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To be completely amazed at the gall of British Gas?

(72 Posts)
ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 11:31:33

As we know it has been a long cold year. I have just (in Jan) paid over £530 for my gas and electric bills, despite giving them a new meter reading for a mis-read (by them) electricity meter. I have now apparently gone into debit by £450 since then! I look on line to try to figure out how (yet another estimated meter reading) and they tell me they estimate I have doubled my usage since last year! Oh they do, do they? angry So now another meter reading done and typed in (just what I want to be doing in my 3hrs of freedom without DD) and decide to call them to ask how this has now happened twice and ensure it doesn't happen again. Call number on website "Please note, this number is not free from mobiles, please redial omitting the 0" FFS. So I redial and am told the wait time (for a call I am presumably paying astronomical amounts per min) "is up to...49 minutes... If you would rather not hold please look on line for further information"
Just GRRRRRR!
<and breathe>

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 11:34:49

I got the same message this morning but decided to wait. Someone answered the call in about 30 seconds. So weird.

digerd Tue 02-Apr-13 11:38:47

It's obviously a scare tactic to get people to hang up then < devious/lying>

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 11:47:04

Oh, so I should have hung on rather than flounced and posted on here blush

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 11:51:12

I honestly don't know. grin

But that was my experience this morning.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:12

Well now I've taken the rubbish out, cleaned the bathroom and put dinner on I may try again. I have one of DD's chocolate bunny lollies for sustenance...here goes!

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 11:59:31

I really hope it doesn't take long.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 12:09:13

Christ. I think I need more than chocolate.
Just re-read my meter readings to the guy (picked up after 2 mins) and apparently I owe even more...£1224!!!!! I actually feel sick. Two months worth of gas and electric. Is this normal?
I have said I can't pay it all at once and DD works out at £326pm. I have asked if someone can come out and check the meter as well.
Christ, I am sure it used to be about £150pm, prices haven't quadrupled in a year or so, have they? sad

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 12:14:36

That sounds like an enormous amount. Perhaps there is a fault?

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 12:16:34

Also they tried to tell me from meter readings last year that my electricity DD had doubled. I couldn't understand it.

One year on and they have just refunded me £350.

I don't know what was wrong but it was all taken from meter readings too.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 12:20:03

How did you get a refund? Did you have to badger them? I am really hoping the meter is broken (or both of them!) and have just turned the thermostat down from 17 degrees to 14 in the hope it makes a small difference.
Looks like I can't afford to have 2 half days in nursery for DD any more at any rate as monthly gas and electric bills come to roughly the same amount as her 2 half days now!

HousewifeFromHeaven Tue 02-Apr-13 12:21:28

My bill was like this when I had the hot water on continuous. Now I have it on 30 mins twice a day and bills are much better. Could this be the same for you?

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 12:23:09

Yes! But I was told it costs more to heat up a cold tank than have it ticking over? I am sometimes home in the day a bit with DD and so it is useful to have hot water and heating on just in case we are home most of the day.

EuroShaggleton Tue 02-Apr-13 12:23:44

That's crazy. We pay 60-70 pounds each per month for elec and gas on DD. (3 bed new build semi.) I'm a chilly person and we don't skimp on heating at all, although we are both out at work all day and the heating is not on then.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:11

I don't have the heating on in the summer, obv, but hot water is on constant. I have a lot of problems with the boiler too (only put in 5 years ago!) and it costs about £300 every year to fix it as it invariably breaks down at the first hint of frost. Every time the plumbers come out they tell me to ensure I keep it on constant as in the winter pipes freeze quickly and even in the summer to have it on to clear the sludge in the rads so that the pump doesn't break (again).
Am a bit exasperated by it all to be honest. Draughty 3 bed Victorian semi here and I thought I was already being stingy on 17 degrees!

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 02-Apr-13 12:33:37

Oh and I had the windows re-sashed a couple of years ago, so it isn't as cold as it could be! <Can see people rushing to tell me to insulate better> smile

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Apr-13 12:46:13

I only have hot water on twice a day too.

I had been over paying them on my DD and so my account said in credit by about that amount. I read the meter and phoned it in and then spoke to someone about it.

I just asked if being 'in credit' meant it was my money and I would like it back. Even the amount I decided to take back my account is still a bit in credit.

I'm really pleased but also annoyed because I told the last year that I was paying far too much but they said the meter readings checked out.

Loulybelle Tue 02-Apr-13 12:49:04

NPower sent me a bill that stated i'd used £348 worth of gas in 16 weeks, for a small 2 bed house, i look on the bill, massively overestimated me, not having that.

But your bill is way too high, something is massively wrong, and i wouldnt stop hassling them about it.

PandaNot Tue 02-Apr-13 12:52:30

It'll be the water on constant not the heating. Having the water on permanently is hugely expensive.

chris481 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:56:34

I don't see how it can be hot water unless a tap is permanently left running. I use the same amount of hot water winter and summer, I think, and gas consumption in summer is virtually nothing.

UniqueAndAmazing Tue 02-Apr-13 13:01:19

when i had an immersion heater I only had the water on twice a day, too.
I did it for an hour in the morning, taking advantage of the cheap rate, then half an hour at tea time
if it was needed for baths then it would be put on again for half an hour.
make sure your immersion thermostat is also set to about 70 (it doesn't need to be higher than that)

it costs a lot more to keep it ticking over, because it has to keep it at such high temp.
central heating (gas) is more efficient if you have it set for a lower temp all day.

Pendipidy Tue 02-Apr-13 13:06:04

There is no need to have hot water on all day. I am home all day and it is on for a couple of hours in morning and early evening and we have hot water all day long.

sleepyhead Tue 02-Apr-13 13:18:17

After them increasing my Direct Debits on what felt like a monthly basis for the best part of a year, I finally got round to checking the readings a couple of months ago to discover that they'd all been estimated (Do BG ever bother to send meter readers round now?). As dh & I are often at home at opposite times I assumed he'd been in when the meter reader had been.

Anyway, we had gas central heating installed last winter so surprise, surprise, they'd grossly overestimated our electricity consumption and underestimated our gas consumption.

I tried to submit correct meter readings online but, while they were happy to take the increased gas reading and alter my bill accordingly, they wouldn't take the electricity reading. Phoned the call centre and eventually after about 45 minutes on the phone they worked out that they owed us three full quarters worth of electricity payments, which balanced with what we owed in gas meant we owed them £75 (our electricity dd up to that point had been increased to £100 per month).

All good, and for about 24hrs this change showed up on our online account. Until suddenly they decided to reverse it for some reason and then took £380 out of my bank account - two days before pay day. Luckily I've been saving for mat leave otherwise I'd never have nearly £400 two days before pay day.

Obviously the previous 45 minute conversation was denied when they were phoned again and they said it would take at least 10 working days to give me my £300 back. In the meantime they tried to increase my electricity direct debit again (you know, the one that was already so high that I'd been giving them money for nothing for three quarters of a year).

It's sorted now. I do my own monthly readings and pay them what I owe to the penny. I'm never going to get suckered into equal direct debits across the year again. They are utter, utter incompetents - but only ever in their own favour.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 02-Apr-13 13:22:44

If your hot water tank is properly lagged (a jacket for even the biggest tank is £20 including p&p) the water should stay hot. I have my hot water set at only 55degrees and switches off at 9am still burning hot at 5pm.

Khaleese Tue 02-Apr-13 13:24:05

We had a four hundred pound refund when we noticed that they had incorrectly wrote down our meter reading when we switched.

Lesson, keep ypur own reading...record them on your bill for future reference.

They are muppets :-)

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