Am I nuts to move electricity to British Gas?

twopenny
twopenny Posts: 5,310
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I find British Gas hard to deal with and had a couple of major problems with them but -
They still do quaterly billing which suits me better.

I was also wondering if I could do Smart Meter install - just how good/bad are they at this?

I'm hoping to do SMeter + quaterly variable direct debit......this would be perfect if it worked.
I will of course ring them but have had one conversation with them today and have to go out.

The reason I'm trying to achieve this is I live alone, no family and friends who I could trust in an emergency are now deceased.
I'm concerned that should I fall ill there will be problems with someone to check and pay the bills.

I don't want monthly dd. This won't work for me.
I either want quaterly variable or monthly variable. If monthly I definitely need a smart meter as I don't have a smart phone only laptop.

I'm freaking out a bit because of all the times I've heard that sm have been wrongly installed, don't work etc and I can't cope with extra hassle at the mo.

I'd be really grateful for your thoughts on the first part of this post .
I've spent a ridiculous amount of time with broadband, gas and electric changing billing, getting it wrong or not informing me of changes. Frankly had enough!

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The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


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  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,672
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    edited 6 November 2023 at 1:11PM
    Pretty sure nowhere will let you pay quarterly on a direct debit, sounds like you want something that doesnt exist.

    Paying quarterly means you pay 7% more, I am sure you realise this though.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,760
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    Octopus will do monthly variable DD but you'll have to phone them.  You don't need a smart phone, just go to https://octopus.energy/login/
    I don't think BG's new billing system (coming to you very soon) will allow quarterly billing or variable DDs but perhaps others can confirm this.

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,672
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    Gerry1 said:
    Octopus will do monthly variable DD

    He doesnt want to pay monthly, I assume no matter what the method. 
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,760
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    edited 6 November 2023 at 1:52PM
    la531983 said:
    Gerry1 said:
    Octopus will do monthly variable DD

    He doesnt want to pay monthly, I assume no matter what the method. 
    Unfortunately if BG no longer offer quarterly billing on the new system then MVDD with Octopus is likely to be as good as it gets.
    A workaround of sorts might be to keep a non-smart meter and send quarterly readings to Octopus.  If the OP were to be away from home for longer than that then Octopus will send an estimated bill after three months.
  • la531983 said:
    Gerry1 said:
    Octopus will do monthly variable DD

    He doesnt want to pay monthly, I assume no matter what the method. 
    OP said monthly variable would be okay if with a smart meter.

    2p - I second recommending Octopus (regularly rated best customer service on here and elsewhere), but as mentioned by Gerry, you can't set up variable payments online. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,681
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    I'm hoping to do SMeter + quaterly variable direct debit......this would be perfect if it worked.
    Most suppliers are monthly are moving over to monthly basis.   BG themselves are in the process of moving to Kraken (the most widely used software) and that is monthly.

    I don't want monthly dd. This won't work for me.
    Why?   Monthly dd (variable or budget - it doesn't matter which) is usually the cheapest way. 

    I'm freaking out a bit because of all the times I've heard that sm have been wrongly installed, don't work etc and I can't cope with extra hassle at the mo.
    Issues are not really any greater than conventional meters.  You will hear the minority of people moan but not the majority of people who don't have problems.  This can create a false perception of the issues.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • I think smart meter with monthly variable DD sounds like it should suit you, especially should anything happen and you become unable to take a meter reading for a month or two.  At least then, if all works as intended, you wouldn't have to worry about being charged for more than you've used even if you can't submit readings yourself.

    From what I hear of BG and the fact you've already found them hard to deal with, yes you probably would be nuts to switch your electricity to them.  Go for a supplier with a better reputation. 
    Octopus is highly recommended and they seem to have the best smart metering team should anything need sorting out, but in the interests of balance other suppliers are available.
    But whenever you decide what to do, check to see if the supplier you decide on has a referral scheme, most of the schemes available do £50 each to referrer and referee.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,310
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    Thanks kindly for the thoughts.
    I'll go ahead with EDF fitting a smart meter then and see where BG is when that's up and running.
    I don't want to move then move again and reading/paying at bank monthly is irritating and not viable should I be in an accident or fall ill so I have to do what's necessary, like it or not.

    And yes, at the moment still paying quaterly for BG and I could see mentions of quaterly by variable direct debit on searches but not pin it down.

    Up until the new changes post pandemic everything went smoothly. Having quaterly allowed me to pay other bills while saving for the upcoming fuel. Money going monthly I just am constantly on a low budget to save or use for other bills.
    But it is what it is.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • dunstonh said:
    I'm hoping to do SMeter + quaterly variable direct debit......this would be perfect if it worked.
       BG themselves are in the process of moving to Kraken (the most widely used software) and that is monthly.


    Unless B.G is moving account platform again - Ensek

    https://ensek.com/resources/centrica-british-gas-case-study#
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,310
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    Bristol I wouldn't be surprised.
    Spent 20mins getting into my new account because it kept loading and loading then didn't respond. When I got in there was no information on it other than the new account number. So that's weeks now. Possibily 2 months.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


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