British Gas


S

ss

Whats your thoughts on this?

I have a direct debit account for my gas bill bla bla bla.
Now I had a conversation with them on 5th Feb and was informed of the
rates ie first lot of gas charged at x amount and thereafter at y amount.
I now get my bill for this quarter and the x and y amounts are higher
than what was stated in my conversation of the 5th Feb. So from the 6th
Feb they have applied a higher charge.

This is just one of many inconsistences I have disputed with them.
They also have informed me my direct debit will be increased....like
hell it will, I will decide what I pay not them!
 
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D

Davey

Whats your thoughts on this?

I have a direct debit account for my gas bill bla bla bla.
Now I had a conversation with them on 5th Feb and was informed of the
rates ie first lot of gas charged at x amount and thereafter at y
amount. I now get my bill for this quarter and the x and y amounts
are higher than what was stated in my conversation of the 5th Feb.
So from the 6th Feb they have applied a higher charge.

This is just one of many inconsistences I have disputed with them.
They also have informed me my direct debit will be increased....like
hell it will, I will decide what I pay not them!
The Direct Debit aspect depends on your agreement. If it is a variable
one, then they charge what they say you owe. If it is a fixed one, then
you control it.
As for the change in rates, go for it! Make as much noise as you can.
 
S

ss

The Direct Debit aspect depends on your agreement. If it is a variable
one, then they charge what they say you owe. If it is a fixed one, then
you control it.
As for the change in rates, go for it! Make as much noise as you can.
Davey, fortunately I have the date ,time and persons name I had the
conversation with regarding my DD. This year they have reimbursed around
£60 for supplying incorrect info to me and I aint finished with them,
not by a long way.
 
S

ss

Davey, fortunately I have the date ,time and persons name I had the
conversation with regarding my DD. This year they have reimbursed around
£60 for supplying incorrect info to me and I aint finished with them,
not by a long way.
Does anyone have a link to where I can check the daily/average calorific
values for a given period as I suspect this is another area they can
fudge the bills to their advantage.
 
D

Dave Liquorice

The Direct Debit aspect depends on your agreement. If it is a variable
one, then they charge what they say you owe. If it is a fixed one, then
you control it.
You control it full stop. Just Contact your bank (counter, phone,
online) and cancel the DD. That almost invariably makes the affected
company sit up and take notice within days...

I'm currently having a "problem" with an upgrade on Orange, they
haven't applied the tarrif that they offered online to my account.
The offer that I accepted, they sent the free upgarde phone for and
allowed to be enabled on their network. It was almost a "to good to
be true" offer so I took print outs of the "order summary" and
"thanks for your order pages" that detail everything. B-) Those
pages say they will contact me if there are any problems/changes to
the order, I've not been contacted over any chnages/problems...

If the next bill isn't right (tarrif and refunds that will be due)
I'll stop the DD and pay manually with what the correct amount should
be (on going charges/use less refund due) and continue to do so until
they get it right. I don't think they have even a little toe to stand
on if they tried to take me to court.
 
A

alan

The Direct Debit aspect depends on your agreement. If it is a variable
one, then they charge what they say you owe. If it is a fixed one, then
you control it.

I tell BG the meter readings every month and they bill me, via variable
DD, the exact amount I owe. My bills are monthly, not quarterly.
 
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A

alan

You control it full stop. Just Contact your bank (counter, phone,
online) and cancel the DD. That almost invariably makes the affected
company sit up and take notice within days...
Some utility accounts are only available with DD and often they attract
a discount of 5%.

Cancel the DD and you may be deemed to have changed your account and
subject to the £30/50 penalty, per fuel, for changing your account
within the minimum contract period.
 
D

Dave Plowman (News)

You control it full stop. Just Contact your bank (counter, phone,
online) and cancel the DD. That almost invariably makes the affected
company sit up and take notice within days...
Not necessarily. BG give a discount if you pay by DD. So I doubt if they
much care either way.
 
D

Dave Liquorice

Not necessarily. BG give a discount if you pay by DD. So I doubt if they
much care either way.
But it signals that they are going to be paid by an "expensive"
method like a cheque in the post or they aren't going to get paid at
all. It's the latter that makes 'em pay attention.
 
H

harry

Whats your thoughts on this?

I have a direct debit account for my gas bill bla bla bla.
Now I had a conversation with them on 5th Feb and was informed of the
rates ie first lot of gas charged at x amount and thereafter at y amount.
I now get my bill for this quarter and the x and y amounts are higher
than what was stated in my conversation of the 5th Feb.  So from the 6th
Feb they have applied a higher charge.

This is just one of many inconsistences I have disputed with them.
They also have informed me my direct debit will be increased....like
hell it will, I will decide what I pay not them!
I was with BG.
You can have en email/online account where:-

They send you an email wanting meter readings
You fill in meter readings on line.
They send you an email saying how much you owe.
You ring them up with credit/debit card.
(You can type everything in on the telephone keyboard).

It was quarterly.
Debit cards are cheaper than credit cards..
You get an on line discount plus another for prompt payment.
But you have control.

Eon was cheaper than BG at that time so I moved.
They have almost the identical arrangement.
 
D

Dave Liquorice

Cancel the DD and you may be deemed to have changed your account and
subject to the £30/50 penalty, per fuel, for changing your account
within the minimum contract period.
The penalty charge is slowly disappearing and any way stopping the DD
is to stop them taking more money from you until the dispute is
sorted out. The point is to make them contact you and the chances are
the person who does that will have the authority to get things done.
Unlike the average "customer service" tellytubby whe you call them.
 
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C

Cash

ss said:
Whats your thoughts on this?

I have a direct debit account for my gas bill bla bla bla.
Now I had a conversation with them on 5th Feb and was informed of the
rates ie first lot of gas charged at x amount and thereafter at y
amount. I now get my bill for this quarter and the x and y amounts
are higher than what was stated in my conversation of the 5th Feb. So from
the 6th Feb they have applied a higher charge.

This is just one of many inconsistences I have disputed with them.
They also have informed me my direct debit will be increased....like
hell it will, I will decide what I pay not them!

ss,

"I will decide what I pay not them!" That's part of the DD mandate contract
that you have with the as long as you manage your account properly and
without any outstanding long-term debit amounts.

I have had notification of an increase/decrease on my monthly DD gas payment
at least once a year over the last few years - and when I have queried this
on the odd occasions (last one this week [1) I have *never* had any problems
with them changing it up or down when I request them to do this.

[1] They dropped the amount this time because payments were slighly more
than gas usage - but as I wish to build up a small reserve, I simply told
them to put the DD back up to my previous amount - and the response was "yes
Mr Cashmore, no problem, this will take effect from next month". During this
telephone conversation, I was also told that the reason for the frequent
alterations are that they now run checks on DD payments against gas usage
twice a year in an attempt to avoid large 'nasty' suprprise rises for their
customers.

Cash
 
A

alan

During this
telephone conversation, I was also told that the reason for the frequent
alterations are that they now run checks on DD payments against gas usage
twice a year in an attempt to avoid large 'nasty' suprprise rises for their
customers.
Nothing to do with the large fine they may get if they deliberately
continued to take too much on DD so that the customer was many 100s in
credit at the end of the year.
 
D

Davey

Nothing to do with the large fine they may get if they deliberately
continued to take too much on DD so that the customer was many 100s
in credit at the end of the year.
Do you have a citation for that? I don't need it, as I submit readings
and pay the bill that results, but it would be good to have a reference
for overcharging fines.
 
C

Cash

alan said:
Nothing to do with the large fine they may get if they deliberately
continued to take too much on DD so that the customer was many 100s in
credit at the end of the year.
Don't know about the fines - but when they've owed me a couple of hundred
pounds in the past [1], unprompted by me, when I received the last bill of
the payment year, they would always offer the choice of a refund of the
excess or leave it in the account and reduce my monthly DD payments , and I
presume that's still the norm today.

I suppose problems such as that arise because many customers don't really
understand how the monthly DD system really works and at the end of their
payment year, they don't realise that they can ask for a refund *and* *or*
a reduction of their monthly DD payment to a level that justs pay the bill.

A bigger problem arises when the meter reader is unable to gain access to a
property for a long period and undervalued estimated bills are produced with
the customer then ignoring (for whatever reason) to supply the correct
reading over the 'phone and their account then becomes massively underpaid.
To rectify this, BG increases their DD to a high monthly payment to claw the
amount back and the customer is then not in the financial position to bear
the extra costs. [2]

[1] That was before the silly prices of today and when my yearly gas bill
(including cooking and heating), was around the £250 mark! Ah, those really
were the days.

[2] Many years ago, before my wife an I retired, BG meter readers (when
they were then actually employed by BG) were unable to gain access to my
property for around eighteen months for meter readings - and even though I
would supply the correct reading each quarter, they sent me a letter telling
me that if they couldn't gain access on a certain date, they would obtain a
court order to force entry to read the meter - I wonder if they do that now?

Now at the moment, I owe BG a small amount on the winter bill but my
electricty company owes *me* around £130 (I would prefer it the other way
around, but that's life)

Cash
 
A

alan

[2] Many years ago, before my wife an I retired, BG meter readers (when
they were then actually employed by BG) were unable to gain access to my
property for around eighteen months for meter readings - and even though I
would supply the correct reading each quarter, they sent me a letter telling
me that if they couldn't gain access on a certain date, they would obtain a
court order to force entry to read the meter - I wonder if they do that now?
Yes.
I just ignore them because it also seems to trigger a meter reader
turning up in the evening or week-end when I'm more likely to be in.
 
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B

Brian Gaff

Well current thinking around here is that they are a bunch of idiots who
don't know what they are doing or even what their own charges are. I had a
cold call from them the other day despite being on the tps list and they
seem to think its fine to ignore this as my number is on the electoral roll,
like hell it is.
Brian
 
D

Davey

alan said:
Nothing to do with the large fine they may get if they deliberately
continued to take too much on DD so that the customer was many 100s
in credit at the end of the year.
Don't know about the fines - but when they've owed me a couple of
hundred pounds in the past [1], unprompted by me, when I received the
last bill of the payment year, they would always offer the choice of
a refund of the excess or leave it in the account and reduce my
monthly DD payments , and I presume that's still the norm today.

I suppose problems such as that arise because many customers don't
really understand how the monthly DD system really works and at the
end of their payment year, they don't realise that they can ask for
a refund *and* *or* a reduction of their monthly DD payment to a
level that justs pay the bill.

A bigger problem arises when the meter reader is unable to gain
access to a property for a long period and undervalued estimated
bills are produced with the customer then ignoring (for whatever
reason) to supply the correct reading over the 'phone and their
account then becomes massively underpaid. To rectify this, BG
increases their DD to a high monthly payment to claw the amount back
and the customer is then not in the financial position to bear the
extra costs. [2]

[1] That was before the silly prices of today and when my yearly
gas bill (including cooking and heating), was around the £250 mark!
Ah, those really were the days.

[2] Many years ago, before my wife an I retired, BG meter readers
(when they were then actually employed by BG) were unable to gain
access to my property for around eighteen months for meter readings -
and even though I would supply the correct reading each quarter, they
sent me a letter telling me that if they couldn't gain access on a
certain date, they would obtain a court order to force entry to read
the meter - I wonder if they do that now?

Now at the moment, I owe BG a small amount on the winter bill but my
electricty company owes *me* around £130 (I would prefer it the other
way around, but that's life)

Cash
I had the letter once demanding access to read the meter or they would
send someone round to break in to get it. This was despite the fact
that it was behind an unlocked shed door, with those for the four other
flats in the same building. They apologised when I pointed out that
their meter reader must have had his glasses on backwards.
At one time, I complained that the meter seemed to be reading too fast,
and they came and exchanged it, tested it, found it was faulty, and
gave me a refund.
 
S

SteveW

alan said:
Nothing to do with the large fine they may get if they deliberately
continued to take too much on DD so that the customer was many 100s in
credit at the end of the year.
Don't know about the fines - but when they've owed me a couple of hundred
pounds in the past [1], unprompted by me, when I received the last bill of
the payment year, they would always offer the choice of a refund of the
excess or leave it in the account and reduce my monthly DD payments , and I
presume that's still the norm today.

I suppose problems such as that arise because many customers don't really
understand how the monthly DD system really works and at the end of their
payment year, they don't realise that they can ask for a refund *and* *or*
a reduction of their monthly DD payment to a level that justs pay the bill.

A bigger problem arises when the meter reader is unable to gain access to a
property for a long period and undervalued estimated bills are produced with
the customer then ignoring (for whatever reason) to supply the correct
reading over the 'phone and their account then becomes massively underpaid.
To rectify this, BG increases their DD to a high monthly payment to claw the
amount back and the customer is then not in the financial position to bear
the extra costs. [2]

[1] That was before the silly prices of today and when my yearly gas bill
(including cooking and heating), was around the £250 mark! Ah, those really
were the days.

[2] Many years ago, before my wife an I retired, BG meter readers (when
they were then actually employed by BG) were unable to gain access to my
property for around eighteen months for meter readings - and even though I
would supply the correct reading each quarter, they sent me a letter telling
me that if they couldn't gain access on a certain date, they would obtain a
court order to force entry to read the meter - I wonder if they do that now?
I had a similar situation. I lived alone and they kept sending meter
readers while I was out at work. As it came up to two years, they
"demanded" access. I asked them to send a reader in the evening or at
the weekend, they insisted that they didn't do visits then! I told them
that I was having a day off in three weeks and they could come then.
They agreed a morning visit - which apparently was any time up to 1:00pm
!!! I waited in 'til quarter past, as I'd actually taken the day off to
do stuff and needed to go out, they left a note at half-past!

For that failed effort, they cancelled the demand to see the meter and
paid me £10 for a missed visit. They were supposed to knock it off my
next bill, however they failed to pay it for three successive quarterly
bills and finally resorted to sending me a cheque!

SteveW
 
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S

ss

Well current thinking around here is that they are a bunch of idiots who
don't know what they are doing or even what their own charges are. I had a
cold call from them the other day despite being on the tps list and they
seem to think its fine to ignore this as my number is on the electoral roll,
like hell it is.
Brian
"5th Feb and was informed of the rates ie first lot of gas charged at x
amount and thereafter at y amount.
I now get my bill for this quarter and the x and y amounts are higher
than what was stated in my conversation of the 5th Feb. So from the 6th
Feb they have applied a higher charge.

This is just one of many inconsistences I have disputed with them.
They also have informed me my direct debit will be increased....like
hell it will, I will decide what I pay not them!"

Update...
They phoned me within 24 hours and reinstated the old DD amount.
The conversation led to me discussing the rates per kWh they apply as it
keeps changing. I was informed I am allocated eg 2000 kWH per year at
the high rate and anything thereafter is charged at the lower rate. but
they dont allocate this equally for each quarter, in other words they
manipulate the bill. I have since requested the formula they apply
which decides the amount of kWH I get each quarter at the 2 rates.
 
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