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This is a question Sticking it to The Man

From little victories over your bank manager to epic wins over the law - tell us how you've put one over authority. Right on, kids!

Suggestion from Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic

(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 16:01)
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British Gas took Dad to court
As a teenager I lived with the parents in a new house which, due to my Mum's demands on the builder, had no gas whatsoever. An all electric house.

So when the gas meter man knocked on the door one day and I answered it he said he was here to read the meter. I pointed to the cupboard outside. "That's the electric meter" he says, "it's the only meter I know of" says I. "It's probably inside, can I come in?" he asks, "No." I say simply because I didn't want some perve with a beard looking around the house for a non-existent meter. "I'll have to estimate it then" was his parting comment.

That got the ball rolling, as some weeks later we got our first estimated gas bill to a house with no gas supply. Dad ignored it.

That bill became a red one, then another red one. Then came the threats of court action etc etc. Dad was clearly enjoying this and kept quiet while all the paperwork arrived.

In time a lady called at the door asking if we were having trouble paying. "I don't think I have to pay it" says Dad. This clearly made up their mind that we were being stubborn and Dad was summonsed to the court to defend his case of why he'd not paid the gas bill.

I gather the court process took less than 10 mins and went along the lines of:

Blah blah blah - you've not paid, taking services without payment, breach of contract etc.
My Dad's defence was a one liner: "I don't have an account with British Gas and the house doesn't have a gas supply".

Red faces on the BG side of things who decided they'd have to check their records.

My Dad was able to claim from them for his time, travel, inconvenience etc etc whilst they also had to pay their own costs simply because they couldn't actually be bothered to check if we actually had a gas supply.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 12:40, 16 replies)

(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 13:11, closed)
Battery-powered clickage
Wonderful story. I'd love to have been a 'fly on the wall' in the after-case meeting.

(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 13:13, closed)
Nice! :-)
I don't quite understand though...new build...never had gas...what made them think you owed money to them? - How did you get an "account" on their system and where did they get your details from?!
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 13:28, closed)
they came door to door to read meters
I refused the meter reader entry to the house so he typed in the address and set it to "estimated usage". So they began a gas account for the house on an estimate of how much gas we might have used.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 16:41, closed)
Ah, was this the days before other gas suppliers existed?
That makes more sense. Stupid, but...
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 17:16, closed)
around 1992 ish.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 17:54, closed)
My other half is a meter reader
She is always having to deal with upset customers who BG have pissed all over. She thankfully works for another company, but sees their fuck ups every day. One person she had to help was being sent the bill for another house as well as her own and British Gas refused to believe that this was the case, despite it being very unlikely that the house could or would have two meters. Even the meter reading company could not convince them. British Gas are utter cunts.

Clicky for pissing them off back.

Post script: BG claimed that we owed them money just after Christmas, thankfully the wife knows how to deal with this. They claimed this for six months until the Ombudsman and Bristol County court got involved. We did not even get an apology for their broken meter. It is still to be resolved though, when yesterday it became apparent that once again they think we have a debt, this time of £0.01... I wish I was making this up! Back on the phone again.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 13:44, closed)
Your dad
is ace!

BG tried to bill us after we had a pre-paid meter taken out, they said we owned them £120 for gas (on a PRE-paid meter???) over 10 days. Thing is, this was summer and we'd also been away for 7 days...

PRE! PRE-PAID METER! You idiots!

Set the wife on them, that showed 'em.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 14:29, closed)
I've had British Gas set the debt collectors on me twice
for gas and electricity used in a house after I had moved out. The second time the original account hadn't even been in my name because I refused to have anything to do with them after the first one so made my housemate deal with them instead. There was also the time they owed me £250 for a gas account and kept sending me threatening letters asking for the £50 that was owed on the electric account. It took three months of phone calls just to get them to transfer some of the money they owed me to the other account to pay off the balance and another three months for them to actually refund me the £200 they owed me. It was just after I got this money back that they set the debt collectors on me for an account I never even had with them (instead of setting up an "occupier" account they set up another one in my name). Bunch of idiots.

My little bit of revenge is I know exactly who they have to talk to to find out who owes them the £200 they just tried to pin on me but I'm not going to tell them. I hope they never get the money.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 15:31, closed)
When I moved from a gas-house to a non gas-house years ago the final gas bill went astray
so by the time British Gas caught up with me they were threatening to cut my gas off.

Intrigued, I ignored the nasty letters and waited for the gas man to arrive.

When he did, it was obvious that we had no gas so he frowned and scratched his head a bit until I offered him the £20 or so I owed.

He accepted it, wrote me a receipt and scuttled off. Looking back, he was probably relieved to have avoided whatever unpleasantness is involved in cutting off people's gas.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 16:33, closed)
I was in vast arrears with BG
and eventually I sorted my finances out and set up a direct debit with them. Annoyingly, the direct debit covered the bill, practically not touching the arrears. The monthly payment was lots and I was tied in because I couldn't afford to pay off the arrears. They also weren't interested when I asked to switch to a different tarriff.
Eventually, I came into some cash, paid the arrears and went on uSwitch. All of sudden they were very interested in me. I told them to go away. I was now with EDF and was paying half of what I was paying before. Someone from BG actually came to my house.

I told him what I thought of BG for being left to rot on a high tarriff and that I wouldn't go with them again if they begged. He cleared off again.

Then someone phoned and I told them the same thing. I also asked them to take me off their list and if they called I'd take it up with Ofcom etc.

Twats, they are
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 17:43, closed)
No gas due to your mom's demands on the builder?
Sounds pervy.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 18:12, closed)
But how can he come round to fix the boiler?

(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 18:47, closed)
He'll have to settle with a little furnace work.

(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 19:02, closed)

way to go!!!!
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 21:31, closed)
Beastly Gas
Love it! They're a bunch of inept tossers who think the gas-consuming world owes them a living. Now, don't get me started on Virgin media . . .
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 8:05, closed)

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