Is Scottish Gas all hot air?

Got two letters from Scottish Gas a few days ago. The first one, an electricity update, tells me that I’m in debt and my monthly payment will have to increase to £xyz. The second one, an electricity update for the same account, since Scottish Gas supply all the gas and electricity in my house, tells me that I’m in credit (to the tune of nearly three times the debit amount in the other letter) and that my monthly payment will decrease to £xyz.

£xyz is the same in both cases for any students of algebra out there.

So I call them. Firstly I hear a ten minute message telling me that Scottish Gas is a trading style of British Gas Trading which is an appointed representative of British Gas Limited for the Sale of insurance products and is regulated by the Foods Standards Agency or FSA or FCA or something like that.

Then a whole bunch of numbers to press depending on whether I’m moving home, staying put, reading a meter, paying a bill, not paying a bill, changing supplier complaining about something or just idly picking my toenails while listening to some mind-numbingly boring music and sales chat.

Then another message telling me that calls are sometimes recorded for ‘training purposes’. I’m sure that’s just so that we think twice before we lose the place after a twenty minute conversation with a machine and shout at the person on the other end of the phone, assuming there is actually anyone on the other end of this phone.

Finally speak to a human being, very helpful, who tells me something like “Yes, it’s all a bit confusing really. Especially when you get letters that contradict each other. We can get these bills reversed and sent out as one so that you will know exactly what’s happening.”

Can I get my credit balance back please?

“Of course you can sir. And we actually have a cheaper tariff we can move you to that is significantly cheaper than the one you’re on.”

All’s well that ends well but why oh why can’t they just do it properly in the first place you would have to ask?

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