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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

‘British Gas is charging me £500 for a leaky pipe’

Dear Sally,

In February I smelt gas coming from my meter. An engineer from Cadent, which operates the gas distribution network, came for an inspection.

He found two leaks and so replaced the meter, telling me that the company would inform British Gas of the change. To cut a long story short, the company has sent me estimated bills based on the old meter numerous times and I have asked them to issue the bill again.

Despite assurances this will all be sorted, I have heard nothing since Aug 11. I now owe the company for gas used during some of the coldest months of the year and with another winter now on the way I want to get my bill sorted – but based on my correct meter readings. I really hope you can help me.

MJ, Stourbridge

Sally says:

You had clearly run out of energy in your pursuit of a correct gas bill. So I asked British Gas to look into your case as a matter of urgency. Within a few days it came back to say that it had never received any update about your old meter being replaced, either from you or from Cadent.

You found this infuriating as not only had the representative from Cadent told you that it would alert British Gas to the change, but as a failsafe you also took it upon yourself to inform the company on three occasions. This information simply did not get through to the right people and as a result you continued to receive estimated bills based on the readings held for your old device.

I asked British Gas to find out what had gone wrong and speed up the process of sending out a correct bill.

I am pleased to say it soon called you directly to confirm that it would be updating the industry meter database with the details of your new device and that these billing problems should not occur again.

At the same time you gave the caller your meter reading and you received an updated calculation then and there.

This came to £483, but to make up for the hassles you have endured it was reduced to £400. Though both you and I thought the redress rather measly, you said you were happy the bill nightmare had finally been resolved.


Has a company treated you unfairly? Our consumer champion, Sally Hamilton, is here to help. For how to contact her click here 

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