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  • FIRST POST
    • polesitter
    • By polesitter 10th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    polesitter
    suspicious of british gas
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    suspicious of british gas 10th Sep 17 at 7:59 PM
    New to forum, but old enough to smell a rat!
    Took out BG's dual fuel 1yr fixed deal last October.( Energy Club Top Pick)
    Agreed previous years usage and dividing by 12 £140 per month Direct Debit.
    HAPPY DAYS. No need to worry about high bills in winter. Direct Debit will take
    care of that, and at the end of contract we will be all square. Sit back and relax.
    This deal is with one of the top 6, what could go wrong? Gave online readings in
    January got bill. Statement showed £65 debit no worries it was cold. Direct Debit
    will take care of that ongoing. Never bothered again, downloaded and saved bills
    in e-mail file. In august i recieved notice of 12.5% increase after 1yr term finishes.
    New Direct Debit will be £220 !!! £80 per month increase, that can't be right.
    BG had estimated my April readings at 50% more than they should have been, despite
    agreeing previous years usage. To date i have not used the gas they have billed me for.
    They also increased my Direct Debit to £197 in April, i was completeley unaware as
    i trusted them. I am now in credit of £720 which will be returned to me this week.
    Yet their information states if you are in credit by more than £5 they will return
    that to you automaticaly. In my opinion this is a ploy they use as a Direct Debit is
    an open invitation for them to collect whatever they want, unless you are looking
    over your shoulder checking on them. SO MUCH FOR TRUST.
    I would be interested to hear from others unless i was unlucky. you can reply or PM
Page 1
    • trickytree1963
    • By trickytree1963 10th Sep 17, 8:09 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    trickytree1963
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:09 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:09 PM
    submit meter readings?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 10th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    • 26,810 Posts
    • 12,993 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    As a new customer, BG have no idea of your annual consumption and you must ensure they have regular meter readings; otherwise they will use estimated readings.

    If you had a £65 debit balance, based on your meter reading in January(after only 3 months) in is almost certain that your Direct Debit of £140 was insufficient, so they increased it to £197 in April.

    If you look at your downloaded and saved bills there should be notice(normally at the bottom of the bill) that your DD was increasing; so you shouldn't have been 'completely unaware' of that increase.

    If you continue to use BG after 03 October when your tariff ends, there will be a massive hike in your DD as the new BG tariffs are increased by about 50%.

    You are incorrect about BG(or any energy company) using a DD as an 'open invitation to collect whatever they want.' Under the Direct Debit Guarantee they must give you 14 days notice of any increase - and that is usually in a footnote on a bill.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 10th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 1,754 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
    If you send in readings once a month, check your bills and statements and get any estimated bills corrected immediately then you'll know how much you are using and whether your DD will over or underpay.

    If you dont do these things and just let nature take it's course then you can get stuffed with a big credit or a big debit.

    It's up to you, put a bit of effort into taking charge of your bilsl and finances or have a whinge when it goes awry.
    Last edited by matelodave; 11-09-2017 at 4:42 PM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • polesitter
    • By polesitter 10th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    polesitter
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
    Thank you all for your responses. Yes i accept that i could and should have checked more closely, I am trusting and have never had this kind of problem ever before in the 38 years of being an energy customer.
    British Gas asked at the outset how much fuel i used the previous year, that's how they worked out the Direct Debit to be £140. Annual Usage/Annual cost divided by twelve. High or low monthly payment stays same balances out over year. When i did complain they stated they had a policy not to issue unusually high bills but to investigate further. They did not do this I believe this only happens when you submit a dodgy, in their eyes, reading. Again no trust on their part. I do however look forward to later this week, when i receive my refund and the following week when i use all that gas i have paid for. I have already reveiwed my usage, now only using 1.5Kw overnight (fridge, freezer, alarm clocks and phone/fax) I have a new Deal starting with Togetherenergy 8000Kw electricity and 16000Kw gas. My new Direct Debit is £122 per month. I will also be expecting a repayment of around £30 from BG as my original 12 payments of £140 (£1,600) will have also been £30 too much. It does balance out, it's not rocket science. If only they could trust us as we trust them. In Future i'll be sending readings on a weekly basis, just to keep anyone up to date. Thanking you again for your advice.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 11th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • 4,186 Posts
    • 2,431 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #6
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    Thank you all for your responses. Yes i accept that i could and should have checked more closely, I am trusting and have never had this kind of problem ever before in the 38 years of being an energy customer.
    British Gas asked at the outset how much fuel i used the previous year, that's how they worked out the Direct Debit to be £140. Annual Usage/Annual cost divided by twelve. High or low monthly payment stays same balances out over year. When i did complain they stated they had a policy not to issue unusually high bills but to investigate further. They did not do this I believe this only happens when you submit a dodgy, in their eyes, reading. Again no trust on their part. I do however look forward to later this week, when i receive my refund and the following week when i use all that gas i have paid for. I have already reveiwed my usage, now only using 1.5Kw overnight (fridge, freezer, alarm clocks and phone/fax) I have a new Deal starting with Togetherenergy 8000Kw electricity and 16000Kw gas. My new Direct Debit is £122 per month. I will also be expecting a repayment of around £30 from BG as my original 12 payments of £140 (£1,600) will have also been £30 too much. It does balance out, it's not rocket science. If only they could trust us as we trust them. In Future i'll be sending readings on a weekly basis, just to keep anyone up to date. Thanking you again for your advice.
    Originally posted by polesitter
    With respect, you are confused about Direct Debits. Direct Debits are nothing more than monthly payments that you make on account. In an Ideal World, we would all use our projected amount of energy and the total annual cost would exactly match the 12 monthly payments that we have made. In truth, actual usage varies.

    When you are billed, your statement will show the actual amount of energy used (provided you have given actual meter readings) and the total cost for the billing period. Deducted from these charges will be any existing credit balance and the monthly payments paid which will give you a debit/credit balance going forward. This balance is only valid for the day of which you were billed.

    I am not sure where Trust comes into the equation. BG only has to read your meter once every year. It’s computer will re-assess your estimated annual usage based on the information that it has which includes information for the past two years. Unfortunately, the algorithms that support the estimation process can be distorted by such things as a particularly cool Autumn or warm Winter.

    The message - clearly stated by others - is manage/monitor your own account. I use a 99p IOS app called Meters. Getting any statement with an ‘E’ against the latest reading should always trigger an immediate response: read the meter; phone in the reading and you will get an amended statement.
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 11th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    • 4,534 Posts
    • 27,293 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #7
    • 11th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    My current tariff not with BG is £75 a month and I use 3,300 kWh Elect and 12,300 to 13,000 kWh gas. 3 bedroom detached.


    I would look at why you consumption is high, and tackle this problem as well. Also, sending meter readings does help!
    Watching the trail
    of cheap supermarket bags filled with a lfe gone by
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 11th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 1,754 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    I'm astonished at your electricity consumption if you've got gas heating as well. I'm guessing that if you aren't growing cannabis or powering the local streetlights then 8000kwh for leccy is about double what most people use.

    The consumption averages around 3500kwh for leccy and 13000kwh for gas.

    So unless your place is unusally big or you've got a lot of electrical stuff I think you should be checking your meters a bit more often and trying to find out whats using it all.

    You could end up saving youself a lot of money
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • polesitter
    • By polesitter 11th Sep 17, 9:46 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    polesitter
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 9:46 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 9:46 PM
    Thank you for your replies. I did try a while back to reduce the amount of electricity usage, neither of my three teenage children enjoyed going to school ,college or university for a week without their 10kw shower. I do have quite a large house, i do not grow or condone cannabis. Everyone seems to have missed the main point of my post. I never at any point comlained about price of fuel. I was pointing out how they could overestimate by 50% on my gas, given that it was not the dead of winter, and not investigating the unexpected increase. you cant have your heating on any longer than 24 hours per day.
    • sam1974
    • By sam1974 11th Sep 17, 10:46 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sam1974
    Thank you for your replies. I did try a while back to reduce the amount of electricity usage, neither of my three teenage children enjoyed going to school ,college or university for a week without their 10kw shower. I do have quite a large house, i do not grow or condone cannabis. Everyone seems to have missed the main point of my post. I never at any point comlained about price of fuel. I was pointing out how they could overestimate by 50% on my gas, given that it was not the dead of winter, and not investigating the unexpected increase. you cant have your heating on any longer than 24 hours per day.
    Originally posted by polesitter
    Our electric use is 11939 and that's with the teenagers having turned into adults and moved out, except one !

    Hubby is an electrician, he has fully tested our house and nothing is wrong, we just use that much even with led lighting, gas central heating etc. Yes we use the dishwasher daily, the tumble dryer prob two cycles a day and we have fish tanks, pumps etc ..... but even so, no idea how people use only 3000. Life is far too short to be running round switching stuff off constantly!

    We've also just come off the British Gas deal and gone with TogetherEnergy - cheapest electric prices I could find!
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 12th Sep 17, 8:40 AM
    • 4,186 Posts
    • 2,431 Thanks
    Hengus
    Thank you for your replies. I did try a while back to reduce the amount of electricity usage, neither of my three teenage children enjoyed going to school ,college or university for a week without their 10kw shower. I do have quite a large house, i do not grow or condone cannabis. Everyone seems to have missed the main point of my post. I never at any point comlained about price of fuel. I was pointing out how they could overestimate by 50% on my gas, given that it was not the dead of winter, and not investigating the unexpected increase. you cant have your heating on any longer than 24 hours per day.
    Originally posted by polesitter
    I was with another of the Big 6 a couple of years ago. My annual projected usage was re-assessed on a simple this is what you have used in 3 months divided by 3 times 12. If your supplier has used a similar snapshot then it is entirely possible for its computer to come out with a wild re-assessment of your annual usage. This is why it is essential that people look carefully at their bills.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 12th Sep 17, 9:36 AM
    • 16,996 Posts
    • 11,178 Thanks
    molerat
    Modern electric showers are the killer, 15 mins = 2.5 kWh. I have never understood why people have gas heating and electric showers !
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 12th Sep 17, 12:57 PM
    • 671 Posts
    • 662 Thanks
    badmemory
    Modern electric showers are the killer, 15 mins = 2.5 kWh. I have never understood why people have gas heating and electric showers !
    Originally posted by molerat
    I have one because we can't get enough hot water pressure to have anything other than a tepid shower & I don't do tepid.
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