British Gas - change to new system classed as a switch?

IW74
IW74 Posts: 18
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So I tried to switch to Octopus today.
Turns out British Gas are moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system with an activation date of 18th January. They've not communicated this to me at all, standard for British Gas who seem happy enough to send regular spam, but don't bother telling you about things that might actually affect you.
Octopus can't complete the switch as it looks like the British Gas change is being classed as a change of suppliers - they've given me a new account number - and you have to be with a "new" supplier for at least 5 days before you can initiate another switch. Credit to Octopus; when I called them they tried all they could, but eventually said either British Gas would need to resolve it, or I would need to wait the minimum 5 days. So I tried British Gas Live Chat - absolutely hopeless. The fella I was talking to must have had multiple chat windows open, and at one point pasted someone else's direct debit amounts into our chat. I got absolutely nowhere with him, and when I told him how unhappy I was, he told me he had raised a complaint, noted it on my account, but as it was about their policies he was closing the complaint straight away! Honestly can't wait to get away from them.
I'll try calling Octopus on 23rd January - that should be 5 days after my "switch" - and see if they can get the switch to them to go through. What worries me slightly is that British Gas Live Chat said I would need to wait 30 days, but given the accuracy of everything else they told me, I'll take that with a pinch of salt! I had my original smart meters replaced with SMETS2 meters on 21st December and they told me it would be 30 days for my usage to start appearing in the British Gas app - maybe that's where he is getting 30 days from?

Are British Gas allowed to class moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system as a switch? Or is this just something that is triggered automatically? 

Comments

  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Posts: 262
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    I wonder what is meant by "old system" to "new system".  If it is purely a change of billing system then I would say it is not a switch in any sense.
    However potentially they are moving you to a new Supplier ID within the British Gas group.  Potentially they are changing the Supplier Agents who are appointed to your Metering System.  In one of these scenarios it would make sense that you need to wait before you can switch to another Supplier.
  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,630
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    This has cropped up on here before, sadly you are going to have to wait it out.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,163
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    IW74 said:
    So I tried to switch to Octopus today.
    Turns out British Gas are moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system with an activation date of 18th January. They've not communicated this to me at all, standard for British Gas who seem happy enough to send regular spam, but don't bother telling you about things that might actually affect you.
    Octopus can't complete the switch as it looks like the British Gas change is being classed as a change of suppliers - they've given me a new account number - and you have to be with a "new" supplier for at least 5 days before you can initiate another switch. Credit to Octopus; when I called them they tried all they could, but eventually said either British Gas would need to resolve it, or I would need to wait the minimum 5 days. So I tried British Gas Live Chat - absolutely hopeless. The fella I was talking to must have had multiple chat windows open, and at one point pasted someone else's direct debit amounts into our chat. I got absolutely nowhere with him, and when I told him how unhappy I was, he told me he had raised a complaint, noted it on my account, but as it was about their policies he was closing the complaint straight away! Honestly can't wait to get away from them.
    I'll try calling Octopus on 23rd January - that should be 5 days after my "switch" - and see if they can get the switch to them to go through. What worries me slightly is that British Gas Live Chat said I would need to wait 30 days, but given the accuracy of everything else they told me, I'll take that with a pinch of salt! I had my original smart meters replaced with SMETS2 meters on 21st December and they told me it would be 30 days for my usage to start appearing in the British Gas app - maybe that's where he is getting 30 days from?

    Are British Gas allowed to class moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system as a switch? Or is this just something that is triggered automatically? 
    Yes they are, because it is a one off event and the change of billing systems had to be approved by Ofgem. Whilst both systems are on the same supplier license the only way to process it was via a supplier change with the network operator and the way meters are managed, the same is also happening to EDF customers as they are being migrated to Kraken from EDF's legacy system. It only impacts the customer for around 7-10 working days and so the minor inconvenience was deemed not worth worrying about.
    Mark_d said:
    I wonder what is meant by "old system" to "new system".  If it is purely a change of billing system then I would say it is not a switch in any sense.
    However potentially they are moving you to a new Supplier ID within the British Gas group.  Potentially they are changing the Supplier Agents who are appointed to your Metering System.  In one of these scenarios it would make sense that you need to wait before you can switch to another Supplier.
    It is to do with the way meter registrations and data handling happens, the only way to give the new software access and properly connect with the network operator and smart meters is to process it as a supplier change. 
  • IW74
    IW74 Posts: 18
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    Thanks for the quick replies; I'll see if Octopus can process it after the 5 days are up, and if not I guess I'll just keep trying until they can.
    An email with some FAQ's to tell me this was happening would have really helped; if I had known I couldn't trigger a switch within a certain timeframe I would have just waited.
  • pete-20-11
    pete-20-11 Posts: 522
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    IW74 said:
    So I tried to switch to Octopus today.
    Turns out British Gas are moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system with an activation date of 18th January. They've not communicated this to me at all, standard for British Gas who seem happy enough to send regular spam, but don't bother telling you about things that might actually affect you.
    Octopus can't complete the switch as it looks like the British Gas change is being classed as a change of suppliers - they've given me a new account number - and you have to be with a "new" supplier for at least 5 days before you can initiate another switch. Credit to Octopus; when I called them they tried all they could, but eventually said either British Gas would need to resolve it, or I would need to wait the minimum 5 days. So I tried British Gas Live Chat - absolutely hopeless. The fella I was talking to must have had multiple chat windows open, and at one point pasted someone else's direct debit amounts into our chat. I got absolutely nowhere with him, and when I told him how unhappy I was, he told me he had raised a complaint, noted it on my account, but as it was about their policies he was closing the complaint straight away! Honestly can't wait to get away from them.
    I'll try calling Octopus on 23rd January - that should be 5 days after my "switch" - and see if they can get the switch to them to go through. What worries me slightly is that British Gas Live Chat said I would need to wait 30 days, but given the accuracy of everything else they told me, I'll take that with a pinch of salt! I had my original smart meters replaced with SMETS2 meters on 21st December and they told me it would be 30 days for my usage to start appearing in the British Gas app - maybe that's where he is getting 30 days from?

    Are British Gas allowed to class moving me from their "old" system to their "new" system as a switch? Or is this just something that is triggered automatically? 

    Hoping someone has given you a referral code to get £50 each (friend, family, etc)

    If not, ask around before you attempt the switch again. 

    (Can't share a code on here as it's against forum rules, but wanted to make sure you're getting some lovely cash from someone!)
    PPI success. Banding success. Double Dip PCN cancelled! South facing solar (Midlands) and battery. Savings Session supporter.
  • debitcardmayhem
    debitcardmayhem Posts: 11,853
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    If you look at octo-aid octowatch or tracker sites there are ideas there for codes, I guess it helps keep them free
    🍺 😎 Still grumpy, and No, Cloudflare I am NOT a robot 🤖BUT my responses are now out of my control they are posted via ChatGPT or the latest AI
  • IW74
    IW74 Posts: 18
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    Don’t worry - used a colleague’s referral for the initial signup!
    I actually got as far as creating an account and providing direct debit details, so rather than going through the signup again they said I could just call and they’ll try and process the switch.
    i even got as far as installing the Octopus app, which is a bit more user friendly than the British Gas one I have to say.
  • IW74
    IW74 Posts: 18
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    Well the British Gas "switch" from their old system to their new system seems to have gone through.
    Had 2 emails this morning confirming it, and my IHD had a message on it that said "withdrawal" this morning, so I'm guessing that is the removal of the old system tariff.
    The new British Gap app seems to be even worse than the old one; I can't see see usage info?
    5 days and counting...
  • IW74
    IW74 Posts: 18
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    Looking promising now.
    The 5 days are up today, so called Octopus again. Got through to the same person I spoke to last week, what are the odds! 
    I've now had emails from British Gas to the effect of "sorry you're leaving" and my Octopus account is showing the switching date of 25th Jan.

    Must say it's been a refreshing change to speak to someone who was both friendly and knowledgeable; I should probably have switched away from British Gas a long time ago. Thankfully I hadn't had many reasons to contact their customer services over the years so didn't realise just how poor it was!
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,724
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    IW74 said:
    The 5 days are up today, so called Octopus again. Got through to the same person I spoke to last week, what are the odds!
    You will always be routed through to the same small team, so it's quite likely you'll get the same person.
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