On 2 Jun 2015 at 1:28pm puzzled wrote:
My brother in Law who lives on his own, recently got an estimated gas bill from British Gas saying that he was over £300 in debit. My wife and I who are his carers thought that was rather high so I called in and took a meter reading which was a lot lower than their estimated one. I sent this off and he has just received a bill saying that he is now £154 in credit. Now if he had paid the debit one British Gas would have had £150 of my Brother in Laws money earning them interest. He tells us that no one has ever turned up to read the meter nor has any note been put through his door. So next time you get an estimated bill that appears high compare your meter reading against theirs.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 1:57pm trooper wrote:
BRITISH GAS, tied that one on me some time ago, I was asked for £350:00 I refused to pay and despite all their efforts continued to do so, and eventually they took me to court but on the eve of stepping into the courtroom their lawyer stated that his client had withdrawn and admitted that they had made a mistake. I was then sent a bill for £70:00 but no apology or any contact.It would appear that BG have learned nothing. I changed my supplier and have a smart meter no more estimates.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 2:02pm Lewes resident wrote:
The energy utilities suppliers are only obliged to read your meter once every two years I believe, so they may well estimate bills more often than they call to take a reading.
They will base any estimates on previous usage patterns of current householder/account at that address, but if they have insufficient history for the current householder they may base estimates on "typical" usage for a property of similar type.
And no doubt most estimates will tend to be in the suppliers' favour too, so that they run less risk of being out of pocket. themsleves. In the past I often found their estimated readings were notably higher than actual, but now our household has been more stable/predictable since the kids moved out a couple of years ago, then B Gas (Gas) and EDF (leccy) estimates are now pretty accurate.
Yes, you can always read the meter yourself, and keep tabs on the accuracy of an "estmated" usages they charge for.
If the suppliers are aware that the homeowner/resident is registered as disabled, or has need for carers etc, they may well be happy to turn up and read meter more often, given the homeowner may well be unable to take readings themselves.
I have frequently been asked to provide my own readings, and flatly refused to do their job for them unless they make it worth my while be reducing my bill accordingly - I pay them to provide a service, and as far as I am concerned, that service includes reading my meter(s) sufificently frequently to ensure their billing is reasonably accurate.
When they say, "Well it only takes a moment, and is really easy to do sir..." then my response is, "If that's the case, then it won't be a problem for your meter readers to add me to their call list will it?".
FYI British Gas will, if requested, refund any over payment they hold, but I am not sure they do it automatically, though I have been told by them that they are not permitted (in law) to make any profit/interest on any such customer-overpayment money they hold. They will also happily reduce any standing order/DD arrangement to erode any accrued credit, but that then risks a sudden hike in monthly debit once the accrual is all gone and they suddenly start taking the "correct" amount per month.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 4:04pm Rosiecheeks wrote:
I had a problem with EDF. They sent me my usual bill which was 7 times higher than usual, so I contacted them. I took a photo of my meter with the reading, emailed it off to them and got a bill with 3 different meters on it adding up to £3700. None of these had anything to do with me, so did they actually read my email and look at my meter reading. They lazy and just want your money. I threatened them with the ombudsman, and suddenly it got sorted. N Power are just as bad, they all need to get their act together.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 4:22pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Lewes resident- Anything involving labour these days does cost money. If you read your meter yourself, and send the information on line it will save them a few bob. If most people did it, it would save them a fortune- and gas bills could come down. (pigs might fly).
But at least you would have the moral high ground. What would it cost you to read the meter and post the result online? In practical terms, nothing.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 5:56pm Country Boy wrote:
Sussex Jim - its a bit like using self service checkouts. If I wanted to work in a supermarket I would apply for a job there.
On 2 Jun 2015 at 8:42pm Horseman7 wrote:
Six months ago I asked British Gas to put me on to smart metering. A couple of weeks later they came and replaced both my gas and electricity meters and gave me a nice little gizmo which lets me set a daily target, all free of charge. Each month they send me an email telling me how much they will be debiting my account. So always up to date and quite an incentive to cut back if the usage creeps up.
On 3 Jun 2015 at 9:26am Lewes Resident wrote:
@ Sussex Jim:
1. If I truly believed it would reduce my bill I might consider it, but I believe it is simply a ploy by B Gas et al to reduce operating costs and their own profits. Hence I give them the chance to reduce my bill if I agre to read my meter for them, and they consistently refuse to do so, thus reinforcing my belief that they alone benefit from getting their customers to read meters.
2. As Country Boys says, if I wanted to read meters I'd do it for a living. My limited spare time is mine to do with as I please, and I do not include meter-reading in my list of hobbies, simples.