British Gas treating people unfairly and getting away with it. Ombudsman’s Response To My Complaint. KICK IN THE TEETH!
After reporting British Gas to the Ombudsman over my first incident, I had the final decision and they asked me to fill in a survey today to see how well they did. My argument was the British are treating people unfairly and getting away with this with no concern for people’s mental health.
My Original Complaint
My first complaint is for the duration of February 2022 and August 2022 and has been ongoing with the Ombudsman since September 2022.
You can read the entire thread of my articles here from the most recent which does not apply to this article to the oldest relating to everything I have gone through and the mental health that this has caused me.
You can also read my complaint overview below:BRITISH-GAS-OVERVIEW-OF-COMMENTS
Here was my response:
On top of months’ worth of distress from British Gas, the Ombudsman who does not care about Mental Health has kicked me in the teeth. I regret not accepting the first decision, at least I would have had an apology from someone but now I do not get an apology at all. It is absolutely disgusting that an organization such as yourselves have basically let British Gas off with a gesture of goodwill of £75 (It was never about the money, it was however most importantly about the emotional distress, I endured and how they pushed me to nearly breaking point) How many people have they pushed to breaking point? To think they then carried on their antics further by scamming me £86 (https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/arguing-with-british-gas-is-exhausing-cancelling-accounts-in-error/) never mind the two times before which you were aware of £9 .64 + £3.84 random charges, NOTHING HAS BEEN RESOLVED. British Gas is now LAUGHING because they can do pretty much anything to a consumer with their BULLYING and you as an organization let them. Will I be reporting British Gas again to the Ombudsman with my recent incident, what is the point, I highly doubt it, but instead I will let mainstream media know because you do nothing to help the consumer. Furthermore, I said they damaged my credit score which I sent in my appeal and that was not addressed either by you. So in all thanks for “KICKING ME IN THE TEETH”!
The response from them is in the PDF below, which tells me that British Gas is part of the Government and they work hand in hand, hence that is why they have taken no action.
The whole appeal I have copied and pasted from their website and part of it is mentioned in the PDF below:
Appeal – Original Decision Maintained
The consumer has appealed the decision
Reason: incorrect decision
What was the factual error?
1) You state that I said that I am on direct debit (this is incorrect, I am not on a direct debt). I was on direct debit in February. Had you read my letter properly and also cross-referenced the online publications you would have read I was put on a direct debt in February which I then canceled and tried to then get on a payment plan, which is now been set up but it took 6 months of arguing to get to this stage. 2) I also stated in order for the energy cap British Gas insists only people on Direct Debits will have that privilege (photo of letter attached). 3) You failed to mention that I was asked to advertise British Gas Trust on my website https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/useful-links-2/ Under the heading 'Charities' & Energy & Utility Support (I am not a charity even though I have been advertising them from the time I was asked to do so). 4) You have played done the seriousness of the emotional distress I have endured. By stating you will not enforce companies such as British Gas to change the ways how they handle vulnerable people with mental health disorders, you are essentially giving these companies a license to basically treat people the same way I have been treated or worse. I wonder what mind.org.uk would have to say about that? How would you like it if a company treated you or someone close to you the same way? My point was I was close to breaking point that day and British Gas did push my buttons. I was fortunate to have found the strength to retaliate, maybe the next person that has to deal with companies like British Gas may not be so lucky. Had I not found the strength and the Police arrived 5 hours later things could have turned out differently. British Gas caused me a lot of anguish and despair and caused me to have intrusive thoughts that day. If I owned a company like British Gas and I found out that my staff caused my customers so much distress I would fire them on the spot. 4) You failed to mention I was overcharged for a fictitious meter reading in one of my articles and screenshots, which I have attached again, so your gesture of goodwill has now been reduced to £55. 5) You state you do not give monetary compensation, but you give gestures of goodwill. 6) I want a personal apology from Chris O'Shea, I was not worried ever about not paying off the debt, I just need more time which British Gas refused to give me even though in February I was a plan on the pretense I set up a direct debit and the moment I canceled that's when everything went haywire. I needed more time because I am a small business and cannot magically get money out of thin air. I have not had a problem with my electricity and water just British Gas. I was very anxious and concerned that the "computer was saying no" (Little Britain) and that I had to pay £190 pm when my usage is about £40 per month and then was threatened to have my debt passed to a debt collection agency. I have clients that owe me much more than what I owed British Gas at the time and I do not hound them or behave the way British Gas treats their customers. 7) I reiterate when did I ever mention that British Gas would not give me phone recordings?, what I said was I had half a phone recording in February and British Gas's response was they do not always record the full length of the calls. 8) I have attached a recent letter Brish Gas sent me recently estimating my past usage again. But my past usage is nowhere near my present or future usage and should NOT be based on my past because I am using as little gas as possible. So they are still intimidating with the past usage (BS). Granted my usage was high up until April because I had the central heating on day and night as I have a daughter that suffers from multiple sclerosis. I do not plan to turn my central heating on at all this winter. I will be using electric heaters, so once again I am back to the same argument again and will NOT be intimidated into paying British Gas a penny more than what I use. I will not be paying for their estimated calculations. I know how much I use it. In fact, seeing as I am in credit I will be looking for another provider, providing I can access the British Gas website, perhaps they could do some help from www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk which I happen to own. 9) I have attached my credit score proof of marker put on my credit file, with an incorrect balance I could not access British Gas to do a screenshot of my balance, which by coincidence the website is down. 10) I need you to look at the attachments I am submitting now to see where I am coming from. Yours Truly Renata Maziak Barnes
Why does the factual error make a difference?
The factual error proves that my complaint was not thoroughly addressed. I argued with British Gas that my past usage will not reflect my future or present usage but they are insistent to make as much money as they can by intimidating people to pay based on past usage. (What I used last winter is not going to be anywhere near how much I going to use this winter). Vulnerable people will be afraid to turn their heating on and the elderly will die. I want an apology from Chris O'Shea himself. I will not be intimidated.
Appeal rejection reason
Good afternoon Thank you for your appeal to our decision i can confirm that after reviewing the points you have made, this would not warrant a change to our previous decision. We appreciate that the issues with British gas have caused you a great deal of upset and distress. I am satisfied that this has been addressed, however if you feel that you need to take this further, you will need to contact a further third party such as Citizen's advice. you have advised that you require an apology from a named person at British gas, unfortunately we can't require this as this is outside of our remit. Therefore, after revisiting your complaint, I have maintained our original decision, however as advised you are able to pursue other avenues should you wish to take this further. Kind regards xxxxxxxxxxxxx Investigation officerOMBUDSMAN-REDACTED-2
CONCLUSION – NAME, SHAME & TAKE LEGAL ACTION
I have come to the conclusion reporting British Gas to the Ombudsman can add some weight to your litigation claim should you go down the route of taking them to court. This applies to every organization. By reporting them, you are creating a carbon footprint of evidence that can work in your favor. Writing about the entity online also creates bad press. Naming and shaming a company especially if they rely on investors does not look good. However, it just shows that mental health is not a priority, and organizations can do practically what they want and get away with it. To think I will not even get an apology is utterly shameful.
The ombudsman has advised me to take them to court.
“I feel very disappointed with the outcome of the Ombudsman’s decision but I should not have expected anything different. I WON’T EVEN GET AN APOLOGY!, which is disgusting in my eyes. This is not how organizations should treat people, especially if they have mental health issues. I am mentally exhausted from it all and I still have another issue to contend with over the closed account (which I did not close) which has now been reinstated. I am just waiting for British Gas to get back in touch with me, although I am not holding my breath”.
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