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Just had a £1500 'outstanding amount' bill from British Gas - what can I do?

(9 Posts)
katie3677 Sat 09-Aug-08 18:36:45

We pay £300 a quarter for electricity which is based on an estimate given to us by British Gas when we moved in 2 years ago. I have never had a key to be able to give them a reading and the first time a meter reader came out to us was a couple of weeks ago. Have now received a bill saying that we owe £1500 as electricity consumption is much higher than estimated. Even they say it seems unusually high and double checked that the meter readings were the right way around, which apparently they are.
Is it worth me complaining or do I not have a leg to stand on?

Twiglett Sat 09-Aug-08 18:39:06

ask for easy payment terms

double check the read-out you started at 2 years ago

ChasingSquirrels Sat 09-Aug-08 18:59:18

I thought by law they had to check every 12 months - is there scope for any reduction because of that?

jelliebelly Sat 09-Aug-08 19:10:27

Double check the readings - that sounds very high and might need investigating. Ring them up straight away and try to get it sorted asap.

Also, why don't you have a key for your own meter cupboard? - if it's one of those outdoor ones I think the same key opens them all so maybe borrow one from somebody. You must know what the reading was when you moved in?

IllegallyBrunette Sat 09-Aug-08 19:12:01

You should be able to open the cupboard with pliers, just grip the bit in the middle.

misdee Sat 09-Aug-08 19:14:41

you can get the keys to the cupboard from most DIY stores.

unless you live in shared flats and theylocked the electricity meter cupboard with an actual key so even if you had a power failure you couldnt get in there grrrrrrr

annieshaf Sat 09-Aug-08 20:57:00

I know other people who have been in this situation and if you push them they may well give a discount on the basis that they have not read the meter often enough and therefore not given you the opportunity to reduce your consumption. I have known as much as a 10% discount - worth a try.

expatinscotland Sat 09-Aug-08 21:00:23

this is why we never do direct debits. i get a bill quarterly that's not an estimate.

i also take a photo of the meter once a month.

because i've been had by this kind of bullshit.

i think it should be illegal for these companies to do anything but bill you, no estimating.

they can be robbing bastards.

when we leave this place, i'm going to get a meter.

katie3677 Sat 09-Aug-08 22:15:45

Thanks all, they have arranged monthly payments to clear the outstanding bill, but it's still an annoying extra expense when we thought it was all sorted. I will get stroppy with them and ask for an investigation. Also going to ask for copies of all the bills they've sent since we moved in so I can see exactly what we've paid out on their estimations. I'm usually really good at keeping bills, but wierdly can't find any of our BG ones. EDF have done this to us before so I'm not going to stand for it again.

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