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British Gas Prepayment Rippoff


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Hi all,

I posted this elsewhere, but here it is in its proper place.

A brief history....

By May of last year i had built a debt for gas to the tune of aprox 1000 pounds,...not ideal, but, life isn't easy as a single dad working all hours to even break even.

British Gas kindly (lol) installed a Quantum pre-payment meter at my house

on the agreement that i would pay 25pounds per week towards the debt BEFORE i got gas....In other words,..assuming i had run out of gas on a sunday, i would have to put 35 pounds on the payment card in order to receive 10 pounds of gas.....are you with me so far?...

On June 14th, after a month of pumping endless amounts of money into the meter, i phoned British Gas to clear the debt in full using my credit card and to have the quantum meter removed as this method of gas purchase is more expensive per unit than a quarterly meter.

 

This confused British Gas as..in their own words...'We dont know what to do as this has never happened before'..

The next sunday arrived and, having run out of gas, went to the shop and put 20 pounds on my payment card,....when i put the card in the meter it said i need to pay another 5 pounds towards my debt before i could get gas....I phoned british gas and explained, at length, that i had already paid my debt and insisted they rectify my meter immediately.

This went on for four months, me charging the payment card, phoning British Gas and complaining, and getting nowhere.

In November i left British Gas, telling them exactly why i had left and demanding the return of my over payments.

Nothing happened.

In January i received a bill for the electricity account, 127.50...I contacted British Gas and told them to deduct this from the moneys they owe me and send me the balance, along with 7 months interest and a letter explaining their inaction on my account over the last 7 months.The girl at BG was 'shocked'..her own words,. at the amount of calls made by myself over the 4 months before i left BG, and the lack of response to my requests/calls and assured me that she was sending internal emails to her manager to have her call me that day.

That was a week ago.

Nothing happened.

I am now sending a Data Protection Act request along with a letter DEMANDING they repay moneys taken from me for gas, for a bill i had already paid in full in June along with 7 months interest, a letter of explanation of their acts, and any compensation packages they would like to offer me.

I will keep you all posted on this!

oz

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21/1/8

1.48pm

Quick update,

I have just spoken to 'Steve' at British Gas, and guess what, even though they were able to access my account 5 days ago and discuss my account,....suddenly they cant call up any details as i am no longer a customer.!!!!!

'Steve' says he is passing it to a manager who will ring me within 2 hours,....i think i've heard that about 50 times over the last 7 months...!!!

 

I have demanded they contact me by the end of the day

or i WILL start legal proceedings against them in a court of law,..

They have until 3:48pm to respond or i'm off to the post office with my Data Protection Act request and a demand for my money to be returned within 7 days of receipt,....i don't think 7 days is too short as the matter is now 7 months old and interest is growing daily....so it's in both our interests to resolve the matter with the greatest of urgency.

I'll post whatever transpires !

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21/1/8

3.15pm

Hey....it's all going wierd.

I just had a call from 'Steve' and i told him i was recording the conversation and his reply was 'i don't think you are treating me with the respect due...goodbye' and hung up!!!!!!!!!!

ringing them back to inquire about a separate complaint about the way they conduct their business on the phone.

And i WILL pursue them for ALL moneys owed

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21/1/8

3.30pm

Just called BG and spoke to Lauren Moss at BG,..she's going to send..yes you guesed it,..an email to 'steve' and his manager complaining about the way i have been treated and they promise to call me back before the end of the day.

Apparently she and 'Steve' are looking at two different databases of info as Lauren has just told me that there is a credit of 100.27 on my account.

I refuted this amount as...25 x 4 x 4=400.00

I said i would give them until 4.50pm for either 'Steve' or his manager to call me, or i would then start the legal route to recoup my money and would also start a complaint against 'Steve', and his manager.

What a bunch of {}{}{}{}{}!!!!

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Gawd, unreal. Just read all your posts, about time they got their act together. FYI. The day you made your full payment of debt they should of removed the debt from the meter, this could of been done remotely by sending a message to the paypoint or payzone which takes an hour to get to the outlet, then the next time you top up your card will pick up the message and then when inserted in your meter will recognise this as a message to clear debt. This was not done so they failed you as a customer. Keep us informed and let me know if you need any tech help or advise on the meter. Have they removed the prepay meter now ?

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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Hey ozzzywizard,

I've had such fun today, cant wait for my next day off!

Apparently they tried to send a message to the meter but it never reset itself...They then sent me a card that they said would do the same job, this too failed, in fact my meter shut down and it took 16 hours to get a technician to put it back online.

 

Just a quick update on what has been a fun day.

4:45pm Standing in que at the post office,long que so i thought i'd give them one last chance...I phoned them and said they had 10mins for a MANAGER to contact me or i would issue legal proceedings

against them.

LOL>>>>A manager rang me straight back....lol.......Unfortunately he was an electricity prepayment manager and all he could do was pull up my details..Strangely strange as this morning my files didn't exist due to being a non customer!

AAAAAnyway,.Tony Adesawya (manager) then read out a list of payments i had made onto my prepayment card starting June4th 07 to 20 August 07...Apparently no files/payments exist for me for Sept, Oct, and November when i left BG in discust.

The payments were:

June 4 ....30pounds

June 5.....15pounds

June 13....30pounds

June 18....15pounds

June 27....20

June 28....10

July 3.......45

july 17......40

july 20......10

july 23......20

july 25......30

aug 12......30

aug 14......30

aug 17......30

aug 20......30

-----------------

Total------- 385 pounds for 2 months gas!!!!

 

I told Tony that i was not running a gas powered power station,was not physically able to USE 385 pounds of gas in 2 months,...the line went quiet!

I then asked for the Aug to Nov records to be read to me at which point he said there were no records on the system.!

Tony then asked for a meter reading..WHAT???...i replied that as i am no longer a BG customer that my meter readings have NOTHING to do with BG.

I explained that the summer was HOT and asked if he knew any way i could possibly use 385 pounds worth if gas...No reply,he wasn't a gas manager and couldn't answer....And then the usual line of....yep you guessed it....'I'll get a manager to ring you'

 

Well,....at least i got some figures out of them,...and it only took 7 months!!!

 

 

I went back to the post office and sent a recorded deliver SAR

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Thanks Conniff,

So patient am i that i'm gonna ring them in half an hour to go through it all again....if nothing else when it ends up in court the judge will hopefully throw a wobbly and will understand when i ask for BG to supply a card reader on the day or have a Pay Point rep present with my payment details in court with them to prove my point...i still have my prepayment card.

I intend to recoup telephone and mail costs as well as any interest on my money.

Bring it on!

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FYI, They have all the meter readings on their system, the quantumn meter is more intelegent than they let on, every time you top up the meter it takes a snapshot of your meter and sends a reading back to siemans which is forwarded to your supplier. In theory they never need to read your meter even though they are obliged too once every 2 years to check your account is recording correctly.

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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Thanks ozzywizard,

I work for a global organisation and deal with POS and ANY money transactions,wont say the name, but i KNOW they have exact records of EVERY transaction on my prepayment card.

The fact that in the morning NO files were held on me....then early PM they said they owed me 100 pounds, then late PM telling me they have no records on me for sept, oct, and november just stinks of incompetence....or....the penny dropped and no-one wants to take responsibility and talk to me about returning my money..

 

Best day off i've ever had i think.....mind you i don't get many!

oz

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Awwww bless, hope you sort things soon ozric and treat yourself (and the kiddies) when you do!

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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lol...pubs...lol....

If i told you who i work for you'll probably bombard me with nasty things....lol

 

No I wouldn't, everyone deserves justice, UNLESS you are Gordon Brown that is.

 

P.S. You don't work for the 'milk' marketing board do you?

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Right.....last update for today.

7:20pm

Girl at BG told me i shouldn't keep ringing...LOLOLOLOL

and that an email has been sent to a manager who will ring me today or tomorrow,blah,blah,blah.

She also accused me of swearing at her,...thats twice now in one day,...i demanded she retract her accusation and informed her that lying was no defense for incompetence and if need be i would summons HER to court along with the recorded telephone call,for defamation of character .

 

I just LOVE pi**ing people off!!!....there, now i HAVE sworn.

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21/1/08

7:20pm

Maybe i should start my own web site...lol...i'm taking up more than my fair share of this one.!

Just had a call from Tim Rilley, 'Steve's Supervisor'

First we argued about whether 'steve' had hung up on me or whether the line was really bad.

I read back to him the contents of the conversation and told him i would take the matter further as hanging up on customers can NEVER be a good way to conduct business.

I also said that i would be claiming in for telephone charges etc when we go to court.

AAAaanyway,...Tim tells me that the 100.35 that BG owe me was money they had overcharged me when i cleared my debt by credit card in June.

'British Gas will refund this money by cheque'..says Tim.

I asked why it had taken threats of court action to get to this stage and could we now discuss the 25 pound p/week over 5,not 4 months that i was forced to pay until November when i left BG.

His reply:..

yep,you guessed it....'i'll look into it......and get a manager to ring you'

 

And so,...until tomorrows thrilling episode,..goodbye for now.!

oz

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Your doing well, keep going with it and dont worry about the space on the forum, I for one wanna know the outcome. All calls are recorded at BG (WOULD YOU BELIEVE FOR QUALITY PURPOSES) unlike Powergen but thats another story, under the DPA with a SAR request you can demand copies of these tapes and they have 40 days to comply.

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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Ozric.

 

What a story, you have more patience than most I know! Anyhow I had a similar problem with BG. We had a meter already in house when we bought so we kept it. We overpaid by £100's. I spoke to them on 5 different occasions with each time the answer being "the last person you spoke to did not riase an investigation so it will take 28 days". So 4 incompetent members of staff had failed to do their job. On the last occasion I asked to spek to a customer services manager only to be told "Sorry they do not speak to customers"....this is absolutely true. After much wrangling I got put through to a supervisor whose name I took and told he would be the one I would name as the defendant on my court action (Of course this would never eb the case as it would have been the company itself but a little white lie didnt hurt0. He then told me to call OFGEM as there was nothing he could do, but he agreed there had been a lot of confusion over our account. I called OFGEM late Friday afternoon, had the paperwork from them (the form they fill in on your behalf) Monday and my cheque for the excess plus costs and compensation within 7 days from BG.

 

I would recommend using OFGEM each and every time I had a problem with BG as I found their customer service appalling, their job rate zero and all I could see was they got paid a wage for answering the phone, telling a multitude of stories and not following up what they said.

All advice is based on my experiences. I am NOT qualified and as such cannot be held responsible for any mistakes. If in doubt...get professional help.

If you like what i have said then make me a star!!

Some helpful links

I have been successful in many cases..here are links to some

Housing Act and deposits: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?266260-Deposit-being-withheld.-Please-advise&highlight=

Against Natwest: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?278646-N-west-v-Mrsfoot-s-Son.-***WON_ALL-CHARGES-REFUNDED***&highlight=

Against Swift Advances: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?46576-Me-V-Swift&highlight=

Against B&Q: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?172878-Me-vs-B-amp-Q&highlight=

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Hi Ozric, Just read your saga and after I stopped laughing at the level of incompetence you're fighting, I had to write this. I have just ended a 5 year mystery/fight with BG over my elec bill......and OHMYGOD do I understand what you are going through!

 

Basically, i have been arguing for 5 goddam years that my bills arent right for my house and usage and they have been one giant, cheeky, unbendable, THICK brick wall. To cut a long story short - I found out this morning, after involving energywatch last night, that they have actually been billing me for an address over a 100 miles away. For 5 years!!!!! :mad: If I wasn't such a stubborn 'person' I would have never discovered the truth. Thing is, last night I called BG and asked specifically if this was the problem and she just lied to me - without even pausing. I have been to hell and back over this - they have tried to force a pre-payment meter on me twice when I refused to pay the ridiculous bills, been treated almost like a thief, had to borrow quite a few times to keep up etc. So they are now recalculating all my bills but I do not trust them so I want to do a DPA request also and get my info - and details of ALL the complaints put in that have all been ignored - for my compensation. Would be grateful to know what you actually recieve from your DPA request, if you get all your info and will be checking to see how you get on if you don't mind!

 

FYI - I discovered while fighting with them that they record ALL phone calls. Any manager can go back and listed to them if you give a date and rough time. And after how long they kept you tied to them, also ask for compensation as they stopped you from going to cheaper supplier, costing you even more.

 

Basically, the serial number actually imprinted on my meter was a few digits different to the one on my bill. BG assured me it made no difference and even implied I was trying to invent problems that just didnt exist to avoid a bill! Well, if ANYONE has the slightest difference in their meter serial number and the one on their bill - it is wrong, and don't let them confuse you into thinking otherwise.

 

They made me think I was going crazy at one point but I now feel totally vindicated. Thing is, you really start to enjoy the fight once you understand and know you are right, don't you?!:lol:

 

Eagerly awaiting the next update - best of luck!

Dipply75

 

I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat! :p

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Sorry just noticed ozzywizard saying all calls are recorded too! Can I also ask if you think I should contact Ofgem at all, were they any use to you? Thanks again - we're all right behind you

Dipply75

 

I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat! :p

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Well,...here we are 2 days later..

I took your advice and contacted OFGEN yesterday, they said they would look into it and contact me today as they could see that NO records of gas purchase existed at BG for my house for Sept' , Oct', and November, could understand where i was coming from with my massive overpayment etc....and they could see that NO cheque was in the process of being sent to me.

Guess what....OFGEN havn't contacted me.!

Its now 8pm and i've just phoned BG, AGAIN , and asked to speak to 'Tim' who for some reason 'cant be found'...Hopefully he is undergoing some 'Customer Service' RE-Training!!!

This time i spoke to a new "Steve' who can't have been working for BG for too long as he stated that 7months was a ridiculous amount of time to wait for MY MONEY to be returned to me, and NO, no cheque has been sent or is in the process of being sent.

What a surprise. ....

'Steve' is sending emails to 'Tim' and OFGEN ...WHAT do i have to do.????? Appear at BG head office in person.????

 

The slurry continues.........

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Zen (Japanese: ) or chán (Chinese: ) is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on mindful acceptance of the present moment,

 

ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

Day 3 of waiting for 'Tim' to call me back.,Day 2 of waiting for OFGEM.(sorry for missssssplellin on previous posts) to call me back..

Phoned BG trying to get to talk to my good buddy 'Tim', but he wouldn't speak to me.!

I did have an interesting chat with the guy that answerd the phone though, i asked him to read the notes back to me taken over the last week,..'Tim' now refers to me as 'Mr T'.....('You aint gettin me on no plane,,,fool')

Dunno if i'm upset by that.

 

Apparently my account has been 'passed upstairs' and as such 'Dim',..sorry, 'Tim', can't speak to me.

My account is with their CLT (Customer liaison Team), i asked to be put through to them ....and guess what,...theres no number!

I then asked 'Can i liaise with your Customer Liaison Team tomorrow?'

Answer...'No',...'They will contact you on Monday'...Monday?...what happend to Friday (tomorrow) being a work day,...I'm free to take their call at any time Friday day or night....Come Liaise with me!!!!

'Can i have their extension number so that i can ring them direct'

'Sorry theres no direct contact to that department'

 

LOL,. 'No customer can contact the Customer Liaison Team'

It just sounds funnier every time.

Anybody had need to talk to the CLT ?

Could you?

 

ooooooohhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

lol

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Have a think about this: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/announcement.php?f=63&a=117

 

They may well be interested.

Alan, Derby, UK.

 

 

 

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Sorry, but I cannot deal with your case by PM - please ask questions in your own thread. If you do not get a reply within 48 hours send a PM, with a link to the relevant thread, to any Site Team Member.

 

DO NOT SEND QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CLAIM TO ADMIN, or our WEBMASTER - YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A REPLY.

 

Advice given is purely my opinion, and is not based on any legal training.

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Unreal, the saga continues . . . . ..

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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