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British Gas - Mis-sold? and Poor Cust Service***Resolved***


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Morning All,

 

Hope everyone is well and staying safe. I Find myself in an issue with British Gas and with offering me something and then doing something different. The customer service has been none existent with people palming me off advising I need to wait another 10 days, to being cut off phone calls whilst on hold, to just being left on the phone whilst the individual talks to someone else!

 

So the issue/story is, I was on a fixed deal that finished the end of July 2021, Its now the first week of August and I'm shopping around for a suitable deal knowing full well that the price increase will be coming in October.

 

I had a few chats with BG live chat over the past few days asking for my MPAN/MPRN and running various comparison websites. On approx the 6th August I went back on live chat for my MPAN/MPRN as I had misplaced.

 

During the conversation I explained I would have stayed with BG had they not been one of the dearer providers on comparison sites and via their own site. Out of the blue the person on live chat said they could offer me my existing fixed deal for another year at the same rates.

 

Naturally this peaked my interest and I double checked everything with them. I confirmed the Unit Rates and Standing Charge. They confirmed that this would all be the same, except the numbers after the decimal might change slightly - I'm not sure why but that's that she said. So I eagerly agreed and before she left the chat again I confirmed the rates and the package.

 

A couple of days later (approx. 10th) I received an email to advise my package had changed, After logging in the account I saw the package name wasn't as expected so I went in to check the rates. The amounts were considerably more, some being almost double.

 

I went back on live chat to find out what had happened, and at first the individual said that Its the package I chose. After explaining what had been agreed they checked the notes and saw the agreement and said that it was fine and it was still going through which could take another 10 working days.

 

5 Days later the package changed again, still not to what was agreed and back on live chat I went. They said that they couldn't match the same name as the package didn't exist now,  but someone else would manually be editing the rates in this package to reflect my old one, and this could take another 10 days. Again I left it and waited to see what update happened.

 

on 6th September I decided to contact live chat again to see what was happening with it, as it was a month since we agreed. The person on live chat  said, the package doesn't exist so they cannot give me what I'm asking.

 

He then realised after my explaining further that I wasn't here asking for a tariff now, and that one had been offered to me and accepted and the particulars of the tariff on my account at the moment had not been changed to the agreed. He gave me the usual spiel of he will be managing this for me and reviewing everything and will personally contact me within a couple of days with an update.

 

Fast forward to yesterday (13th) No update as of yet. Instead this time I called up to speak to someone to lodge a complaint about this and seek assistance in resolving the matter. I got through to someone and explained what was going on, unfortunately it was someone who couldn't help me, as the automated system had put me through to a bereavement specialist who does the odd complaint.

 

He advised I need to go through to the Tariff specialist and transferred me through, the guy waited on the line and provided an update to the person who took over the call. I confirmed details and explained a bit further, this person asked me to go on hold shortly whilst he looked into the initial conversation. After about 10 minutes of a silent hold the line went dead. I waited a couple of mins to see if he called back, but he didn't.

 

I called again and this time the automated system put me through to the Tariff specialists, I asked to be put back through the the individual who I had just spoken to. The lady was keen to try and take the call, but I didnt want to have to explain myself for a third time, so I insisted she look for his details on my account and transfer me.

 

After a short while she said she had no record of the person in the tariff team looking at my account, and only had the person from the bereavement teams details showing. By now im getting fed up, so I then asked how do I submit a request for get all the transcripts and correspondence I have had to BG so I can look to make an official complaint possibly with Ofgem.

 

She directed me back to BG website and complaints to get my transcript. When I said I want all of it and asked what the email was to the relevant team/data controller she asked me to wait on hold and she will find out. This hold lasted 18 minutes before I terminated the call, during this hold there were instances of muffled voices appearing on and off, either like she was talking to other customers and didnt realise my line was active, or having conversations with their family, if they were working at home.  I did shout up multiple times asking if they were there and if they could hear me but nothing.

 

So that leads me onto the questions here,

 

If I was offered a deal and its accepted by all parties are they able to do what they want and not honour it and continue delaying me? Combined with the lack of communication and ability to investigate things properly what am I able to do?

 

This delay has meant any cheaper deals I had initially will no longer be there, and the cost to find another deal now will not be appealing and cost more. I feel they are purposely dragging their heals to October's price rise, only then to say "oh theres nothing we can do as prices have gone up"

 

Ive seen stories about BG in the past, but up to last month I havent had an issue at all.

 

I would appreciate some input on this please.

 

Thanks

Edited by dx100uk
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Short answer is they made a mistake and will not honour the deal advised.

 

So you either complain and see what happens   or cancel with BG once you have made arrangements with another supplier. 

We could do with some help from you.

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36 minutes ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

Short answer is they made a mistake and will not honour the deal advised.

 

So you either complain and see what happens   or cancel with BG once you have made arrangements with another supplier. 

Thing is, how long they have dragged it on now, surely if it was a mistake then they have had ample opportunity to rectify? If it was my error, im fairly sure a month in they would say sorry its your own fault, so surely they have to honor it given the time. Like i said it almost feels deliberate to take it closer to the Oct price increases should they then decide "sorry it shouldnt have been offered"

Edited by flexeh
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Not sure they have to honour a mistake.

 

It might be good customer service to allow you the deal wrongly advised, but legally they most likely don't have to do so.

 

BG just don't want to admit their mistake and hope you just give up contacting them.

 

Arrange supply elsewhere and cancel with BG.  

We could do with some help from you.

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

 

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I can accept a mistake, but a month later and no one addressing it, is where my issue it. I raised another complaint prior to your response so have to wait 2 days for this to be resolved. Will have to wait and see what they say then.

 

Problem with this like everything else, its positioned for Goliath all the time, David doesn't get a look in! Even if I choose to wait to escalate this to an ombudsman service (if BG deliberately wait the 8 weeks) that's 8 weeks of paying over the odds for something that wasn't agreed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've managed to get it escalated properly as the customer service individuals hadn't even raised complaints despite advising they would. Its gone up the chain to the exec level complaints now thanks to the privacy team at Centrica.

 

 I've had the whole what do you think is reasonable to rectify this, I've said to put me on what was agreed. Obviously the response was we cannot do that as it could lead them in hot water with regulators etc.

 

 then I said at the end of the fixed deal they should work out how much difference it is and adjust my account accordingly.

 

They seem reluctant to wait that long and want to resolve it quicker, my only issue is if i agree say 30 and then I'm 60 down etc .. its working out what's fair and right to be honest.

 

I have asked the guy to go and check everything including the calls, as he will see its not sorely the mis selling its everything else in between that's compounded to it. I've spent countless hours and being constantly told incorrect things.

 

Will have to wait and see.

Edited by dx100uk
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Whether or not there is problem with the regulator about this – it's not your problem.

However, do you have evidence of the conversation which offered you the original deal? You've been here since 2010 and yet I sense that you are still not recording your calls and that you haven't really read our customer services guide – either that or you haven't taken it seriously.

Send them an SAR and see what it produces.

If you can get the evidence of the conversation then you are in with a good chance.

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@BankFodderyour right i didn’t record any calls, even the one I had with the guy on the exec complaint who said that they wouldn’t be able to change me to the plan or manually adjust my price - due to potential regulator fines.

 

the actual convo where I was offered the extension to my plan was on live chat. I have already submitted a SAR asking for all details including recordings and transcripts including the live chat.

 

I'm expecting the guy to call back over the next day or 2 with a “offer” from BG on how they are likely to resolve. Would you suggest that I tell him to park that for now and see what the SAR returns?

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I don't know what is best to suggest without knowing what he is going to say. Is going to call you on the telephone and I hope you are going to record the call.

 

  if there was a live chat then normally it would have been possible to download an email the chat to yourself.

 

Whatever happens, if you decide to wait for the sar then I suggest that you don't tell him that but simply save it you need to think about it all and even about the possibility of moving elsewhere.

I have found that these people think they are going to lose a customer that they start to be rather more helpful.

 

Record the call response and make it a matter of practice in every case with every company in future.

If you record your calls then you will never regret it.

If you don't record your calls then sooner or later you will regret it

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi @BankFodder

 

So, I asked them to review everything and they have came back offering £100 compensation, but they will not be able to honour the tariff. I have said that I wanted to calculate everything first, as I would expect the level of compensation to be at least that of how much I would additionally be paying. To be honest the guy understood and said If I come back with a figure after working it out he will see what he can do. I don't think I'm being cheeky asking to be made whole in effect and haven't made any demands for anything more.

 

Just crunched the numbers tonight - will be sending it to them tomorrow to see what they say. I've also got my SAR back now so will be reviewing that tonight as well.

 

Basically I've worked out its almost 300 difference so that 100 isn't going to touch the sides. That's not taking into consideration a 10% increase in the amount of energy I'm using based on recent comms from BG. Should I include that in my proposed figure?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Don't worry about being "cheeky". He made an agreement based on a particular undertaking and frankly they are being cheeky by trying to welch out on the deal.

Do your calculations. Be thorough. Don't give up a single penny. Let us know what figure you come up with

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4 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Don't worry about being "cheeky". He made an agreement based on a particular undertaking and frankly they are being cheeky by trying to welch out on the deal.

Do your calculations. Be thorough. Don't give up a single penny. Let us know what figure you come up with

Hi @BankFodder

 

Thanks for your reply - Hopefully my calculations are correct - Can you see if you understand it please? (attached) - Im guessing Unit Rates / Standing Charge already includes the necessary VAT?

 

In terms of BG's response, if they then say no they cant and I have to go via the ombudsman. My understanding is they cant tell them to pay me the difference? They only make recommendations? Would this then jeopardise my contract, as its not a good time at the moment being on someone's standard tariffs!

 

The online chat I had which shows what i agreed to is in the SAR pack as well, So I have the proof on what was agreed. I can share that if you think it would help paint the picture?

 

Cheers

Energy Comparison.xls

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Just looking through the SAR again and another individual confirms they will be updating the unit and standing charge amount to what was offered. I havent sent that yet above, because ideally Im hoping its easily understandable.

 

Problem with that figure is - I could end up using more than the projected 10% increase and still be out of pocket. I doubt BG will agree to the amount + anything over that amount at the end of the year, because it may come in less. Just using BG's correspondence I recieved where it said im using 10% more than this time last year.

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I'm afraid I don't have time to look at your figures. You will have to be satisfied that they are accurate and that you can substantiate them if you have somebody start to try and pick holes in them.

Also, they can't force you to go to the ombudsman. You also have the right to go to court. They prefer you to go to the ombudsman and that tends to mean that you should prefer to go to court.

The ombudsman is limp wristed and will basically uphold their tariff and say that £100 compensation is more than fair.
£100 is not bad actually.

What figure have you come up with? And can you justify that figure by looking at your historical usage?
 

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

I'm afraid I don't have time to look at your figures. You will have to be satisfied that they are accurate and that you can substantiate them if you have somebody start to try and pick holes in them.

Also, they can't force you to go to the ombudsman. You also have the right to go to court. They prefer you to go to the ombudsman and that tends to mean that you should prefer to go to court.

The ombudsman is limp wristed and will basically uphold their tariff and say that £100 compensation is more than fair.
£100 is not bad actually.

What figure have you come up with? And can you justify that figure by looking at your historical usage?
 

 

So I’ve worked it as follows:

 

my yearly consumption(units and standing charge) on my old tariff is £780.72


The same consumption + 10% (5 on each)  on this new tariff is £1099.44 .


difference £328.72

 

if I exclude the 10% £275.35 

 

As I said above I’ve got comms which say I’m using 10% more so I’ve used that as this years benchmark.

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Well in that case it seems to me that your starting point is the £328 plus the 10% – £275.

Your fallback position is £328. That gives you room to compromise and to allow them to have a sense that they have dominated you and save some Face.

I don't know why these companies think they need some Face in these matters. You think that they are so big and so well resourced, that this kind of stuff shouldn't bother them – but it often does.

On the other hand, you are worried about Face – or I hope you aren't anyway. What you want is the money.

Is that a good starting point for you?

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This compensation mostly relates to a future loss due to tariffs not being available. Therefore any loss would be estimated based on average energy usage.

 

British Gas may want to apply credit to your account to help compensate, but they may want to see what happens with energy prices. For example, if more energy supplies become available, they can start offering a better fixed rate than you are on at the moment. Unlikely, but I can see this as argument, that beyond the £100 offered so far, they would not want to increase this by much, as the potential loss can mostly only be estimated.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks both for your input. Like you said UB a better tariff is unlikely - looking at the state of the energy market at the moment I think they are long gone lol.

 

if they don’t accept it and we hit a stalemate. Obviously the comments above suggest that the ombudsman is useless! And Court would be the better option. I’m assuming that I would need to go ombudsman first before any further action just to show I’ve tried to resolve it amicably.
 

if it did go to court I’m assuming my case direction would be over being mis-sold and done via moneyclaim?. Then I suppose I can also factor in the time cost as well on all this; I’ve got phone calls and chat logs showing how much times been dedicated to this. I feel I’m being more than fair with my ask

 

Thanks both 

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No, there is no requirement to go to the ombudsman before going to court. You can certainly do that but you're not obliged to.

In terms of recovering damages for lost time, this is probably not possible and frankly it only adds to the complication of the conflict.

I'm afraid that you are going to have to get used to the idea that they get paid for screwing up your account and you have to unscrew it for free.

You're talking about acting fairly as if that cut some ice? – Bless.

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Hi All,

 

Just to advise, this has been resolved now. I did miscalculate initially by about £10 extra due to additional kwh which wasnt during the fixed term. I sent my proposal and they have confirmed everything and credited the account.

 

Obviously I have only done it based on what I would be out of pocket. It includes the extra 10% in usage. If I had tried to then get additional due to time wasted etc I doubt it would have been so smooth. But as I just wanted to be in the position I would have been should my package have been issued correctly im happy with the resuly. £319 added to my account.

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Well done.

 

Thanks very much indeed for updating us. 

 

I hope we have been of help

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  • Andyorch changed the title to British Gas - Mis-sold? and Poor Cust Service***Resolved***

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