I’ll Pop A Cap In Your Gas

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2017

This happens when I am working at a small independent appliance store.

I am on the shop floor when a foreign gentleman comes in enquiring about a new cooker. He has a grant from the local council, from which he can select anything matching the description. For example, he could not get a TV on a grant for cooking appliances.

I ask him what he has in situ, and he is not sure. I take his details, and as he is only a two minute walk from the store, I ask the boss if I can just go down and have a look. He agrees as it is not busy.

He has in place a gas cooker, which, as we do not have the correct certification, we are not allowed to disconnect or reconnect. I explain this to him and offer for us to liase with a gas fitter and arrange for the disconnect and reconnect when we deliver the new one. He declines, saying he can do it.

We get back to the shop and select one that he likes, which fits with what he already has and is within the cost of the grant. A couple of days pass and we receive the new cooker. I call the chap and let him know it’s in. I ask if the old one is disconnected and he says yes. Later that afternoon we go round and it still isn’t disconnected. I explain to him again that because of the certification, we would get in a lot of trouble for touching it, especially as the local housing authority would want to see some kind of certificate, which we cannot provide. I offer again to arrange with one of the gas fitters that we are friendly with to meet up with us and do it. Again, he says no; he will do it.

Another few days pass and the customer calls the shop and says it is ready now. We go to the house and there is a distinct smell of gas. I ask what he has done and he says he has taken the pipe off the old one and blocked the main gas. I have a look, and to my bewilderment, he has stuck a bottle cap into the gas pipe, jamming the valve open, thus leaking gas into the house. I immediately tell him that we will have to leave and call the gas board and fire department. He is refuses, saying we cannot tell him what to do in his own house. I am very concerned at this point, not wanting to get blown up, so all customer service goes out of the window. I shout at the chap telling him that unless he wants to kill us all and blow the house to pieces, we need to get the f*** out and not touch any switches. We all evacuate, and the fire and gas people turn up pretty promptly, closing off the entire road.

In the end the customer got a hefty fine from the fire department, but at least no one was hurt.

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