General Chat Thread, Gas Supply - Need advice in General; Am I really stuck topping up £30 a week on my pre-payment meter ?
I have just moved into a ...
7th November 2013, 09:19 AM #1
Gas Supply - Need advice
Am I really stuck topping up £30 a week on my pre-payment meter ?
I have just moved into a new house, not much bigger than my old one, still a two bedroom.
Both Gas and Electric meters are pre-payment, I wanted to go onto Direct Debit but apparently I haven't passed the credit check, although last time I was with British Gas they ended up owing me money and I got a cheque off them for £150.
I'm now putting £30 a week on my Gas meter, thats with no debts from previous tennants etc. I last topped up on Friday. Boiler is on roughly about an hour before we go to bed and an hour in the morning when we wake up. Boiler is also less than 3 months old.
I call British Gas for them to tell me, I have failed the credit check so they wont remove that meter and put me on a monthly payment meter, and if I wanted to switch supplier its just tough t***y because it takes 5 weeks for a new supplier to set my account up anyway so Im still stuck paying them £30 for 5 weeks.
I want to switch my supplier to the supplier which I had at my old address, thats going to take 5 weeks apparently. Looks like im in stuck!
Electric seems to be fine I put £20 on that on Friday and still have £13 left I can live with that. - oh and that standing charge on the gas £1.80 a day!
Any Advice ???
7th November 2013, 09:27 AM #2
Get it switched. If your credit history is good, it's their loss if you change supplier. £30 per week is insane, properly. We pay less than that on a big, poorly insulated house with LPG, which is notoriously costly - you should be on less than half of what you're paying.
7th November 2013, 09:51 AM #3
Are you sure you haven't got a fault or leak somewhere? Maybe someone leeching it? That seems like an awful lot and utility companies don't check their bills properly (as proven when we had the meter read and the dunce got it the wrong way round resulting in a bill large enough to power the supermarket next door!).
7th November 2013, 09:57 AM #4
if you cant go DD, move to a provider that doesnt do standing charges on pre-pay meters as a matter of urgency, I think Swalec who we are with do not put a SC on their pre-payment meters, as that is a form of robbery for pre-payment meters, £1.80 a day x30 being £54 a month just for that. Thats probably where half your costs are going there.
7th November 2013, 09:57 AM #5
If you can watch the meter with the boiler running and then when its off and see if the dial/reading changes.
Also ^ good advice
7th November 2013, 10:01 AM #6
If you know a friendly gas safe plumber ask them to do a drop test on the meter, this'll detect if there's any leak on your side of the meter.
7th November 2013, 10:01 AM #7
Call utility warehouse, they make sure you're on the cheapest tarrif at all times.
They'll even give you cash to help you buy yourself out of your contract.
£30 a week sounds a lot. I would ask them to come and see if the boiler is running the correct tarrif as they often get the wrong update.
7th November 2013, 10:05 AM #8
What's your standing charge? (Edit - missed the £.180 a day! Wow high!)
Sounds iffy to me, over £4 a day? approx 4p per unit and 30/50p standing charge, roughly 87 units a week?
Even with the £1.80 = 55 units a week
Last edited by CHR1S; 7th November 2013 at 10:58 AM.
7th November 2013, 10:10 AM #9
I agree, £30 per week is a lot. Inevitably standing charges are always going to be more expensive than DD, as there's far less administration costs for the energy supplier.
If you do get your boiler checked, remember to get any gas fires and/or cooker checked at the same time.
Another method (although not ideal this time of year), is to turn the gas off temporarily at the meter and see if the dial changes at all.
7th November 2013, 10:11 AM #10
First things first. If it's going to take you 5 weeks to change supplier - start the ball rolling TODAY or you will be paying £30 for the next 6 weeks! Ebico is the UK's only 'Not-for-Profit' energy company and offers the same price tariff for pre-payment meters as Direct Debit accounts and has NO standing charge. Click here NOW and get started. There are NO contract tie-ins and NO exit fees so if you don't like it, you can leave at any time without incurring a penalty.
Originally Posted by cpjitservices
Secondly, there is NO WAY that a £1.80 a day standing charge does not include re-payment of old debt. Take daily meter readings of exactly how much gas you use, not just how much money you have spent. That way, when it comes to making a claim for a refund you will have all the information that you need.
Thirdly, make sure that ALL of your communications with your supplier (and I am inferring that you are currently with British Gas) are undertaken via email so you have a trail of evidence. Download a copy of their complaints procedure and refer to it in your emails if at any time you feel they are trying to fob you off. Also advise them of a deadline for a response of 24 hours before escalating to the next level of the complaints procedure.
Fourthly, keep pestering them and don't let them fob you off.
Finally, if at all possible, avoid using gas for the next 5 weeks. Boil kettles for hot water. Use portable electric heaters around the house. Allow your account to become massively in debt to this ridiculous £1.80 a day standing charge and let them dare try to come after you for it!
As you may have gathered, I have had experience of dealing with British Gas and, without a shadow of a doubt, I have never experienced such incompetence from such a large organisation in my entire life.
Good luck and nil carborundum illegitimi!
PS No I don't work for Ebico or have any connections, I just think they are a great company.
7th November 2013, 10:20 AM #11
My ex has a prepayment meter with British Gas and is in a two bed flat. She heats by gas boiler, as well as hot water and cooks on gas too. She puts around £30 to £40 a month in the meter at this time of year depending on how cold it gets. The heating is on for a couple of hours max. There is no way that you should be paying £30 a week.
7th November 2013, 10:52 AM #12
£30 a week?
Crickey - I'm on a pre-pay meter and don't even use that in a month, for a two bed house.
There's got to be something wrong there - either theres a leak of some kind, some 'enterprising soul' helping themselves to your supply or the supplier is taking you for a ride with an insane tarrif...
As above - start the change process now, otherwise you'll be stuck with this meter, I'd also suggest ringing your supplier and reporting your current meter as faulty, as there's no way you should be paying that much - if they say it's fine, then enquire about your tarrif, ask why it is so high.
Complain. Loudly. and don't let up.
7th November 2013, 11:08 AM #13
I just did the maths for my gas as a comparison.
Large 4 bed house, with above average number rads. £22 including standing charge for a month, up from £15 last month as we are putting the heating on more.
7th November 2013, 11:27 AM #14
Well I had a worth with BG, and I was told that they could put me on a different tariff a lower tariff but there would be no point as on the 23rd November all the tariffs are going up anyway regardless. I'd apparently only benefit from the new tariff for a few days. Apparently I get charged a Calibration charge on the meter too and thats £1 a day between 2-3AM.
Definitely haven't got a leak - Gas check has been done and the meters have been checked!
Think Ill look at ebico thanks all.
7th November 2013, 11:31 AM #15
@cpjitservices sorry mate but they are treating you like a mug!! £1 a day calibration charge? Did they offer you to change the smell of your gas for £1 a day too?
I would be threatening to call Ofgem right about now.
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