Debt Questions forum. General questions on debt issues.

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Bymamaden
#333753 Hi,
I currently owe British Gas around £350 which to be honest I can't afford to pay. They are asking me for £132.00 per month and the most I can afford is £50 I know my normal gas useage is around £45 per month & I have asked them to fit a pre-payment meter but they say they can't as the meter isn't theirs & I would need to pay £350 for this to happen. (Obviously if I could afford this I would pay off the bill). What I am thinking now is if they could set aside the arrears as a seperate account so my gas balance is nil so I could set up a direct debit for the £45 month I am using, and then arrange a payment plan to pay off the arrears. Does anyone know if this would be acceptable & if so can anyone give me a letter template or some sort of idea of how to word it please. I feel this is the only way I can get my payments to an amount I can afford as at the moment they say the "computer" can only generate a monthly payment of the full balance.
I hope this makes sense and that someone can advise me.
Also I know about the British Gas charity but they recently paid off my electric bill to British Gas & enabled me to have a pre payment meter fitted so I can't apply to them again.
Thank you.
Denise
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#333773 OK before we can answer this, can you clarify who your current supplier is; normally your supplier is responsible for the meter.

If it is not Gritish Bas, then can you also explain how you ended up with a bill to them and not you current supplier, as normally you cannot switch supplier if there is a debt of over £100 ?
Bymamaden
#334143 I am with British Gas. And have been for about 5 years. They changed my Electric Meter to a prepayment meter when I asked them to about a year ago but when I asked thenm to change the gas meter they said the meter doesn't belong to them it belongs to an independent meters commission & they cannot change it. They said the only way it can be changed is if they enforce it through a court which would cost me £350
I am prepared to pay this debt off but they can't set up a payment plan as the computer includes the arrears which gives them a monthly repayment of £132 which I cannot afford. They have said if I pay the arrears then the payment will come out around £45 a month. Like I said to them if I could pay the arrears I wouldn't be asking for help..... I haven't changed suppliers for the last 5 years.
Bymamaden
#334173 Ok, I have just called British Gas again & they have said the pipelines are owned by Independent Pipelines Ltd. which is why they cannot put in a prepayment meter. I have just spoken to them & they have said that British Gas are lying, the reason British Gas will not change the meter is because they don't want to get involved with the processing that needs to tke place because the pipelines are not owned by British Gas. The lady I spoke to has advised me to contact British Gas prepayment complaints department and push for this because in extreme cases they do eventually change the meter. The lady has also said that they don't normally get involved with customers of British Gas but because of what British Gas are saying she has taken my details & is going to see if they can escalate my query higher up so that I get my prepayment meter. I'm now more confused than ever and was wondering if someone could suggest what I can write to the British Gas complaints team.
Thanks
Denise
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#334183 This sounds as if it need to be escalated to the full complaints procedure, which may well ultimately end up with the ombudsman.

If you go this route you need to be aware that the ombudsman decision is final.

To do this you need to make a formal complaint to British Gas, following the instructions on this link

https://www.britishgas.co.uk/business/m ... -complaint.

But be aware if any of the court award is for unpaid bill, then both British Gas and the Ombudsman will reject this complaint, as it no longer applies to service but to gas you have used.

Tim
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