Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Okay.. brief background.

    I switched both electricity and gas through BG around 3 yrs ago and whilst I paid the electricity, I left the gas bill running a little longer than what I should have. I left it mainly, because they were charging me around 60 per qtr which was very handy.

    So... They eventually came out (at my request) and read my meters and of course the bill was understated, but unfortunately it was around 800. Now.. I setup a plan for 100 per month, but unfotunately I didnt setup a DDicon and classically bad with money I didnt pay it. So now they are demanding I either pay the bill in full (Which I am unable to do) or go onto a prepayment meter and pay 15 per week + usage.

    Dont get me wrong, it was all my own fault for getting like this, but I really want to avoid a prepayment meter. They dont really seem that bad an idea, but ive heard of some of the problems they can have and its also bad the way you cant top up online or over the phone by debit card. We have 3 young children and sometimes its difficult to get to the places you can top up.

    So, my question is.. can I do anything to stop the action? Can I force them to re-set up a payment plan? I am prepared to pay 150 per month, so surely that would more than cover my usage.

    Any suggestions appreciated

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Whether BG will set up another payment plan will depend upon their credit management policies.

    From BG viewpoint, you have failed to pay a bill on time and have a failed payment arrangement already on the account so it may be unlikely that they will be willing to set up another arrangement, however BG may be prepared to do this if you set up the 150 per month on direct debiticon.

    If BG are not prepared to set up another arrangement then your only choices are pay in full or have a quantum meter (prepayment) fitted.

    From my experience on the other end of a phone, these meters have a tendancy to fail. The most common failure being the meter accepting the payment on the card but not actually crediting it to the meter, this also tends to happen at the weekend

    The only course of action you can follow at the moment is to try and persuade BG to set up a direct debit for 150 per month.


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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    If they still say no then point out to them you are willing to pay off the debt at 150 a month, now if they fit a prepayment meter you will by law only have to pay the minimum collection rate of 3 pounds a week. This is a differance of 138 pounds a month.

    If you prove to them your on benifit the min collection rate for debt is 3 pound.

    I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.
    1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.
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    Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.
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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Installspark - Thats exactly why I dont want one.. it needs to be reliable. I really dont mind the idea in theory.. I would always know what I was spending and would probably be more pro active about saving energy.

    Ozzywizard-Not on benefits, but im sure I could bring up a budget plan to get them to change to 3 per week, but I would rather go back and setup a DDicon.

    As I said, I know its my own stupid fault, but I really wish I had setup a direct debiticon so the money just went from my account rather than me having to remember to pay.

    150 per month would be fine too.. just need to persuade them I guess. Does anyone know of a department that has enough throw to change the system?? That way I could have a crack at asking them.



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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Department would be collections, best angle is to point out to them they can only legally take 3 pound a week if you was on benifits but you are offering way over that amount. Good luck and let us know how you get on with it.
    It really does depend on how far in the process they are like if trhey have applied for a warrant yet etc.
    Who owns your meter, Nat grid or an IGT (Independant gas transporter) if an IGT they cannot fit a prepayment meter as they do not have their own engineers to maintain it. Kinda a long shot but worth checking.


    I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.
    1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.
    2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

    Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.
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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    They havent got a warrant or anything like that.. its at the "intended legal action" which theyve given me til the 16th October.

    I must be on Nat grid.. im in a fairly built up area so I expect I am.



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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Yeah you probably are, just good to check as it might be a way out. Way to check :
    your home will have a unique MPR number (Meter point reference number).
    check your meter or bills IGT MPR numbers should start with 73, 74, 75, 76 and 90. All other MPR numbers will be transported by National Grid.

    I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.
    1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.
    2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

    Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Get the prepayment installed as you admit you are bad with money, but at the same time pay them 100 a month in addition. Once the bill has cleared get the metering changed again and look for another cheaper supplier.


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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    You would have to change supplier to do that, companies are very reluctant to change prepayment meters back to credit meters that have been installed for debt.

    I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.
    1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.
    2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

    Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: British Gas forcing me to prepayment meter, can I stop it?

    Once the debt is paid get BG to change the metering to a credit meter and then switch supplier



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