British Gas signing me up to new contract

in Energy
18 replies 4.5K views
MikkiMikki Forumite
160 Posts
Hello,

I had my gas & elec with British Gas on a capped tariff (Price Guarantee 2009) until Dec 2009. I had been meaning to look into a new tariff but being Christmas & New Year completely forgot!

However, the other day I got an e-mail from them saying "Recently, you decided to continue with your fixed price tariff on Price Guarantee March 2011. As you took up Price Guarantee March 2011 only a few weeks ago, we thought it would only be fair to pass on our latest price reduction. So, as a valued customer, you will be getting a better price than you signed up for."

I replied to say that I didn't recall signing up for another capped tariff, and this morning got the reply that as they hadn't heard from me they automatically signed me up again, and "Cancellation fee of £35 for gas and £35 for electricity will be applied if you withdraw from this tariff before 31 March 2011."

Can they charge me a cancellation fee if I haven't actually signed for a new contract?! I know it's my own fault for not paying attention to when the previous deal ended, but surely they can't impose a charge for something you haven't signed for?
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Replies

  • Premier_2Premier_2 Forumite
    15.1K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    When you originally agreed the contract, the terms allowed BG to roll you over to another similar contract ... but that they would advise you of this and give you the opportunity to cancel.

    They stuck to their side of the deal ...
    "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
  • MikkiMikki Forumite
    160 Posts
    But have they given me the opportunity to cancel? The first I knew about the new capped tariff was the e-mail they send a few days ago to inform me of the new lower price. They did not inform me that they had renewed my contract.
  • kimmeekimmee Forumite
    680 Posts
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    Mikki wrote: »
    But have they given me the opportunity to cancel? The first I knew about the new capped tariff was the e-mail they send a few days ago to inform me of the new lower price. They did not inform me that they had renewed my contract.

    Mikki - exactly the same thing happened to me and I didn't know that there would be a cancellation fee of £35. I was going to wait for my next bill to see what that was like. It does seem a bit off that they could lock people in without actually us agreeing to it but maybe I missed something.
  • I believe e-mails were sent to all customers who were rolling off this tariff. Another poster has had the e-mail but not read it:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=2254751&highlight=
  • Hi,
    I had exactly the same thing - completely missed the email and have been rolled onto the new fixed tariff! I called to find out what was going on and they were rather sniffy with me. They said email customers should have received a letter in the post informing them of the change too, but I never received one.
    This kind of thing makes me so mad, if I had known when I signed up for the December 2009 deal that I would have been automatically rolled into another fixed deal for over a year at the end of it I would have set myself reminders to deal with it come November.
    Probably my own fault of course but still mad!:mad:

    Ali
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • MikkiMikki Forumite
    160 Posts
    Nope - definitely no e-mail to inform me (and I save ALL my e-mails so it's not as if I've deleted it by mistake).

    I think I will be cancelling my direct debits and going elsewhere. Problem is I think I am in credit with them (direct debits have been far too high) so I'll still probably have the money stolen from me! :eek:
  • Premier_2Premier_2 Forumite
    15.1K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Mikki wrote: »
    Nope - definitely no e-mail to inform me (and I save ALL my e-mails so it's not as if I've deleted it by mistake).

    I think I will be cancelling my direct debits and going elsewhere. Problem is I think I am in credit with them (direct debits have been far too high) so I'll still probably have the money stolen from me! :eek:
    The Direct Debit Scheme is only a method of an organisation collecting money. Cancelling a DD mandate doesn't mean you won't still owe the money.
    "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
  • MikkiMikki Forumite
    160 Posts
    I know that, but I am disputing that I would actually owe them the cancellation fee, seeing as I did not sign up to a new contract, nor was I notified that it had been done on my behalf.
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
    26K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    What does the contract you did sign say, that you roll onto a new contract if you don't contact them? I don't believe you save ALL your e-mails, that would be madness.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • MikkiMikki Forumite
    160 Posts
    I DO save all my e-mails, madness though it may seem!

    Well, I finally got a response from someone sensible at British Gas. They were supposed to notify me that they had put me on a new contract, but as they didn't they will put me on their standard tarrif and waive the cancellation fees!

    Still planning on going with someone else - any suppliers out there with decent customer service, or is that an impossible ask?!

    But thanks for the help & support anyway! ;)
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