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Thread: Gas supplier being notfied by 3rd party that I'm leaving when I'm not

  1. #1
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    Gas supplier being notfied by 3rd party that I'm leaving when I'm not

    This isn't disability related and I struggled to think of a suitable title! Just wondering whether anyone else has been through the same and has any advice.

    A couple of years ago I received a letter from British Gas saying they were sorry I was leaving them and that they had been contacted by another supplier asking to take over my supply. I hadn't requested any other supplier take over my gas supply or even made any enquiries. The whole saga went on for months. British Gas would tell me it was all sorted but then a few weeks later I'd get another "we're sorry you're leaving us" letter. I even ended up with 2 accounts at one time. I have a pre-pay meter and ended up with them sending me bills for a new account in addition to that. It eventually got sorted - ie they told me they had sorted it and I stopped getting letters and everything has been fine.

    Today I get home to a letter from them - sorry you're leaving us. Another gas supplier has been in touch with us, asking to take over your supply. Again, I have not made any enquiries re switching supplier. The worrying thing is that they say they will stop supplying me on 23rd March which is less than 2 weeks away. What if I was on holiday? Would I come back to find I had no gas? I can't get through to anyone at British Gas right now but when I do I have no confidence that it will be properly sorted and won't turn into a long running saga all over again.

    Anyone had the same thing happen? I never did get a proper explanation of what happened last time but I believe the other supplier was EDF if I recall correctly.

  2. #2
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    I've heard of this happening more and more. It can often be a mistake by somebody trying to transfer but they have supplied an incorrect meter number. I once received a bill from another supplier but noticed the number was wrong so sent it back with an appropriate response

    Energy companies are party to the Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter, which means they must ensure mistakes are swiftly dealt with and the customer is neither out of pocket or left with no supply. It's worth calling them to register the issue again and to stop the transfer.

    I would then write to your supplier stating you are not transferring and that they should not take instruction from anybody else unless you state otherwise. You could also write to the other supplier and state that you will refer them to the regulator if they insist on trying to switch you and you will seek appropriate redress if they do.

    You could also speak to CAB as I'm sure they will be able to help.

    Hope you get it resolved
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  3. #3
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Do you live in a flat? I was told by BG that flats tend to be difficult to ascertain which one when trying to sort my grandsons meter out for him.
    If that is the case and another tenant has applied to change but not supplied a meter number it could just be error.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Not heard of this happening to anyone I know.

    The flat I moved into had key meters which made it difficult for me to get out and about to keep putting credit on the darn things. I rang them up and as I'm disabled - they replaced both the gas and electric meter free of charge (standard fee is £52 each), then I agreed to remain with them for 24 months. This may be a reason no one has bothered me with 'hoax' or other suppliers contacting me.

    Psttt they've got a darn cheek doing this to you - it causes agro and messing about. Hope you sort it out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Catlover, whatever the reason for the cock-up it might be worth shopping around for a better energy deal anyway.

    The more loyal you are to a supplier the more chance that you're on an outdated tariff.

    All major energy companies dropped their prices just this year. By switching you could save a few hundred especially if you do dual fuel, no paper bills and pay by Direct Debit (which you can't do due to pay meter).

  6. #6
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    We have just changed to Sainsbury's Energy from BG for dual fuel with a predicted saving of £300 in a year.

    Sainsbury's Energy is part of BG and when I rang to query something they could access my BG account too.
    Utility supply is just a con with many smaller suppliers actually being part of larger companies. Why then do prices vary between the smaller company and the parent company?

  7. #7
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I eventually got through to British Gas and spoke to an unexpectedly helpful chap in the sales complaints team. He reckons the mistake has arisen because the new supplier (Scottish Power) has selected the wrong address when setting up the switch. Apparently my address is listed directly below another address which is the likely property wanting to switch. He has raised an objection to the switch which will stop it (although he reckons it wouldn't have gone ahead anyway as I've not received anything from Scottish Power) and also a complaint. He said that even if it had switched it could have been remedied through the erroneous transfer customer charter. I am waiting for them to get back to me with an update - should be today as they said within 48 hours.

    I must ask them to check which supplier it was last time. If it's the same supplier they are being very sloppy and I feel a complaint the ombudsman coming on but if it's different companies not sure what I can do to prevent it happening again. BG have checked whether there's anything about my address format that can or should be amended and there isn't. He agreed that they should be more careful to select the right address but that it's quite common when you live in a flat (although the other property involved is not a flat but a house on the other side of the road with the same number as my flat number). He said they were being sloppy and not reading addresses properly. I am reassured there is no cause to worry but it shouldn't happen in the first place and it's still hassle for me to have to ring up about it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    As you say it's all the hassle, inconvenience of sorting it all out but at least you've sorted it

  9. #9
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    It's not sorted yet. They have raised an objection to the switch but that could be unsuccessful (don't see how it can be unsuccessful??) in which case they will return my gas supply to BG under the erroneous transfer process. The worry for me is that a) I might lose what credit I have on the meter if the switch goes ahead - best make a note - and b) if I don't have a Scottish power card I won't be able to top up with my BG card should the switch go ahead. Presumably the fact that they have not sent me a card is an indication that this is all an error and nothing will happen to my gas supply but it is a bit worrying.

    They were supposed to ring me by yesterday but unfortunately have an old number for me and I didn't think to check they had my current number. So they have written to me instead. I will ring them early next week to have a chat about it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    well here we go again. British Gas objected to the switch and that was successful and the switch did not go ahead. However, BG did advise that they could try up to 3 times to switch me over and to contact them if that happened. What do I come home to today? A letter from BG saying they are sorry I am leaving them....... honestly - I really don't understand how it can keep happening. I was told it was an administrative error and that Scottish Gas had selected the wrong address (apparently common with flats) when trying to switch over a neighbour. So here we are a month later and they are making the same mistake all over again and once more I have to spend time and money trying to sort it out.

    Definitely an official complaint coming on this time.

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