Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

QUESTION TONY: British Gas threatened to send bailiffs after a meter clutter

In December I moved to a new home. The developer passed meter readings, meter numbers and my personal data to British Gas. I planned to switch from the expensive standard rate.

An invoice arrived in April, and although it was in my name, he was addressed to a neighbor’s house and had a different meter number.

I wrote British Gas but it didn’t respond except to send me a reminder – again to the wrong address – a few weeks later. It said it was unable to respond to letters in this current national emergency.

I assumed my problem would be on hold and I was quite happy to wait. But I also wanted to settle my debt and change my rate as soon as possible.

British Gas declined to listen when a homeowner tried to explain how they accidentally sent the neighbors' bill and threatened to send in the bailiffs instead

British Gas declined to listen when a homeowner tried to explain how they accidentally sent the neighbors’ bill and threatened to send in the bailiffs instead

The combined accounts were £ 601.35. I have since received several letters, including some threatening bailiffs or debt collection agencies – all at the wrong address.

I tried to solve the problem online and over the phone but it failed. My wife has a serious medical condition and we regret the loss of our son-in-law to the corona virus.

FB, Bexhill-on-Sea, E. Sussex.

As soon as I read your email, I suspected what had gone wrong – so why had no one at British Gas done it?

When details of the meter numbers were sent to the national database and British Gas, the accounts were confused – a fairly common phenomenon with new developments.

Your gas meter was correctly listed in the national database, but was incorrect on the UK gas meter. The electricity meter was incorrect in both databases.

The gas data was corrected after I contacted, but British Gas had to work with industry meter operators to update your electricity meter readings.

The company decided not to charge you electricity while this mess was messed up, so you got electricity for at least six months for free.

What worried me was that British Gas, which profiles itself as a flagship of the British company, was currently warning letters to debt collection agencies and bailiffs, especially when you said it didn’t tell you to respond to letters.

A spokesperson says, “We provide support to any customer who is currently struggling.

“We know that some customers need extra support and we want them to talk to us when they are behind on accounts.

“Some of the ways we can help include reducing the due date of invoices, removing overdue debts, or setting up a repayment plan to spread payments.

“We don’t send debt collectors to our customers’ homes or cut connections (unless there is a security problem by tampering with the meter).”

You tell me that you are now at the right rate and you are no longer worried. You also received a £ 44 discount on your gas bill.

Directly to the point

I have a boss from hell who makes work unbearable. I want to leave immediately but have a three month notice in my contract. Is there a way out?

SS, London.

Adam Pennington, of Stephensons law firm, says you can do it if your contract allows it or if your boss agrees. Otherwise you will violate your contract.


A flight I booked through Expedia was canceled and I had to rebook another flight to Mumbai at short notice.

This cost me another £ 1,784 on top of the £ 858 I already paid. I want at least £ 1,500 compensation from Expedia for the stress.

DO it, by email.

Expedia refunded the cost of the original ticket because it was unable to find an alternative direct flight.

It has suggested contacting Virgin directly to see if it takes your own costs into account.


Last January I bought a valve for a boiler for £ 44.99 via eBay. In the summer, the boiler did not burn as it should.

A plumber confirmed that the problem was with the valve. I contacted the seller, Movika Trading, but heard nothing.

CF, via email.

Movika records only go back 90 days and you cannot request a refund from eBay or PayPal.

As a result, Movika declined to offer a refund and added that it cannot accept returns after such a long period.

For the past three years, HMRC has credited me with someone else’s earnings, but not the tax they pay.

It says I owe over £ 4,000. This is done through my tax code, which means that the monthly payment of my NHS pension has almost halved.

The problem lies with my part-time job. I am employee number 12 and another lady with the same last name, who is full-time and has a higher rank than me, is employee 13.

HMRC claimed it was impossible to confuse people because HMRC works on National Insurance numbers.

In February, my manager and I had long conversations with HMRC employees, who told me they were submitting my case to the wrong team.

This was after I informed that there was no protocol for this situation because it had never happened before! I haven’t heard anything since.

AH, Horsham, W. Sussex.

Mistakes can be made, but what is very annoying is when those in charge of correcting them try to polish us away.

HMRC has now put things right. Someone has spoken to you and you have been paid £ 50. Most importantly, you don’t owe £ 4,000.

A spokesman says, “We are sorry that Ms H. has had to wait for this problem to be resolved. We apologized. ‘


I ordered a sofa and two armchairs from Harveys in December. Harveys made sure a courier delivered it.

The courier received my furniture on March 19 and would deliver it on March 23.

Lockdown meant that the delivery was suspended indefinitely. But Harveys has marked the bank as delivered to his finance company, so I get an account for a bank I don’t have.

I find it impossible to contact Harveys.

AP, Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute.

Harveys confirms that when the bank went to the courier company, it was registered as delivered to you, causing you to be taxed.

Someone has now called you to apologize and you have accepted a payment of £ 150 in goodwill. In fact, your sofa and armchairs are supplied, so hopefully you read this comfortably.

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. That helps us to fund This Is Money and keep it free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow a commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.