British Gas Cock-up to Court

by Françoise Ducellier in Church Stretton, England, United Kingdom

£10

raised of £5,000 target
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Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by December 16th 2019 at 5:47am

To sue British Gas for breach of Contract, Corporate Negligence, Harassment and detriment to Health

by Françoise Ducellier in Church Stretton, England, United Kingdom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzGnzr4_Eyg&feature=youtu.be

Since seeing the British Gas advertising campaign in 2017 offering people who switched to BG would get Free Electricity on a Saturday or Sunday, and bills would be guaranteed lower than their current energy provider, for 24 months - I agreed to switch from E-on. I live in a small, 1 bedroomed, new build, elderly person eco-bungalow. My average monthly Gas/Electricity bill in the first 2 years of occupancy was Estimated at £78 per month. This seemed very high. The Gas CH was off April - October. I spent a lot of time in hospital, and with relatives. I worked and did voluntary work abroad. Minimal energy usage when at home. After switching to BG they estimated a monthly charge of £71. I signed up. Of course every Saturday I cooked, cleaned, laundered ( even for a disabled neighbour!) to take advantage of the Deal. All went well until 6 months later I received a HUGE bill from BG!! That was just the start of 20 months of stress, anxiety, loss of health, strokes, loss of income, arguments, red-top letters and demands, threats and even a visit from a very nice Debt Collector ( who left refusing to act on BG’s behalf after seeing the file!) I was told that the Deal had not been viable for BG as so many people signed up to it ( mainly elderly, like me) and took advantage of Free Electricity on a Saturday or Sunday that BG was losing out on it so they had WITHDRAWN THE DEAL! They did NOT notify anyone. Instead in an effort to recoup the money they’d lost on the Free Electicity weekend day over the first 6 months of the Contract, they ‘estimated’ the “ free” usage and billed the hapless customers in retrospect!! In my case £789.34p for the “ Free” Saturdays of the first 6 months! When I pointed out that this was a breach of Contract and nonrecoverable by such dodgy tactics, they sent me a Notice of increase of the monthly Direct Debit amount, wait for it.....from £71 to £214.34p!!! That was in month 8 of the Deal Contract.... I continued to pay £71 per month but BG refused and attempted to take £214.34p several times, then £91.00 several times. My bank refused. Instead I paid each month by card £71.00.
the “debt” increased month on month as they sent me HUGE estimated bills, argued the readings I phoned into them every month, sent me red-top letters and bills every month. Phone calls from me would take up to 2 hours, explaining to a different Customer Services person in call centres, the whole story over and over again. Complaints were submitted, closed and the threats continued; BG would send Bailiffs, install a prepaid meter, blacklist me with other energy suppliers etc etc. if I didn’t agree to pay the massive arrears. If I said I intended to record phone conversations they hung up. I recorded without telling them. They insisted on installing a Smart Meter last year to “ show you how much energy you’re actually using”. I agreed. They installed the Smart Meter. I saw that my average daily combined energy usage was around £1.20p per day over 8 months, including last Winter. They were not happy! Still the threats, the bills, the demands kept coming. I became depressed, had 3 mini-strokes, an aneurism, stopped sleeping and eating. My income was reduced drastically when I had to pack my car in because I couldn’t afford to run it any more. I was trapped. The worry and anxiety prevented me opening the red-tops. Two huge files sat on the kitchen table 24/7. I was prescribed anti-depressants, became suicidal...In February this year (2019) BG sent an engineer to check the Smart meter. He agreed the size of the house -v- the size of the bills was “ bloody ridiculous”! British Gas would not accept his findings, instead they claimed that the Smart Meter “... has not been registering the right usage for some months but will correct itself...” (?)Still they insisted and demanded and threatened. Huge estimated bills, plus the estimated “ arrears, arrived weekly.  I had a stroke 3 months ago. I’d just come home from Hospital one morning when a chap turned up from British Gad Data Services! He’d come to read the meter located outside my house. I videoed the event ! Exasperatedly he told me that he could not explain it BUT the meter BG had installed at switchover 20 months ago, WAS NOT THE METER REGISTERED TO MY ADDRESS, nor had any relation to the bills I had been sent for over 18 months!! Ta-dah! He checked and double checked, examined my bills, looked at the tiny household from the hallway, checked the Smart Meter ( working perfectly ) but assured me that the meter registered to my address by British Gas bote no relationship to the one they had installed outside my home!! My visiting daughter sent the video and Complaint to British Gas. No response. She phoned them up. It was “ undeniable there’s been some sort of mistake”.  She was passed eventually to “ Lindsey” who worked for the Head of Complaints ( David Kirwan.) She assured me that BG was wholly responsible for the problems, that my account would be reset at zero, that the meter would be resolved, and found that in fact I was £321.24p in Credit. All this she would confirm in writing within 7-10 days. That was 8 weeks ago. I’ve received nothing in writing. Oh, apart from two very personalised texts from a “Dave”. He assured me he was on the case and would resolve the issues by Oct 19th 2019. Nothing has happened. Another email ( I insisted on emails as texts are not good for presentation in Court,) from Dave Shaw assured me the issues would be resolved by 21 st Oct 2019. Nothing has happened. I issued a Letter of Action after receiving legal advice. Notifying “Dave” of this I contacted BG Customer Complaints only to be told that taking them to Court would prove very expensive, “.... especially for someone living on a Pension...”

I’m actually getting my daughter to write this as I am unable to again through  ill health directly caused by this incredibly dishonest and disinterested Energy Company. I want to raise £5,000 to enable sending   a Claim to the High Court. British Gas treats customers to appalling service, and even when they have CLEARLY breached their own Contracts, and try to extort money from vulnerable people, they detach themselves from taking responsibility and do not care of the long term effects their Corporate Negligence has on people like me. If there are other ‘victims’ of British Gas out there, please feel free to contact me.

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