Petition to @Britishgas

This is my copied text from my official petition complaint on Groubal. Read the original and sign the petition >>here<<


On August 15th, 2010 British Gas sent an engineer to my house while I was out and changed my Gas meter from a credit meter to a Pay as you go meter.

This was done without my knowledge and without me being present. Now, on October 13th they have still not returned my credit meter, despite calling them 2-3 times a week.

Gas meter removal without my knowledge

The story starts in December 2009. When I bought my property, I moved in and called British Gas to fix me up with Gas. As I live in a flat, British Gas were unable to work out which flat was mine and which gas meter was connected to it. We moved on and they sorted out my electricity. They asked me to go and find out which gas meter was mine, but as I live ina block of flats it was incredibly difficult to locate with any accuracy which one it was. They had no idea and refused to send someone over. I called them a number of times and asked them why they couldn't just bill me on the bill that they had billed the last person on who had lived in the flat. They had no answer for me (I later found out it was because they hadn't known it for that person either) and insisted I go and get the serial number. I couldn't do this.

no help at all.

The problem arises because I live in a house which was converted into flats. The numbering of the flats is a little illogical, I am flat R, meaning rear flat on the first floor, due to the first floor being split in two. British Gas had me down as being flat 2. There is no flat called flat 2 in the building.

In August they came over and presented a warrant for the removal of my gas meter. To the neighbours. I wasn't in, they knocked on my neighbours door (as they couldn't figure out which one was mine, despite me telling them repeatedly in December) and they told them that they were going to remove their gas meter. My neighbours were terrified and called the Police. When the police called British Gas to ask if they had sent someone over they said they had no record of doing so!

They proceeded to remove the meter and leave. When I got home I turned on the shower and it was cold so we thought the boiler had broken. Called out a plumber which cost £80, and he told us the gas wasn't on.

Unhelpful support staff refuse to take payment and change my meter

then the saga begins. I called British Gas to ask what had happened and they said I owed them over £800!!! I had only lived in the house for 8 months and it's a tiny studio flat. They also said we needed to pay them for the warrant they had taken out. We had never seen the warrant as it was sent to flat 2. Where nobody lives.

I explained that we had tried repeatedly and in vain to tell them we had moved in in December. They blamed the whole thing on us, saying that we should have got our serial number, and I explained that we couldn't do that, as there were so many meters in the basement and that I had specifically asked them to do this. They continued to blame us and refused to sort out the situation or admit that they had got the wrong flat number.

I called again the following week and went through to someone who worked out that the source of the problem was actually that the company get their addresses from a national database. This database didn't have my address on it. It was quite comical when he read out the addresses attached to my building

"So can you confirm. Do you live in The basement flat?"


"Do you live in flat 1?"


"Do you live in flat 2?"


"do you live in flat 6?"


"Do you live in flat 12?"

"Erm no. There isn't even 12 flats in the block! And what happened to numbers 3-5? You have me in as living in flat 5 for electricity!?! " (I'm also with them for electricity so you'd think that would make it easier right? Wrong.)

"Oh well sir those are the only numbers we have on our database"

"Well I think we can see where the problem is"

So they changed our address (which took a few weeks) and finally now could work out where to send the bill.

This wasn't over yet though as we still needed to get the meter changed back.

We spoke to someone on the phone who seemed hellbent on making our life difficult. She told us that we owed £266 since we moved in. I said I was very keen to pay it, as I had always been since we moved in. I had no intention of dodging the bill, hence why I called them and asked them to move us in in the first place. I was at the time £145 IN CREDIT with them for my electricity.

So I said, fine, how do I pay. The customer service agent told me that in order to pay the bill, I had to firstly send a message to the meter. I had NO idea what she meant, and tried to get the explanation out of her. Surely, with the balance in front of her face she could take my payment right? Apparently not, as common sense seemed lost on British Gas.

In order to pay my bill, I had to firstly top up my meter. Not once, not twice, but THREE times. With £1.

I had no idea why I would have to do this, as I was happy to pay the whole £266 in one go, but I wasn't allowed to do this.

So I went along with it. This was about 6 weeks after I had initially had my meter taken out. We were still living with this unwanted meter. I had offered to pay the bill countless times by this time and was at my wits end.

A week later, after having filled the meter up with £1 three times as instructed, the customer service rep called again and asked me to go to the meter and press some buttons. I done this.

"Sorry but the message is still not through to your meter. You'll have to top up again," she said. "But as you've already topped up today you will have to wait until tomorrow to do it again"

I lost it at this point and said "For goodness sakes, you have the bill in front of your face. Why the hell can I not just PAY YOU?!" She had no logical answer. i had now been trying to pay British Gas for their services for over 9 months, actually at points begging them to take my money. But no. I had to put another pound in my meter. It was yet another humiliation, which I frankly did not deserve.

I lodge an official compaint

I lodged an official conplaint at this time and finally got someone with some sense call me up, Or so I thought. He said that the previous people had told me all the wrong information and that he could actually simply take my payment and replace my meter. Which is what I had asked them to do 6 weeks prior.

He took my payment over the phone then we proceeded to work on the meter change.

They ofer pathetic compensation

By this time I had already taken numerous days off and paid for a plumber to come over. The total cost of this whole debacle was probably about £500, not to mention the inconvenience of not having a meter and the stress.

Someone responded to my complaint and offered me £20 compensation for "mobile phone bills incurred ringing their customer services"

TWENTY POUNDS! I have been without a usable gas meter for two months. This is like spitting in my face.

Engineer says it's too dangerous to change my meter

So onto the gas meter change. It's now been 2 weeks since they said they would do this. I've waited and waited and it just hasn't happened.

The meter is downstairs in a basement that adjoins a neighbours property. The neighbour is doing some building work at the moment so his builders have a lot of rubble outside the house. I work 9-5 and then do things after work so I don't keep an eye on the rubble pile.

To top up the meter, I have to climb over a locked fence with a 15ft drop on the other side, then sometimes I have to climb over this rubble, which includes nails, glass and wood and some days I can't get to it at all.

British Gas sent around an engineer last Saturday. He took one look at the pile of rubble and said it was too dangerous to climb over it and left.

I had to reschedule, and I emailed the builders to ask them to move the rubble. They couldn't make it,. so when the engineer came over today he took one more look at it, wrote us a note to the effect of "I can't get in there it is a health and safety hazard" and left.

I now cannot even top up my gas, and my girlfriend has to take another day off work (she took today off so they could let us down again) tomorrow for which we will no doubt not be compensated.

It's the 13th of October. We have no outstanding fines with British Gas and we are in fact paying them too much for our electricity. We have been without a usable gas supply for nearly 2 months.

Please add your name to the petition or tweet @britishgas to complain on my behalf (my twitter handle is @andytgeezer)

Make them aware that what they are doing is wrong and please please don't let them get away with this
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