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    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
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    • Oven repair. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/427690-oven-repair/&do=findComment&comment=5073391
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    • I came across this discussion recently and just wanted to give my experience of A Shade Greener that may help others regarding their boiler finance agreement.
      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
      A month later and ASG attended to service our boiler but in the process left the boiler unusuable as it kept losing pressure not to mention they had damaged the filling loop in the process which they said was my responsibilty not theres and would charge me to repair, so generous of them! Soon after reporting the fault I got a letter stating it was time we arranged a powerflush on our heating system which they make you do after 5 years even though there's nothing in the contract that states this. Coincidence?
      After a few heated exchanges with ASG (pardon the pun) I decided to pull the plug and cancel our agreement.
      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
      You only have to look at TrustPilot to get an idea of what this company is like.
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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I am in the process of trying to reduce a ridiculous bill and get bank charges back from British Gas, as they set up 2 direct debits illegally and caused me £852 of charges over the following months (explained below) ...I have written all the facts but I am unsure of my rights on this really, so would like someone if they know to read it and see if I should write anything else or different?


''Complaints Management Team,

British Gas,

PO Box 3054,


BN21 9FD


My Account Number ##### – Electricity & Gas supplied to above address since August 2008.


I am writing to you for two very important matters, which I look forward to a timely response on.


  1. I dispute the accuracy of the electric meter in our house – I believe it is recording around 50% more than we are actually consuming.
    Our bills from British Gas from August 2008-May 2009 averaged over £100 a month. Our previous house which was the same size and had the exact same appliances cost us £50 a month on prepay.
    I have, since receiving your final bill, installed an Energy Monitor – which is recording a very similar amount of usage to what we used previously; £40-50 a month.
    Therefore I believe this meter is very inaccurate, and dispute the amount used and the amount owed to British Gas. My current supplier is EON, who I am contacting in order to get the meter tested – I hope that you will understand that I will be requesting a refund/reduction in the final bill when this is confirmed. In the meantime I ask that Central Recoveries cease chasing this money.

2) When I arranged to move to EON I canceled the Direct Debit at my bank for the electricity and gas payments to British Gas – as I needed to pay any final bill from another account. In May however British Gas illegally set up two new direct debits, with different references – to recover the final bill amounts, as follows:


I was not expecting these payment attempts to be made since the direct debits had been cancelled at my bank – I was charged £38 for each attempt that failed – these fees took my overdraft over its limit (this caused me a referral fee and exceeding my overdraft facility fees as below)



British Gas then attempted to take the money again, as below



At this point I did not have sufficient funds, but my bank allowed the payment to go through – this meant once again my overdraft exceeded its limit and caused more fees the following month.

It also meant that ALL my monthly bills due on the 1st June failed- this incurred fees as below:



I was charged £190 because my direct debits had failed – they failed because British Gas took money illegally from my account! My overdraft is £200 and after these fees I had £180 to live on for the whole month – and not enough to pay my bills AGAIN – the following month they failed, more fees:



Over £300 fees meant the following month again I had virtually no money to live off and my direct debits for my bills failed again, fees below:



At this point I have had to stop using the bank account because I have accrued £852.00 in bank charges due to your illegal setting up of two direct debits.


Prior to this situation my bank account had remained within its over draft and my direct debits were made in a timely manner – this situation has SERIOUSLY affected my financial affairs, and left me behind on many of my bills.


My only income is Statutory Maternity Pay of £525 a month – the charges inflicted on me due to your mistake have cost me hugely.


I request that I am reimbursed for these charges immediately : £852.00 this is the amount of charges caused to my bank account as a direct result of British Gas illegally setting up two direct debits.


I am forwarding a copy of this letter to Energy Ombudsman.''


Can you please let me know if this will make them listen - I really can't afford to make a mistake in demanding this back!


Thank you :-)

Edited by lisalegs11
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it seems to me that you are handling this very well. I would suggest that you don't use the word "illegally" but replace it with "un-authorised".


Let me warn you that British Gas are in a complete mess. There data management is a disaster and I have known them to keep multiple accounts on the same customer and be unable to connect the various accounts with one another so that they see everything as separate matters and separate bills. They have a culture of denial.


I think that you are handling this very methodically and if more people were able to lay out their complaints succinctly in the way you have then they would be able to deal with their complaints more effectively.


The only thing that I would suggest is that you start threatening legal action from now. This is my own personal style but I don't see any point in hanging around. My experience of British Gas and similar organisations is that they only sit up and take notice when they really do feel under threat.


Even though your complaint is well expressed, you have to realise that British Gas probably receive thousands -- and maybe tens of thousands of complaints every month. Yours is just another. You have to find a way to move yours to the top of the queue and to make sure that it is read. The way to do this is at the end of the letter to threaten legal action and to give a deadline which you will stick to. If you don't intend to follow up your threat of action then don't make the threat. On the other hand if you are prepared to take this action then you can probably look forward to several months that least of hard slog try to have your voice heard and get someone to take notice.


By dealing with your account in the way they have, British Gas are in breach of their contract to you and this would be the basis of my legal action. I suggest that you tell them that if you don't receive a satisfactory response within 14 days that you will issue proceedings in the County Court without any further notice. I see that you have referred to the ombudsman -- but frankly the County Court route is much more effective.


On the question of the un-authorised direct debit, you should be covered here by the direct debit guarantee. This means that you should write formally to your bank, put them on notice that the direct debit was un-authorised and that you are calling on the guarantee the repayment of all monies taken from you account. The bank should respond and put this in hand within seven days or so -- however let me say that the bank doesn't like the direct debit guarantee either and they may take some pushing as well. Strictly speaking under the direct debit guarantee you should also have your charges returned. However I have heard several people invoking the direct debit guarantee and the bank has only returned the payment and has refused to return the charges -- so you will have another fight on your hands, I'm almost certain.


If the bank causes any trouble about the return of charges then I suggest that you Sue them immediately. Although in principle the case should be stayed because it would be a charges case, I think that there is an interesting twist here for you and I would Sue them on the basis of the direct debit guarantee. This should be good enough to you to sidestep the charges issue and to make sure the case is not stayed. I imagine that once you Sue that the bank will simply pay you out in order to avoid trouble. Are you owed any other bank charges? If so you may as well stick those of the summons as well.


When you right to the bank on the question of the direct debit guarantee make it clear that you're looking for the refund of payments and the associated charges and that you wanted or within seven days.


If you don't get it back within seven days then send them another letter -- a letter before action giving them seven days to honour the direct debit guarantee or you will Sue them. Then Sue. Once again don't make the threat if you aren't prepared to carry it out.


Please do keep us informed all the way including on the subject of your Watson meter on your other thread. This is a very interesting problem

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thanks for the reply!


I did eventually get the bank to pay me the £464 back - however they refused to refund the charges - they said I needed to chase British Gas for them...I am sure they are both equally to blame for allowing the DD to go through.


I have reworded my letter and put the court proceedings part in there too - I will do it, I am not taking any messing of them lol.


I will go and have a mooch around this forum for some info on taking them to court........as I fairly sure they wont respond in 14 days!

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Good. Get reading - but it will take more than a mooch. There is a lot of stuff.

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