The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Ciao Review dated - 31-03-09 Utility - BRITISH GAS Titled: Born Gassy ---------------------------- In the news today British Gas has re-named their corporation 'Born Gassy'; it has been long awaited brands re-think, from it's gassy fat cats. The whole matter has brought a bad smell to the shareholders as they feel it would have terrible implications to the BG share-price.
All this is of course a joke; however, according to Ombudsmen and Trading Standards, there is no other corporation with as many complaints; in fact it is has three times more than the next business below them. Yes, BG has got many customers across the UK and they do have a huge proportion of the market. So much so, there are 12 divisions across the UK have been placed to create this mass infrastructural giant. All collectively to monopolize the market and become gas giants. It has worked, and their marketing strategies have wiped the floor with all their competitors. BG is a machine that prints money. They now have centres all over the world that creates extreme complexities in product packages, all designed to put the consumer second on all accounts.
During the mid 1980's BG was a respectably sound business, before the free market was introduced by Thatcher and Reagan. BG was one of the birth-child of the market and never looked back. Over-inflated ego's stamped the corridors getting louder and louder, so loud they couldn't hear the complaints that soured there-after. After-sales consumer complaint courses were part of the BG patter; after-sales techniques became Gustapo camps; where-by a lot of hot-air was produced; it is a pity they didn't recycle it, or maybe not, as it would encourage many complaints; then again, that is what they do so well.
GAS ACT You could blame the government of 1948 for the Act, it was a Labour government manned by the new PM Clement Attlee. He unlike the present government supremo Brown; simplified visions and took 1062 privately owned gas companies were merged into twelve area Gas Boards with its own management structure. At that time The UK had ample amounts of fuel and therefore saw the Act as a visionary concept that stood the test of time even though the gas then was less refined than it is today, it was regarded as the source of fuel for the future, HAIL Clement Attlee; he wasn't just full of hot-air.
Each area of the UK was divided up like a game of risk, as the gas board became the nerve centre for fuel
Pictures of British Gas
British Gas - Its cold outside, I can't afford the gas bill awareness campaign
concerns and rewards for the UK public. The bigger the gas board the bigger the demand for gas, it was simple and believe it or not there are people who still use the term 'gas board'; any other term that is used would not be allowed to be published.PRIVATISATION The opening of the free market enabled the fuel giant to float on the London stock exchange, and in 1986 they were privatized. The open market began as many individuals decided to buy shares within this stable institution everyone had been part of and more importantly knew the brand. BG had thought ahead and embarked on a campaign that became infinite for the immortal words '"If you see Sid, tell him" The ambiguity advert sparked a frenzy of activity amongst the couch potatoes and many versions of the campaign was invented. The fact no-one actually saw Sid or knew Sid was not the point. Ah perhaps I can recall a Sid, I think he was fishing on a boat, we didn't actually see him, it was just a silhouette. The alarm bells should of rang-out then; within its' ambiguity shifty campaign methodology that finished with a fishy ending; certainly spelt un-savory, and this is where the UK public became a second class citizen and got replaced with profit. The little fish became a man-eating shark, hungry for profit.
FREE BIG LOANS That's right, free big loans that would make you weep by being forced to go via Direct Debit; welcome to the DD mandate Born Gassy has induced on it's prey; resulting in most customers overpaying their bill by on average 100.00 GBP; in which Born Gassy are making whopping amounts of cash interest out of. When asked whether they give overpayment hand-backs the air turns frosty and Alcatraz looms as Born Gassy hides its ugly moth-eaten wallet from hard-hit pensioners alike, hissing like an old gas boiler sparking off a potential Armageddon. Many of the Direct Debit Mandates have been introduced as overpaid estimates and targeted to the impoverish; pressure tactics have threatened those who relish small comforts in a 'hot water bottle' with instant fuel cut-offs if mandates were declined by the elderly. Not only have Born Gassy been relentless over the years implementing huge cash injections of their own in wholesale fuel prices but they work as an Irish Robin Hood by reaping cash from the poor that insulates fat cat bonuses. Born Gassy, is one of the biggest loan sharks on UK mainland, so big the Trading Standards department appear redundant in bringing this fish in for gutting and public humiliation.
So are the free big loans going to continue into the next 6 months? - This is what Ofgen are looking at during this period that is supposedly regulating Born Gassy so that we are not getting stung further, if they could be bothered to get off the golf courses that is. - Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union made a comment about what could happen; hold on to your seats. - "British Gas put their prices up by 35 per cent and charged that all through the winter. They are now planning to bring prices down by just ten per cent. "This proves we need a regulator who can set prices on behalf of consumers."
- Back to Ofgen, 'get off the golf course and regulate energy price structures to a ball-mark wholesale market trend'.
The fact that seven million homes will have cheaper energy efficient billing during the warmer seasons is farcical. The governments cheap insulation package to make more homes more insulated is also a farcical, this last year. It is hardly a vote winner as over 96% of Born Gassy consumers want cheaper billing, and not hiked-up 35% bill increases, that defies all understanding during this current economic down-turn.
The Ombudsman reported complaint ratios are as follows Billing: 91% Transfers: 8% Sales: 1%
These stat sources were taken at the end of 2007 to the end of 2008 and are compiled by the energy watchdogs that collect all data resulting from cases from the energy company data sources, which potentially could mean that the 91% billing complaints could have an even bigger margin. What is also well documented is that when you initially make a complaint, the complaint is always concerning billing, but then transpires to being a sales complaint down the road. The stats mark this trend but I'm astounded that only 1% is classed as a sales complaint overall, this fact makes me feel the stats are not true to form. The statistics above underline major regulatory faults that have grown more evident across the spectrum.
This year BG have employed a more personalized home service for their customers whereby if you now over pay by a mandate, the home service will make 'faster' home visits if there is a 'gas leak', and now engineers are now more properly able to do more boiler regulation than before; whatever that means. Yet this isn't where the problems lie, it is simply the billing that needs to be addressed. Gas is gas, it isn't a wonder fuel that can is any different than 20 years ago. Born Gassy deals with gas. The packages they offer are 'gas'; and it doesn't matter how the marketing guru's dress up Born Gassy, it is exactly the same product. What is required is a mandatory transparency for all billing and wholesale price structures; instead of a load of nasty smelling gas.
BG's merger with Centrica allows a dual energy to all homes; which in return smells out yet another horrible smell that these overpaid free loans appear to happen twice for Gas and electricity, so along with the DD mandate billing every month for gas; your doing exactly the same for electricity billing. I hasten to add that even when the home-user has a dual billing for one energy company fuel choice; you can bet that a meter reading man will only come around to measure one set of units at a time. It is a remarkable waste of man-power from all of the energy giants, as everyone seems to adopt the same
Is ten per cent enough and should it be limited to gas alone? These are legitimate questions, as it is good to start with gas but there are millions of dual fuel and electricity only customers that will not see a penny off their bill.
Martyn Hocking chief editor of Which Money stated - "It seems incredible that energy companies can take hundreds of pounds more than they need to from their customers, and profit from the interest that this money will earn at our expense,"
This leaves a nasty smell that echoes around my nostrils when dealing with the 'ground-hog day' scenario which just puts many twenty pound notes in the gas tanker. Born Gassy isn't the only one of course, but they sure lead the flock when it comes to department regulation and pricing. The area I'm look at now is whether the newly reported potentially close to bankrupt Ukraine will hike up prices yet again. Please note that the UK only buys 2% of its gas supplies from the Ukraine overall. Born Gassy, always blames price hiking on wholesale international markets, so if the situation in Ukraine worsens due to the global financial crunch; there should be no reason for price hiking. What I have found is Born Gassy has a reputation in creating gas screens so thick it leaves you sputtering. The 'Free Big Loan' policy they have purposefully implemented; is a travesty. Born Gassy is leaving a nasty toxic smell and it is getting worse by the minute.
For all initial complaints regarding BG write to: British Gas PO Box 3054 Eastbourne BN219FD
Thank you for your reading through Born Gassy, I hope it was of interest
My two flatmates from UK had a huge problem with BG even though they had officially cancel the contract since they don't live in UK anymore, boy they were NOT happy when BG tried to sue them to court for not paying the bills which shouldn't even exists. Good review ;-)