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British Gas Smart Meter - Prepayment

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Georgiat44Georgiat44 Forumite
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Any help or knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

So me and my partner moved into our first home mid December, the home we moved into has dual fuel with British gas and it has a smart meter fitted and a prepayment meter for this. As soon as we moved in we let British gas know and they cancelled the old home owners account and set one up for us and we used this for what i hoped would be a temporary measure.
We wanted to move to a normal credit meter as soon as we could, after countless times on chat and on the phone to them i finally managed to get through to the department to run a credit check on myself, and this is where the first issue is, British Gas use Experian to complete their credit checks, i am in the bracket of 'Excellent' for Experian, so when i was told by British Gas that i failed the credit check i was very confused, again after many phone calls i discovered that British Gas require an Experian credit score of 999 (which is the very maximum the score goes to!).

So my next plan was that instead of switching to a credit meter via British Gas and then switching energy company (which i was advised was the 'easiest' way to go) i would instead switch energy company first to at least be paying a cheaper prepayment rate, and then switch to a credit meter with them.

Which is when we come to the second issue, because we have a smart meter fitted by British Gas we can't switch from British Gas to another company even on a prepayment basis as the meters aren't compatible. So in short, we are stuck with British Gas on a prepayment meter with no options.

I've tried to contact Ofgem as this feels extremely unfair and almost illegal but we have to wait a certain period of time from our first complaint to British Gas (which we have had no response to obviously) with no resolve and it's just having such a huge impact on the amount we're spending on energy so I want it sorted sooner rather than later!

Replies

  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    Sounds like the BG agent made that 999 score up to get rid of you and take the next call.  BG won't see the score, it's pretty irrelevant.  Try again, or switch to EDF who don't do a credit check.
  • Georgiat44Georgiat44 Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    Gerry1 said:
    Sounds like the BG agent made that 999 score up to get rid of you and take the next call.  BG won't see the score, it's pretty irrelevant.  Try again, or switch to EDF who don't do a credit check.

    Thank you - It's frustrating as i have spoke to multiple agents and they all say the same line which is 'British Gas require a Experian score of 999 or above' and i keep responding telling them that the 'And above' doesn't exist and i just keep getting poor replies such as 'I've had many customers pass the credit check' 'What do you want me to do, the policy is strict'.

    And again, frustrating as we're unable to switch to EDF due to the smart meter being British Gas. It appears we're unable to switch to anyone due to this as I've tried EDF, Bulb, E-on and they all say they can't due to the smart meter
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    My understanding (possibly incorrect), is that BG should be able to let you go, switching the smart meter to credit mode on the appropriate date.
    Anyway, the answer is to escalate matters via BG's Complaints Procedure, ask for a deadlock letter and go to the Ombudsman upon receipt or after eight weeks if you don't get one.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Aside from the score and rating, what shows on your credit history? CCJs, IVAs, bankruptcy, defaults?
  • mac.dmac.d Forumite
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    Gerry1 said:
    My understanding (possibly incorrect), is that BG should be able to let you go, switching the smart meter to credit mode on the appropriate date.
    I'd agree with this. Other suppliers possibly can't use it as a pre-payment meter, but if BG switched it to credit mode, you will be able to use it with other suppliers. Apart from issues with complex meters/tariffs, you cannot be restricted to a single supplier because of the meter. I'm not sure how you'd best go about doing so, but maybe before you raise a complaint with BG, contact EDF again and make it clear you have a smart pre-pay meter with BG and want to switch to EDF using the smart meter in credit mode, and how would you do this.
  • Georgiat44Georgiat44 Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    Aside from the score and rating, what shows on your credit history? CCJs, IVAs, bankruptcy, defaults?
    No, nothing at all, never had any issues with debt
  • Georgiat44Georgiat44 Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    Gerry1 said:
    My understanding (possibly incorrect), is that BG should be able to let you go, switching the smart meter to credit mode on the appropriate date.
    Anyway, the answer is to escalate matters via BG's Complaints Procedure, ask for a deadlock letter and go to the Ombudsman upon receipt or after eight weeks if you don't get one.
    Thank you, official complaint went in a just over a month ago and had no response, do keep trying periodically to contact them but the team i need are only available 9am - 5pm weekdays and when i do i just keep getting the same response, so think it will be a waiting game until i get to the 8 week mark!
  • Georgiat44Georgiat44 Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    mac.d said:
    Gerry1 said:
    My understanding (possibly incorrect), is that BG should be able to let you go, switching the smart meter to credit mode on the appropriate date.
    I'd agree with this. Other suppliers possibly can't use it as a pre-payment meter, but if BG switched it to credit mode, you will be able to use it with other suppliers. Apart from issues with complex meters/tariffs, you cannot be restricted to a single supplier because of the meter. I'm not sure how you'd best go about doing so, but maybe before you raise a complaint with BG, contact EDF again and make it clear you have a smart pre-pay meter with BG and want to switch to EDF using the smart meter in credit mode, and how would you do this.
    Thank you, i will try contact EDF again and see what they say, but yes it does feel like we're restricted to not only one supplier but one single tariff too (and a very expensive one at that!)
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