Following a divorce around 10 years go, I was left with some bad debt and several defaults.
Since then i have worked to clear as many as possible and all my defaults today have dropped off.
I actually have 'good credit' again.
Unfortunately British Gas have put a spanner in the works.
They supplied my electricity 2014 - 2017.
My monthly payment amount was initially £78, rising to £100.
Then out of the blue they demanded £275 a month!
I live in a two bedroom flat with no central heating!
I queried this and they made me do several burn tests and arranged for an engineer to check the meter.
This look forever as the engineer missed several appointments.
In the interim BG had instructed me to pay whatever i could manage, so I kept it at £100 a month via standing order.
The situation was not resolved as their customer services often did not call me back,
at one point i received a letter from Moorcroft demanding money.
I would remind British Gas that the complaint was still in progress and they would take the account back and leave me alone while scheduling their next set of tests.
I got so fed up i went to the Energy Ombudsman and raised a complaint about the shoddy customer service.
While the ombudsman was investigating, I decided to change my energy supplier.
BG issued me a final bill of £600 and i was upset, telling the ombudsman this was incorrect
- as BG had told me upon issuing that bill that their tests had shown my day/night readings to be back to front, and to expect a revised bill that should significantly reduce the balance.
in the middle of the ombudsman investigation (and within three months of my new supplier)I received a revised bill alright, for £1900!
I complained, the account was frozen due to the ombudsman investigation.
The final outcome was that the ombudsman though the balance was probably correct, but called out British gas for shocking customer service and serving erroneous bills. They demanded BG pay me £200 compensation, write a letter of apology, offer a reasonable payment plan and remove any negative markers that may appear on my credit file.
I told the ombudsman that while I am committed to a resolution I still thought the balance was incorrect, as i pay only £108 a month with my new supplier.
I also informed them that I suffer from anxiety and take medication for it, and this process was negatively affecting my health.
I asked them to have someone else look into the amount.
I received (about a couple months later) an email from them stating that someone else looked into it but could not recommend differently, that their original recommendations were no longer binding and it is up to BG and i to reach a resolution. I was provided a copy of their original recommendations in writing.
Foolishly i got distracted with.. life and waited assuming BG would contact me. They didn't.
About a year later which brings us to yesterday I received a letter from Moorcroft demanding £1900.
I contacted them and they said they had no information about the ombudsman process and just the balance, that the debt was not purchased by them and that they were working on behalf of BG.
I called BG and they refused to speak to me, stating everything should go through moorcroft and that they were unwilling to even raise a complain for me.
I asked if they had added a default to my credit file (i was working so hard to repair it and buy a house next year) to which they replied
- 'probably' and could not confirm.
I have checked my file on credit karma, experian and equifax and nothing shows. However im scared they will serve a default.
Note i received no notice or even communication from BG since the ombudsman decision.
I contacted the ombudsman again who claimed that when I grumbled further about the balance it was taken as declining their recommendations, therefore they are no longer binding, and that there was nothing else I could do via them as the case was closed. I couldn't even open a new case.
I contacted BG again and really argued, I said I wanted to complain that BG made no attempt to liase with me, and went straight to moorcroft.
I asked that the debt be returned to them and that an arrangement made based on the ombudsman decision.
After a long hold I was told that the debt had returned to them and to expect a call on Tuesday while their system refreshes.
Where do I stand with this and how do I avoid a default that would set me back 6 years!
I have worked hard to repair my file and my various other accounts are in excellent order,
Do you think BG will accept a full and final to make this go away?
(i'll pay the original £600 bill upfront but can't shell out £1900 up front).
What should I ask for?
I fell lost angry and confused.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions