British Lung Foundation

Air Liquide - anyone else having problems with them?

Problems with Air Liquide yet again - due a delivery of my liquid oxygen today having phoned up on Tuesday to request it (they only require 24 hours notice). Apparantely they did not have enough delivered to their depot this morning so was unable to bring mine out to me!

Stress levels back up again today. My community respiratory nurse is collecting all complaints as apparently there have been quite a few issues lately.

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That is just not good enough! When are they going to deliver? They do supply an emergency tel number if you need it ring them Val

Hi Val - they deilvered today! Had a bit of a scare this morning when I phoned the helpline and they had no record of my order. Blood pressure was about to go through the roof. Fortunately the very nice delivery driver called not long after to confirm he would deliver today. He seemed to actually take notice of my concerns on Friday.

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Honestly they want to get their act together! I am on holiday in Chester they delivered the wrong liquid oxygen couldn't fill our units Graham rang them tomorrow they are saying idiots not happy at all! Val

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What an appalling situation. If this continues I would advise speaking to your MP, or maybe going to the press.

I am in contact with my MP and respiratory nurse about the various problems I have experienced lately. I had huge problems about 2 years ago and even had a visit from some top dogs at Air Liquide who took on board all my concerns and comments. From that point until recently they operated really well and I had very few issues. However since some of their area was lost in the recent re-schuffle and the transfer of the call center to Tynseide from East Grinstead, I have had had nothing but trouble. Watch this space!

they are in the care quality commissions things to look at

hi there i made a complaint it was passed to the head of the respiratory team, she emailed me i got in touch with air liquide they sorted it out, i asked when i made the complaint if they had thought about asking the users, what they needed in the way of a service i had no comment i have today ask them to give some answers on how they decide who gets the contract,

i have found the cylinders to tall to carry and the portables are top heavy which makes them difficult to carry with the handle, but there bag is better,, i will post what they say if they say anything,

I have also asked how the service level that should be provided to patients, gets monitored. My respiritory nurse is collecting all issues and taking this further. If you don't highlight any issues I don't suppose the powers that be get to hear of them Let me know how you get on.

Hi Gilliam

I was with AL until earlier this year and used to get my deliveries every three weeks BUT even if I had enough LOX to last me 4 weeks, I still had to change a part full tank which I thought was a huge waste of money. There did not seem to be any great priority on LOX if there was a fault as I have a couple of small 02 tanks at home but they are too heavy for me to carry outside. The "Emergency Number" appeared to be their security office". I have to say that AL DID phone a couple of days before delivery though.

That used to happen with me. Now at least I can supposedly phone up the day before to arrange a delivery for the next day. This has worked ok - unfortunately phoning 3 days in advance didn't work in this latest incidence! Who do you use now?

Hi Gilliam

I have been changed to Dolby which was chaotic at first. They deliver my LOX on a two weekly basis so now I have them just every 4 weeks - far more economical and I don't have the Respiratory Team and my GP's clerk on my back for using SO MUCH!. Like Air Liquide, they always phone on a Wednesday to confirm delivery on a Friday - I don't have to phone them. Wish that I could just phone up the day before - that would be great.

There is no problem if I am out - they know where the Dewar is and just change it but I do phone them and tell them if I won't be here.

Dolby changed all the euipment when they took over - all brand new BUT the Dewar often freezes and errupts like a volcano and once to the extent of losing all it's contents - quite frightening! Luckily my husband normally fills the Helios up but he says that it takes far longer with the new equipment and yes, he has taken advise from the driver.

Hi Jemma

Glad things have settled down with Dolby - I had the pleasure! of dealing with AL and Dolby at the changeover time when we went away to the south coast. Yes you're right about the Dewar freezing up and errupting - the same thing happened to me using the different equipment by Dolby. Apparantely the pressure is lower in the Dewars used by Dolby compared to AL and that is why it takes longer to fill. I made sure I filled it up well before i needed to go out in case it started spurting everywhere! Someone else posted a blog or question about these problems - it might be worth looking for the thread to see if there are any tips.

Hiu Gilliam

Many thanks for the info on the Dolby Dewar pressure. My delivery is coming this Friday so I will ask the driver and let my husband know that it's not just him!!!

I will have a look for any articles regarding this.

Many thanks.


Things don't seem to be improving with Air liquide. Ordered 2 portables and a bag and was assured both would be delivered . The cylinders were sent but no bag. This was the second time I'd asked for one; the delivery technician said they simply weren't ordering enough and each time they have a delivery, they're gone by the end of the day. Also he mentioned that stocks of portable oxygen were being diverted to the NW as they had a new contract starting thus leaving the Midlands area short of portables, making it a lottery each morning as to whether or not there would be stocks of portables available for his daily orders. Somewhere high up in government or NHS procurement someone is being lauded for saving a few quid by re-sourcing oxygen provision' Look out for them on Camerons new years honours list.

Sorry to hear about your problems too. I just don't understand why the people at the other end of the telephone do not understand what a huge impact their actions have on our lives! My previous disaster about 2 years ago resulted in two top dogs at AL visiting me at home to try to understand my frustrations. I did offer to visit their offices to give a talk to their staff to let them know how our lives are impacted by non-delivery of oxygen. They never did take me up on that offer. I must say that it did work a lot better until the recent shake up. I have been in touch with my local MP (the brother of Boris) and I intend to make my concerns heard! I'll get off my high horse now!

Hi Warwickstag

Getting the bags for 02 seems like gold dust. BOC and Allied Respiratory were very good but I had to beg the drivers at Air Liquide for them. The small bag for my LOX 300 absoutely stank - goodness knows where it had been but it spent a couple of days in a bucket of soapy water outside!

I think you are right or some one is getting a backhander to give them the contract

Air Liquide are a disgrace. I had a concentrator fitted in Feb. last year, got a reading in April when i got my electric bill, got a refund in May. next reading was due in July, guy showed up september, said he had been on holiday and forgot me, as he was so late to do that reading it meant i am now getting my electric bills two months before a reading is done, so i am not getting a rebate until 3 months after i get my electric bill, by then the next one is almost due. i complained to their head office, the guy was told to come on time from now on, and to come in May 2012, it meant i would get a smaller rebate as he called only 6 weeks before the May date, well he showed up in May on 31st, which i know he did on purpose, i had by this time received an electric bill, he is now due again in august, well i got another bill last week which means it will be september before i get a rebate, i am fortunate i can pay these £200 plus bills while waiting for rebates, but what would i do if i couldnt?? what really annoys me tho, is the guy who does my readings, lives 2 miles away from me and passes my house on his way to and from work daily, unbelieveable but true, he is just idle, sloppy and dosent care, last time he came, was the first time i saw him strip the concentrator down, and he pulled out this large 'polo mint' shaped filter, it was so black, looked like it was covered in soot, when i queried why it was so black looking he, hummed and arghed and said, er well, its suppossed to be changed every 3 months, this had been in the machine over a year, no wonder i was getting constant infections. as stated i complained to their head office up to now 4 times, but i just feel its a total waste of time, i am seriously going to ask my GP to get the concentrator removed and get the large cylinders back, at least that way, i wont have huge bills to pay and wont have to deal with air liquide, who are an utter disgrace, i havent met one person yet who is happy with service from them , kind regards Janie xxx

Hi Janie I am sorry to hear about all your problems with Air Liquide. I do hope you manage to get it sorted soon. Do you write to them - they have to responde within 28 days. I have found writing it in a letter helps get rid of some of the stress as well as getting a proper response. Let me know how you get on.

I hope you get your replacement tomorrow - my delivery came today and my dewar was left outside so that can be done! I have the bit between my teeth now with them and not going to let it lie. I too can't stand bad customer service especially when it comes to something so important as this.

I used to have Air Liquide before the contract changed to BOC and found their service extremely good. They always rang me before delivering my liquid or cylinders. They always came and read the meter when they serviced my concentrator. I don't identify them as the company you have described. Recently i did a poll of o2 providers because I have dealt with them all and at the top of my list was Air Liquide

2) Air Products

3) BOC

4) Dolby

I have had some horror stories with a couple of them.


Hi Mo - I would agree that until recently they had got their act together over the last couple of years and were very helpful and reliable. It is just since the recent-reshuffle that I have experienced a lot of problems. I just wish they could leave things as they are rather than throwing everything up in the air. All boils down to cost and who can get the cheapest contract!

Hi there, former Allied Respiratory and Air Liquide customer. now with Dolby. Agree with all comments regarding the new Dewars - quite honestly, if you are a little bit infirm, getting a positive "lock" and maintaining it for 5 minutes must be a nightmare.

This is the important bit. Pinch yourselves - you couldn't make this up. Doesn't matter where you live, the empty dewars are shipped to Belgium for filling! You heard it right. Subsequently, you may not receive a completely full one and perhaps get one fill only from the 8th light. In other cases, because the gauge gives a false reading after being humped into your home it is not possible to check accurately with 10 minutes, only to find there are only 7 lights available. I used to have a cyclinder changed with the old models every two weeks, with the new ones it's 10 days. Always phone when you only have 3 lights left lit.

Apart from that, the technicians have always been brilliant and the office staff, er, a bit bossy, but at the end of the day, it's down to the employees who give the service, and the East Grinstead people have been fab.

I do intend to contact my MP concerning the Belgium routine. How can that be cost effective?

i have had problems, with badly serviced hand portable units, but yesterday they delivered an exchange unit and a new tank of liquid, I went out to fill the new unit it would not fill when I took it off the machine the liquid came out of the top of the new tank and the new unit was empty, this is a first as some time the portable unit does this but not the big container and it was a new one as I said, it continued to vent its contents till I went to bed,

I contacted airliquide and they were un concerned, I explained it was a dangerous occurrence and should be reported, still no response, so they said they would deliver anther next day, and I am still waiting, I rang a few moments ago and she said if it is not there by 5 ring back,

not once did anyone say sorry or show any concern, I am on my last emergency portable and its Friday, they do not deliver portables on emergency out of hours, I have been told that in the past, and so I am house bound for the weekend and Airliquide will not deliver until Monday, or if I have to reorder it will be Tuesday,

all in all most of the equipment is now well worn and the service capabilities of there staff is not good going by the number of machines I have had in the past that did not work when they arrived, or were faulty,

no one seems to care,

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