak with her on August 24 and found the new gas valve had not been fitted correctly. This was immediately corrected and, after a full system safety check was conducted, the boiler was switched back on.
“The safety of our tenants is our greatest concern, and it is right that Mrs Anderson’s heating system was shut down until the new part was fitted correctly.
“We have apologised to Mrs Anderson for the eight days of unnecessary delay in restoring her boiler. We provided heaters so Mrs Anderson could heat her home during this time. We have also taken steps to ensure parts are fitted first time in future.”