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Utility bills scam

GUEST,Mr (seeing) Red 16 Feb 07 - 03:58 AM
Leadbelly 16 Feb 07 - 04:02 AM
Scrump 16 Feb 07 - 04:19 AM
NormanD 16 Feb 07 - 05:12 AM
Mr Red 16 Feb 07 - 07:40 AM
jacqui.c 16 Feb 07 - 08:00 AM
Strollin' Johnny 16 Feb 07 - 08:17 AM
Jean(eanjay) 15 Oct 08 - 08:23 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Oct 08 - 08:37 AM
nickp 15 Oct 08 - 09:18 AM
Jean(eanjay) 15 Oct 08 - 09:27 AM
Jean(eanjay) 15 Oct 08 - 11:16 AM
vectis 15 Oct 08 - 12:02 PM
Eric the Viking 15 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM
jonm 15 Oct 08 - 01:14 PM
Peace 15 Oct 08 - 01:36 PM
Eric the Viking 15 Oct 08 - 02:31 PM
Sorcha 15 Oct 08 - 06:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 08 - 09:05 PM
Nigel Parsons 16 Oct 08 - 05:01 AM
Peace 16 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Oct 08 - 05:48 AM
Dave Masterson 16 Oct 08 - 08:20 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Oct 08 - 11:18 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Oct 08 - 12:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Oct 08 - 10:42 PM
folk1e 17 Oct 08 - 05:35 PM
Eric the Viking 17 Oct 08 - 06:21 PM
folk1e 25 Oct 08 - 05:28 AM
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Subject: Utility bills scam
From: GUEST,Mr (seeing) Red
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 03:58 AM

I just got my Domestic Gas bill form Brititsh Gas.

It included a price hike and an estimated interim reading.

They estimated that I used no gas at the lower price and all at the higher. Smell a rat yet?

The zero usage estimate covered 2.5 summer months - plausible except for a guy who cooks with gas nightly and heats his water with it (pilot lights consume gas too).

Perhaps I should read the meter before the lower the prices again - or move on.

A swift (well swift for them) call elicited a reduction of 6 GBP. But since they don't state the price per meter unit on the bill they have something to hide there. They quote a price per Kwatt but no linkage to cu ft (or litres etc). Couple that with their cold sales call to a guy who is on the TPS register and I have reason enough to move.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Leadbelly
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 04:02 AM

Reddy,
aren't you in a wrong category?

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 04:19 AM

I was hoping to read the meter myself this time, and deliberately give a lower figure, so that next time I would catch up but pay less per unit because of the promised price drop. Unfortunately Mrs Scrump beat me to it and pre-empted my cunning plan :-(

What annoyed me is that I received my gas bill yesterday (15th Feb); it was dated 5th Feb; and the bill says it must be paid by 19th. Given that it takes 3 or 4 days for the money to be transferred (even if I do it online), there's no way I can do that. I'm not sure what the penalty is for missing the deadline, but I imagine I'll at least get a threatening letter from the b******ds.

(Yes, agree this should be in BS)


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: NormanD
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 05:12 AM

What do a duck, a goose, and British Gas all have in common?


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 07:40 AM

They smell

- Joe Offer may be moving this thread in due course - I have asked already.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: jacqui.c
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 08:00 AM

They all have large bills. The birds are cuter though.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 08:17 AM

ROFL jacqui!!


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 08:23 AM

I got my gas and electricity bills this morning following the six monthly reading. I pay by monthly direct debit.

They owe me £115+ on the gas and have put up my monthly payment by £14.

They owe me £681+ on the electric but have kept the payments the same! They said that as I am spreading the cost of my electricity throughout the year the £681.97 they owe me would be carried forward as payment towards future bills.

Needless to say that after the initial shock I was straight on the phone.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 08:37 AM

All the utilities seem to have a one way system, that works in their favour. It is abysmal that they should hold onto your surplus SO payment monies. It would be better accruing interest in your account than in theirs.
Perhaps you could apply for employment with them, and ask for your first months wages before going to the job interview!
Service industry my arse, what bloody service?

XG


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: nickp
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 09:18 AM

If you are in credit to that extent you can (or could) ask for a refund. Then you're back to square one. Bunch of crooks eh!?


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 09:27 AM

This is what I have negotiated:

I am leaving the gas money where it is and the monthly payments will go up by £10 instead of £14.

They are refunding the whole of the electricity money they owe me and are reducing my monthly payments by £40.

The thing that does annoy me is that when I got the previous 6 monthly bill they then owed me over £400 for the gas and approximately £100 for the electric. The gas money was refunded and the monthly payments were reduced by £60. The electric overpayment was not refunded and they insisted that the monthly payment should stay as it was.

I feel quite rich today!

However, based on previous experience the refund will take a lot longer to be credited to my account than it normally does to be taken out of it - they can always do that bit pretty swiftly.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 11:16 AM

Maybe this is the new way of saving - safer than the banks? LOL


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: vectis
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 12:02 PM

They did the same to us. Hundreds of pounds in credit when they hiked the monthly debit up by about £35 per month and refused to change it to a more sensible payment.
I just stopped the direct debit payments on the spot. Once I've used up the credit I'll see if they'll talk sensible money to resume DD payments.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM

I got a letter yesterday, dated September, telling me that prices for electricity (Scottish Hydro electric) have gone up 19%. Mine are backdated to August 25th.At the same time they came to read the meter. Of course they will not reduce it now that fuel costs have dropped.

This summer we were £218 in credit. I told them I wanted it returned as I could spend it better than them ! They returned the overpayment. They are not allowed to keep it.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: jonm
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 01:14 PM

Is it not best to overpay massively, since these utilities, which are obviously protecting their profits, are probably a better place to stash your savings than a bank at the present time?


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Peace
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 01:36 PM

Pay your utility bills a dollar short--a quid in your case. It infuriates them all to hell and back and generates lots of paper that they have to handle.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 02:31 PM

I quite like to do that with credit cards, pay off all the balance except a penny. They can't charge interest on it, but I once paid over in credit by a penny as well, then didn't use my card for months.
But I think sending out retrospective information about price rises is not right. (I'd sooner be in credit than debt) It's getting hard in every direction especially for the low waged what ever age. Nevertheless the rich keep getting richer as usual always off the backs of the masses.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 06:20 PM

Oh, Peace, that is a PRICELESS idea! I may actually implement it!


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 09:05 PM

Here in Aus, we seem to be better off: electricity, (I don't have gas... sorry!) Council Rates, phone, etc. I now need to budget each fortnight to pay in advance sufficient to cover the total bill cost (but I can usually pay up to about $100 if I am under), so that I don't get surprised when the bill comes. I sometimes pay more than a simple pro rata amount, then near XMAS, etc will stop payments until after, etc.

This way I can juggle DD payments online, and can arrange to have more cash in hand at times when I figure I will need it.

They DO offer this 'averaging' sort of game, but I prefer MY way, as I control who gets what (including me!) and when.

So say Rates - with pension discounts, etc about $20 a fortnight - depending on how much water I use... If I pay $40 a fortnight for a few months, I can actually be a full quarter ahead, so nothing to pay when a bill comes in. If rate rises happen, I have less panic factor, as I have a substantial buffer. If I get more than a quarter ahead, I can suspend payments for a while, then build up a cash buffer for me - at the rate of at least $20 (actually $40 if you consider that is what I may pay 'normally) a fortnight that is for me.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 05:01 AM

Eric's comment:
I quite like to do that with credit cards, pay off all the balance except a penny. They can't charge interest on it, but I once paid over in credit by a penny as well, then didn't use my card for months.
I wouldn't advise this in the UK (i.e. underpaying by a penny). Most card companies have terms and conditions which only allow you an interest free period (from purchase date to payment date) if you pay off the balance in full. So being 1p in debt can land you with an interest bill for the much larger sum.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM

That doesn't hold true in North America, Nigel. Companies are only allowed to charge interest on outstanding debt, not 'debt' for which they have received payment.

I owe a credit card compant $10. I pay them $5. I still owe five. They can legally charge interest only on the $5 outstanding. For example, if I borrowed $1000 from a bank at 20% (I'm making this simple and not putting in amortized interest, etc) and agreed to pay them over a year, I'd be paying about $100 per month. Say that after my seventh payment, my Aunt Mahitabel send me $500 for my birthday. I could use that to pay off the remaining debt LESS the interest which would be 5/12 of $200. That's here, anyway. fyi


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 05:48 AM

"Most card companies have terms and conditions which only allow you an interest free period (from purchase date to payment date) if you pay off the balance in full. So being 1p in debt can land you with an interest bill for the much larger sum."

Looks like Aus too.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 08:20 AM

Rule Number One - Do not EVER sign a Direct Debit agreement with British Gas (or any other utility for that matter). The manner in which they operate them is totally immoral (or amoral even).

Rule Number Two - CANCEL IT WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!!!


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 11:18 AM

Rule #3 If you follow rule #1 rule #2 will not apply
Rule #4 If they take a figure you don't agree with your bank MUST refund it!


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 12:09 PM

Rule#5 The prices will always go up, and never down.
Rule#6 Ignore the fact that the world wholesale price has bottomed out, and apply Rule#5

XG


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 10:42 PM

I used to have pay deductions. The 'union' - and I am a strong union man, used to put up the fees from time to time. Even though I had signed an agreement for only a certain fixed amount, they used to take whatever they wanted. I decided that I was tired of this game, especially with certain other things happening in the office, but they also had a 3 month resignation clause, so I paid in cash.


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: folk1e
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 05:35 PM

Uswitch.com


use it!

use it regularly!

if your gas/ electric prices go up ..... use it again!


DD is the cheapest way to pay your (utility)bills ....... but if you have your previous usage statistics (meter readings) you can argue for that amount instead of their guestimate!


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 06:21 PM

So far as yet, none of the credit card companies has done anything about it when I have done it, and it is some time since I did it last.They just carried it over to my next statement. Of course they may do something the next time if and when I decide to be silly.I think that the way the electricity company increased their charge for electricity is really abritary. They stated " 12 April to 24th August (915 units) Then 25 Aug to 13 Oct (320 units) at the increased price. How do they know I used 320 units between 25 Aug and 13 Oct when neither of the bills was for a meter reading? I may have only used 125 units so they could be charging me at a higher rate for 195 units. (Equally so I accept that I may have used more than 320, but I suspect not as the last months have been relatively wamish. We haven't watched tv much or used many electrical devices) Any ideas to argue this case?


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Subject: RE: Utility bills scam
From: folk1e
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 05:28 AM

Get regular meter readings (take them yourself)
Write to them stating your readings and pointing out their error.
Was the house empty during this period for holiday?
Let them know, that if you do not get satisfaction (or a reasonable explanation of why you are wrong), you will escalate it to the Regulator!

Be nice ...... and best of luck!


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Mudcat time: 2 June 12:40 AM EDT

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