trying to replace prepay meter HELP

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I moved into this property almost 9 years ago, when i moved in a prepayment meter(British Gas ) was in place. I always meant to get it changed but was too busy working every hour God sent and never got around to it besides I was earning plenty, hardly ever home and didnt realise how much it was costing me.Since I was Made redundant I have been a lot more aware and last week I spent £28 on gas !!! I rang BG today and after an hour on the phone was told my credit rating taken over the last 3 years meant I had to pay £319 pounds repayable after 12 months to get it removed! I asked if i switched suppliers after a month would I be refunded he said "yes if you pay your bills" Cheeky mother!!!
I have never had any debt whatsoever, equally I have never had any loans or credit cards, is that why my score is so low??? What can I do??My son said if I take out a credit card for a month and pay it off this will up my credit score ??? Its madness Please Help
sorry for rambling but Thanks

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  • spiro
    spiro Posts: 6,403 Forumite
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    Never borrowing will always give you a poor credit score. Try and borrow the 'security deposit', get the meter changed, leave it a month and then search for the best deal around and swap suppliers. Once you pay your final bill to BG you get your money back plus interest. Otherwise you may find yourself stuck with a prepayment meter. Ideally you want to go onto a direct debit tariff as these are the cheapest and also mean you pay the same amount winter and summer so no large bills in the spring.
    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).
  • d93jwy
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    Like kippyboo, there was a prepay meter when we moved into this property in Feb 2005, always meant to get it changed but never got round to it. Today I rang British Gas to request a change to a credit meter. They said they'd have to do a credit check, I said it was fine. I'd checked my credit score on Experian earlier today, to my surprise it was Excellent. However, British Gas said that I'd failed their credit check with Experian, as I didn't meet their criteria. When I objected that my credit score was Excellent, and that according to Experian I was above 71% of the populatiion, they said that their criteria were set quite high at the moment. How high can they be??!!! They then said that they would still change the meter, but I would need a £350 ish deposit on EACH of the electric and gas! I really can't afford that much at the moment, I can't imagine many people can.

    I really need advice. Is there any point complaining/appealing to British Gas to see if they'll reconsider? It seems as if they are turning people down because they like keep people on expensive key meters which gets them more money, not because they are worried about people who won't pay. I haven't missed a payment on any of my loans, credit cards or mortgage and I have an Excellent rating, but they won't let me change.

    Alternatively, can anyone recommend a company we can switch to and get a credit meter with? Or maybe even cheaper pre pay, I'm fed up enough with British Gas.

    Thanks for any advice you can give
    Helen
  • SwanJon
    SwanJon Posts: 2,333 Forumite
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    d93jwy wrote: »
    they like keep people on expensive key meters which gets them more money, not because they are worried about people who won't pay.
    British Gas recently announced that they are aligning PP electricity prices to quarterly bill prices, even though they cost more to run.

    There are many people out there who would struggle to pay a bill of £350, would end up in debt and end up back on a PP meter, possibly with charges and so worse offf - the company would also be worse off.

    I'm sure that there are plenty of people who fail the criteria who would be perfectly responsible payers, but there are those who wouldn't or couldn't pay. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    PS - yes I work for British Gas
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