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    British Gas bills stating £0 for 0 units used each quarter for 3 years yet still using gas - what to do?

    I have been looking into changing the utilities for my grandfather's old house, and it turns out that British Gas have been, since 2006, sending bills which all say 0 units of gas have been used that quarter and asking for no payment to be made.
    I know that my parents who look after the house have not changed utilities and that they are not being billed by anyone else, and also that the boiler is gas and heats the water and central heating so it is impossible that 0 units have been used.
    Now the fact that my parents were completely unaware of this is true, but by no means an excuse, they should have realised at some point, but as they have duel fuel and the electricity bills were coming in from British Gas, I suppose that they got confused over this. I have double checked and the electricity bills are seperate to the gas ones, and the electricity payments are up to date and ok.
    Now, what do I do? Tell British Gas, and brace ourselves for a massive bill (bad timing financially for personal reasons so would rather not do it just now)? Will they be able to whack a massive 3 year bill on us, as it's partly their fault? Can they backdate 3 years of bills? Can they add on interest for years accrued? Does anyone have any experiences like this?
    Thank you.

    11 Comments

    Maybe it has been over estimated at some time and is not yet back in front.

    Have you checked the reading on the bill against the meter?

    Sounds like a hot deal to me.........

    Original Poster

    It was, at one point over estimated, and the account is still in £162 credit but that was back in 2006 and since then the bills say there's still £162 credit on the account and also states 0 units used and no charges have been made at all, despite gas most definately being used. I can't get to the house to check the metre, that's a great idea, I'll have to try and get round there in the next fortnight to have a look.

    Banned

    Shh! ;-)

    sickly sweet;5001936

    It was, at one point over estimated, and the account is still in £162 … It was, at one point over estimated, and the account is still in £162 credit but that was back in 2006 and since then the bills say there's still £162 credit on the account and also states 0 units used and no charges have been made at all, despite gas most definately being used. I can't get to the house to check the metre, that's a great idea, I'll have to try and get round there in the next fortnight to have a look.



    I take it they have been regularily reading the meter as the electric must have been. I think you will find that's what the problem is.

    Hope so

    Banned

    Someone must have come along to read the meter and they have refused to let them in? - don't blame them as it's the right thing to do at that age

    might have been coerced into changing providers - so either way think it would be best to contact british gas to check

    they are the ones sending the £0 bills so if it is an error i am sure they will come to an arrangement - fingers crossed

    Call British Gas and find out if they are supplying the Gas. Even if it's their mistake, they are due the money so your parents will have to make an arrangement to pay if they don't have the money now.

    They won't charge any interest on the amount owed.

    Mother in Law is having a problem with scottish power I think it is.

    Her meter was read once in the year and she hadn't been paying enough each week through her little meter thing, they came the other week, sent her a letter and said that she was owe them £1000.

    She phoned them and said how could this be etc, they said that they are only obliged to read your meter once a year(I dunno if this is true or not).

    Now she has to pay them £145 a month for the debt and the usage that she is still using.

    So I know that they can backdate it for at least the year, or so it seems in her case.

    It sounds like a dead meter is attached to your gas billing account. If it was the correct meter and wasnt getting read then you would be getting estimate bills. This could have happened as a result of many things but ultimately there is a failed registration somewhere along the line. Either BG have failed to register that meter properly, or the new supplier has failed to pick it up on a shipper transfer. End result, BG think they have lost the supply but are billing you £0, and the new shipper hasnt picked up the registration, therefore classed as shipperless.

    It would appear that whatever meter they are billing £0 for is not on their reading schedule for their data collector, and not marked as active against your property otherwise the estimate read would show.

    1 of 2 things can happen:

    You can being it to the attention of British Gas, who will investigate, most probably do a meter change to ensure a correct meter is installed and recorded. Then they will slap a 3 year estimated bill to you. Which you will have a great degree of flexbility in agreeing and paying back to them, as its their responsibility to maintain that fuel supply to the property. If they give you any grief then mention a directors letter and a complaint to ofgem. That should get them to be reasonable with you. there is a customer charter that governs the handling of situations like this.

    The other option is not to bring it to their attention and keep paying zilch....which is probably what I would do....lol..and wait for them to initiate any update and meter change. the paying back and flexibility will still be available as it is still governed in the customer charter.

    :-D

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys for all your suggestions, help and experiences. I think first thing I need to do is get someone to go round and read the metre (it's outside so Mr British Gas man could have read it) and then go on from there.
    I have read that energy suppliers, since 2006, can only backdate bills 2 years unless incorrect bills were sent when it is only one year which they can backdate so that won't make it quite as bad as first thought!
    I will have to get to the bottom of this though, but it's incredibly bizzare the bills have been in credit for 3 years with no charges (if only life was really like this!).
    I think either what radiocde said, that they're reading the electricity metre and not the gas, or stephenA2000_uk and the dead metre thing...thanks for all the help, I kind of wish I'd never found this now!
    Repped as much as I can today.
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