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    GAS bill, undercharged now overcharged? what do i do?

    Hi all (happy new year)

    needing some help, between april 2009 and july 2010 my gas bills were showing i was in credit, in july 2010 i was in credit by £435!!

    so the gas company owed me, now this i gathered was correct as my direct debits were £30/month which was taken no matter summer or winter

    anyway now all of a sudden i have an outstanding bill showing that 'I OWE' the gas company, atlantic gas a massive £402!

    working intermittently, and being post christmas its money which i simply do not have

    gas companys billing mess up

    this is not to disimillar to this story
    bbc.co.uk/new…666

    and
    lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/new…ll/

    what can i do? please help?

    15 Comments

    Phone them!

    Banned

    Summer - use no gas = credit. Extra cold winter - use loads of gas = owing. Simples.

    £197 a month does seem a bit steep, make a note of your meter readings and meter serial numbers and make sure they are the same as the ones the company have on their records when you ring them.
    Edited by: "badgerrules" 6th Jan 2011

    Utility companies use an estimate when they can't get a 'proper' reading.
    I would hazard a guess that they have been using an estimated reading for a long time and recently they managed to get an accurate reading which means that the actual gas usage has been discovered.

    So paying £30 a month you thought you'd got yourself in credit of £435? Even if £30 a month was too much and you're actually using £25 a month (which would be extremely low anyway!) then it would take something like 8 years to build up that credit!!

    Benjimoron

    So paying £30 a month you thought you'd got yourself in credit of £435? E … So paying £30 a month you thought you'd got yourself in credit of £435? Even if £30 a month was too much and you're actually using £25 a month (which would be extremely low anyway!) then it would take something like 8 years to build up that credit!!



    we use more than £25 a month in the summer!

    Can you monitor your bills on line? I submit my meter reading each month on line and it pops up whether i'm in credit or debit (Southern Electric).

    your amounts don't make any sense as already pointed out but if you pay by monthly direct debit it is normal to be in credit over the summer and accrue a debt over the winter which is paid back again during the summer and so it goes on.

    I'm with Atlantic electric and keep an eye on my bills! If you compare your meter reading against your bill then u can see if it's right, if it's drastically out either ring up and get them to change it or do it online. If it turns out it's correct insuggest you ring up and ask rather than paying up front maybe double your dd until your in credit. I used to work in accounts and know they do this for business customers! I always keep an eye on my readings cos I know how wrong they can be when they estimate them! My last bill they'd under estimated me by 1000 units luckily I was in credit by more than that but if that happens every 3 months for a couple years can lead to trouble!

    badgerrules

    £197 a month does seem a bit steep, make a note of your meter readings … £197 a month does seem a bit steep, make a note of your meter readings and meter serial numbers and make sure they are the same as the ones the company have on their records when you ring them.


    we pay £181pm so not so much more than we pay,gas/elec prices very expensive and likely it will only get worse.

    badgerrules

    we use more than £25 a month in the summer!



    Exactly my point! We use about £30 a month on average, but I know there will be very few people who use less than that.

    Ive just worked out nov-dec usage 2 people 2 bed flat at gas £130.00 Elec £70.00 so we need to pay at least £100.00 a month.
    4 bed house 4/5 people £150.00/£200.00 in winter seems about right.

    At the moment I use about £20 a week gas, In summer probably £5 a week.

    It is possible that they are correct, £30 pm is nothing.

    Example, Summer - 6 month's at £30 pm = £180 ( Gas usage 6 x £20 = £120 ) = £60 credit

    Winter - 6 month's at £30 pm = £180 ( Gas usage 6 x £100 = £600 ) = £600 - £60 = £540 Debt

    Over a few years with a couple of estimates easy to be in debt.

    Could always ask them if they could arrange a repayment plan of some sort. I doubt they will budge especially if they can prove that you owe them said money.

    I use to work for British gas, they get around doing this because legally they only have to read your meter every two years. On your bill it always says (mostly in small writing) this is an estimate please contact us with a correct meter reading. Gas is unbelievably expensive now. As long as on your bill the readings and meter serial number are the same as your meter then it's correct. There is a very low chance that there's anything wrong with your meter. If your meter leaked 50 pence worth of gas it's enough to blow the house up!!
    They have to give you a reasonable payment scheme but they won't let you get into debt so it will be high.
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