Watchdog expose gas scandal

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i was wondering if anyone saw the show as it exposed a high number of gas customers who were paying 2 to 3 times too much for their gas due to having a metric meter but being charged for having the old imperial one. I am trying to find out if this affects pay as you go customers who use a key meter. this is the link to the show if you missed it.http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog
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  • SwanJon
    SwanJon Posts: 2,333 Forumite
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    No, it won't.
    Key meters are generally for electricity, and all electricity meters measure in kWh.
    It won't affect how much you put in a gas prepayment meter either as the meter knows whether it is meteric or imperial, even if the supplier has it wrong, and it is the meter that takes your money. You may build up a balance on their system if they are wrong, but as the meter also sends a messgae back to the supplier at each top up, it is also easier to see what needs done.
  • Sirbendy
    Sirbendy Posts: 537 Forumite
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    I have a key one for power, and a smartcard one for gas...one in KWH, one in M3..

    I'll be watching the new place..that IS an older imperial ft3 jobbie..
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    Sirbendy wrote: »

    I'll be watching the new place..that IS an older imperial ft3 jobbie..

    Well you don't have a problem - they might charge you 2.83 times too little;)

    It is the other way around that is the problem!!
  • Sirbendy
    Sirbendy Posts: 537 Forumite
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    I made the girl at southern laugh...I said "It's got an ID plate on it..."HMS Titanic, main engine room", does that help? Looks like it was dredged off the seabed...can you promise me it works OK?"

    Time will tell, I guess.
  • filmnoir
    filmnoir Posts: 150 Forumite
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    Just some information on why this happens. Majority of Gas Meters are owned by National Grid Metering Approx 80%. They own the meters and they own the data. The suppliers pay them to use the meter and provide the data. In majority of cases mix ups in imperial and metric are not caused by the supplier but actually by the Meter Asset Manager as they have their own data wrong. They supply it to the supplier who then bills you incorrectly.
    "Self trained industry expert who has worked in Electricty Distribution, Electricity & Gas Supply and currently works as an independent consultant in industry processes to particapants in the industry" :eek:
  • 1carminestocky
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    When you consider that just one of the Big 6 paid a not inconsiderable HALF A BILLION POUNDS for their computer system, you really would have thought that these things could be picked up fairly quickly. Surely it wouldn't be difficult to build-in some sort of figure that represented a massive bill equating to the size of property/neighbourhood average etc. and throw out all the ones that exceeeded that figure for investigation. of course, that wouldn't be in the energy comapny's financial interests.
    Call me Carmine....

    HAVE YOU SEEN QUENTIN'S CASHBACK CARD??
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    Scandal or simple administrative error affecting a small number of customers? You decide.

    Suppose admin error isn't so eye catching. Ever thought of working for the trashbloids?

    Where did you get the idea it affects a high number of customers from? BBC watchdog only know of a few - they say it's in the dozens, quite small compared to the millions of gas customers.
    "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
  • filmnoir
    filmnoir Posts: 150 Forumite
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    When you consider that just one of the Big 6 paid a not inconsiderable HALF A BILLION POUNDS for their computer system, you really would have thought that these things could be picked up fairly quickly. Surely it wouldn't be difficult to build-in some sort of figure that represented a massive bill equating to the size of property/neighbourhood average etc. and throw out all the ones that exceeeded that figure for investigation. of course, that wouldn't be in the energy comapny's financial interests.

    True, however the actual process for example to dispute the details on a Gas Meter with the MAM is so complex its quite mind bongling. In some cases the lead time is up to 28 days in NGRID MAM cases to identify inconsitencies.

    Even though you could inbuild thresholds, which there usually are in billing systems the data within the supplier is usually only a small period. Most of the issues only crop up when on a change to a new supplier or meter exchange. All meters now are metric installed in domestic.

    Even though you kow its for a domestic the history shows it to 'technically' be a bigger consumer. And the supplier just cant change it, it has to get the MAM to agree that its wrong. Then you have the issue once rectified the supplier gets the ammended data and readjust the invoices. However fails to update the central records i.e Xoserve for example so on a change of supply again the new supplier gets the old duff data and your back to square one!
    The industry agreed data transfer standard within the Gas is no where on par with the electricity, and thats bad enough! lol

    Mad isnt it!
    "Self trained industry expert who has worked in Electricty Distribution, Electricity & Gas Supply and currently works as an independent consultant in industry processes to particapants in the industry" :eek:
  • KimYeovil
    KimYeovil Posts: 6,156 Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    Well you don't have a problem - they might charge you 2.83 times too little;)

    It is the other way around that is the problem!!

    No it's not.

    I'd say underpaying is a much bigger problem with worse consequences for most customers than overpaying! Having years and years of overpayments returned in one lump sum is less of a problem than discovering you have twelve months underpayments to pay back (if you are even covered by the twelve month limitation.)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    KimYeovil wrote: »
    No it's not.

    I'd say underpaying is a much bigger problem with worse consequences for most customers than overpaying! Having years and years of overpayments returned in one lump sum is less of a problem than discovering you have twelve months underpayments to pay back (if you are even covered by the twelve month limitation.)

    My point was if you "are watching at the new place"(as the poster stated) you will be aware of the undercharging and can set aside the money.

    In any case where firms have made a mistake they inevitably give a substantial reduction on the outstanding amount.
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