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  • FIRST POST
    • dshart
    • By dshart 19th Jun 17, 10:21 AM
    • 431Posts
    • 256Thanks
    dshart
    Ridiculous Billing from British Gas
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:21 AM
    Ridiculous Billing from British Gas 19th Jun 17 at 10:21 AM
    I am on a monthly direct debit plan and have a smart meter installed and I am on a dual fuel plan with British Gas. I received an email from BG a few days ago saying my latest bill was available to view online. I checked the bill and it indicated over £300 in credit and it projected I would be over £900 in credit by the end of the plan.

    It advised that I should claim the credit as a refund, so I did and it then calculated that my direct debit should go from £304.99 to £305.00 per month. It seemed strange that it should calculate an increase seeing that the lower amount had led to a credit, but as it was only a penny difference I was not going to argue.

    Two days later I receive an email from them stating that due to the refund my payments would have to be increased and that the new monthly payment was calculated to be £610

    I checked my account online and sure enough they had increased the direct debit to £610 but the account was now estimating that by the end of the plan I would be over £3600 in credit!!!!

    I called them up and was told that there was nothing they could do as the system automatically calculated it, they could manually reduce it again but could not guarantee that the system would not again automatically reassess it. He requested a manual recalculation and the system came back with an estimated usage of £2736 for the year and recommended a DD payment of £150 per month which he said would leave me in credit by around £11 at the end of the plan.

    I explained that this too seemed ridiculous as the £2736 figure estimated divided by 12 should equal £228 a month, so by simple logic a payment of £150 would leave me in debit by the end of the year. I eventually told him to set the DD at £300 per month as I could plainly see that this would cover the estimated usage and ensure I did not run up a large deficit.

    I advised the person that they should let their managers know that there was something seriously wrong with the way their systems calculated things, and I received the response that they would not change anything as they had spent millions on the system.

    I have had similar problems with a previous supplier and I received all sorts of convoluted arguments as to why the system would calculated it this way. But it should really be very simple especially when you have been a customer for a few years and they have a good usage profile for you. Estimate usage for the year based on history, use that to calculate a cost and then divide by 12 to give a monthly payment. If you have to review every 6 months then review for another 12 month period, not for the time remaining on the initial 12 months. Such a simple calculating that would'nt cost millions to program.

    So watch your direct debits if you have overpaid and request a refund from BG, because they will give it back to you but increase your payments so they immediately get the money back and the same amount every month after that. I will be watching mine very closely from now on.
Page 1
    • robber2
    • By robber2 19th Jun 17, 10:57 AM
    • 252 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    robber2
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:57 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:57 AM
    I'd solve the problem by switching from BG asap. The company is a shambles.
    • macman
    • By macman 19th Jun 17, 11:20 AM
    • 41,100 Posts
    • 16,851 Thanks
    macman
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 11:20 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 11:20 AM
    Which BG tariff are you on, and what is your annual kWh usage on each fuel? £2,736 is more than double the typical UK anual cost, so something is badly wrong here.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 19th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    • 4,453 Posts
    • 26,853 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    Turn off the kiln in the back yard and tell BG what you think.
    I sold my only sock
    For a handshake and twenty menthol cigarettes
    • dshart
    • By dshart 19th Jun 17, 1:11 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 256 Thanks
    dshart
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:11 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:11 PM
    Which BG tariff are you on, and what is your annual kWh usage on each fuel? £2,736 is more than double the typical UK anual cost, so something is badly wrong here.
    Originally posted by macman
    The tariff is not the issue, the bill is for two houses and two households. I have had other suppliers and the cost is roughly the same. It's more the way their system suggests I should claim a refund them decides to double my payments when I do take the refund.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 20th Jun 17, 9:50 AM
    • 3,467 Posts
    • 1,367 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:50 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:50 AM
    I'd solve the problem by switching from BG asap. The company is a shambles.
    Originally posted by robber2
    But then the smart meters the Op went to the trouble of having installed will no longer work in smart mode

    Good luck!
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 20th Jun 17, 9:53 AM
    • 3,467 Posts
    • 1,367 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:53 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:53 AM
    I am on a monthly direct debit plan and have a smart meter installed and I am on a dual fuel plan with British Gas. I received an email from BG a few days ago saying my latest bill was available to view online. I checked the bill and it indicated over £300 in credit and it projected I would be over £900 in credit by the end of the plan.

    It advised that I should claim the credit as a refund, so I did and it then calculated that my direct debit should go from £304.99 to £305.00 per month. It seemed strange that it should calculate an increase seeing that the lower amount had led to a credit, but as it was only a penny difference I was not going to argue.

    Two days later I receive an email from them stating that due to the refund my payments would have to be increased and that the new monthly payment was calculated to be £610

    I checked my account online and sure enough they had increased the direct debit to £610 but the account was now estimating that by the end of the plan I would be over £3600 in credit!!!!

    I called them up and was told that there was nothing they could do as the system automatically calculated it, they could manually reduce it again but could not guarantee that the system would not again automatically reassess it. He requested a manual recalculation and the system came back with an estimated usage of £2736 for the year and recommended a DD payment of £150 per month which he said would leave me in credit by around £11 at the end of the plan.

    I explained that this too seemed ridiculous as the £2736 figure estimated divided by 12 should equal £228 a month, so by simple logic a payment of £150 would leave me in debit by the end of the year. I eventually told him to set the DD at £300 per month as I could plainly see that this would cover the estimated usage and ensure I did not run up a large deficit.

    I advised the person that they should let their managers know that there was something seriously wrong with the way their systems calculated things, and I received the response that they would not change anything as they had spent millions on the system.

    I have had similar problems with a previous supplier and I received all sorts of convoluted arguments as to why the system would calculated it this way. But it should really be very simple especially when you have been a customer for a few years and they have a good usage profile for you. Estimate usage for the year based on history, use that to calculate a cost and then divide by 12 to give a monthly payment. If you have to review every 6 months then review for another 12 month period, not for the time remaining on the initial 12 months. Such a simple calculating that would'nt cost millions to program.

    So watch your direct debits if you have overpaid and request a refund from BG, because they will give it back to you but increase your payments so they immediately get the money back and the same amount every month after that. I will be watching mine very closely from now on.
    Originally posted by dshart
    Follow this MSE article
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/lower-energy-direct-debits
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 20th Jun 17, 9:55 AM
    • 3,467 Posts
    • 1,367 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:55 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:55 AM
    The tariff is not the issue, the bill is for two houses and two households. I have had other suppliers and the cost is roughly the same. It's more the way their system suggests I should claim a refund them decides to double my payments when I do take the refund.
    Originally posted by dshart
    This post does not make any sense to me sorry.

    Good luck!
    • sidbee
    • By sidbee 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    sidbee
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    And in particular note the bit that says that under condition 27 of the Gas Supply Licence, a supplier must clearly explain if asked why it's chosen that amount for its direct debit. I don't think that this requirement is satisfied by the explanation that the system automatically calculated it - even if it dod cost them millions of pounds! Go back, demand a proper explanation of the calculation and make a formal complaint if you don't get one.
    sidbee
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 20th Jun 17, 2:33 PM
    • 8,022 Posts
    • 4,781 Thanks
    teddysmum
    I have just changed tariff with my supplier and before the next bill calculation was told that I had a few hundred in credit, which would be refunded.


    However,at the time of the bill, I was told, as expected that the DD would go up (price rises) and that I had a credit (less than in the previous communication), which would be refunded.


    This was because the original credit included money due for paying the next bill, but the calculation had not taken that into consideration.


    The new DD rate assumes a start from £0 credit and its calculation was given lower down the statement.


    Was the OP very near a tariff change ?
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