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quailpower

British Gas! Can I Really Have Used £500 a Month???

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So I've just got my final bill from british gas.

 

My DD was set at £55 for electric and gas (suspiciously low right??) but with two people working full time in a tiny two bed I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

 

I phoned up every month and provided meter readings and was told "ok that is very similar to our estimated so we don't need to update it"

 

Then wham, Final bill for £1092.14!!!!

 

Ive asked for a full breakdown of charges, payments and meter readings because when you close an account you cant access that information on your online account anymore.

 

I can see the statements however,

 

 

18 Apr 2013 Energy Charges * 425.22 -1092.14

08 Apr 2013 Direct Debit payment received 55.00 -666.92

23 Mar 2013 Energy Charges * 551.81 -721.92

07 Mar 2013 Direct Debit payment received 55.00 -170.11

18 Feb 2013 Energy Charges * 250.36 -225.11

07 Feb 2013 Direct Debit payment received 55.00 25.25

22 Jan 2013 Miscellaneous adjustment 100.00 -29.75

18 Jan 2013 Energy Charges * 215.98 -129.75

07 Jan 2013 Direct Debit payment received 55.00 86.23

25 Dec 2012 Energy Charges * 23.77 31.23

 

So apparently ive used nearly £500 a month for the last two months!! I know its been cold but I rarely have the heating on and the house is only inhabited from 5pm at night! Could I really have used £500pm??

 

And why when I was phoning each month was I told that my estimated readings were fine and that my DD was fine! I used to work for a certain big utility supplier and If I had a customer that was using £500 PM I would advise them to increase their DD! I would have happily bumped it up at the time, but now I dont really have that option.

 

Ive been made redundant and heavily pregnant so no hope of quick re-employment. Im back living with the parents and no idea how Im going to clear this balance!

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Get eh meter tag (the serial number) and call up UK power networks and see when it was last services. If I remember right, they have to be services once every so many years (dunno how often tho)

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Get eh meter tag (the serial number) and call up UK power networks and see when it was last services. If I remember right, they have to be services once every so many years (dunno how often tho)

 

Would the serial number b on the front of both meters? I have pictures of the meters with their readings, but I moved out of the prop and its over 200 Mile away now so couldnt pop round for a look!

 

What happens if the meter has not been serviced?

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Bump for this!

 

Can anyone tell me who is supposed to service the meters and what happens if the meter has not been serviced?

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I don't think there is an issue with the meter. You have described a common con amongst utility providers where they prefer to under estimate and then hit you with a large bill when you want to leave. That is how they keep you locked in.

Did you keep a record of the meter reads that you gave them each month? Do they compare with the statements issued? If they never used those readings then there is a very good chance that they will have difficulty proving you owe the money. If the meter reads were similar to their estimates then ther eis no ways it can jump up unless someone decided to input incorrect data!

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I have a record of all meter readings I gave, but I cant check them against the estimated, because my billing is all online and when you try to look at anything breakdown related online it says "cannot view this, account now closed" which I think is very suspicious!

 

I just genuinely cant understand how I apprently used £500 PM worth of gas and electric when the house is empty most of the time!

 

I phoned them today and was put on hold for 20 mins while someone looked at my account. They then came back and said they were sending it off for investigation because of a problem with meter readings but wouldnt tell me what problem and that I will recieve a revised bill in 14 days.

 

This is supposed to be one of the biggest providers in the UK and yet I feel like im dealing with dodgey conmen!

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hi, british gas did this to me.

I was living in a 2 bedroom 3rd floor flat by myself. I rarely had the heating on i was out most the day and night (I had 2 jobs and went to college) it was for the months march - june (not so cold months) and I lived in the top floor so i gained most of the below floors heating and then a £600 bill landed. I couldn't believe it!! I contested it and they ended up putting a card meter in but they said I was still liable. I moved out and left no forwarding address and that was over 10 years ago, never heard from them since and there no record of it ever being on my credit file. They are the biggest energy con artists going! I'll never go with british gas ever again.

 

I take it you've given them your forwarding addess? if so just return post unopened saying return to sender no longer at this address!


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hi, british gas did this to me.

I was living in a 2 bedroom 3rd floor flat by myself. I rarely had the heating on i was out most the day and night (I had 2 jobs and went to college) it was for the months march - june (not so cold months) and I lived in the top floor so i gained most of the below floors heating and then a £600 bill landed. I couldn't believe it!! I contested it and they ended up putting a card meter in but they said I was still liable. I moved out and left no forwarding address and that was over 10 years ago, never heard from them since and there no record of it ever being on my credit file. They are the biggest energy con artists going! I'll never go with british gas ever again.

 

I take it you've given them your forwarding addess? if so just return post unopened saying return to sender no longer at this address!

 

 

Yes I provided them with my Forwarding Address. I have a really bad credit file and couldnt do with another black mark, so I figured I would offer them £5PW worse case scenario.

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Either request copies of all statements and if they refuse or want to charge more than £10 send them a SAR as soon as possible.

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Yes, get a Subject Access request out to them immediately. You need copies of all the meter readings in what ever format. eg, their estimated readings and those you provided to them. Did they ever do a proper meter reading ?

 

You want to see the statements for each billing period. I find it very hard to believe that you would use £500.00 of gas each month, especially if you aren't there.

 

Do you happen to know the new people in the flat ? Perhaps you could ask them what their meter reading was for a couple of months ?


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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Yes, get a Subject Access request out to them immediately. You need copies of all the meter readings in what ever format. eg, their estimated readings and those you provided to them. Did they ever do a proper meter reading ?

 

You want to see the statements for each billing period. I find it very hard to believe that you would use £500.00 of gas each month, especially if you aren't there.

 

Do you happen to know the new people in the flat ? Perhaps you could ask them what their meter reading was for a couple of months ?

 

Do you think I should wait the 14 days, see what the new "revised" balance is after they have done their investigation?

 

I have requested a full account breakdown from the day I switched (wish I never had!) to date I moved out.

I asked for all payments made, all charges invoiced, all meter readings entered and the dates.

If thats not satisfactory I will send a SAR I think.

 

They came out in March to read the meters.

 

The prop is currently unnocupied (only moved out on the 27th April).

 

I have an itching suspicion that if BG isnt trying to [problem] me, my previous LL is! She provided false meter readings when we entered the prop which took ages to sort out (she was trying to get us to pay for the previous tenants gas). Got that sorted finally.

 

I phoned on the 28th with my final readings, (I took pictures of the meters on the 27th and send them to LL so we both had them). Im wondering if the "problem" with the meter readings is she has provided a higher one, to cover her as she is going to move back in later this month!

 

I was previously with EDF energy and my DD was £65 PM and the account was closed in credit when I switched to BG.

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Righto, if they are investigating then you do indeed have to give them time. It is fairly obvious that something untoward is going on, especially as you say, your previous bills with a different supplier were vastly lower.


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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thanks for the advice,

 

I like to have a plan of action in place, because I genuinely dont have much faith in this "investigation" lol

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Make sure you are never ever locked into any BGAS contract again. They have not got a good reputation for dealing with customers.

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Thanks for the advice,

 

I like to have a plan of action in place, because I genuinely dont have much faith in this "investigation" lol

 

TBH, if this were me, I would still send the Subject Access Request - if they are going to take a couple of weeks to do their investigation, if it doesn't go your way, then at least you are part way through the 40 calendar days they have to supply the SAR data.

 

It might be worth considering also, that they would have time to alter data to fit their scenario.. so probably a good idea to circumvent that.. !


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3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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TBH, if this were me, I would still send the Subject Access Request - if they are going to take a couple of weeks to do their investigation, if it doesn't go your way, then at least you are part way through the 40 calendar days they have to supply the SAR data.

 

It might be worth considering also, that they would have time to alter data to fit their scenario.. so probably a good idea to circumvent that.. !

 

Fair Point, I will pop one in the post anyway onmonday. Whats the Charge for a SAR again? At United Utilities its £10 I dont know if its the same across the board.

 

 

 

NEVER going with BG AGAIN!!! EDF are the only energy company ive delt with that seem to give a toss. But I was lead astray by the promise of cheap utiliites, I should have known better LOL

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The statutory fee is indeed £10.00 - there is a draft letter in the CAG library. You will need to amend it I would think :)

  • Confused 1

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Just to add, british gas has all of this information available to you on their OAM (Online Account Management).

 

Things like:

 

1) Meter reading history (this includes estimated readings)

2) Charges and payments on your account & how they were paid, deducted or added to your account i.e. card payment, DD, SO etc...

3) Current and previous bills

 

My details go back over the last 3 years I've been with them, so I assume they go back further. it might be worth logging into that in the meantime to get the information you need so you can work through them with temporary data whilst they're doing their investigation.

 

Here's the link I use to log in: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/Login/Login-Verify/

 

If you don't have an online account, you can easily sign up for one for free. If I remember right, all you need is your account number (on your bill), some personal details, and maybe your meter number (serial number on the meter).. It took me an hour or so to get all of that online up and running :)

 

Cheers,

 

A

 

*edit* for good practice, I keep a spreadsheet of all the readings I give them. I also run several energy monitors to concur (or conflict) what their meter comes up with. Out of habit I give them weekly meter reads now just so I know what i'm spending each week).

 

Another interesting thing about the online side of the site is 'Compare Your Usage', it goes back over your historical usage and tells you what you're using in terms of £ or kWh (units) comparing the previous years to current etc...Interestingly enough, when I first joined them, my usage was triple what it is now, but since then, I've had more heaters installed, a new tumble dryer and a bigger stove :D I'm waiting for my winter bill to corner them, but thats another topic :D

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Hi thanks for the advice, but as I mentioned earlier, when an account is finalled you cannot view any information online.

 

When I log on to BG online it tells me the acc is closed and the balance, and then its got the basic information like supply address ect. When you try to view anything such as past statements, past meter readings, usage or anything you get this popup

 

Sorry, there has been a problem

Access to this section is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

 

When I phoned the online account team they said that you cannot access any of these facilities when the account is closed.

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hmm how very convenient for them :-/ Isn't it weird that whenever a meter reading is wrong, or the meter fails, or billing fails it's always in their favour... I guess the SAR is the only route then as the friendly Site Team said.

 

I personally would add to the end of the letter something to the effect of:

 

'Because you have removed all access to my personal account historical information, I have had to pay you £10 to get this information. When this issue is finalised I fully intend to claim this £10 back from you due to your lack of co-operation'

 

Or something like that, but the team knows best how to approach that :) I just happen to be a cheeky sod that isn't scared to get... cheeky lol :D

 

btw lol at your username... made me titter today :D *thumbs up* didn't notice it before :D

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Hang on... £500 a month?

 

Working out in terms of units (I'll base this on single rate tariff, not Eco 7) on a prime location i.e. London:

 

Daily Standing Charge: 0.17 / Day = £5.27 / 31 Day Month

Unit Charge: 12.559 / kWh

 

Without the standing charge you used: £494.73 of power

 

Working that in terms of units, you used: 3940 units

 

Per day that is: 164.16 kWh

 

Per Hour that is: 6.85 kWh (units)

 

Thats the same as literally having 2 boilers CONSTANTLY heating at the same time 24 hours a day, for 31 days.

 

Or in other terms, leaving 2 hot plates FULL on your cooker on for an entire month all day every day.

 

Energy companies generally tip police off for usage like that due to horrid people running high powered lighting systems to grow dubious plants, now why didn't they do this?

 

Even if you had a 12 bedroom house with all of the lights on 24 hours a day, TV, routers, radio and normal domestic usage, you might just skim sky of £400 a month...

 

I'd break it down like this for them. Do bear in mind that:

 

1) I used a prime location: E14 3NE postcode (Harbour Exchange, London, Canary Wharf Way!)

2) I used the highest tariff available

3) I used a 31 day month rather than a realistic 30 day month month

 

I hope this makes it clearer as to what the situation is and how unrealistic it is

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I now have a full paper copy of all the information, as they have completed the investigation.

 

And amazingly, my account balance is not 1000 in debit. It is in fact £135 in CREDIT!

 

I cant even understand how there was such a massive discount. And if It was my Landlord - she's obviously trying to cheat a years worth of gas out of me because I'm taking her to small claims court for not using DPS or returning my deposit.

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lol :D Yeah I had something like that.. A £200 bill ended up a £10000 bill due to their estimate overshooting my actial reading.. So what they did was charge me according to the meter doing a full circle around the clock... They had to send mine to a specialist department too which resolved it.

 

Ah well, glad to know you werent growing pot in your cellar hahaha :D

 

Happy for your outcome :) *thumbs up*

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Excellent, I am pleased this is now resolved for you.. :)


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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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lol :D Yeah I had something like that.. A £200 bill ended up a £10000 bill due to their estimate overshooting my actial reading.. So what they did was charge me according to the meter doing a full circle around the clock... They had to send mine to a specialist department too which resolved it.

 

Ah well, glad to know you werent growing pot in your cellar hahaha :D

 

Happy for your outcome :) *thumbs up*

 

If I was growing Pot in my cellar a £1000 bill would be the last of my worries ;) but at least id be chilled about it haha

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