I am getting on a bit and moved into a Nottingham City Homes high-rise aided-flats.
I set-up a direct debit to pay British Gas and almost a year later received a demand from them for another account number that had my name and correct address on it.
Being partially deaf, I asked Deana, the warden, who contacted BG, and almost two hours later, they told her that this account would be closed on 7th June 2016.
On the 7th of July 2016, another letter arrived asking if I had forgotten to pay this bill?
Julie, the another warden rang them to try and sort this out, but it took so long, her going home time arrived. Seems I may have to pay to have the second (Non-existent) meter removed/disconnected?
Four days later, I managed to get Deana to ring again. Eventually, again, they informed her that the account would be closed.
I now wait nervously for the next ‘Reminder’.
Well well well… The following Saturday (today)
Oh, Marvelous! French Owned British Gas, who last week told Warden Deana the Electricity Bill would be scrapped for the second time, have sent me a Red Letter Bill with threats now!
Losing me credit rating – demanding the £250+ I don’t owe them!
So frustrated, I did a post about them and put it on Facebook, LinkedIn and on WordPress too!
So annoyed with them for lying to my warden twice now! Grrr!
So, another demand arrives, and my aided-flat warden rang them again for me.
Warden Deana told me once again, the account is to be closed and I have nothing to worry about. (Humph!)
Now, a few days later today, I get another demand for this non-existent meter with my name on it, once again for the £250.32.
“Call us about the money you owe” is the headline on it!
The replacement ticker the angina and sticking reflux valve are not happy with this extra unwarranted hassle from British Gas, especially after Deana rang them for I think the fourth time – now I have to bother her again for a fifth time. After being told on every occasion the account would be closed.
My health is suffering over this, and enough is enough! I will be seeking legal advice as recommended by the medical staff. When and if I ever feel up to it!
All I want is peace and a hassle-free existence.
Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit, I understand, but my patience is getting thin. I hope I don’t snuff it before this is sorted.
Where can I get some help on this, can anyone help?
Thursday 28 July 2016:
Warden Deana Walker rang British Gas again (Over an hour) for me.
This time, a different story emerged: It appears the two tariffs are on the same meter now? They intend to merge the two – thus making my bill twice as much?
This after being told three times by British Gas that they had closed this fictional extra account!
Deana asked them to send someone out to sort and assess the situation.
So, now I await Deana to have a look and then the BG representative getting in touch to arrange a visit…
1220hrs: Ah, Deana is here now talking to British gas as she looks at the meter… She gave the all the details yet again to a different representative who told her the account in question was definitely closed 28th June 2016. This the same account that they are going to merge with my proper account???
She was then put onto someone else and explained it all again to this one. She waited patiently for the return to the phone, of the lady she had been speaking to this time…
1240hrs: Still waiting. 1253hrs: Still waiting… 1258hrs… (Missed her dinner break now!) 1259hrs The Lady (Leigh) returned said Checked on company database, what Abdul told her earlier was incorrect, the account they were still sending out bills for no longer exists!
I await further developments with an uncomfortable feeling of dread in my old mechanical heart.
Thursday 4th August:
British Gas with another Red Demand for payment to the meter they told Warden Dean Walker a few days ago (For the third time!) had been Cancelled!
The ladies must have seen how this affected me, and they ran Deana and asked her to call and see me once again Sort out this horrendous situation.
This time, French-owned British Gas threatened me that they would get a legal entry warrant and replace the non-existent meter with a payment meter, I’d lose my Credit Rating, and they will pass on my details to Credit Collection Agency!British Gas with another Red Demand for payment to the meter they told Warden Dean Walker a few days ago (For the fourth time!) had been Cancelled!
Warden Deana arrived a bit later, and took the paperwork, saying she is going to contact them by email this time, so she has a record, and off she went, too.
Heard nothing back from her yet.
Terribly worried now!
Warden Deana came to see me. She has sent an email to British Gas, awaiting a reply.
Wednesday 10 August: Warden Deana emailed the reply to me from BG.
From: Customer Complaints
Date: 9 August 2016 12:38:24 BST
To: Dean Walker
Subject: Your reply from British Gas (18953202) (KMM43902975V30033L0KM)
Dear Ms Walker
Thank you for the enquiry you sent regarding Mr Chamber’s account, I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you.
Unfortunately, I am unable to help for the time being, as you are currently not named on the account, and as such I am unable to disclose or change any information regarding the account.
This is due to the Data Protection Act.
If you would like to be named on the account, please call us on 0800 048 0202* when you are with the account holder, so we can get permission to either speak to yourself or add your name to the account.
Alternatively, you can send in a signed power of attorney letter from the account holder, with the account number and details, authorising you to be added to the account. This can be posted, or attached to an email. Our mailing address is: British Gas, PO Box 227, Rotherham, S98 1PD.
Once you have been added to the account, or we have verbal permission from the account holder to discuss the account with yourself, we will be able to disclose any information you require.
I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Please contact us should you need any help in the future and thank you for contacting British Gas.
Kind regards Grace Winearls
britishgas.co.uk – Looking after your world
Deana came to the flat at 0955hrs and rang BG and got her name on record as my representative and added her name to the account. (Which account, the actual one or the fictional one, we were not sure)
She ran the BG Complaints number, and tried to get put through to them, but had to make do with the Billing section.
She explained the situation yet again to this BG agent, and was put through to another agent and explained everything to him as well. To complained to each person she spoke to, and asked them why she could not get through to the complaints department?
She was put on hold. (Half an hour on the phone up to here)
Someone spoke to her and decided to put her through to someone else again.
She was put on hold.
She explained everything again to this agent.
She was put on hold.
She asked for written confirmation that the account had actually been close like he has been verbally told on four occasions now, but the demands continue?
She was put on hold.
Mr Ricmondo came on the line.
We were told it had been cancelled (Again!).
She was asked to give the meter readings from the one meter I have. (Which of course is not the meter in question (…67), but the meter I am paying by direct debit (…95). Bewildered we both were!
Deana complained again, about not being able to talk to their Complaints Department directly!
Her phone battery was now down to one bar. She complained about being kept waiting on hold so often.
She was put on hold.
Ricmondo returned eventually.
1) It seems an engineer will contact Deana to make an appointment to disconnect the non-existent meter and take the readings?
2) No further demands would be received. (Oh yes, very confident about this we were!)
Deana spent 53 minutes in total on hold – the poor woman had lost the will to live!
Wednesday 10th August 2016:
British gas, who told Deana five times at least now that the account had been closed, sent me an email request to supply them with a meter reading again, for the supposedly closed mystery meter!?!?
It gets more convoluted and worrying as time goes by!
Wednesday 17th August 2016:
Despite having been told by Deana not to contact me, but her as she is my sole representative and her contact details being given to BG, they called me on the phone knowing my hearing difficulties. The polite gentleman, whose accent, I found extremely hard to comprehend, wanted to talk to me about the non-existent meter.
I informed him of the arrangement for Deana Walker to be contacted as my agent. Then had to give him her contact details for the eighth time at least.
Still, no more Red Letter threats and demands again… yet.
19th August 2016:
Got a phone call from BG again.
I told them to contact Warden Deana. Later in the day.
Well, fancy that, yet another threatening payment demand arrived! “We will pass your details to a debt collection agency!” “…for a warrant to enter your property and fit a pay as you go meter”
Again I receive it on a Friday so I can worry and fret over the weekend before I can get to talk to Deana.
The stomach ulcer has started playing up now, along with the Angina.
The dizzy spells are back too!
Monday 22nd August 2016 – 0835hrs:
Hobbled to the Community Hut at the flats and luckily, Deana was in, she called British Gas and asked if she could be put through to the complaints department, this time, she was told they didn’t have a complaints department?
She explained the situation yet again and I had to confirm my authorising her to speak for me.
She was put on hold for fifteen minutes: She was put-on-hold again and eventually ran out of time and had to ring off after 20 minutes! She will try again later and let me know what occurs.
24th August 2016:
Two emails and another demand, for payment of the mystery meter.
Cannot contact Deana to tell her about these.
Having been told they have closed this …67 account numbers, on at least five times, on the following Friday…
I get this copy of an email received sent from British Gas to Deana.
Friday 26th August:
I get these letters from British Gas (As quoted in the email copy).
So, desperate to try and understand if I am being conned or not here now.
Sent an email to Doctor Lynton with a copy of the email, and updated this post, in a desperate effort to get some guidance.
Oh dearie me! Then the email from Deana:
Dear Ms Walker
As you’ll remember, you’ve recently been in touch and asked us to look into an important issue.
My name is Lee Jordan. I’ll be personally handling your complaint and will ensure that it is resolved to your satisfaction as soon as possible.
I’ve tried to contact you on 26th August 2016 but this hasn’t been possible. I’m sorry for any concern that has been caused in regards to the bills that have been produced for Mr Timothy Chambers’ accounts. I’ve had a good look into this for you.
Usually, a property will only have one supply number (known as the MPAN). Due to Mr Chambers having an Economy 10 meter, he has two supply numbers and these are 1100005542430 and 1100005542440.
Account reference 850055308467 is for MPAN 1100005542430.
Account reference 851004170695 is for MPAN 1100005542440.
Mr Chambers’ meter has 5 rates which log the electricity that is being used at different times of the day. The accounts were set up so that two of these rates were being billed on account number 850055308467 and the other three were being billed on account number 851004170695.
Mr Chambers was receiving bills for account number 850055308467 as we only had a Direct Debit set up on 851004170695.
So, why didn’t they tell me when I set it all up?
In order to simplify things, we have now put all five of the readings onto account number 850055308467. This means all future bills for this account will include the total amount of electricity that has been recorded on the meter. A new Direct Debit has been set up for this account. This is now the main account.
No further charges will be applied on account number 851004170695. Because of this, the Direct Debit for this account has been cancelled. Upon closing this account, there was a credit of £76.23 on it. This has been transferred over to the new main account 850055308467.
Mr Chambers has used on average £100 per month of electricity since the account opened in June 2015 and his current balance is £375.30. In order to cover the cost of what is being used and to also clear the current balance, his Direct Debit has been set to £134 per month going forward.
Can they do this without my permission?
Please be assured that there is no longer any overdue balance to pay as his full current balance of £375.30 is included in this Direct Debit payment scheme.
A new statement is on the way to him showing the current balance of £375.30 on his new main account 850055308467. He’ll notice that all five of the readings are together on this statement and the future statements will continue with all the readings together. This statement details the unit rates that are being charged for each rate.
A statement for account number 851004170695 has also been produced. He’ll notice that the balance on this account is zero. As mentioned above, no further charges will be applied to this account.
Mr Chambers may benefit from moving to a supplier that has a specific Economy 10 tariff if he is heating his home during the times that are allocated as the cheap rates. Any supplier with Economy 10 tariffs would be able to give him further advice regarding this.
If you feel I haven’t answered all your questions, or you‘re not satisfied your complaint has been completely resolved, please feel free to contact me on the details above. I’d be more than happy to help you further.
If you’re happy with what’s been done you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close the complaint down for you on 10th September 2016.
Saturday 17 August 2016:
These arrive in the post: now four letters in two days?
Seems they have done it anyway. Cancelled the old original one, added the mystery one and what was left, on the original one together… This is doing my health no good at all. The Angina and Duodenal Ulcer are both giving me hassle again now, trying to understand why they have lied to me and Deana so often and changed their messages to us?
Do I have any comeback?