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British gas Blunders, Complaints and... harassment ???


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Hello all,

 

I hope I've posted this in the right place.

 

I need some advice/general pointers on an issue a friend is having. He's Autistic (Aspergers syndrome) and has been a BG customer since May 2010. So it's a rather long story but I shall try to give the key points as best I can, if more info is required then I'll be happy to fill in the blanks best I can.

 

He switched over to BG on to a 'web saver' price plan on moving into the property. Web saver offered online billing, energy monitor, was slightly cheaper deal than his current supplier. All seamed well he received the usual welcome letters and confirmation of switch over. However two weeks later he received a phone call from BG stating that they could not be placed of this 'web saver' tariff dual to the type of electric meter - it's a dual read Day/night meter. So was being placed on their standard tariff. Energy monitor was never received and his online account was deactivated.

 

(Now I fail to understand why this wasn't noticed at sign up and I think it a bit dodgy that they waited until after the switch to tell me, but there we are.)

 

In September 2010 he received 'notice of disconnection' letters and demands on payment for electricity used. However he hadn't received any bills for electricity use. He paid and told BG that he hadn't had a bill they claim they had sent one. He thought it might have been his mistake.

 

January 2011 another notice of disconnection followed by multiple calls, actually and excessive amount of calls, from the BG collections debt. Again he had not received a bill. Outstanding balance was paid and and a complaint was made to BG by his mental health worker who explained that he has Aspergers and letters of disconnection and the like can and is causing worry.

 

Yet again no bills and the threats of action moved on to visits from debt collectors, Richburns visited 4 times, B.C.W visited 3 times and Power2contact sent 3 letters and may have visited once. This was all in the space of a month. This course of action has continued. Attempts to switch have failed due to blocks being placed on his account.

 

This repeated, No bills but Notices of disconnection, applications for warrants of entry, calls from BG collections. Complaints were ignored. This all came to a head in January this year when during a compliant to BG they admitted the reason that no bills had been sent is was due to his account being set to paperless billing. This is an after affect of the cancelled web saver plan. He was assured that this was now corrected and he would be placed on a cheaper tariff and would be set to paper billing. September 29 (2013) he received yet another notice of disconnection. His mental health workers stepped in and spoke with BG on his behalf. To find he was still on paperless billing and still on the standard tariff.

 

All the stress of calls from BG collections debt, threats of legal action, debt collectors letters and visits has taken toll and he is currently rather unwell. And is currently being seen by a mental health crisis team. BG have contributed significantly to this due to the course of action BG have taken and their failings in customer services.

 

My question is.. where to go from here ? 3 years of complaints to BG have gotten nowhere. I'm a bit lost as to where to go next in terms of making a complaint or taking legal action (if there are grounds).

 

Thanks in advance.

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Have you advised British Gas that your friend is a vulnerable adult ?

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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.

 

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Hello CitizenB,

 

Yes. British Gas were made aware that he of his condition in January 2011. A mental healthl worker contacted BG on his behalf when he received a second Notice of disconnection letter and explained.

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I would say in that case you should now be escalating your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.

 

 

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/forms/complain/energy/

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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Hello,

 

I have contacted the Ombudsmun who seemed vaguely interested until I mentioned Autism. The impression I was given was that it would need to be an extreme case for them to take the matter further. If repeatedly threatening someone with disconnection and hounding them to the point of suicide and them being sectioned isn't extreme then I don't know what is.

 

Last week and this I have contact the Citizens advice bureau who directed me to the Ombudsmun who directed me back to the CAB who then directed me to Community legal advice, who then directed me to both the CAB and the Ombudsmun. During this I've contacted pro bono lawyers, Local MP's... I've even contacted the National Autistic Society their response made me think they were taking the pi$$.

 

Anyway... Thanks for your suggestion.

 

MDJ

 

 

If there are any moderators reading this thread please remove it. I don't think this site is the right place to be posting questions of this nature.

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