Published:
4/09/2002
Right of Reply email sent:
4/09/2002

COMPANY RIGHT OF REPLY

 



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British Gas


Southampton

Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
Complainant:
Ms A Conroy
Town/City of Residence:
London


I have telephoned British Gas on numerous occasions to complain about another person's bill that has been sent to me in error repeatedly since April, and which has now been passed to a highly unpleasant debt collection agency, who are sending me demands/threats to seize goods etc.

I rang British Gas when I moved into my property in September 2001, and an account was made in my name. My account number is XXX XXX XXXX XX and I pay monthly by direct debit, based on meter readings. My address is FLAT XXXXXX, XXXX London.

Since April, I have been receiving bills addressed to "FLAT XXXXXX, XXXX London". The first bill referred to closure of account 1XXXXXXXXXXXX. Since the occupants of Flat 4 moved on 27 April 2002, I assume this was intended for them. The amount was in the area of £200.

I called British Gas to inform them of the mistake. As on subsequent occasions, the first reaction of the BG employee was scepticism - the bill was addressed to Flat 1, therefore it must be my bill, despite the fact that I was paying monthly on another account number.

Every call I have made has gone round in circles - I say it is not my bill, British Gas says something to the effect of, "well, we do have that amount billed at that address" and I say "YES, I KNOW, THAT IS WHY I AM CALLING YOU!". The first couple of calls ended with my being put on hold for an unacceptably long period, while the last two have ended with the other person telling me to disregard the bills, the matter would be sorted out, and I would not be troubled again.

Well, I have been troubled again, and I am waiting for British Gas to call me back. Meanwhile, I have send an email to house@house.co.uk.

I had a similar experience at a previous address. Again, there were a number of flats within a converted Victorian house, so we all shared house number and postcode. British Gas seem unable to get their heads around this, despite this being a very widespread type of address, particularly in London. In that instance, the person upstairs was repeatedly billed for a repair to my gas heater, which took place under my warranty and should not haved been charged at all! This despite numerous phone calls and letters from us both.
Anne Conroy

Link to Other British Gas Complaints



  Editorial Comments

British Gas has responded to the Right of Replty letter- see above right.

Ms Conroy's response- Received on 9 September:

"to answer their right of reply: the bill is not for someone previously at my address. I live at Flat 1, which I bought in September 2001. The previous owner read the meter and paid the bill for the outstanding gas used. I read the meter when I moved in, advised BG and set up a direct debit, and have paid them monthly since. I get bills on one account number which state I am in credit.

My post on Thursday last week brought 2 bills from BG, on the same account number (mine), stating I was in credit for 2 differing amounts. The same post brought another threat, this time from a "solicitor", warning dire consequences if I kept refusing to pay the £200.

The amount in question, the £200, was ADDRESSED to Flat 1, but refers to a period up to April 2002, on a different account number. I do not still have the bill, as BG told me to disregard it. As the owners of Flat 4 moved out in April 2002, I suspect it is meant for them and BG have just got the flat number wrong, as they do so often - as I stated, I have experience of them being unable to distinguish between different flat numbers in the same building. Can't wait to sue the bXXXXX now. Thanks"

Editor's Note: Ms Conroy has also sent another email to British Gas supplying the details requested for the 'umpteenth time"



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previously submitted Consumer Comments
[Important: Read Disclaimer]

I would like to make a complaint about my electicity as i was not told i would be transfered to britsh gas i was told nothing about this as i am still using a n power card and i have been on the phone for 2 hours trying to sort this out.
Jason Sarginson ... 2 January 2004
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I have avery similar experience with BG.
They keep sending me a bill for 1000. of electricity. I did not get my electricity from BG, never did. They constantly asssure me they have sorted everything out, a few months passes and surprise surprise enter a debt collection agency. We have even worked out the address of the property the bill refers to. BG again assure me all is well. A few months passes etc.etc. I have just tried to phone them yet again at my expense - a voice advises it could be 25 minutes before anyone answers.
Peter A. Smith ... 12 January 2004
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I do not understand why anyone would want to sign up with British Gas, I do have a cover program with them for boiler, fittings and plumbing and everytime I call them they tell me that my problem is not priority so I have to wait till the next available working day as they do not do weekends . Also the service center staff are another story entirely. I really feel sorry for the engineers I cannot imagine dealing with people like that. I have just given up.

I am signed to TXU and I have been for 4 years and I have not had any problems even with my moving from one property to another, and even managed to get credit for my overpayment. There is nothing that would make be sign on to BG and if someone comes to my door with one of their agreement I would most likely chase them not only out my drive but out of my street.

Their engineers are great tro work with, the service center is hell to deal with and their service center managers are even worse.
Temple...10 December 2002
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I phoned on 5/9/03 about 5.30p.m.about a query on my electric bill, i spoke to a michelle, she must be the most helpful pleasant person i have spoken to for a long time. She is an asset to your company.
Olive Mcqueen...5 September 2003
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W e have a baby 7 day's old and there is nobody
at the other end of the phone when you phone british gas.We have been without gas all weekend because of a faulty gas meter the transco engineer was not allowed to repair the meter as it owed by british gas this is appalling i am breastfeeding and can only eat pot noodles as our cooker is gas.
Theresa Suttill...27 October 2003
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EXTRACT OF MY LETTER: IDEAL BOILER SERVICE:
I refer to the installation for central heating at my premises and which has been a constant problem from the day it was installed. I am assuming that BS have all computerised and updated records and no doubt all the below mentioned can be verified by BS. Read More Ambreen Raoof ... 21 October 2003
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