British Gas Rant

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by gbjeppm, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. gbjeppm

    gbjeppm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Oct 31, 2006
    C207 E Coupe 350cdi, W166 ML 250 Cdi Sport, R171 SLK 350, Suzuki V Strom DL650
    Apologies up front this is a rant, but also wondered if anybody else on the forum has had this problem.

    So my BG bill drops on the mat last week, and I am £280 in credit. This is good I think as winter is about to start. Then I see that my direct debit is propose to go up from £60 per month to £88 per month.

    So I phone up British Gas and say I would like to continue to pay £60 per month.

    Their response, well we have calculated your usage, and with the increase in prices and based on last years annual usage, you need to pay more.

    I say, no I have taken measures to save heating, and I will use less heat to compensate for the rise in prices. I will also use my open fire more. I also expect prices to now fall, as the Gas prices should follow the Crude Oil price.

    They say that their system cannot do that!!!

    Only option was to come off DD and pay quarterly, and lose the DD discount.

    I cannot believe that BG can give me no other option, and that their systems have no options to override.

    Is this a way for BG to fund themselves with our money, as it is more difficult to get credit from the banks?

    Anyway I have now gone to paying quarterly, and will pay at the last possible moment, just to make me feel better. A small stand perhaps, but if I am not the only one who now takes this approach perhaps eventually they will change it.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  2. portzy

    portzy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Apr 10, 2004
    Ulrome, Driffield, East Yorkshire.
    An SLK R171 with lots of toys and a Golf Plus for fishing.
    Thats exactly what I/we did. And thats coming from an ex BG employee.

    Their systems are flexible enough to stand modification of the DD, either up or down, but call handlers are under extreme pressure to keep this information from the customer. Ultimately the money, or rather exess money, is better in their bank than in yours as everyone knows.

    Some weeks after we did the same as you we got a letter, standard letter I'm assuming, asking us to take advantage of the discounts to be had if we went to DD. When we had finished rolling about on the floor we binned it because by then we had received our credit balance cheque and the actual bill(s) are now cumulatively less than we were paying before on monthly DD.

    The only downside is that my deffered pension may suffer so please bear in mind my plight, I'm simply a poor gas-man:D.

  3. del320

    del320 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Mar 4, 2005
    Near Melrose, Scottish Borders
    1996 E320 Coupe
    Look here

    Lucky me - locked into fixed price until April 2010 (from October 2005)

    By then I'll be eligible for heating allowance. ;)
  4. manalishi

    manalishi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sign of the times - MBNA has just changed the direct debit system on its credit cards. Purely to cream more interest out of mug customers.
  5. robert.saunders

    robert.saunders Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Oct 11, 2004
    South Lincs / Hampshire
    W210 E300TD
    I did same with BT funnily enough as they wanted my DD going up to stupid levels, so now pay quarterly, although I'm not sure their prices are linked to oil.

    As for elec, I switched to Southern Electric over 9-months ago and still haven't had a bill yet, despite requests for one :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  6. discodom

    discodom Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    this happened to us too!


    I am glad I am not the only one.

    This happened to us two weeks ago. For the last 12 months we have been paying a DD of 41 a month. Recently we noticed on our online bill that we were in credit and that they wanted to up our DD a month by 68% to around 70. Anyway I contacted BG and ended up on the phone argueing our case for over 45 mins.

    Long n short of it - I explained that last year we hadnt even used £500 worth of gas and were still in credit. I explained that I could not see how they thought we were going to use £900 worth. The young chap at the other end kept repeating himself, and his maths wasnt adding up either.

    I explained that I did not wish to be in credit and that i would prefer to have the money in my account than theirs. I was not going to budge - and still kept going back to the fact that I have loft insullation, double glazing and all necessary measures in place etc - and that I could not forsee that we would use any more gas this year than last.

    cue - more too'ng and fro'ing, more calculations his end, repeated conversations on both parts - - - - -

    After 45 mins - he gave in - I could tell he was getting exasparated. Either there is a set time they are allowed to be on one call - or his supervisor told him to give in. He gave me this rehearsed speech that I would have make sure that i was able to make the payments if we went over our planned usage and that we would just pay the 35% increase. This still worked out as a £13 increase per month.

    I did keep my cool, and was polite and thanked him for his time. I said that as a customer I found BG very unaccomodating.

    I think its crazy that BG are allowed to build up huge amounts of customer credits and think they can get away with stupendous increases without really doing their homework. I dont understand how they can turn round and (after spending £500 - and still being in credit) say that I am now going to spend nearer £1000 per annum. Even with the 35% increase that means I would only spend around £650. He did keep re-itterating that they review the accounts every 6 months - er they dont... we had not had a review for well over 12 months. If they had thought we were going to use more gas I am sure they would have contacted us sooner for more money!

    We did think about coming off DD and paying quarterly, but I wasnt going to give in that easily. My advice to anyone - keep a close eye on the small print on your bills whether online / paper based. Do your maths, get an exact meter reading, compare and calculate your usage for the winter quarter last year - and prepare for a little fight. :bannana:

    My rant over.:D
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  7. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

    Mar 15, 2007
    I changed from N-power just before they all increased the prices and fixed mine with Eon.

    What supprised me with N-power was that they sent bills each 6 months. So if you had low use at the start and they set the direct debit then in 6 months if your ouot at the start its a long way out. It Annoyed be as I have never owed on a bill and am always in credit, even though they seem to read the meter every month and I would ring to confirm.

    Anyway I will see how Eon are, so far so good and I get a monthly statement. Also a little gadget so I can see just how much we are spening per day / week / month....its scarry.

    Currently paying £140 a month Dual fuel which seems high but then the Mrs does like it tropical :)
  8. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Nov 24, 2003
    S211 E320Cdi Avantgarde Estate & Toyota Land Cruiser
    If you think that is bad I switched from EDF to another supplier 6 months ago and am still waiting for a refund of the £286 excess credit that had built up.

    About to launch online court claim procedure against them because their staff appear to be incapable and hugely unwilling to do anything.
  9. esox

    esox Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    May 15, 2003

    I also swapped about 18 months ago to BG on the `2010` tariff.

    Up until a couple of months ago i realised i have been paying their regular gas/leccy prices,not the fixed `2010` one i should have.

    They adjusted my bills accordingly and i was nearly £700 in credit!

    I pay £5 a month now for leccy..
  10. The Terminator

    The Terminator Active Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    CLK 55 AMG
    Same boat here was paying £34 a month for gas and £40 i credit.
    Now they want £71 a month !!!!
  11. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

    Jun 1, 2002
    CLK55 AMG
    I had something similar a couple of months ago (they owed me over £100) but the chap was most helpful and updated my DD with no question. The credit was transfered to my gas account so it was zero'd.

    He even told me that if times were hard I could drop the monthly DD and build up a bit of debt with them, as long as I carried on paying they could do nothing to collect the debt or even disconnect me as it's against the law.
  12. Natalie

    Natalie Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Nov 25, 2007
    W211 E320 CDI Black, W124 Estate E320 Tourmaline Green, previously W124 E280 Bornite
    Ditto ditto ditto - so why are these fat cat companies allowed to get away with it? :crazy: :rolleyes:

    I too spent a huge amount of time and money on the phone to them when they told me they were putting up my DD amount each month despite me being in credit:mad: . I pointed out that I would rather have the money in my account rather than in theirs, and asked what did they do with my money. The (ignorant) guy I was speaking to said they did nothing with it. Yeah, right. So why can't I have it - it is mine after all. :rolleyes:

    He also said that at the end of each period they would refund the money back to me when I am in credit. I polited pointed out that if I wanted to save money with a company it would not be BG, it would in fact be some organisation where I would be earning some interest. Just a minor point I thought.:eek:

    So why are there so many unhappy people out there and BG seem to control us? Time to vote with our feet maybe? Or is it a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire (probably run by BG too!):devil:
  13. Biscuit

    Biscuit Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    May 1, 2008
    I had a series of issues with moving house and BG. phone, elec, water all no probs but BG were nightmarish.

    several months of frustrated phonecalls being told time after time "thats all sorted for you sir" followed by more letters to me followed by "no we have no record of the issue... can you just take us through it again":crazy:

    finally spend two hours crafting a blow by blow account of what had happened what letters i had received (photocopies included) and asking them to reply within 30 days or i would forward it to lawyers etc etc.

    got a letter back from BG from a special complaints dept and boom its done.

    in my experience one dept doesnt talk to another and calling them is a bad way to solve problems .. get it in writing and keep copies of everything.
  14. Maxi4

    Maxi4 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Apr 4, 2008
    Not an MB right now :(
    British Gas are a bunch of theives!. A while back (2002), I switched from BG to N-power, They stalled the process, the whole thing was a bit of a nightmare. BG wouldnt switch the supply over to Npower, Npower and BG were telling me they were supplying the gas, BG wouldnt let me stop the DD to them threatening to cut my supply. So I ended up paying 2 DD's (Npower and BG) for about 1 1/2 years untill I moved. I was a bit naive back then I guess!!! BG did give me my money back after I moved (after I threatened to take them to court). Their argument was that the account was in dispute and until that was settled nothing gets given out. I wouldnt go with BG if they were the last supplier :( Talk about BAD service. Everyone I spoke to (except the last bloke who authorised the cheque) to me felt like they were lying to me!. Rant over!

  15. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

    May 17, 2006
    Threaten to leave them.

    The energy companies generally treat their customers as sheep. Actually that's not right. Farmers don't generally treat their sheep with contempt.

    Go 'baaaa' and turn your back on them and they will work a little harder to keep you.

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