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zeitgeist7890

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About zeitgeist7890

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  1. We would like to believe that the matter of the account is now closed, however our guess is that BG means the matter of the complaint is closed and no longer active yet the outstanding balance remains due. In their previous letter, BG outlined that the balance is being managed by Past Due - so we are expecting more letters from them in due course.
  2. Received correspondence from BG. They state they are unable to confirm receipt of the SAR and recommend sending again. - To be fair, this was mistakenly not sent by registered post. Will send again. + "Due to you disagreeing with the outstanding balance, I'm sorry to say you've exhausted our complaints handling procedure and we've referred your complaint to the Ombudsman service for energy. They investigated the matter fully and issued a proposal. They then confirmed to us that you didn't accept the remedies they proposed. This made the resolution not binding on British Gas and your complaint was subsequently closed. You have since taken the issue up with the Extra Help Unit and as a goodwill gesture I agreed to implement the initial remedies proposed by the Ombudsman which you have again rejected as you disagree with the outstanding balance. The offer to carry out any of the point has now been withdrawn and we consider this matter closed, if you consider this unacceptable you would need to refer this back to the ombudsman. If you'd like more info about our complaints handling procedure you can...... etc"
  3. Thanks dx. BG have written confirming that they have credited £100 to the account as per their agreement with CAB extra help unit. and state "in regards to the updated outstanding balance, this is currently being managed by debt collection agency Past Due. They can be contacted..... and will be happy to set up a payment plan." They also mention they will close the complaint in two weeks if they don't hear from us, assuming that we are satisfied with the action. Is it advisable to write any kind of response mentioning that we have submitted a SAR or just sit silently? Also, does this suggest the debt has been sold on, or BG would have to indicate that quite clearly if it were the case? apologies, have reread the letter and it states this "....agreed to the below proposal with British Gas - provide you contact details for its debt solutions team to arrange a repayment plant (debt now with Past Due).
  4. Thank you everyone for your advice. BG are aware that it is a was a rental occupancy, however they do not have the contact/info details of the landlord/owner - or at least it has not been provided directly by us. He has since received a letter from the CAB Extra help unit who agreed to look into the case stating - "I write in reference to your complain.... etc BG has agreed to honour the decision made by the Ombudsman despite it being out of time. Goodwill of £100 will be given and an affordable payment plan can be set up. They do however need you to contact them and discuss suitable a payment plan...... etc. We have asked them to keep the account on hold for a further 10 days to allow you time to do this. We will now close your case, however if you experience any problems setting up a payment plan please let us know immediately so that we can negotiate on your behalf ... etc." My friend has become pretty concerned with the possibility that he may have to end up paying the full amount on the account, so is swaying towards just paying Pastdue the discounted amount they've offered. He's worried the £850 discount might be the best thing that comes his way and doesn't want to loose the opportunity, given the pretty undesirable result from the CAB EH unit. Can anyone advise on how long a bill dispute like this might typically drag out and what the general likelihood is of the bill becoming void after 5 more years (12 months has already passed since his last payment towards it) or it becoming court ordered, being sold on or any other potential outcomes applicable to this situation. Sorry, when i say drag out I mean for how long does one simply 'ignore' correspondence for and does it usually result in the bill just evaporating - or does it become a matter or ignoring until he is mandated to pay; and to pay what's stated on the outstanding account. Thanks again.
  5. Update: SAR sent to BG early last week. No response yet. The CAB Extra Help Unit has accepted our case and had been in contact with BG. We have since received a standard template letter from BG stating "We're sorry it's taking longer than expected to deal with your complaint. We are working hard to sort things out, we'll be in touch once we have an answer." etc and again outlines details to contact the Ombudsman. He has also received a new letter from 'Pastdue' DCA stating: "Despite our repeated requests, you have not paid the outstanding amount. We really do want to settle this matter. As a gesture of good will, we have been authorised by BG to offer you a reduced settlement of £1977.01 if you arrange to pay this amount in full. If you do not contact us and make an arrangement to pay, this offer may become void and we may continue to contact you to recover the full outstanding amount" Full outstanding amount = £2824.30 A discount of £847.29 makes this an attractive offer in comparison to paying the full amount. I have come to understand that the general practice is to ignore DCA letters. Is this still the case?
  6. Hi Unclebulgaria, Thank you for the suggestion! We were hoping that when we went via the Ombudsman, we would have the opportunity to view records as part of BG's submission as obviously they have had the chance to see everything that we submitted, but this did not happen. So no, we have not done this (I didnt actually know what this was formally, until now) and will get on to that tomorrow, as there is hope that this might uncover some kind of discrepency that will help us. In summary, upon vacating a rental property and submitting final energy readings, my friend was issued with a final replacement bill covering the entire tenancy period (18months) totalling almost £3,000 (in addition to all bills already issued/paid during the tenancy period). Many thanks!
  7. Back again with a quick question. The Ombudsman's decision was not accepted as my friend wished to go via CAB one more time for additional advice and potential support/more info re what is involved in taking it further via the courts etc. His meeting resulted in advice to get in touch with the Consumer help line and to try no win/no fee, or to consider a payment plan to pay off the outstanding amount over time if there was financial difficulty. We still fail to understand how if all bills were paid in full upon receipt over the occupancy period, how the final bill could amount to almost the same amount already paid over 18months. and if meter readings were being taking regularly, as outlined by the Ombudsman, why weren't the bills reflecting that more accurately at each quarter. Also on reflection, BG's initials concerns around our complaint related to the location of energy meters and ensure that the right meter were being read, where this issue was not addressed in the Ombudsman's enquiry (sorry, we don't mean to be so repetitive; clearly traumatised with these reflections!) Nonetheless, to our fault, we have not been in contact with British Gas since rejecting the decision and as such he is now in receipt of debt collection letters from Pastdue credit solutions. We are unsure of the best way to handle the debt at this time so as to prevent him from receiving further financial penalty, damaged credit score etc. whilst still trying to move forward with an action. Should contact be made with BG or Pastdue. Is it possible to simply ask for a little grace while legal/financial options are explored, or do payments needs to be commenced and sought be be reclaimed at later date if court action proceeds. Kindly.
  8. To follow up, a final response has been received from Ombusdman. "You have queried the dates quoted in my initial proposal in relation to actual meter readings and state that these dates do not appear on your final bill. I have contacted British Gas to confirm the dates that actual meter readings have been obtained from the premises in question. British Gas has confirmed that it obtains meter readings by using a third party company who have provided the meter reading information in the tables below: (table provided in email response, not copied here) - outlined 5x Electricity meter readings + 5x Gas meter readings Whilst I do acknowledge that this information was not included in the final bill, this information has been issued on previous bills. I acknowledge your comments relating to the "bill shock" you experienced upon receipt of the amended final bill in December 2015. I have reviewed your usage throughout your period of responsibility and do not consider that the usage has increase significantly to evidence a fault that with either meter. I must note that the energy consumed does fall with the high user average bracket compared to the national average. For example, between 28 July 2014 and 30 July 2015, you consumed an average of 37.5 kWh per day and 10.3 kWh per night of electricity and 75 kWh per day of gas. You are correct in your statement that it could be possible for a meter to develop a fault, however I would expect to see an increase in the usage over the period. I have carried out a consumption analysis and can see that the electricity usage decreased as opposed to increased, and if a meter had developed a fault the usage would over record and continue to increase. I do not consider, based on the meter reading information I hold for your premises that a meter fault occurred, however British Gas is unable to check the accuracy of the meter as the property has now been demolished. I would consider that the information obtained from the previous occupant is accurate as it falls in line with the energy consumed during your period of liability, whilst I do acknowledge that this does not mean the meter was faulty, on the balance of probability and based on the information I have been provided, the meters were recording the usage accurately. I have reviewed the email from Nxxxx (BG representative) on 2 March 2016 and I do confirm that he states that there appears to be an error, however I can see no evidence that this may have been the case and consider that this was Nxxx’s opinion following his review of your complaint. As explained above, I have reviewed all supporting documents that have been provided by both parties and do not consider that the final bill incorrect and the charges are valid. Following my review of your complaint I do not consider the additional information provided warrants a change to the initially proposed resolution points. We have now reached the end of our investigation process and there is no opportunity to appeal. You now have to decide if you agree to accept our decision in full and final settlement of the dispute." While my friend feels incredibly confident that all bills issued were titled as bill estimates, he no longer has these to provide as evidence in contrast to the 3rd party demonstration of actual bill readings. Though i suppose even with the original bills, it wouldn't be regarded as much as long as there is 3rd party evidence to support the amended final bill. So we guess that this has been taken as far as it can go now and next step is to accept the proposed resolutions? From general reading regarding how to manage the payment with the other named person on the bill, it looks like he would be responsible for the whole amount owing and if he wished, could try to reclaim half the amount via legal action against the other named person? (fairly difficult as last known location was out of country). Big thank you to everyone who has provided any advice and suggestions during this process. It's all been helpful and appreciated.
  9. Thanks for the instructions. Here they are. Documentation_08.10.16pdf.pdf
  10. Hi Everyone, We have finally received a response from the Ombusdman. Unfortunately they outline that the full outstanding amount is payable minus £100 as a discount from BG out of good will (+ receive a written apology from BG). They state that BG is able to show that actual meter readings took place twice by a representative working on behalf of BG, therefore bills are considered accurate - however on my "you're electricity/Gas use in detail" print out provided by BG it states "estimated meter reading" next to the date that the Ombudsman suggests readings were taken and the other date states does not appear on this print out. The only evidence we have of 'actual' meter readings is the one provided to BG by my friend on the move in and the move out date. The letter also states "at not point did you query the charges or the accuracy of the meter until the final bill was produced in Dec 2015. I have discussed the previous consumption history at the premises prior to your period of liability and although it does not hold an extensive log of readings, the usage appears to run in line with the energy that has been consumed during your period". -- Of course we didn't query as up until the final bill, the charges looked ordinary and we had no cause for concern. Regarding previous consumption, surely it is possible that the meter has not been functioning accurately for beyond the 18months that my friend occupied the property? There is not evidence to support safe and proper functioning either in opposition of our claim and the fact that this 'log history' of the premises is 'not extensive' could further support this? He was given 14 days to response, however just 7 remain as I've been a bit late to get on here. The letter is quite lengthy at 3 pages and a little difficult to take in. Is there a way for my to post a copy of the response received from the Ombudsman here for reference, plus a copy of the final bill detailing billing history for reference. Further, should the Ombudsman's decision be final and my friend is required to pay the outstanding amount, the other factor remains that another person is named on the bill who was an occupant and no longer contactable - believed to have left the country. I there a way to request that the amount payable be split between the 2? And if he chose not to pay, what are the consequences and will the also be applied equally to the other named person? Any help/advise is very much appreciated! Many thanks to all.
  11. Hello again, Since our no reply to BG's last email, my friend is now receiving correspondence from Moorcroft for debt recovery of the outstanding amount. Should we contact them to inform them that the outstanding amount is currently in dispute and that the matter escalated to Ombudsman? Or no contact is best? As always, thank you in advance.
  12. Latest from BG. Is it worth replying to BG and re-outlining tenancy period and that we have no knowledge of or responsibility re meter removal, as they seem to be missing this info, despite the tenancy period being outlined in the first letter; could this help things? Or just move on directly to the ombudsman. We have not yet made contact with the ombudsman, but plan to complete the online form over the weekend. Thank you as always. PS. we found the level of inconsistency in this latest letter regarding the matter of the issue being resolved quite amusing. Dear Mr XXX, As you’ll remember you’ve recently been in touch and asked us to look into an important issue. We continue to send bills and request payment for energy use to a property that’s been demolished. Thanks for your email dated 31 March 2016. I’m sorry we’ve given you cause to complain. I’ve tried to contact you on 4 April 2016 however this hasn’t been possible. As such I wanted to let you know the issue has been resolved. I’m sorry you feel the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily. As you’ve advised the property has been demolished we need to ascertain when the meters were removed to ensure we close the account to the correct dates and make any necessary amendments. Without providing the information requested I’m unable to make any changes on the account. As previously advised your complaint has been open with us longer than 56 days so you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman if you so wish. However if you’re happy to provide the information I’ll be more than happy to look into the information provided. Hope this clarifies our position. If you‘re not satisfied your complaint has been dealt with, please feel free to contact me on the details above. I’d be more than happy to help you further. Should you need to contact me my working hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm. If you’re happy with what’s been done you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close the complaint down for you on 18 April 2016. I’m glad we’ve been able to get to the bottom of this. We know it’s not nice when things don’t work, so thank you for taking the time to contact us. If you’d like information about our complaints handling procedure you can view a copy by either going online at http://www.britishgas.co.uk/energycomplaints, or by getting in touch and one of our advisors will arrange to send you a copy free of charge. Kind regards XX XXX Complaints Management Team
  13. Thank you very much for the advice everyone. Response has been sent. Will then follow up next actions with ombudsman when possible.
  14. Hello, This is the most recent reply from BG following a reply whereby i provided photos of the demolished property site following their request for further information about the property, meter locations, current meter readings, meter serial number etc. We are frustrated as information about tenancy has already been provided to BG (i.e. move in + move out dates) in this series of correspondence, however they seem to be making us run around to do all the work and to provide evidence of their requests. As they have mentioned, 60days of the complaint being open will soon pass which will give us the right to go to the ombudsman. We are not sure what is the best action - the only further information that we can provide to BG is to give the name of the real estate agency through which the property was leased. My friend feels reluctant to directly provide the name of the property owner. British Gas have already confirmed that an error has taken place somewhere. All my friend wants is for the outstanding amount on his account to be voided for payment (approx £3000), he doesn't care to find out where or how the error occurred. He is not trying to seek refund of any of the already £3000 paid. When BG mention in their reply "If however, you don’t need us to help or you’re happy this is now resolved, you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close your complaint on 4 April 2016" - can we take this to mean that the outstanding account is resolved - or this is doubtful and simply their attempt to close the case in the absence of a time limited response and the account would then be passed back to a collection service again? As always, any advice you may have for the next response to BG is greatly appreciated and is it worth passing this complaint via the ombudsman? Dear XXXX, You’ve recently been in touch and asked us to look into an important issue. We continue to send bills and request payment for energy use for a property that’s been demolished. My name is XXX XXX, I work as part of the complaints management team here at British Gas. Your complaint has been assigned to me. Thanks for giving me the chance to resolve this for you. I’m sorry we’ve given you cause to complain. I’ve tried to contact you on 19 March 2016 however this hasn’t been possible. As such I wanted to let you know what’s been done so far. Thanks for providing pictures to confirm the property has been demolished. The meters remain the property of British Gas and we’ve no information whatsoever to confirm the meters have been removed. I want to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for you. To do this we need some more information from you. Please confirm when the meters were removed, which organisation removed the meters and any meter readings which were obtained on removal. If you’re not responsible or not the owner of the property please confirm who is responsible for the property and when you ceased to be responsible. Please get in touch by 4 April 2016 on the details above, so we can progress this further for you. Don’t worry if unable to do this please get in touch on the details above so we can discuss the next steps. Should you need to contact me my working hours are Wednesday to Saturday 8am to 6pm. If however, you don’t need us to help or you’re happy this is now resolved, you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close your complaint on 4 April 2016 I look forward to hearing from you shortly and resolving this issue for you. On 29 March 2016 your complaint will have been open with us for 56 calendar days. Shortly after this you'll receive a letter from us advising you of your rights to refer the matter to the Ombudsman Services - Energy. Please be assured that we are working hard to resolve your complaint and remain committed to finding a solution as soon as possible. If you’d like information about our complaints handling procedure you can view a copy by either going online at http://www.britishgas.co.uk/energycomplaints, or by getting in touch and one of our advisors will arrange to send you a copy free of charge. Kind regards XXX Complaints Management Team
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