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British Gas are taking me to court for money I don't owe them!!!


gretal69
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British Gas are taking me to court for £123.01. I don't even owe this money because I am a pre-payment customer. I switched my supply over to BG from Swalec earlier this year. An engineer was supposed to calling at my home to reset my gas meter so that I could use my new card BG had sent me. I was told I couldn't use my new card until my meter was reset. However, no engineer turned up, so i could not use my new card. I carried on purchasing credit with my swalec gas card, so the credit was going to them and not British Gas. After 6 weeks I switched back to swalec. I then received a bill for £123.01. I have made continous calls to British Gas explaining that my credit had gone to Swalec, and they need to recover the money from them, and each time I am told it will be sorted. It is not sorted and now I have debt collectors after me!!!

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So allow them to take you to court. If you can prove that you have tried your utmost to contact BG, and that you truly thought that Swalec was your provider, what's the worst that can happen? BG put your account on hold while you claim back the £123.01 from Swalec and then pay it to them? Unfortunately, if your account was switched over, even though the engineer didn't come, you do still owe them the money for usage. However, they cannot demand that you pay it all in one lump sum.

 

Send BG a Subject Access Request asking for all information held on you, especially related to your account - the call centre operatives should have logged each call you made to them, when the engineer was supposed to have come out to you originally, etc. Phone records are also useful for proving that you've tried to rectify their mistake. They're going to look very stupid in front of a judge if they try to take it to that stage.

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Thanks

 

I don't owe them anything. If I don't credit my meter I don't get any gas. BG have told me they will contact swalec themselves to recover the £123.01. Mind you, they have told me this 4 times now over a 7 month period!

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I think that you need to stop calling them and start sending everything in writing. That way, if they say one thing on the telephone, they cannot then say another a week later, or claim not to have said it at all. It is also easier to document a complaint with, er, documents.

 

So if it's not for gas, what is the £123.01 actually for? Or are they saying it's for gas when you're a pre-payment customer and so this is not possible?

 

And when you say 'taking me to court', have you actually received any court documents, or was it just a threat of court if the money isn't paid? Have you had any contact with bailiffs, or again, were you just threatened with them? Correct advice all depends on the answers to the above. :)

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Yes they say the £123.01 is for gas. I received a demand for payment from Robinson, Way and Co debt collectors in October. I called BG and they told me they would stop the demand and to disregard any further letters i receive from Robinson. This week I received a notice of Legal Proceedings, I called Robinson to ask if BG had put a block on the demand and they had not. I explained to them the ongoing dispute I have been having with BG and told them BG had said to disregard their letters. The call ended in my being told if I ignored their letters I would incur court costs & legal fees. I then rang BG and I spoke to a lady called Rebecca who assured me that this matter would be resolved once and for all.

 

I am in the middle of sending a letter of complaint to BG. I have records of all the conversations I have had with them including the dates. I am worried though that I won't even get a reply. I did email their complaints dept. when the engineer failed to turn up. I waited a few weeks for an explanation and an apology but did not get one, so I switched my supply back to Swalec. I was only with BG for 6 weeks, and I did not use £123.01 worth of gas in that time. Like I said, I am a pre-payment customer and if i don't credit my meter I don't have any gas!!

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Gretal, British Gas are in a right turmoil at the moment. They don't even know what they are doing themselves! If I were you I would not panic. It seems you have made every effort to contact them and sort things out. If they want to take you to court - let them! I doubt very much if they will, though. They know they would be onto a hiding because it will just show up their sloppy business methods and total lack of customer care. They won't want that because they are getting enough bad press at the moment. In cases like these (and I do it myself all the time and 99% of the time it works) you should write a letter to the Chairman of BG. Make sure it is the top man - no lapdog - go for the big man himself. You can easily find the name and address by calling BG or from the internet.

I have had some brilliant results doing things that way.

Good Luck.

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What has happened here is 2 things, first thing to remember and know is that you do not owe a penny and no court will make you pay anything to BG as you have done your part in making every effort to contact them to make them aware of their mistake and error.

As previously advised put everything in writing so you have written proof of contact.

First, the gas you used whilst with BG was paid for using a swalec card, these payments are known as “misdirected payments” BG need to and should claim these payments from SWALEC. This process can take up to 8 weeks but no way should collection be carried out during this process. Ownership of claiming this money is with BG. Now the period of 6 weeks will not give you 123 pounds of payments so they have also got your readings wrong (start or finish) so this also needs to be disputed.

Don’t panic, you do not owe this and will not have to pay it.

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 for the advice guys.

 

I have actually spoken to Robinson, the debt collectors. They rang me this am. asking for a payment. I explained that I am in a disbute with British Gas etc. etc. and that a letter is on the way to Robinson that explains everything. The advisor I spoke to was very helpful. He told me that when I send my letters of complaint to BG to also send Robinson copies of my letters. I am on a mission now!!

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A good sentence for anyone in similar situations to remember is this:

 

Be advised that the amount you claim is owed is now in dispute and you may not therefore pursue any recovery action in relation to it until this dispute is resolved.

 

The letter containing this sentence will effectively prevent them legally from taking any enforcement action until they have satisfied you as to the amount owing. If they continue to enforce it, advise them to take you to court and you will bring all correspondence to the attention of the Court.

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I can help here. BGAS can recover the costs for the time that you were paying SWALEC under the MRA MAP 14 which is an official industry document. BGAS need to contact SWALEC and request that the payment is forwarded on to them. BGAS do not stand a hope in hell of winning thjis if you paid SWALEC as the industry states that a consumer cannot be charged twice for the same supply. If you require any more info let me know and I can advise as I have all the documentation on this issue.

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Apologies for the delay in replying. The electric industry like other industies has certain guidelines or procedures which have to be followed and as such all electric suppliers signed up to a Master Register Agreement (MRA). Within the scope of this agreemnt are various processes known as MAPs and in your case a MAP14 would apply.

The MAP 14 is know as "Procedure for the Allocation of Pre-payment meter (PPM) payments transacted againts an incorrect device". The incorrect device being the metering.

Basically if a supplier like BGAS registers a PPM customer who may have a token, key or Smartcard meter and that customer continues to use the Smartcard from the previous supplier although they are registered to BGAS, BGAS can claim back those payments from the previous supplier. I refer to clause 2.4 of the MAP 14 which details it as "Transaction processing".

It is up to the current supplier, in this case BGAS, to initiate this as only a supplier can do this. Therefore consider putting it in writing to BGAS that you do not owe anything as you have already paid for consumption and according to industry regulations no customer can be billed twice for the same consumption. Secondly you could tell BGAS that in order to claim your payments, BGAS need to refer to MAP 14 clause 2.4 and negotiate with the previous supplier about recovering the money. Thirdly you could advise them that if they do not implement the MAP14 and they continue to harass you, that you will approach Energywatch and your solicitors to claim compensation for undue stress and also harrament.

Hope this helps. Go get them!

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Thank you Surfer

 

I sent BG a letter of complaint, forwarded a copy to Robinson, Way and Co debt collectors and I sent a letter of complaint to EnergyWatch. British Gas sent me a letter and an email. Here is the email they sent me below:

 

Dear Mrs Davies

Thank you for your letter that I received from energywatch dated 14 December 2006 regarding your payments on your gas meter. I tried to contact you today by telephone; however you were unavailable at the time of my call. Please find details of my investigation within my email.

I am please to inform you that we have located your payments and allocated the total you have paid to your gas account. Your payments were allocated to a different Customer Reference Number than your actual account and I have transferred your payments to cover your usage. Therefore you do not owe British gas anything.

I am truly sorry for the problems you have encountered with our service and for the delay in sending you a prepayment card. I assure you that we are aware as a prepayment customer you pay in advance of using your gas and there should not be an outstanding balance. Please accept my sincerest apologies for any reminders that you have received as your account should have been placed on hold until a full resolution of your enquiry. I assure you that you will not receive any more reminders after today’s date as your payments have been allocated to your gas account.

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I trust I have resolved your enquiry to your satisfaction.

Yours Sincerely

Stuart Maidment

Customer Relations

So I guess that is the end of that.

Thank you everybody for all the advice. I expect I will be on here soon to have a moan about something else!!

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Well done :)file the letter for 6 years lol.

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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  • 11 months later...

Gretyal69 I am very pleased for you but it goes to show that these large firms will take advantage of people with a lack of indepth knowledge of the industry and go to any length to frighten people into paying.

In terms of suppliers we are not a big supplier and we tend to have a one to one relationship with our customers however the industry does need to be regulated more tightly but not more regulations.

I am very chuffed to have one up on BGAS.

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Bloody hell - I wish mine was that easy - BG have been chasing me to 440 quid for nearly a year.

 

For 2 days usage!!!! That's 70k's worth of gas per year! Even if I severed the gas pipes and set light to them all I don't think the bill would be that high! Particularly as it was the middle of summer and I wasn't even occupying the property at that time!

 

Nine letters I have sent, yet I still get threatening letters from them. In the last one I said that I hope they do come good on their threat of court proceedings as it seems that a judge might have some common sense whereas nobody at BG seems to.

 

 

Well done to you in any case!!

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