On Tuesday, like many other businesses, we saw the news that British Gas has been handed a £9.5m penalty from Ofgem. The energy regulator believes that the gas provider has let thousands of business customers down, with inaccurate and delayed bills. As a utility bill disputer, this is something we have seen affecting our clients, and we have proactively taken action on these bills as they have landed with our specialist team.
One of the main problems British Gas customers faced was business billing inaccuracy. This list is not exhaustive, but included wrong figures on bills and the lack of receipt of bills.
Some customers were left with long delays when trying to switch to British Gas, causing a rippling effect throughout their business. Not to mention potentially costing businesses more money by leaving them on a more expensive tariff with an existing supplier.
It’s thought the problems arose due to issues with a new IT billing system, which British Gas first introduced in 2014. Between staffing issues, increased complaints and problems with the accuracy of the system, the failures snowballed causing further delays and issues.
The reality is this has cost businesses a lot of time, resources and money trying to resolve this. From overpaying (in some cases substantially), to the time taken by employees to dispute bills, such failures can have an overwhelming effect on businesses. Although British Gas had sought to compensate some customers, and in some cases have allowed some customers to switch supplier despite being in debt – if the debt was a fault of their billing process. Many were left without redress until now.
This is not a stand alone issue, and news like this further highlights the importance of our utility management service. This service covers everything from proactively identifying billing disputes right through to ensuring you’re on the best tariff for your business needs. We review your utility accounts, monitoring usage and charges using our own bespoke software. We will highlight any errors that may occur, so you are minimally affected by any situation like the above from British Gas.
If you think you may be affected by business billing failure, or you would like to know more about our disputes and utility management services, please get in touch.