British Gas PrePay Meter

#1
Just moved into a house that has a gas prepay meter with a top up card. Just went to stick £10 on it and noticed a debt of £35. So out of the £10 I topped up, it took £7 debt & left £3 for the gas, ie central heating..

That was at 17:00. It is now 18:24, and the prepay meter is reading £1.77!!

Surely it cannot have cost £1.33 for 1.5 hours????

As its rented we have to stick with it. Is there something wrong? Does it wipe more off as its in debt?
 
#2
carlbcfc said:
Just moved into a house that has a gas prepay meter with a top up card. Just went to stick £10 on it and noticed a debt of £35. So out of the £10 I topped up, it took £7 debt & left £3 for the gas, ie central heating..

That was at 17:00. It is now 18:24, and the prepay meter is reading £1.77!!

Surely it cannot have cost £1.33 for 1.5 hours????

As its rented we have to stick with it. Is there something wrong? Does it wipe more off as its in debt?
Your landlord aint been a good boy,if he aint checking the meters between clients etc etc, not very good, ring them in morining and kick up a stink. Why you paying someone elses debt???
 
#3
I would get in touch with your gas supplier. It sounds like you are paying off the debt for the previous occupant. The meter will have been programmed with the amount to deduct every time you top up or monthly.

The meter shouldn't have anything to do with the rental and you can just ask the supplier to put a normal one in.

Hope this helps.
 
#4
They are closed till the 4th. I would not bother but with the kids the heating had to go on. So does it cost more when the meter is in debt?
 
#5
Well I gathered im paying the debt of someone else, and I will reclaim it.

The issue im having is with the £3 that was credited to the meter after it took a share for the debt, it used up £1.33 in 84 mins of central heating.



So basically I started at 17:00hrs with £3, 84 mins later, I have £1.77!

Surely it does not cost £1.33 for that amount of time in an average 3 bed.

I phoned British Gas.....closed for xmas would you believe.
 
#6
I seem to recall if you're in debt, the hourly rate is increased to clear the debt
 
#7
I think the gas price is the same, just when you put money on the meter via the card, some will be taken to pay off the debt.

Also, you should have an emergency amount on the card; I believe it to be £2 to get you over a period of shops being closed etc. This will be activated by inserting the card into the meter, once the display drops below 20p (I think). When you top up again, this will be automatically reset and the £2 deucted from whatever amount you put on ie. £10 top up - £2 emergency used = £8 available for gas (plus the £2 emergency again).
 
#8
Also, get British Gas to check your meter's programming. It mat set at a false value or is recording incorrectly.
 
#10
Recce19 said:
I would get in touch with your gas supplier. It sounds like you are paying off the debt for the previous occupant. The meter will have been programmed with the amount to deduct every time you top up or monthly.

The meter shouldn't have anything to do with the rental and you can just ask the supplier to put a normal one in.

Hope this helps.
Unfortunately I am not sure that you will be able to get a normal meter where you pay by direct debit. The address may be blacklisted and you may be stuck with the pre pay meter which is up to 30% more expensive. No harm in ringing British Gas and asking, also speak to your landlord. If no joy with him, just leave with the same debt.
 
#11
carlbcfc said:
It took £7 out of the £10 for debt.


But my hourly rate seems to be £1 per hour....this cannot be right surely?
That sounds very wrong!

£2 should see you right for nearly 24 hours and also, £7 out of £10 is way too much - unless that was the arrangement agreed between BG and the previous occupant.

Hope you get it sorted and keep an independant record, of the amounts you top up whilst waiting for them to sort it.
 
#15
"What are the advantages of a prepayment meter?
For people who want to manage their household spending, there are two advantages of using a prepayment meter:

1.You pay for your fuel as you use it, so therefore won’t spend what you can’t afford
2.You can repay any outstanding debt with your energy supplier at an agreed weekly rate.

The above was taken from energychoices.co.uk. It also says your supplier is obliged to attend within 4 hours if your meter is faulty! One way of finding out what's going on...
 
#16
If I remember correctly, you will always be left with 30% of whatever you put in the meter.

This is a statutory measure to ensure you are left with SOME gas.

For example, put £10 in and the meter will take £7 (70%) for debt leaving you with £3 (30%).

If you use the £5 (for example) emergency credit in the meter, then from £10, £5 will be taken to recharge the emergency credit, £2 will go towards debt owed and £3 will be available for credit. But all this depends on which Gas Supplier you are with.

Personally, I think taking 70% is fucking shocking and penalises those most vulnerable in society for being, frankly, hard up. It's a well known fact that the tariff rates on pre-pay gas & electric meters are considerably higher when compared to customer paying by Direct Debit or by Paper Billing.

I know a few folk who have had their Mains gas supply disconnected and reverted to bottled gas, LPG or Oil. But I can appreciate this is not an option for those in MQ's.
 
#17
We used to have one of these meters, they used to have an "emergency" button if you ran out of credit, damn near wore it out one winter.



Anyway, you need to talk to both your supplier and the landlord, not the pub landlord, your house one.
 
#18
Infiltrator said:
carlbcfc said:
£1.33 now! Im phoning their 0800 number on my mobile and its costing me 20p per friggin minute!
Well put the phone down and go here....

http://www.0800buster.co.uk/

that'll sort out the price of calling 0800 from a mobile at least.
Arrrgghhh! I just spent 50 mins on the mobile at 20p per min. Worse thing is, I knew I could dial free from the mobile somehow, but wiht the manic day ive had I bloody forgot.

British Gas African Branch were more interested in changing the name on the account and sending a new card to wipe the debt and refund, the debt we had paid.

I on the other hand are more interested in why it is costing me £1 per hour to use the central heating.
 
#19
When you moved in the meter readings should have been read and recorded with landlord and British Gas/supplier. I'm guessing you're renting?

The previous occupants are still liable for the debt. The gas supplier will chase if you can get a forwarding address.

May be worth checking that the gas safety certificates for your property are current esp if the Landlord is being a bit of a shyster. In fact check your tenancy agreement page to page.


You can have the meter removed and a regular meter put in, they [prepay] are expensive. Just set up an unofficial standing order with your supplier monthly it takes the sting out of the bill when you receive quarterly bills.
 

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