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British Gas statement errors


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I recently received a British Gas statement with several of errors on it

I pay by monthly DD

 

The statement was dated 01/03/2007 but was for the period 16/06/2006 to 08/01/2007. Not sure why it took 2 months for them to print it!

 

It showed that I was £300 in credit

 

There was not a list of payments – when I phoned, they said that the payments included those up to 01/03/2007, so I wasn’t really in credit by that much and if I gave them a current meter reading then they would give me the correct figure. I did that, was still in credit and (eventually) got a refund at the second attempt (with yet another reading). Apparently the list of payments is on a separate sheet that was missing – and missing from the replacement statement.

 

There was also a price change with an estimated reading at the price change. This worked out at:

118 units for 50 days

138 units for 43 days

When I asked why they estimated I had used more in 43 days than 50 days, their reply was effectively “That’s what the computer says”. Apparently they don’t have leaflets that describe how they do estimates at price changes.

I pointed out that if they had divided the total consumption and apportioned that according to the number of days, they had got the two values transposed and after they had explained how fair their calculations are they decided to use mine instead!

 

Well I have got to wait for my next gas bill to confirm it has actually been done, but I think that I got a result. They even said that they would get their IT dept to check out their code for the price change calculation when I asked them to escalate that to the appropriate people. I wonder if that will happen?

 

Has anyone else had a problem with estimates at price changes or their list of payments missing?

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It's common sense really. Between June to September, it is relatively warm so you would be unlikely to be using the heating, so lower usage. October to January is much colder, the heating would be used, therefore there would be higher usage.

 

In future, simply take a reading on the date of any price change. Then, when your next statement comes through, you can make sure you aren't out of pocket.

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I take your point about reading your own meter reading at price changes - I just didn't think about that.

 

From what BG said they aren't trying to do anything complex like take account of changes in temperature during the quarter, just look at previous usage of gas per day in that quarter last year and then say that you would have used the same this year.

Apparently that didn't work for me because my usage has fallen this year (or my old meter wasn't accurate!) and that calculation arrived at about 90% of my actual usage for the quarter.

So they obviously revisit the calculation at the end of the quarter.

I don't have a problem with that, just with what they did next, which was the same apportionment as they had been trying using the equivalent period in the previous year but applied to this quarter and then getting the numbers the wrong way round for the number of days!

My calculations gave me:

256 / 93 units per day, giving

138 units for 50 days

118 units for 43 days

rather then their maths:

118 units for 50 days

138 units for 43 days

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