Left with no gas Prepayment card for over 34 days!

Hello, Just after some advice about what rights to compensation I have...

On the 18th october (saturday)I went to put £10 credit on our prepayment gas meter. The meter came up with an error and said the card was faulty.

I called british gas who told me they would get a united utilities employee out within 4 hours, which they did.

He came out and fitted a new meter and said that the card we have would not work in that meter as it was a new kind. He said British gas would send us out a new card within 3 working days and would provide us with an envelope to return the old card and get our £10 credit back. In the meantime as we had no gas he put us £10 emergency credit on.

I waited until Thursday for the card and it hadnt arrived so i called british gas who said they couldnt see that the engineer had requested one, but they would send one out in 3 working days. waited til the following week and still nothing. By this time the emergency credit had run out and we were living in a house with no hot water, no central heating etc. luckily we have electric fire and cooker but none the less it was freezing at night in bed. we had to borrow heaters from relatives which means that we have spent almost double what we would on our electricity meter.

To date we have still not had a new card and when I have asked british gas if there is any shops i can buy a new one from they tell me no cos this card is only available from them. every time they say they are sending one and I never receive it.

they have the correct address as I have checked it numerous times. I have now been promised it will be here by saturday morning, but i am at my wits end.

is there anything I can do to ensure I get a card and if this continues who can i complain to higher than british gas???


  • jetcat
    jetcat Posts: 746 Forumite
    i dont know about complaints - but i def would!!!

    from my experience recently with a similar problem, allbeit with the electric, i was told to go to a local paypoint outlet, and they could arrange for a new key/card to be there waiting for me, i had to pay £8 for it, but i could claim that back. Took three hours - maybe worth ringing them and seeing if it is possible for you?

    sorry, just re-read your post! i would therefore ask BG what happens in an emergency then, as they told me re the electric they wouldnt leave someone totally without power. Like i say though, it may be different for gas.

    How about a call to consumer direct (as advised by ofgas) - 08454 04 05 06

    in the meantime, i would be checking they have your correct address (you prob allready have!) and if it doesnt arrive tomorrow as promised, i would be insisting that an engineer actually brought you the card in person, or at least called out to put more credit on the meter!
  • Pssst
    Pssst Posts: 4,803 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    That sounds pretty outrageous.If all you say is true,it sounds like you have been far too accomodating.

    Firstly see here


    If they do not provide a satisfactory response then write a letter of complaint first class,ensure you head the letter with the word COMPLAINT otherwise strangely,it wont be registered as a complaint.

    In most cases,if a PP meter goes faulty,it is possible to grab the data from the old meter,upload it to the new one and continue using the existing card. There are a few circumstances where this might not be possible. In that circumstance,it is the engineers job to request a new gascard. Either way it hasnt appeared in a timely manner.

    Either way the service you have received appears to be rubbish.
  • spiro
    spiro Posts: 6,403 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    What is the make and model on your gas meter?
    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).
  • jenna141230
    Just thought I would post an update.

    Finally got the card last saturday, but this was only after I passed the complaint through to consumer direct. Funny how BG rang me back within 10 mins of me compaining through CD!

    Anyhow got the card and then received a phone call on monday to discuss 'where they take the complaint now'.

    they said they were sorry etc and were willing to give me £10 to cover my phone calls!!! I said you must be kidding, what about the 30 odd days i've nearly freezed to death! so he said he had checked his records and couldnt see that I had called in to complain before ! I said well I have the phone records to prove it. he said he'd speak to his manager and get back to me.

    he rang back and offered me another £40 for inconvenience and this would be put back on my metre!

    As I was in despair and he said that was the best he could do i said ok.

    Having spoken to a colleague, he believes i have been royally fobbed off and shouldnt have accepted this offer. I was just so fed up at the time that i just wanted it to be over.

    However now I am thinking is there any way I can still try and get more money for the inconvenience even though I have accepted the £50 offered? this offer was not in full and final settlement.

    Is it worth writing in to them?
  • Incisor
    Incisor Posts: 2,271 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Just thought I would post an update.


    Is it worth writing in to them?
    Has phoning the fob off department done you any good? You write here very coherently so you should go into writing. Take it as a lesson from the fob off department that they will deny your phone calls - so from now on, if a situation is developing and it is not dealt with immediately, make them deal with you in writing. It costs them more to write. But if they want to avoid that expense, then the fob off department should just get on and sort the problem when you phone.

    I think that the fob off department's attitude is worth at least £10/day for the inconvenience - plus don't forget, after it is sorted, you should not be paying teir 1 rates for days when you had no gas.
    After the uprising of the 17th June The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?
  • Pssst
    Pssst Posts: 4,803 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    In fairness yes it dos seem that you have received poor service,you have challenged the company,they have agreed compensation with you,the matter is ended. What you should have done was to make the challenge a heck of a lot earlier. after all,it is you who sat there for 34 days freezing. given that a card can be mailed out 1st class within a day or two,why did you leave it so long to take firm action? Its clear that you are intelligent and should have challenged them a heck of a lot sooner! Case closed-move on.
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