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When I moved into my flat there were two reasons I decided to choose British Gas as my Gas supplier. Firstly there was already a British Gas Pre Payment meter installed, and secondly I chose them because they were a well known name. Well, if only Iíd done some research first I could have saved myself a whole lot of bother.
My first problem was actually finding a number to ring to get the supply connected. I tried the Yellow Pages and the Thompson local, but although they had a full page add on the back of the Yellow Pages it was for buying a fireplace, not connecting the gas supply. Never mind I thought, Iíll give it a ring anyway, and maybe theyíll be able to give me the number I need. Anyway, they put me on hold for about 10 minutes and then the woman (sounding very huffy) gave me the number I needed.
So I rang the number and again was put on hold for what seemed like ages. When they finally answered they took my details and told me that someone would come and connect my supply the following Saturday morning between 8am and 1pm.
The next thing I did was ring the council, because they had told me that as soon as my gas and electricity supplies were connected they needed to come out and do a health and safety inspection. They arranged it for the Monday morning after the supply was switched on. I was also told that a pre-payment card would be put in the first class post.
Anyway, guess what? Saturday morning came and no-one from British Gas turned up, so Monday morning when the man from the Council came round he wasnít best pleased when I said that heíd have to come back as I still had no gas.
I rang British Gas and they re-arranged the appointment for Wednesday which just happened to be my birthday and I hadnít planned wasting it by sitting in waiting for the Gas man, but anyway they told me Wednesday between 8am and 1pm. Surprise Surprise no-one turned up. I rang British Gas for the third time, again was put on hold for ages, and then was told that someone would come out the same night to connect the supply. That meant I had spent the whole of my birthday waiting in for the gas man, but this time he actually turned up, so thatís that I thought, all the problems are over. WRONG.
My pre-payment card didnít turn up, so I had to ring them to ask for one to be sent out. Then I received a letter from them saying that they had repeatedly tried to connect the Gas supply but I had never been in, so they would be coming out on Saturday and to make sure I was there. Of course they had already connected the damn thing so I tried ringing them to tell them that. However I tried ringing three times, the first time all the credit on my mobile ran out as I was put on hold for so long, and the second two times I rang from a pay phone and on both occasions I was on hold so long my money ran out. I decided just to forget about it, because after all it wasnít my fault that they had made a mistake.
So on the Saturday I went shopping, and when I came home there was a card on my doormat. It said that they had tried repeatadly to come in and do a health and safety inspection, that it was a legal requirement and they would get a justice of the peace and force their way into my flat next time. I have to say I was kinda shocked. I mean I had a letter saying they were coming to connect the supply - it hadnít mentioned health and safety at all. There was a number on the card which it said to call immediatley to prevent them taking action. I rang it, was put on hold and then when someone did answer he hadnít a clue what I was on about, and I was passed around from person to person before I finally got to speak to someone who seemed to know what they were doing and they told me they would send the health and safety bloke the next Saturday. I made a point of telling him how it wasnít my mistake and I was having quite a go at him, so I was more than a little surprised when he asked me at the end of the call, if I had thought about switching my electricity supply to British Gas as well! The cheek!
Anyway, again being stupid and naive I thought that would be the end of it. Wrong again. Saturday morning the bloke shows and announces ĎIím here to connect your gas supply.í I explained to him that it had already been connected for quite a while and that I was expecting someone to come and do a health and safety check. ĎO.Kí he said ĎIíll do that now.í So he got in the meter cupboard and rattled the pipes a bit and adjusted some sort of valve thing. ĎThereí he said Ďall done.í Surely that canít be it, I thought, he hasnít even looked at the fire or the boiler, but no, he insisted that it was done.
Wednesday after I had a gas leak and had to call Transco. It was only small, but it was because a pipe in the fire was blocked and so the gas was forced to go somewhere else - into my kitchen. Fair enough the council had done a health and safety check as well, but perhaps it could have been prevented if the man from British Gas had done a proper safety check just a few days earlier.
I did receive a letter from British Gas offering me £20 in compensation. This wasnít £20 in cash, but £20 in Gas, however I never actually got it because no-one could work out what the letter was on about. I had to take my pre-payment card to the same outlet twice in a month or something like that, but although I tried phoning them to ask how to work it, I was always left on hold for so long my money ran out, so I thought stuff the £20 and Iím now in the process of looking for a new supplier.
Thats just terrible, if karma is real and I believe it is BG will soon feel the pain that you did, and when everyone leaves them they will hopfully go out of bussiness.
unclebj 23.03.2005 00:06
I feel for you, we are currently living in freezing cold thanks to British Gas competents. I'll be writting a review on that soon. Sadly we can't switch suppliers because the house is rented. Bj
iiyama1000 05.02.2005 20:40
The comments below seem a litle silly and uninformed. Since when has where you live got anything to do with gas supplies? At the end of the day, most people that i know have said much the same as you. The voice of the overwhelming majority?
I believe so. Regards, John.