By K M Simmonds - Middlesborough Evening Gazette on 21/01/2010

MY 89-year-old mother who lives in Guisborough is disabled, almost blind and lives alone after losing my father a couple of years ago.

On December 30, she rang me to say that one of her radiators had gone cold. I drove over straight away, and found that three radiators were full of air -which begs the question "where has all the water gone?" I quickly discovered a major leak from the loft into one of her cupboards.

Before he died, my father had pinned up insurance details in the cupboard and she had several policies with Homeserve covering emergency repairs on pipes, plumbing, electrical etc.

I turned off the heating and rang Homeserve (at 12.40pm), who suggested that we amalgamate all the policies into one, which we did.

They said they were very busy and were having difficulty sending anyone but would ring us back. They didn't, so I rang them.

They said they were still busy, but would ring back within an hour. They didn't and I phoned Homeserve yet again. By now it was nearly 5pm.

I asked if the conversation was being recorded, and then reiterated that my mother was 89, disabled, almost blind and lives alone, and the heating was off in the coldest temperatures of the year.

Homeserve told me to look in Yellow Pages and find a plumber. My mother has not paid her emergency mother has not paid her emergency repair insurance policies for all these years to be told five hours later to look in Yellow Pages. I insisted that a better idea was for Homeserve to look in Yellow Pages and find (and send) a plumber.

At 5.50pm, two engineers Lee and James from a company called The Drain Doctor arrived and started work.

They were extremely polite and very good with my mother. Then they hit a snag, which set them back but unperturbed they drained down the system and started again.

They fixed the problem and started up the heating, then found another leaking valve.

It was now 9.30pm and my wife and I had a guest house full of guests and two kids waiting for us 25 miles away. Lee and James had to go back to Stokesley to get a part, but told us to go home and not to worry, they wouldn't leave my mother with no heating.

They eventually finished work at 11.50pm and even made my mother a cup of tea.

They had turned a potentially disastrous situation into a success story. They handled the problem so professionally that they really do deserve a bit of publicity. I would love you to publish this letter, and give them the praise they deserve, and to thank them once again.

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