Britsh Gas threaten legal action

#1
So....
1. I receive an electricity bill

2. I pay electricity bill

3. I receive a red letter - assume payment not quite cleared - give it a couple of days

4. Receive 2nd red letter - ring them up - they receieved my payment, put it on the wrong account (as it took them 4 months to transfer over account details)

5. On phone sort out that they then refunded the original account owner and I MUST pay the bill again - as apparently that's my fault. Argue them over to the fact that they do not continue pursuing me for money and I send them proof of payment.

6. I receive a letter threatening legal action unless I pay up immediately - the amount is equal to over 1/3 of my monthly income.

It's a bank holiday - they're gonna get it over the phone tomorrow :evil:

Any arrseroom lawyers out there suggest ways forward?
 
#3
Find out the name of the Chief Executive (Phil Bentley)(check the spelling) and send E Mail to him phil.bentley@centrica.com. Go on www.centrica.com and get details of other senior execs to mail if you do not get a response from his office. Does the trick with most large companies. Most employ teams to deal with complaints made to chief exec. Otherwise go to the regulators Ofgem?.
 
#4
msr said:
http://www.energy-ombudsman.org.uk/links/6-0-faqs.php

To be honest giving Gupta of Bangalore a gob full may make you feel better, but is unlikely to aid is your resolution of this case.

msr
Thanks, obviously missed the creation of that little gem
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#5
Can you get a bank statement online? Could always forward that as an email attachment to their customer relations/complaints depatment.


Oh, and mention 'stress' and 'inconvenience'. Might see you alright for an ex-gratia payment too!
 
#6
British Gas is a wholly unacceptable face of capitalism and is a disgrace in all respects.

Contact: energywatch on 06459 06 07 08 and INSIST that you speak to a supervisor.

You could let them take legal action and have a laugh as they have the case thrown out and have to pay costs.

What Parliamentary Constituency do you live in? Get the MP involved pronto.

Were you speaking to a call-centre outside the UK? If so they follow printed responses and revert to 'tough, we shall sue' lines when they are stumped.
 
#7
If you have access or know someone who has, to a company credit check software, or an accoount with companies house information. You can look up the company, search for directors, and this will list said directors and their home address, usually stirs things up a bit :twisted:
 
#8
Have proof of payment ? yes?.

Dear British Gas.
See you in court , I am sure the judicial system will see the poor accounting practice that you follow and the fact that you are now harrassing me for monies that I do not owe.
cc ;Watchdog, Ombudsman, all national press news desks, etc etc

something along those lines sent by a disabled ex serviceman when threatened by a finance company. Oh and address it to the company secretary by Royal mail signed for service, and request that all furthur corrospondance be in writing. I know I did. Letter by return all sorted.

Best of luck
WW
 
#9
Telephone Number for Centrica: 01753 494000

Chief Executive: Sam Laidlaw.

Demand to be put through to his office.

Good luck.

Let us know what happens.

Daily Mail is normally quite good at 'sorting' this type of b*llocks. You know the background: poor squaddie, month's pay, etc
 
#10
Not a squaddie I'm afraid.

On the otherhand I'm mightly urined off at the way in which big companies feel they can walk all over us.

Plan of action:

Ring them tomorrow and explain position again

At same time send proof of payment with photocopy of their letter and a covering letter. Copies to various people mentioned.

Thanks for help and good wishes!
 
#11
Crabby - do not ring them.... you should email them or write to them.. get it all off your chest in a letter that way you don't spend 45 minutes on the phone explaining to some dim shite all about your lil problem only for them not to really care anyway and then decide to put you through to another department.. you are in the right... so write the letter send it recorded and enjoy the sun....
 
#12
crabby said:
Any arrseroom (person) out there suggest ways forward?
When you made your payment, if by cheque or transfer, did you clearly advise them which account the money was to be credited to?

It always helps if you pay for a Utility by cheque or transfer, to give information overload: your name, the name of the account, the address to which it applies, the account number; and, in the case of fuel/energy suppliers - whether its for gas or electricity.

Remember, they get millions of payments a month, some for gas, some for Elec.

If, as you suggest they've 'received' your payment, but, 'they' gave it (back) to the previous occupant of the premises supplied, then that is 100% their problem.
 
#13
Infury8r said:
crabby said:
Any arrseroom (person) out there suggest ways forward?
When you made your payment, if by cheque or transfer, did you clearly advise them which account the money was to be credited to?

It always helps if you pay for a Utility by cheque or transfer, to give information overload: your name, the name of the account, the address to which it applies, the account number; and, in the case of fuel/energy suppliers - whether its for gas or electricity.

Remember, they get millions of payments a month, some for gas, some for Elec.

If, as you suggest they've 'received' your payment, but, 'they' gave it (back) to the previous occupant of the premises supplied, then that is 100% their problem.
Paid online. Basically what they've said is that they were in the process of closing the old account when I paid the balance due - so they paid it back to previous account holder - and still wanted to charge me full whack.
They admitted to this over the phone.
I moved in on the 1st September - we sent the letter that day detailing account changes and meter readings. I then thought it strange in early/mid febuary when after I received the bill about a day later I had a letter welcoming me to British Gas.
I made it very very clear that if they expect to change account details over in about 6 weeks (as quoted on phone) that 4 months is totally unacceptable. I was told then that British Gas would sort it and not send me more letters demanding payment.
 
#15
I can safely say that you wont have much luck phoning any of their call centres about this one. I used to work in a British Gas call centre and I actually had to leave because I was getting annoyed at just how incompetent they are at dealing with things just like this. The problem is the whole system is automated now and the person you are talking to on the phone really has no power to do anything about your situation.

British Gas bought a database system off the shelf to handle customer accounts. The person you speak to on the other end of the phone can not stop any reminder letters being sent out to you or anything like that as it's all automated. It's absolutely ridiculous I agree but the only choice you have is to pay the bill like they say or put up with their reminder letters, which will effect your credit rating if you go far enough down the debt path.

It's privatisation what done it I tell you! :wink:
 
#16
I had a similar problem with them 10 years ago when I moved into my first quarter. The previous occupant was a pikey Scouse f*cker (I can say that because I was born in Liverpool myself, you can't) who never paid any bills.
Situation compounded because DHE nobs apparently lost the paperwork for the march-in, and never forwarded relevant bits to British Gas.
2 months after getting settled, I was away on a course and my wife was fortunately away visiting rellies - fortunate because British Gas had sent bailliffs around to disconnect me and remove furniture to the value of.
Do NOT ring them; I did and got absolutely nowhere. Put it in writing and send it recorded delivery, copy to the Ombudsman and the Chief Executive. Request that all dealings by them are in writing too, and refuse to speak to the oily tw*t they appoint to deal with your case when he rings. Also request confirmation that your credit rating will not be affected by their cock-up.
Good luck.
 
#17
Much good advice for you Crabby. Getting the MP involved is always a helpful one, and going in at the top of the organisation seems to get things done. Golden rule is to ignore the complaints pages on websites and write to the bloke in charge. Usually works.

As well as a complaint to energywatch if this goes on, don't forget Which (although they may try to sell you their magazine) and BBC Watchdog. You might also consider seeing if the Trade and Industry Select Committee has done any reports into billing incompetence, particularly by British Gas/Centrica and if they have, sending copies of your correspondence to the Chairman of that committee, complete with a covering note saying that you thought he might be interested in this latest case of ineptitude...

This might be of interest to you, although you can't rule out the fact the threat of a hostile article about incompetence may have had a salutory effect...
 
#18
March 1998, I moved into a house which had been empty for over three months - unsure who my gas supplier was I called Transco who advised me my supplier WASN'T British Gas (I can't remember exactly who it was now, I've changed supplier again since then!)

Around two weeks after I moved in I received a bill from British Gas, addressed to myself.... and asking me to pay over £1600 as I owed them this from the day I became the occupier (just two weeks before) I called them and told them I'd only been in the property a few weeks and that they weren't my supplier. The person I spoke to said to rip the bill up, it was a mistake, etc! Another two weeks down the line and a second bill for over £2k arrived - I called them again, was told they'd sort it and they acknowledged they weren't my supplier.

Two weeks later (and two days before I was due to go to Portugal for two weeks) I received a letter from British Gas, informing me that they were applying for a warrant from the Magistrates Court, to break into my property and cut my gas supply as I had refused to pay my bill!!! I called the court and and explained my story, they said they had actually heard from British Gas and had issued a warrant on their behalf, that I would receive a visit within the next seven days! I explained the situation and that Brit Gas were NOT my supplier - the court revoked the warrant whilst I spent the next day and a half trying to sort things out! After over 30 phone calls (including to Brit Gas themselves) I was getting nowhere - they were adamant they supplied my gas.

I made an emergency appointment to see a guy at Transco who sorted things for me there and then - fabulous,.... I thought!

18 months passed without incident,... then I received another bill - I ripped it into jigsaw sized pieces, wrote a sarcastic poem to the MD (telling him how dense his staff were - and invited them to come and cut off my gas supply - but stipulated I would sue the arrses off them) and posted it.

Funnily enough,.... I never heard anymore after that! :wink:
 
#19
Let them them take you to court, take your reciept (and recordings of all future phone calls telling them you've paid and the problem's at their end) and let a judge make a horses arrse out of them!
 
#20
This reminds me of a situation I was in about 10 years ago, when I lived in a house which had no gas supply, yet British Gas sent me regular bills for random amounts. Initially I would ring the call centre, they'd apologise, blame the computer and cancel the bill.

However, it went on, and on... and on, until they started sending red bills, then threatening letters, and then one day two 'enforcement officers' turned up on the doorstep demanding payment and threatening to break in. Once they'd seen that there was no gas supply they apologised and went - but BG still kept sending threats.

Eventually I complained to Trading Standards (OFGAS = waste of time - huge backlog so nothing gets done for months), who spoke to BG and suggested that pursuing a debt that no longer exists is unlawful.

In the meantime, I wrote to BG and told them that I would start charging £25 to 'process' (i.e. bin) every piece of paper they sent. I invoiced them, and then took them to small claims court - result £75 + costs to me!

In this case, I would suggest that you write to BG pointing out that you do not owe them any money, and welcome an opportunity to demonstrate this before a Judge in County Court. Say that you will consider any further attempts to pursue this non-existent debt as harassment within the meaning of S40 of the Administration of Justice Act. Send it recorded delivery, and then ignore anything else they send unless it's a Court claim.
 

Similar threads

Top