British Gas - Problem With Credit, help?

reeceg353
reeceg353 Posts: 56
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edited 16 January at 2:00PM in Energy
Hi All,

I was hoping that someone could help with advice around an account in Credit?

I am currently £429.26 in Credit with British Gas on my Gas bill.

I asked to be credited this back (as I have paid this), my direct debit each month is more or less £100 for gas (electric is around £150 but that is a separate account and not on the same billing). I was even happy with halting direct debits until this has been cleared.

After which they stated they would create a bill, please see below from the online agent:

39 minutes ago
Agent
After the bill generation, your credit amount is £243.14 so how much refund you want?
32 minutes ago
You
The bill you generated, does that mean we can expect to pay £0 on direct debit this month?

28 minutes ago
You
what exactly is this "Bill" and what are we paying for?
26 minutes ago
Agent
Direct debit is a different thing whatever the bill is generated it is already adjusted with your credit balance

23 minutes ago
Agent
after adjusting £243.14 in credit is left on your balance so how much refund do you want from this balance?

15 minutes ago
Agent
after the bill generation and adjusting for the current bill the amount left is £181.04 i am refunding the whole amount please stay connected
10 minutes ago
You
Please can I ask why I am only due £181.04 when my credit on the account is £476.29?
2 minutes ago
Agent
I can understand your point, however, before proceeding with the refund we must need to issue an up-to-date bill for you, and I have issued the bill, your account had £476.29 credit however the bill is generated in the amount of £295.25,and your account left with £181.04 credit.

Can anyone help shed some light on why I am out of pocket by so much; my direct debits haven't changed so I am still paying over what I use each month, it's a shame the employee of a company couldn't explain to me what the "Bill" is and what I am being "billed" for when I pay each month via DD (which is what I thought was, "the bill")


Thanks,

Comments

  • TheMilkmansDad
    TheMilkmansDad Posts: 646
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    the bill is the exactly what it states. The latest bill issued based on your last reading on the bill and the current readings taken to issue this new bill. credit on account goes up (assuming monthly fixed DD) once the bill is raised it is deducted from you credit amount as you have been informed by their rep.

    What time frame did this bill cover? At this time of your your account should be in credit - aiming for a zero balance come April/May time. Based on the information provided I'm not sure now would be a good time to request a refund as you may see your DD increased to cover.

    If you are worried about credit balances - ask to switch to a variable DD whereby you only pay for what you use each month (assuming your supplier offers this).

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,672
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    edited 16 January at 2:00PM
    Seems fair enough to me, if they hadnt actually generated a bill the amount of credit was a fallacy, it only becomes accurate once a bill based on your usage has been generated. My understanding is  British Gas only produce "bills" every six months, which is absurd. Vote with your feet and move to a provider who does it monthly.

    What you are paying each month is not a "bill". You are making a monthly contribution to a pot from which the "bill" is paid.
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,124
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    edited 16 January at 2:02PM
    What you pay by DD each month is not your bill. It is an estimated one twelfth of what your annual bill will be, based on your previous use and whatever other criteria the supplier decides (eg, weather).

    So, BG updated your account reflect your actual usage to date (I assume you either gave an up-to-date reading or have a smart meter) and you were only £181 "ahead" not £429 in credit.

    What the agent has told you is correct.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,305
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    So you paid your DD for 1 month, 2 months, 3 months etc and your account was in credit.  In asking for a refund they have updated your account so they know exactly how much is being charged for 1, 2, 3 months deducted that amount from your "credit" on the account and offered to refund the rest.  Frankly this is more generous than some companies who would argue that you needed at least 2 months worth of charges in credit on your account to keep your finances "safe".

    So now that your credit has been eliminated the next thing to do is to get them to charge you the correct amount for your DD.  To do this check the difference in what your meters showed 12 months back and then now.  Calculate (yes difficult I know) how much at today's tariffs this would cost and divide by 12.  This should give you the average you need to pay to keep things ticking along at an even keel.  Again they may argue that this isn't sufficient to keep your account safe but you need to dig your heels in and say that other companies will allow this so why don't they. 

    If they give you a final no then move to a different company that will allow you to have a variable DD so that you pay each month exactly what you have used and been charged for.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • reeceg353
    reeceg353 Posts: 56
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    edited 16 January at 5:40PM
    Thank you for clarifying, that all makes sense now and just needed to be made aware - phone calls are always better but was sat on the phone for over 40m waiting to be spoken with.

    Thanks for your help! I'll ask on variable Direct Debits, we have a Smart Meter so I thought that the monthly Debits would be more accurate to what we actually used but I guess I am wrong.

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