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Go Assist, or No Assist? Elderly couple charged for repair that never happened

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Mar 16, 2018

An elderly couple were forced to wait weeks with a broken washing machine, and then were charged £120 by a repair company that never actually showed up.

Leslie Miles is 93 and has dementia, while his wife Susan is in her late 70s.

The Essex couple's washing machine broke at the start of February and they contacted appliance repair company Go Assist to help them.


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Go Assist assessed the problem over the phone, charged Susan £120, and said an engineer would come out.

But two weeks and four missed appointments later – the couple were no closer to getting their washing machine fixed.

Fed up, they cancelled the repair – opting to buy a new washing machine.

Go Assist told Susan she could get a refund - but two days later it changed its mind.

The couple's daughter Rebecca Nicholls told A Spokesman Said that her parents were being taken advantage of because they were elderly.

"My mum feels really ashamed, she said 'I should never have got in touch with them'.

"They really are vulnerable - why can't Go Assist just do the right thing?"

Rebecca questioned how Go Assist could know the problem without even showing up.

 "Go Assist - more like No Assist!"

"In desperation, my mother phoned up and said they had no clean clothes left and would just buy a new machine!"

Rebecca complained to Go Assist three weeks ago – but she got nowhere.

Four days ago, Go Assist said it was still investigating.

"It seems like the complaints process is as protracted as the repair that failed to deliver.

"My mother told Go Assist it was unreasonable to wait and asked the girl at the call centre what she would have done. The girl told her 'Oh I would have got a new washing machine too'."

Go Assist has not responded to questions.


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Timeline of failure:

Here is a rundown of Go Assist's three weeks of incompetence: 

February 2: Susan phones Go Assist and pays £120 for the repair.

February 5: She is told that an engineer will come out on February 8.

February 8: The engineer fails to attend and says he does not have the parts.  The engineer says he will attend on February 10.

February 10: The engineer fails to attend again - says he will attend on February 12.

February 12: The engineer fails to attend again and says he does not have parts. 

February 15: The engineer fails to attend again!

February 16: The engineer says that the parts have still not been delivered.  My mother tells them to forget it and orders a new washing machine.

February 19: Susan complains to Go Assist. They are sympathetic and say they will refund.

February 21: Go Assist change their mind and say Susan won't get a refund. 


What are your rights?

If you're having trouble with a repair company, remember:

1. The golden rule is don’t pay for a service up front unless it’s 100% clear what you’re paying for. 

2. Always check you have understood the terms of payment - that means: what the business is promising to do and how much it will cost. Again make sure the service you’re paying for is clear and precise.

3. If you have already paid for a service upfront you are entitled that this will be carried out to a reasonable standard and within a reasonable timeframe.

4. If you do cancel the contract, make sure you do it in writing and give your reasons, making sure these are clearly stated. If you have detailed notes of missed appointments, etc, so much the better. Then ask that your money is refunded.

5. If you have no joy, check if the business is a member of a trade association or federation and threaten to complain to them.

6. If you still have no joy, and are convinced what you are demanding is reasonable, tell the business you’ll sue them in the small claims court unless they pay up. And do just that if they still refuse. Get more advice about the small claims court here.


A Spokesman Said offers price comparison in energy, insurance and broadband that could save you hundreds.