Outstanding debt with BG

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Just asking for advice here. I graduated this year and the BG account at my last shared house was in 3 people's names, but there was 4 of us paying rent. This was due to BG not being able to edit the names on the account as instructed, so our surnames are all mixed up too. Anyway I was the one who collected the money and paid the bills, so BG have me as the primary contact.

Upon moving out, we paid our 'final' bill but a month later I recieved another bill for £375... I have no contact with the other housemates now (2 live abroad) and could not afford to pay this. I contacted BG to explain the situation and they could not tell me why, when or where this bill had come from, basically useless.

Now the debt has been passed on to a debt collections agency who have threatened me with a CCJ. I'm unsure whether this threat is valid or they are just using scaremongering tactics. I would like to settle the debt as I don't want bad credit, but there's no way I can afford to pay this myself. Will BG offer me a settlement figure if I contact them? I don't want to contact the debt collectors.

Comments

  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    As a name on the account, you are jointly & severally liable for the billed amount. That means that they can ask you to pay the whole amount.

    You say you & they don't understand how the £375 bill came about? :confused:

    Very simple - ask them to send you a copy of the actual original bill, not the reminder or final demand.

    The original bill will include full details of how the bill was arrived at. Compare the meter reading on that bill with that of the previous bill you paid. Then compare the meter readings on those bills to the final meter reading you gave BG when you moved out. You did give BG a final meter reading when you moved out didn't you?
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • spiro
    spiro Posts: 6,403 Forumite
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    Phone British Gas straight away and ask why you have received a 'revised' final bill, they must know i.e. rebill due to a disputed Change of Supplier reading. Did you keep a copy of the final reading when you moved out? You need to check this and the reading date against the revised bill as maybe the property has been empty and you are being billed for that period. You also need to point out that the account was in 3 names and therefore you should only be liable for a 3rd of it or better still they may have recorded that there were 4 names which mean it would only be a 4th. If you get no joy ask to be put through to the complaints department, if you search this forum you'll find the details of that department.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    spiro wrote:
    ...You also need to point out that the account was in 3 names and therefore you should only be liable for a 3rd of it or better still they may have recorded that there were 4 names which mean it would only be a 4th. ...

    Sorry, that's not the way it works. See my earlier post about jointly & severally liable.

    Or in the words of BG:
    3.2 You agree to pay us for supplying gas or electricity (or both) and any other charges referred to in this contract. Any person whose name is on the account is responsible for paying our bills and we may claim any money owed to us under the account from one or all account holders.
    http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/energy/gas/standard-gas/terms-and-conditions.html
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Mr_Anon_2
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    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I haven't retained any meter readings although it should be on my online account? When I moved out, I asked them for a final estimate. This was duly paid in full. I actually moved out a month before the end of the tenancy agreement, whilst the other guys stayed on. I think what may have happened is 1 of them gave an actual reading at the end of the tenancy when they vacated the house which is where the bill has come from? But now this has been passed on to me.
  • Vestra
    Vestra Posts: 856 Forumite
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    Mr_Anon wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I haven't retained any meter readings although it should be on my online account? When I moved out, I asked them for a final estimate. This was duly paid in full. I actually moved out a month before the end of the tenancy agreement, whilst the other guys stayed on. I think what may have happened is 1 of them gave an actual reading at the end of the tenancy when they vacated the house which is where the bill has come from? But now this has been passed on to me.
    Sounds like they under estimated it then and the new occupier gave an actual reading. You need to get in contact with the other students, facebook? And get everyone to pay up as you cannot just pay some of the bill and hope they will take your name of it. And now that it has been passed to an agency there will be additional charges possibly.
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