A FAMILY had their electricity cut off due to a British Gas smart meter mix-up.
The young family of five had their electricity cut off, despite paying all their bills, because British Gas confused their metre readings with the neighbours.
Claire McRuvie, husband Josh and young children, Aila, Orin and Roan, moved into the Stirling new-build at Penman Court in August last year.
After questioning a May 2022 dual fuel British Gas energy bill for
£390.63, Claire discovered that there had been a name mix-up between her account and that of a neighbour’s.
Ms McRuvie said: “The gas side of things has been fine, but the problem is the electricity.
“We have done nothing wrong as customers. We paid every bill.
“British Gas representatives say they will call you back, but they never do.
“I have lost sleep over this. We feel so let down that British Gas
could do this to a young family like ours.”
It later emerged that the serial number on the neighbour’s account was the number on the McRuvies’ electricity meter box.
A British Gas engineer went to their property on the evening of
August 30 and Claire said: “When he spoke to an advisor he was
shocked to learn that the electricity meter in my house was not the
one on my account.
I was horrified when British Gas demanded I pay £3.5k – I’m not even with them
I’m a bargain hunter and I’m saving money on bills by showering at the gym
“Thankfully my neighbour was in and we managed to see their meter
number which surprise, surprise was the meter on my account.
“It turned out that the neighbour had recently gone over to a prepaid meter.
"After speaking to the engineer it became apparent that British
Gas had changed the meter in my house to prepaid as this was the one on my neighbour’s account.
"So we had run out of electricity."
The furious mum claimed when they moved into their home they did receive letters addressed to their neighbour, but assumed they had just mixed up the names.
“We called them to change the names numerous times and this was not fixed until the end of 2021," she added.
Ms McRuvie expressed the whole episode has been an intensely frustrating experience which has involved spending a lot of time on the phone with little result.
She also pointed out that food in her freezer had gone to waste when the family had been left with no electricity.
A Centrica/British Gas spokesperson said this week: “We’ve spoken to
Claire to let her know we’re really sorry for what has happened.
How to complain about your energy supplier
Energy companies will always have a system in place for customers to report their issue, so make sure to follow their procedures.
Simply explain what the problem is and how you would like your provider to resolve it.
The energy supplier will have eight weeks to reach a decision about your complaint.
If you are unhappy with their response, you can go to the Energy Ombudsman and they may be able to help you.
Before you go to the Energy Ombudsman you must have made a formal complaint with your supplier and tried to fix the issue through them first.
You must also have been given a 'dead-lock' letter in which the provider refers your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.
There are also grounds to complain if the supplier has not reached a decision within eight weeks.
The Energy Ombudsman will base its decision on the evidence you and the company submit and if you accept their solution, your supplier will have 28 days to comply.
If they do not comply, it can be court enforced.
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“We’ve requested that the industry database is amended and we’re also updating our own records to ensure she is billed correctly in future.
“Claire is satisfied with the steps we’re taking to get this sorted
for her and we’ll stay in touch until its fully resolved.”
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