British Gas could save you £200... but they won't tell you how

15 October 2008

Whether you swapped your utility accounts to British Gas just a month ago, or you're a loyal and long-standing customer, you could be paying up to £200 too much for your gas and electric. Didn't you hear? There's a cheaper supplier available! Their name? British Gas. Oh.

If you're a British Gas customer, take a moment to read this.

On September 30th, British Gas sent an email to customers explaining that those on the Click Energy 5 tariff would see gas prices rise by a staggering 42% and electricity by 21%. No big deal; every supplier's prices have gone up in recent months, right?

Here's the rub. On the same day, British Gas launched a new online tariff called Click Energy 6, which boasts discounts on duel fuel accounts of up to £200. That's great news, except if you're currently on Click Energy 5, you will not be automatically transferred to the new tariff - you'll have to apply online or make a call to customer services.

So why didn't you know about the new tariff? Seems British Gas didn't tell you. A call to the press office confirmed that customers were sent an email regarding increases to the Click Energy 5 tariff. We've read it - there's no mention of the new tariff at all.

The press office couldn't shed any light on the matter. In fact a spokesperson stated they "aren't made aware of the contents of customer communications." Ok, well maybe British Gas sent a letter with details about the new tariff? Nobody in the HUKD forums received it if they did, nor has anybody who contacted Bitterwallet about the matter. "We might have sent a letter", said the press office spokesperson, "but we tend to send most communications by email now." The spokesperson also confirmed that any letter would "probably" have the same information within it as the email, i.e. none whatsoever.

The only conclusion we can reach is that British Gas has not told customers about the new tariff. Not only does this mean that tens of thousands of customers don't know they need to change tariffs, but customers without internet access could never see a new tariff is available. The press office did explain that the tariff is visible on price comparison sites, but why would you look for something you don't know exists? And how would you find it without a PC?

If you've received an email or letter about the new Click Energy 6 tariff, please let us know and we'll be happy to put the record straight. Otherwise, check in with your neighbours, elderly relations or anyyone who doesn't have access to the internet; if they're a British Gas customer, they need to switch tariffs (online or by calling customer services) or switch suppliers.

Thanks to csiman

Click to see the email sent to customers

TOPICS:   Utilities

12 comments

  • vijay1366
    i checked and sent e mail as i was on click 4 recived areply back advising that i was on the new tafiff click 6 but i did not recieve any communication via post or email from bg
  • R.Vinalaff
    British Gas in crap customer treatment shocker!
  • anon
    good article, much better than the ones yesterday that just repeated what is already on hduk. Impressive.
  • Netizen
    Isn't click an online only tariff and therefore all its customers are online? Even so, unless you're in the minority of vigilant consumers who compare prices on a regular basis, you'd still go quite a while not knowing you were being screwed over.
  • Lam
    Thanx for the heads-up bitterwallet. I had no idea about the new click energy 6 tariff. Fingers crossed it saves me £200 a year now. cheers
  • MarkV
    I applied to move over from standard tariffs to click energy 6 2 weeks ago. So far, still waiting. The British Gas agents can't tell me when it will happen as they can't migrate you to the tariff as you have to do it online. I can't speak to the dedicated click energy 6 call centre as they won't talk to me as I'm not on their tariff. Yep, classic British Gas customer service at work once again.
  • Lam
    MarV. yeah as Netizen said earlier the Click 6 is an online "click" tariff only as customers don't receive paper bills. Though don't forget that the utility bill has many uses, and a lot of companies require a utility bill as proof of residence for things like opening a bank account, store cards, mobile phone contracts etc. So think before you opt for the "save the environment" paperless bill. Have a look at their new Fixed Priced 2012 deal - "fix your dual fuel or electricity or gas prices at today's rates, until 31st January 2012" http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/fixedprice2012.html Though remember, you are taking a gamble that prices will continue to rise because you will be fixed at todays ( very high ) rate till 2012 - if the rates drop - your's don't.
  • Yes, B.
    [...] already mentioned energy companies that are screwing you out of money by not telling you about cheaper tariffs. Of course it doesn’t stop there; according to former Energywatch chief executive Allan [...]
  • registo-NI
    i JUST CALLED AND ASKED TO MOVE ME FROM CLICK 5 TO CLICK 6 - THEY SAID OK AND AFTER FEW DAYS (3-4) i RECEIVED A LETTER CONFIRMING THAT i SWITCHED FROM "STANDARD" TARIFF TO CLICK 6 EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE i CALLED IN. I THOUGHT ALL THE TIME THAT I WAS ON CLICK 5, IT TURNS OUT THAT I WAS ON THEIR STANDARD TARIFF! sorry for CAPS-LOCK
  • Lam
    Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else. And if yes, what reasons have you been given for not being to able to switch tariff. I am and have always been a with British Gas. So you would think it would be as easy as pie to switch from one of their darn right expensive tariffs to one of their cheaper ones right? Oh no! It seems British Gas are going to keep you on that nice fat expensive tariff for as long as possible. Well 3 weeks ago I applied online to move to Click 6 Energy with British Gas. I got a reply thanking me for choosing British Gas. Well today I get this email ( shown in part ) from them. Important news about your online application This email is regarding: Your online application Apologies, but your online application has been delayed. We're doing all we can to get your Welcome Pack to you as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem there will be a delay in processing your application. We are working to resolve this issue as fast as possible and hope to have your Click Energy 6 Welcome Pack with you within a couple of weeks. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you, we hope to be able to start supplying your Energy very soon. Thank you for choosing British Gas. You are important to us. Yours sincerely Chris Jansen Managing Director, Online
  • Are B.
    [...] couple of weeks ago, we told you about how British Gas were charging you too much for your energy supply. It’s not their fault, obviously, it’s yours for not noticing stuff, being psychic or [...]
  • MPs B.
    [...] A report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee highlighted a recent survey that concluded a quarter of households who switched electricity suppliers ended up paying higher prices, and telecoms customers are likely to encounter similar problems. The report also warned that the poor and the elderly, who should benefit most from cheaper prices, were the most likely to have problems negotiating the system to find the best deal - a situation all too familiar to readers of Bitterwallet. [...]

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