Jump to content
reallymadwoman

Are British Gas really this incompetent?

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3582 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

I moved on 31st March. Well in advance I notified BG, I read the meters on the day and submitted them online the next day.

With the electric - no problem at all. Final bill was sent to my new address within 2 weeks and I paid it.

With the gas - first they sent a bill which bore absolutely no relation to the meter reading I gave or the date I moved out. I wrote back (I never, ever call anyone!) asking for an amended bill. The next I heard was a red reminder for the original bill. I wrote again. I received a reply saying the correct bill would be sent within 10 days. I got a final reminder for the original bill, but no amended one. I wrote again. I got an apology and a promise that the amended bill would be sent within 2 days. 3 days later I left for France, having told them I would be away for 3 weeks and would pay the bill when I got back.

I returned to still no amended bill but a letter threatening all sorts. I hit the roof. I finally got the amended bill a week later (and 3 months after I moved) and paid it. I had a reply to my formal complaint which stated that no late payment markers had been added to my credit reference file, but they had in fact added 3. I complained again but have yet to receive a reply.

 

In the meantime, since BG came up as cheapest and I was happy with them then I'd asked BG to supply the gas and electric at our new property. Unfortunately BG weren't able to trace any record of the property or the meter (it is a new build) and advised waiting until we had a bill before transferring to them. Despite all our best efforts, we hadn't been able to identify the current supplier - not even by asking the developer - so we took BG's advice. Then we got a final demand addressed to the occupier from ............. British Gas! I am absolutely certain there has been no previous bill or reminder since for now I am at least glancing at anything addressed to the occupier.

 

I have now written 3 times asking for a copy of the bill so I can check dates and meter readings with no reply at all and they are currently threatening to obtain a warrant to break in and change the meter. Obviously complaints are getting me nowhere (even with a mention of Ferguson v British Gas Trading Ltd), so what's the next step?


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post removed.

Edited by zazen.warrior

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just sat down with the meter readings and estimated what we've used so far - it's about half of what BG are asking for. Since we obviously owe someone for the energy used then I'm happy to pay an (slightly under) estimated amount for now, and will do this tomorrow.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you know that BG are the supplier and if so on what date did the current property transfer to BG? They can only bill you from that date onwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I don't know that they are the supplier nor, if they are, what date they took over. They said they weren't the supplier on 18th April.

 

If I did pay them what I estimate we've used (they seem to be charging from a meter reading of 0 which is obviously wrong since that would imply the heating system wasn't even tested) and it subsequently turned out that they weren't the supplier, presumably I would get some or all of my money back?


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once they have your money, yu will go through hell to get it back. If it is a new build the possibility is that it defaulted to a local supplier, i.e. if you live in the London area that would probably be EDF. If I knew the town or county where you lived I could advise who to contact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorset - Poole.

Funnily enough EDF apparently supply the electricity.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post removed.

Edited by zazen.warrior

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not pay as the MPAN supply may not be registered to BGAS. If I had proof yes. The distribution company for Poole should be Western Power. Give them a ring and ask if your MPAN is registered and if so to which supplier. Contact that supplier and ask when the MPAN was registered and then advise date that you took occupation of property. It often happens with new builds that the MPAN is not registered to any supplier initially. Contact the distribution company as soon as possible. If BGAS are your supplier, I suggest you find an alternative supplier as BG CS is terrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have so far refused to pay until

1. They send a copy of the bill that apparently didn't reach me.

2. They confirm, in writing, that they are the supplier for this address and explain why they've previously said they weren't.

 

I'm currently dreaming up some sort of letter which basically says any payment is made as an indication of honest intentions and must be held by BG pending resolution of the dispute, at which point they either return it within 7 days or they can cash it, depending on the outcome.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

British Gas are rubbush. Their collection system appears to be totally separate from the rest of the organisation. I have had collection attempts when an account is seriously in dispute and DCAs involved after the dispute was settled and paid.

 

In your situation it would be as well to phone National Grid asking them who they are recording as your suppliers for both gas and electricity. Make this an investigation of their system and make a record of their replies.

 

Make 4 calls at daily intervals to test the system.

 

a) give your full postal address only - you cannot access the meter.

 

b) Gine the builder's plot address - again no meter number.

 

c) Give the meter number only.

 

d) make a genuine call with all the information you have.

 

 

 

You may well find the answers surprising.

 

a) either the postal address or the builder's address (or both!) is not on their database.

 

b)The meter number is not on their database.

 

c) the meter number is on their database but apparantly supplying a wrong address.

 

NG do not do field work -they sit at computers- so they do not check that information given to them by builders and installers is correct. They do not have systems that check addresses,meter numbers or for duplications. The commonest causes of error are the inevitable change of address with newbuilds and mixups over meter numbers - this may be an error by the installers or mistyping by database input staff.

 

If all checks out go after the suppliers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally British Gas have responded and sent me a copy of the amended bill. They are indeed starting from a meter reading of zero, which I've helpfully corrected for them, and if they argue I have a dated photograph of the meter. They are also billing me from last November. One final issue is that their charges went down in April, so their bill assumes we used no gas at all for the following 6 weeks so they can charge the higher price for the whole lot. Do they really think the average consumer is stupid enough to fall for that one?

I've since received yet another bill covering about half of the same period as the first one but at a hugely reduced cost. It seems to be about right, so I've paid it and I'll leave BG to argue over the other £200 they want.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Result - BG have totally caved in over the remaining balance and written off all charges before the really small bill I've just paid.

They still come up as the cheapest in our area on all the comparison sites, so I may just stick with them for now.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when I thought this was all over ....

 

I returned from 3 weeks away yesterday to two letters from a DCA relating to the charges BG wrote off. After all the hassle I've had from them, this is the final straw. As soon as I'm up and running on a few other, rather more important things, they'll be getting a letter before action. The DCA will get one polite letter then if I hear from them again, I'll just add them to the proceedings as second defendant.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who is interested, Poncelet v NPower (2010) held at Northampton County Court but no official report that I'm aware of. The claimant was awarded £3000 for harassment by DCAs wrongly instructed by NPower. In his case it was pretty extreme, with people on his doorstep making all kinds of threats, and all because NPower 'swapped' the day and night readings and overcharged him. It took 4 years and a court hearing to get them to sort it out and apologise, so I think the £3000 was well deserved. I'll be aiming considerably lower than that, always assuming that this is the end of it .....


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse ....

 

BG have admitted liability and we're in negotiation over damages. Unfortunately they forgot to call off the debt collectors so when I got a postcard this morning in blatant breach of OFT guidelines, the price just doubled.

 

Then when I'd sent a few emails about that, I opened the next envelope in the pile, my first bill from my new supplier. BG apparently agreed a 'swap over' reading with them that's 50 units lower than the reading for which I've already paid. No one is sure where this reading came from, since it bears no relation to the one I sent in, but apparently BG's systems should have picked up that it couldn't possibly be right. Fortunately the new supplier immediately offered to sort this out for me otherwise my blood pressure check up this afternoon would probably be a waste of time.

 

Just how many mistakes can BG make in 7 months on one account?


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the tip of the iceberg so you bound to get several more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually got to the point where I hope we don't settle before court because this level of incompetence is just unacceptable. OK, everyone makes mistakes occasionally, but when they're pointed out we put them as right as we can and learn from it. We don't let one small mistake snowball into a really huge one, and then do absolutely nothing about it. And if we've paid compensation to someone once for messing up a bill, we make doubly sure the next one is correct.

Unfortunately, the only losers from this level of incompetence are British Gas customers since they will end up footing the bill.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...