British Gas - utter shambles - online account doesn't match what I'm being told.

ChrisJJ
ChrisJJ Posts: 242
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I took a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding British Gas - it's ongoing. It's complicated and I don't have the energy to rehash it all right now. One of the things I wanted, and that the Ombudsman requested as part of the resolution package was an up to date, accurate bill. They responded to me that they had "...carried out the agreed actions..."  Except that they hadn't.

I contacted the Ombudsman and, after some pushing,  BG sent a bill to them and it was forwarded to me via the Ombudsman. I still haven't received a paper copy (and it is not reflected on my online account) My issue at this point is that my online account states that I owe a completely different amount to the bill that the Ombudsman forwarded to me. It also isn't based on accurate readings. 

When I raise this issue with the Ombudsman I am told that the online account is just a guide and it doesn't have to match up to the paper bills I receive. This makes no sense to me. It is an absolute shambles and is a huge list of amounts that bear no relation to anything at all. It can literally change day to day. In the space of four days, it told me I owed three different amounts.

I'm not even sure what my question is here. Ok - is it true that my online account doesn't have to bear any relation to the paper bills I receive? How am I meant to keep track of of my account?
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  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,575
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    Are you providing readings to them of usage or are they all estimated readings?
    Life in the slow lane
  • I moved to Octopus in August from British Gas as I too found their data and communications hard to follow. I should have done it sooner, I'm finding it much easier to navigate their site and understand billing.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    edited 26 November 2023 at 5:54PM
    Hi,
    ok, breathe.
    Have you a last actual meter reading?
    Have you a reading today/
    Do you have tariff and standing charge rates?
    If so, you can set up a wee spreadsheet and monitor usage and cost yourself.
    Or, stick readings and tariff here and somebody will do the sums for you.
  • maisie_cat
    maisie_cat Posts: 2,055
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    My current balance reflects the balance on the last bill in September adjusted for the direct debits since then. BG raise bills infrequently and it states clearly how the balance is arrived at.
    There are other suppliers who raise bills monthly, FIL is with OVO who produce a bill monthly.
    I have a spreadsheet for us and FIL and frankly ours is easier because we don't have so many estimates to deal with.
    If you want to keep close tabs on your energy use set something up yourself, smart meters and estimates muddy the water in my opinion.
  • ChrisJJ
    ChrisJJ Posts: 242
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    Are you providing readings to them of usage or are they all estimated readings?
    Yes, they have my up to date readings. The bill they sent to the Ombudsman was based on the accurate readings. The one online however, is one they have estimated. They must have estimated it the day after they sent the up to date bill! 

    It all started when my gas meter was replaced, due to a leak, in July. It took them until I got the Ombudsman involved to finally confirm my new meter had been registered with the national database. 

    This doesn't even begin to cover the absolute mess that is their handling of this situation, and my account.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,647
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    Have you been moved to the new BG billing system (Kraken), which is monthly or are you on the old system?

    The old system had quirks and didn't align with bills.  The new system should.  
    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.
  • ChrisJJ
    ChrisJJ Posts: 242
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    I can't seem to use the quote function at the moment, so will have to answer other questions without quoting the posters.

    frigalmacdugal - Thank you. British Gas have the relevant up to date readings and I'm just wanting a bill for my usage since July, when the gas meter was changed.

    What complicates this issue, and what makes my online account look such a mess, is that they have reversed all my bills for the past 18 months and rebilled me. Or that's what they say. So, the bill the Ombudsman received was a very long one covering the dates from Feb 2022 to November 2023. Why they had to do this for the electric, I don't know, as that meter wasn't changed!

    I have, since July, spoken to approximately 10 people online from BG and at least 7 people on the phone. It became absolutely clear that this issue was NEVER going to be resolved, hence getting the Ombudsman involved. And it's still not resolved after BG had said "right' we've done our bit!"
  • ChrisJJ
    ChrisJJ Posts: 242
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    dunstonh said:
    Have you been moved to the new BG billing system (Kraken), which is monthly or are you on the old system?

    The old system had quirks and didn't align with bills.  The new system should.  
    Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know there was a new system. I honestly don't know which I'm on, I haven't received any notifications that things are changing.

    At one point they put me in credit by over a thousand pounds and it was like that for weeks, but they've now taken it away and as I mentioned previously, the amounts listed can vary by hundreds within 24 hours!
  • Hi,
    ChrisJJ said:
    Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know there was a new system. I honestly don't know which I'm on, I haven't received any notifications that things are changing.

    At one point they put me in credit by over a thousand pounds and it was like that for weeks, but they've now taken it away and as I mentioned previously, the amounts listed can vary by hundreds within 24 hours!
    if on new system your account number will have changed, will start with a letter now, and you will get this on signing in,
    As BG only bill every 6 months it could show £1000 credit, but there could be over 5 months usage still to be charged.

  • ChrisJJ
    ChrisJJ Posts: 242
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    Hi,
    ChrisJJ said:
    Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know there was a new system. I honestly don't know which I'm on, I haven't received any notifications that things are changing.

    At one point they put me in credit by over a thousand pounds and it was like that for weeks, but they've now taken it away and as I mentioned previously, the amounts listed can vary by hundreds within 24 hours!
    if on new system your account number will have changed, will start with a letter now, and you will get this on signing in,
    As BG only bill every 6 months it could show £1000 credit, but there could be over 5 months usage still to be charged.

    Thanks, that's useful to know. It looks like I'm on the old system. Having said that, up until this issue, my online account always matched with the paper bills that were generated. 

    The ombudsman told them that part of the resolution package was to provide me with an accurate bill based on the latest readings I supplied, and they still haven't done that. The account now tells me  "It's time to give us your meter reading"!

    I'm not holding my breath for this bill....
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