BRITISH GAS PATRONISING CUSTOMER SERVICE
British Gas (trading as Scottish Gas in Scotland) is an energy and home services provider in the United Kingdom. It is the trading name of British Gas Services Limited and British Gas New Heating Limited, both subsidiaries of Centrica. Serving around twelve million homes in the United Kingdom, British Gas is the biggest energy supplier in the country and is considered one of the Big Six dominating the gas and electricity market in the United Kingdom. Citation Wikipedia.
Key People: Chris O’Shea (Chief Executive, Centrica Consumer) Matthew Bateman (Managing Director, UK Home).
PATRONISING UTILITY PROVIDER.
Today I contacted my utility provider British Gas to move my payment date to another date and was met with a patronizing reception, as I will explain.
I was told I did not have a payment plan in place even though I have been paying monthly from day dot.
She also said I need to have a smart meter even though I have heard about smart meters being hacked and as an Editor of Several Publications including www.disabledentrepreneur.uk I have concerns about my security as I get attempted hacks every day:
Smart Meter Security Concerns
I disagree with anything that potentially could get hacked even smart fridge freezers. printers and smart TVs can get hacked.
My bills are generated quarterly in arrears and as per the screenshot below, all I owed from January’s bill is £132.67.
This would be the same as me paying the bill off as soon as I received it, yet I was then told the usage of my gas from the time my last bill was generated was £45.03.
This should be reflected in my next bill and has nothing to do with the bill that was generated in January 2022.
Regardless of whether I pay the bill quarterly in one go or monthly it should be for that period in question.
I was paying £65.00 per month but now I have been told I have to pay £90.00 per month to include my usage to date spread over a 12-month period of perceived usage.
Why complicate things, when a bill is generated it includes the usage for that period, so why do complicated calculations?
I am happy to review my bill every 3 months that is not a problem.
For example, if a bill comes to £200.00 for the quarter then you should have the option to pay it off in one go £200 or pay it in 3 monthly installments of £66.67, not all this future usage BS.
Now let me do the maths.
I owed £132.67 from my last bill in January 2022 until I made the phone call today which shot to £177. 00
Had I kept my mouth shut and not tried to move the payment date my bill would not have inflated today.
Had I kept my mouth shut and just paid the £65.00 as normal without any communication or moving the date the outstanding payment was for £132.67 which was divided by two month’s monthly payments until my next bill would have been £66.35 per month but the woman “Sonia” I believe although I could be wrong added the usage to date which would have been added in my next bill in April of an extra £45.03 so now because I wanted to move my payment date to the 15th of the month another bill was generated just to be spiteful considering my usage is supposed to be a bill in arrears, it is unfair to generate two bills for the same period/quarter.
It will be interesting from what date my next quarterly bill will be generated and will see if the £45.03 that was unnecessarily invoiced today will be reflected. If they do not subtract the £45.03 from the next bill they will be essentially scamming me.
This corporation is not helping the consumer and likes all my articles it is only fair that this information is shared with the public on social media. But first I am waiting to be affiliated with a competitor before making a dent in their pocket.
My current usage should have been reflected in my next bill in April.
Yet to bump the price up of my current bill the woman added my current usage to date even though I should be billed in April for this.
Patronizing and Judgemental
British Gas is aware I have a disability so the next thing I found very patronizing, rude, and judgemental, as I said in my last post about Virgin Media it is high tide I have a Wikipedia page so that people actually know who they are dealing with.
- When I said I that £90 per month on Gas was ridiculously high “Sonia” said and I quote “we are all in the same boat and that some of us have to work for a living”, insinuating I was unemployed. If some celebrity questioned their bill one would not judge them yet someone who may not have a celebrity status gets judged, work that one out. She even continued to say “I could get help with benefits”, she was making assumptions and trying to judge me even though she did not know who I really am. The phone was on the loudspeaker and my daughter heard this, so I corrected the woman and told her I am self-employed there was a pause, and then she said “oh ok”. I asked for a transcript of the conversation and was told she would put me through to someone but that never happened because I guess she thought better of it to stir the nest. I did not get an email on the 8th just a couple of text messages on how to manage my usage, so this tells me no transcript is going to be sent, they certainly do not want me to contact my solicitors.
- I tried haggling the price down and when I said I am happy paying £65 as I was paying she said she would put me on a payment plan of £78 spread over 3 years, but that would affect my credit score, so seeing as I was backed into a corner I told her I wanted to protect my credit score and I agreed on paying the £90 ( £90 x 2 Months till my next bill comes to £180 and not £177 as my outstanding balance suggests) but agreeing on these charges would have consequences for ‘British Gas” because I told her I would be publishing an article and she then patronisingly said “but are you sure you can pay the £90 to which I replied I will eat 30p Ramen Noodles if I have to to” (sarcasticly – although I think she thought I was being serious). She even went on to say “you would not go to a supermarket and get £100 worth of groceries and only pay £65, she continued to say that prices are going to go up again next month” Put it this way by the time I am finished with this company they will wish they never started on me and they lose more that £90 per month as I am in throughs of affiliating myself with one of their competitors. She even went as far as asking if I had a carer or support worker (it was not any of her business and this information about my disability should be made available to every tom, dick or harry to read), obviously, she was not aware of who I am. To think a simple task of moving my payment to another date would cause all this hassle and emotional distress is unbelievable. I dread to think about people who do not have a way to defend themselves from these corporations that use bully tactics. I will be also enforcing they remove all my data to it has the bare minimum before looking for another provider.
“I always give my clients affordable payment plans and I certainly do not post their late payments on credit agencies“.
British Gas should generate a bill and give the option to pay it in 3 monthly installments, spread the cost over 6, or 12 installments, or pay it outright. Either way, there will be usage generated in the shortfall.
My meter is located inside my open porch outside my building. It is about 8 feet above the ground towards the entrance to the front door. I was told because I have not given a meter reading my bills are estimated. So I replied that I had already explained to someone previously that someone would have to climb a ladder and they said they would send someone out to do this. There would be no contact with anyone the engineer would just have to climb a step ladder to read the meter. He would not even need to ring the doorbell.
Yet the woman today said because of Covid “British Gas” is not sending out engineers to read the meters and it is my responsibility. to do this.
So how would she explain all the meter readings during Covid Regulations in 2020/2021 as in the screenshot below:
Why should I do British Gas’s job, Covid regulations have now been relaxed so there is absolutely no reason for an engineer/meter reader to not come and read the meter and they should not use “Covid” as an excuse. I have had workmen come to my property including the Gas Engineer to check my boiler so the “British Gas – Covid” excuse is pathetically lame.
I replied I will have to climb a ladder myself and she replied “please don’t hurt yourself” like she really cared (not).
Caring For the Environment
I was told that seeing my payment plan had changed and I refused to set up a direct debit that they would send me out a payment card, (I just bin them) I said that “British Gas” is not helping the environment causing carbon footprints and eco emission sending out something that was not warranted by myself.
I have their bank details and can access their website so why send out plastic and why not save the environment and the trees for all their paper and envelopes? The woman said she is sending it out just in case I ever go out and want to pay over the counter…really?
Obviously, they have money to waste sending out wasteful plastic cards and letters, charging astronomical prices for their bills which the consumer pays for and it all comes out of the consumer’s pockets. The value of the gas coming out of the ground does not increase in price it is the greedy corporate fat cats that increase the prices to line their greedy pockets.
How about saving the planet?
If you want to lodge a complaint, be prepared for what you want to say.
- Firstly write your complaint down and add all evidence with the times and dates.
- Send an email to British Gas do not forget to add your customer account into the header of the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wait a few days for a reply, you should have an autoresponder email saying yours has been received.
- If you do not get a reply to your email proceed to phone them. Call between 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday on this number: 0333 202 9532
- Write a review on Trustpilot, I have noticed British Gas does reply to your reviews.
- If you are still dissatisfied with their decision you can send a copy of your email to their head office recorded and signed for: Complaints Management Team. PO Box 226 Rotherham S98 1PB
- If you still feel you have run into a dead end and all else has failed you can contact the Ombudsman. Call: 0330 440 1624 Textphone: 0330 440 1600 Email: email@example.com Go online: ombudsman-services.org/energy Write to Ombudsman Services: Energy, PO Box 966, Warrington WA4 9DF.
Reviews speak volumes: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.britishgas.co.uk?stars=1
Changing Gas Suppliers
Final Notes From Editor
My experience today was far from pleasant and to make matters worse the woman “Sonia” if that is her real name was patronizing and judgemental. I have learned that one should not judge anyone or assume regardless of who they are or what they do.
“I want a transcript or phone recording of what transpired today”!
The emotional distress this operator put me through, I felt physically sick after putting the phone down from her.
My daughter who overheard the whole conversation and suffers from “Multiple Sclerosis” said she is never moving out as she never wants to deal with utility companies after hearing what played out today and that she would have definitely relapsed had she had to deal with this herself.
Shocking and Disgraceful!
Domain Name For Sale!
“Oh did I forget to mention I own this Domain Name”?
UPDATE NO 1:
I phoned to double-check if ‘Sonia’ had actually updated my payment plan I asked about my telephone call yesterday and the guy I spoke with said it was being processed 3 hours ago. He was very offish with me from the moment he answered the call and when the call ended he simply hung up without a thank you or goodbye. I reckon they have read this article as I told them the website I was going to post my disdain on. Let’s just see how long they take to send the copy of the phone call I had yesterday. Will update you in this post as and when I get any feedback.
UPDATE NO 2: I received the recording that was only 6 minutes and 5 seconds long but I was on the phone for approximately 59 minutes as per the screenshot proof below:
UPDATE No 3: (14/02/22) Despite me giving explicit instructions for whoever was in charge of giving me the copy of the whole recording to email me as I am not accepting phone calls, the person who I now know to be Sonia tried phoning me. She then sent a text message saying she will phone me at 2 pm today.
So now I have to reschedule a very important meeting because British Gas is too lazy to shoot me an email and they take for granted that people will just pick up the phone just because they are phoning.
I now have a very unhappy client, a very important Director having to wait around until Sonia calls.
I think she thinks I am a nobody or a “sweetheart” as she called me in the first recording.
Let’s just see what transpires from the call once I put her in her place…
A few minutes and she phoned me…
….I got a call from Sonia who said the call was only recorded for 6 minutes and they did not record the rest of the 53 minutes of the call by coincidence 🤣 because they are covering up what was in the call. Basically, I think she may have some say on how much of the call I should have.
She went on to say they do not correspond by email, although I have had emails in the past from them and that she is deadlocking the complaint, meaning I cannot discuss the complaint with British Gas after 24 hours and I have to deal with the ombudsman.
She was totally complacent about me rescheduling my meeting, watering off a duck’s back so to speak.
Oh well, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Let’s see how much business they lose when I start marketing their competitors.
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