Right as promised this is a main thread to hopefully get some advice on what to do about the problems im having with them, bear with me, there's a lot to get through.
I started renting the property in November 2006. 2 weeks before I got the keys there was a meter read taken of around 39k,when I took it over the landlord gave an incorrect reading of 25k, 2 weeks after that another read was taken of around 40k.
BGB being what they are, used the 25k reading and my first bill was £2600. After much back and forth this was corrected in 2007.
It's worth mentioning at this point that in the first few months of business I received energy supply bills from various sources totalling around 10k, With the only supplier having been contacted at this point being BGB. most were easily dismissed.
Although the miss billing was seemingly dealt with the bills I received from BGB were so completely random that I had no idea what I actually owed at any point (4k one month, 200 the next etc). Payments were being made regularly but a debt built up as I had no idea what I owed.
They tried to pin another company's bill onto me by adding their name into the small print of my bills and even sending a debt collector for it.
Eventually a smart meter was installed and (I thought) the bills were corrected. Once this was done and the bills were consistent I made good progress to clearing the debt that had built up with them.
It got to the point where I was about to make a final payment but since they had been harassing me constantly with threats and the like I decided to work my bill out myself since I keep good records. All the correct data was entered into a spreadsheet and there was still a discrepancy of a few hundred pounds (overcharged).
I raised this with BGB and supplied the spreadsheet and instead of removing the discrepancy, they added on £1200 to my bill. Upon checking the revised bills they had added back on the original, wrong, meter reading and made up dates to suit this, 6 months before I took over the premises. This was October 2012.
Obviously I raised this with the person dealing with it and for some unknown reason got absolutely nowhere. Many emails were sent, many phonecalls, many complaints raised.
My contract was up for renewal in June 2013, in June I made a large payment with an exact pounds and pence amount which was what I thought I owed, excluding the miss billing. I asked for a new contract (over the phone after making the payment) and was refused based on there being an outstanding amount on the account.
I was then placed on out of contract rates and my bills went up considerably through no fault of my own.
It was around this time the warrant notifications started up again. I turned up to every one of the 9 to date, never once has it been dealt with properly. Usually removed from the list that morning.
Upon speaking to one of BGB's representatives (I forget whether it was in the courts or at my premises) I was able to gain contact pricing again (April 2014). I had tried many times personally but was always refused, he must have had different contact numbers to ring and knew exactly what to say after seeing my information.
At around this same time, the original meter read error was corrected, although I was never made aware of this in any form of communication. Even the corrected bill doesn't show a credit and the amount listed as the balance from the previous bill is different to the previous bill. Additionally the amount removed was around £750, not the £1200 that was added on.
Even when I asked them if it had been corrected I got no answer. I was only made aware that it had been corrected from the ombudsman in 2016, more on that later.
I obviously still disputed the amount and decided to involve the ombudsman in 2014. After giving them a lot of information they awarded me £250 compensation and could not tell me if the original meter read had been corrected. They also said the refusal of the contact was a separate issue and a new complaint should be raised. I rejected their decision.
Nothing much happened for a while, I'd given up any hope of having my bill corrected and just started paying off what I was using. I was refused contracts again based on the outstanding amount but this time I was placed on their variable rate plan which wasn't quite as bad.
The threats continued so I decided to involve the ombudsman again. Mainly due to the out of contact pricing I was placed on and my many trips to court. I advised them that I had asked for contracts during phonecalls.
Their verdict was laughable this time. Initially they said because BGB had set no court dates that there was no evidence, I then supplied them with the notifications but since the dates were before the previous investigation (although not mentioned in it) that they consider them dealt with. It was only now that they informed me that the correct start date was being used (the main concern in the original investigation).
As for the refusal of contracts they said there was no evidence I had asked for one (had they asked for a recording or transcript of the conversations they would have had all the evidence they needed). They also stated that they would not accept any further evidence and would be closing the case, never to look into it again. Had they mentioned to me at any point that a conversation over the phone would not have been enough, I COULD HAVE SUPPLIED AN EMAIL FROM THE BROKER I USED TO USE SAYING EXACTLY WHAT I SAID. That BGB will refuse a contract in 2013 because there was an outstanding amount on the account, which was since overturned.*The email is dated around 1 month before the contract was up.
I have since (just last week) gone through all my communications from BGB and found a letter, from themselves, stating that they would be terminating my fixed price contact with them in June 2013 if I didn't clear the outstanding balance with them (that was a miss billing that was subsequently removed). I consider this letter to be damming evidence against them.
Recently they have been sending me warrant notifications again (Dec, April) which I have attended. As per my other post, they actually applied and had granted a warrant in April, only they turned up 5 hours late and I had already seen the judge. This was set aside and proceedings reset.
I am currently in a contact with them. I've no idea why they chose to grant me one now and not previously.
I am losing a lot of good working hours over this but I refuse to let them steal my money. At this point in time, as best as I can work it out I barely owe them anything, if anything at all. If I backdate to 2013 using today's rate I would owe them a small amount (obviously excluding my lost time and any goodwill gestures that I have not received over the years). If I use the rates I was on they would owe me. Obviously the correct figure should be somewhere in between these two, which it would be had they never miss billed me. In fact they are asking for nearly £2k.
I should also note that I would have left BGB 11 years ago had they never miss billed me. I've been tied into them all this time because they've always added on an amount that I don't owe. They have never been the cheapest.*I have never received a correct bill from them in 11 years.
No doubt I'll be back in court again soon enough, and provided they don't try any more dodgy tactics I'm confident that any judge who sees my documentation won't grant a warrant but they may say that I need to be doing something to correct it.
I think that covers the highlights! Any advice on how to go forward? It seems my only option at this point is to take them to court myself, although I've read of them countersuing people who try that so I'm a little reluctant. The ombudsman is not an option, nor are BGB's normal complaint channels because of the ombudsman's failure.
I'm utterly disgusted by the treatment I've received from BGB over the years and wish I'd recorded a few of the conversations as some of the things its employees have admitted to me would see them being done for fraud. They have no morals at all and just seem to want to put me out of business. I also learned that they suffered large losses last year and need to lose 4000 jobs, so I'm not surprised this have started up again now. Sorry for the essay!