The industry is a shambles.
Mike Coles, justifiably disgruntled customer of British Gas
2003 02 15
They have had deregulation in the U.K., too. To put the figures mentioned in the
letters shown below into perspective, here are figures for the exchange rates (price of
one British Pound in terms of Canadian Dollars):
latest (Feb 14) 2.44651
lowest (Aug 22) 2.36479
highest (Dec 31) 2.54301
The stories shown below are letters written in response to a BBC story "U.K.: Gas
and electricity prices hurt" shown at the website of the BBC in about February 2003,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/breakfast/your_comments/ (The link
no longer works. A search for an archived file of the web page has not
yet produced results.)
GAS [and Electricity] BILLS
Power Gen did the same to us. We thought we were paying monthly for gas and electricity
combined. Turns out they haven't billed us for electricity for 18 months
I changed from hydro electric to Scottish Gas, being GAURANTEED I would pay less per
month. 10 months later I was hit with a bill for over £300! I have had to pay this back
monthly, at DOUBLE the monthly rate than I had been paying with hydro electric. All this
happened when I was unemployed. the extra cost put me on the bread-line.
I have been paying my British gas bill by direct debit for at least 12 years. I
recently received a bill for £2171.41 from another company. On contacting them they told
me that indeed I owed this amount and that births gas was no longer my supplier! I was
told that since 1994 I had been supplied by 5 different suppliers? (how come?) I have
never asked to be changed from British gas they are still taking my money!
I run my own small business, this week I have received my first electricity bill from
British Gas in more than two years. It is over £8,500. I could not invoice a customer and
expect to get paid for a service provided over two years ago!
My difficulty with British Gas was leaving them to go to a new electricity supplier.
Over 8 months I tried in excess of 20 times to get them to release info to my new
supplier, succeeding finally only when I got Energywatch involved. Regrettably I suspect
the new supplier is no better. It has taken me 7 months to get a bill from them. The
industry is a shambles.
It's not just British Gas. I have been waiting 14 months so far for an electricity bill
from nPower. I've been phoning monthly and sending e-mail so I have a record. They keep
promising action and do nothing.
I have never had a gas bill from British gas for 10 years until recently when I
received a bill for £3000. I am on £76 a week Income Support. I have contacted
Energywatch I am wondering whether to take them to court on the 6 year rule.
Barry Shauler, London