“People who shy away from people with mental health disorders or disabilitiesand label people as damaged goods usually have their own demons to contend with”.
I need to vent and let off steam before I blow a gasket.
The last few months have taken a toll on my health. As most of you know I am the Editor of ‘Disability UK – Disabled Entrepreneur Online Journal’ and have come to near enough a standstill with my business because of my health.
My Disabilities are Invisible.
I sometimes am so depressed it takes a lot of effort to do anything, these days.
Renata’s Online Journal Health Report
The following is a snippet of what I am going through.
I have been through war and back with ‘British Gas’, which I have reported to ‘Ombudsman’ who in turn report to ‘OFGEM’. ‘British Gas’ caused me humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress.
In another incident I had 40 emails from a credit card issuer (situation now under control), again I have experienced, humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress. (They gave me £100 as a gesture of goodwill, with the understanding that if I endure more harassment I will report them to the Ombudsman). I know what they will say but she accepted the £100, which is just a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Most recently my laptop started having a blue screen and eventually died, I have not been able to do anything online for about a week. I have simply used my phone to read and reply to emails and do research. This started making me sink into a very dark place.
I have lost clients due to the rise in the cost of living and them not being able to afford their websites. (No help for small businesses I hear your cry, and yes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer).
I am very depressed.
My OCD has spiraled off the ricker scale.
I have intrusive thoughts.
I have no patience.
I have panic attacks.
I hate noise, anything from traffic to car doors opening and closing.
The only way I will interact is online.
I do not answer my phone, which no doubt has cost me a lot of business.
So there is a knock-on domino effect when people are so robotic and irritating to the point if I could shove my fist down the other end of the line or across the computer screen, I would.
I am not in a good place right now because I am struggling to stay positive and optimistic. I have been studying neuroplasticity and I should stick with it because something I thought about, the next day materialized. Therefore I need to heal and start caring about myself rather than neglecting myself.
I plan to write a book about my life, this will no doubt open a can of worms, not only for me having to recall things that I would rather not remember but for the people that have done me wrong. My book will mention all the highs and lows and perhaps it may help people to avoid the same mistakes I made, in my relationships, and in my career, not only how everything over the years has affected my health and how I am trying to heal.
“I want to make a difference in this world and help people like me or worse off than me”.
I may not physically want to interact but a virtual connection I am fine with, although I won’t be doing anything for a few weeks because I need to recover from all the trauma I have had to endure over the last few months.
This all goes towards documenting my health so that it all gets put on the NHS database. There is a reason behind my madness.
It saddens me that the people I have reached out to on a personal level, who said they were going to get back in touch never have. I assume that they have reached their own conclusions and do not want to interact with someone that has disabilities. I suppose they see me as damaged goods, but labeling someone in such a way is not only hurtful but incorrect because we all have something going on in our lives thus we can all be labeled the same way. In fact, it will be hard to find a person that has not been screwed over in some way or another and how it affected them mentally. Usually, people who shy away from people with mental health disorders have their own demons to contend with and cannot handle yours. I do not see myself as damaged I see myself as someone who can overcome obstacles and then write about them. Just because I am having a bad day today does not mean I will be having a bad day tomorrow. No two days are the same. Yes, I have disabilities but there are millions of people in the same boat as me or worse off. You need to find the strength to make your story your superpower. Everyone has a book waiting to be written. There’s No Such Thing As Being “Damaged Goods” In A Relationship—Here’s Why (bolde.com)
I am like a bear with a sore head at the moment, as a consequence, I avoid talking over the phone as much as possible. When I do have to call people, as an example the other day, I nearly bit an IT engineer’s head off when I was having trouble accessing my site. I did apologize afterward about my outburst but I have a very short fuse and my temperament is not great, I can come off at times as being rude, (I try not to be, but cannot help it if people push my buttons). However, I also get very obnoxious, patronizing, and condescending individuals and all I want to do is punch their faces. I am no good at interacting physically, which is fortunate.
I have reported ‘British Gas’ to the Ombudsman and have to wait on an outcome. I feel very lethargic and am finding it hard to be optimistic right now. I should stay positive but is hard when I have to deal with some things that cause my health to worsen. It is as if I make one step forward and two steps back.
My OCD has gone through the roof and where I was making progress the last few months have basically thrown all my hard work away. Having a mental health disorder like depression which causes an onset of intrusive thoughts causing you to have compulsions to ease the anxiety. it is a vicious circle. and that is why I do not interact physically.
So to recap on the 27th of July 2022 I was put on a payment plan.
You have to bear in mind when the price rose earlier this year I tried to move my payment date and that is when the problems started in February although I did have a payment plan in place at the time but was told the only way I could move the date was if I set up a Direct Debit with the increased tariff. I wanted to move the date inline when my inbound payments were coming in. (The original payment plan which was at the time £65 and then rose to £90). Soon after I canceled the direct debit because I was not comfortable giving British Gas access to my bank account, this is when they refused to put me on a payment plan where I manually could pay by bank transfer, standing order, or directly on their website.
This has been going on for the best part of six months (Feb -August 2022).
I eventually was put on a payment plan after several phone calls and meter readings proving I was not using much Gas, somewhat five months later.
On the 4th of August 2022, some bright spark (woman) stopped my payment plan because she said I would not be able to pay online if I had a magnetic card, I told her I would pay by bank transfer and she said it was not possible even though I have the bank details to do that or simply pay on their website. There have been many agents that have said this causing contradictions to what other agents say, that I am able to pay online.
I phoned back on the 5th of August and was put back on the payment plan yet AGAIN.
I then got a letter yesterday dated 6th August that British Gas has not heard from me even though I am phoning practically every day.
I proceeded yesterday to go on their chat and set the transcript to email me at the end of the chat. You can guess I never received an email.
So today I phone up and I was met with a hostile agent who spoke to me in a very controlling manner. I told her about the letter and I said that I did not cancel the payment plan on the 4th, no sooner I had said this she put the phone down on me.
I then decided to have another go with the chat and not trusting British Gas as far as I can throw them, Istarted the chatagain but remembered what my daughter said and that was to screenshot the chat just in case I did not get a copy of the transcript. The agent assured me I would get an email (as per the screenshot)…wrong I had no such email but I did do the screenshots that confirmed I am on a payment plan and that my account has not been passed to debt collections.
Technically speaking I should be working but this company has made me so unwell I barely respond to emails and do the occasional update. The amount of time I have wasted with this company is beyond unbelievable.
Moving Forward and My Usage.
I eat sandwiches and salads maybe use the cooker 10 times a month. Come winter I am going to buy oil-filled radiators.
I would rather pay a little bit extra to the electricity supplier EON Next than give a penny more to British Gas.
“British Gas needs to have empathetic agents, not people that think they are so high and mighty and above you. They should be held accountable for their actions”.
This has been going on for six months and the number of calls I have had to make, emails I have sent, and chats are enough to test anyone’s mental health strengthand state of mind.
I have reported this to the ombudsman and will be sending them another update today.
In my opinion it absolutely disgusting how they treat people.
British Gas Intimidation and Disregard For Mental Health & Vulnerabilities.
Intimidation is intentional behavior that causes the victim emotional distress, panic, fear, anxiety, and depression. The instigator of intimidation tries to intimidate the victim by threatening a personinto paying more than they can afford, not giving time to pay, and simply disregarding the person’s disabilities.Any entity that causes distress to another person should be made accountable, especially if they have no regard for the victims’ personal health and disabilities.
Type of harm to vulnerable adult– Emotional /Psychological
Meaning – Action or inaction by others that causes mental anguish.
Example – Action or inaction by others that causes mental anguish. Inflexible regimes and lack of choice. Mocking, coercing, denying privacy, threatening behaviour,bullying, intimidation, harassment, deliberate isolation, deprivation.
If British Gas denied or try to defend that they did not cause emotional distress then why would they have called the Police (Duty of Care) if that was not the case? British Gas could have pushed me over the edge, and they did cause me anguish, despair, and emotional distress.
Update To Ongoing Saga!
I wrote not so long about ‘British Gas’ and the problems I am having with this company and have decided to write a separate update to the continuation of my saga.
Failed to support me with mental health disabilities
Failed to offer an affordable payment plan even though I told them that I had contacted their charity and asked them to give me more time.
Tried tointimidate me to pay £190 per month even though all I owed at the time was £318.74 (according to the threatening letter date 16th July 2022) as seen below:
Caused me emotional distress and as a consequence, they called the Police. (A riot van rocked up on my street and I could see the twitching of net curtains from my neighbours whilst I was publically humiliated because of ‘British Gas’).
Sent out intimidating a threatening letter and email.
Finally agreed today (27/07/22) to £70 per month which I have been saying from day dot after 3 months of arguing, but then retracted on 04/08/22.
Yet today 27/07/22 it has gone up to £328.38 (charging me an extra £9.64, not sure what for? they have overcharged twice) with average usage of £40 per month. I have been paying £70 per month as this is all I can afford and they are now trying to bully me by passing my debt to a debt collecting agency. I stated I would share this far and wide if they continue to use underhanded methods and I will be seeking compensation for the distress this has caused me. If you overcharge 1 million customers £10 you make a 10 million profit.
A quick recap:
In January I was paying £65 per month
In March it went up to £90 per month
In April it went up to £135.00 per month
In May it went up to £190 per month
As a consequence, I am now in arrears and have offered to pay £70 per month on the 6th of the month, including my own estimated Gas usage of £40 per month and my arrears spread over 12 months (I have reduced my usage purposely such as not cooking, washing up and am simply eating sandwiches and salads).
But British Gas are not having it, even going as far as to say “they do not support people with mental health or vulnerabilities“, (This was said on a recorded call). The customer rep I spoke with today 27/07/22 said that the previous customer rep was wrong in saying this and that British Gas does support people with mental health (but he would say).
Here are my meter readings which prove I use my own estimated usage of £40 worth of Gas on average a month.
“I Won’t Be Intimidated, I Know My Rights!”
I emailed them on 26/07/22 and have stated the above omitting the latest meter reading which I added on 27/07/22 that if they push my buttons I will contact mainstream media journalists and ask them to write about “British Gas”. This company like every other relies on business, customers, and investors for their charity. It won’t look good if I start singing like a canary. In fact, it won’t look good having the title of this article “British Gas Customer Intimidation”, or “British Gas Bullying Vulnerable People” on my other blog. I’m sure I am going to get some eyeballs.
It is not my fault that prices have gone up and if one does not have the money, to begin with, how are they supposed to find the money to pay for something that the 1% only benefit from?
Intimidation happens in all industries and workplaces. A person who has stated they have a disability for example at the time of their interview has their disability disregarded when they start work, especially if they look fine. Disabilities can be invisible and just because you look fine on the outside you may be in excruciating pain on the inside. I sit in front of a computer screen, you would not know I am disabled unless I told you and people like to make assumptions, so “if he/she can talk on the phone or turn up for work there must not be anything wrong with him/her“, …wrong to assume. An employee may not complain for fear of losing their job and this is where managers take advantage.
I believe my email to general enquiries will get ignored hence I am turning it up a notch and sending a second one to customer complaints, I will give them a few days to reply.
Email Customer Complaints at:email@example.com (I sent an email to this email and never had a reply, just saying).
I will be forwarding the email I sent this morning to the above email address.
I won’t be intimidated and I will use my voice to be heard.
If I have any updates I will post them here, but as it stands they are trying to use bully tactics. I am also going to reach out to the mental health charity ‘MIND’ to tell them about this company.
The party is only just getting started…
After receiving the email today I decided to phone the complaints number. I guess people who phone the complaints number get treated differently. I did not go on my high horse ranting, I spoke calmly and I gave my latest meter reading and you will never guess the person with a South African accent said that my £190 prediction was totally wrong.
I had in fact since the 4th July 2022 only used £12 worth of gas including their standing charges, hence they would accept my £70 payment plan which was re-instated today 27/07/22.
“So all this stress and distress was for nothing”.
I honestly feel really unwell because of this company and as a consequence am finding it hard to contemplate my workload. I do feel very depressed because of them and feel they should compensate me for the emotional distress I have endured, I will wait and see how they respond to me in the next few days…
I did dispute the £9.64 and the customer representative said the £9.64 was from a bill generated on 22nd June yet I disputed this because my threatening letter dated 16th July 2022 would have reflected the bill on 22/06/22 and I received the inflated. (My threatening letter and my email does not marry up with my payments in the screenshot below). They are obviously pulling numbers out of a hat because I never gave them a meter reading on the 22/06/22 as shown in the meter readings above so where did the £9.64 come from? I was charged twice once when the bill was raised and again in my balance summary. Please refer to the screenshot of all my bills and payments. (If each customer has an extra £10 for argument’s sake added to their account for no reason and there are a million customers that would be £10M in profit that the company would make.
I have now been given two reference numbers the first for the £19.28 (I know it is a small amount but why should British Gas have extra money for the hell of it)?
Complaint number 1 7022412508 – £19.28 – Discrepancy
Complaint number 2 – 8013977142 – Treated Badly
I was told I have to wait 5 days to get a response… (which never happened – updated 04/08/22).
I have since logged into my account and screenshot my payment history and none of the balances reflect the amounts on my threatening letter or email that I received today, but they do reflect the £9.64 as mentioned by the person I spoke to today (although I never submitted a meter reading on the 22/06/22). The mind boggles.
OMG is all I can say. I decided to phone British Gas today in relation to the two complaints I made on 27/07/22 and was told that one complaint had been closed (the one where I was treated badly), oh really… who closed it and why?, and the woman I spoke to said that the complaint was about the £70 payment that had been set up but did not include my outstanding debt and that a debt collection would still come after me for the outstanding amount, which was now £344. She completely disregarded the fact that British Gas phoned the Police on me and the amount of anguish and emotional distress this company put me under. She kept asking what the Police had said when they arrived. The Police told me to let the CEO know and publish far and wide as they are getting a lot of calls with distressed people finding it hard to cope with utility providers and their bullying tactics.
My previous call on the 27th was a contradiction because:
When I phoned the complaints number today and after talking about my complaint I was told I had phoned the ‘Homecare Department’ and not complaints. I have the previous complaint number published in this article and programmed into my phone. (What I believe happens if they do not want to deal with you is they come up with a BS excuse that you dialed the wrong number).
The person I spoke with on the 27th said I would not have a debt collection agency chasing me but wait for it, today the woman I spoke to said the contrary, that a debt collection agency will continue to chase me and include debt collecting charges on top. I said that was a kick in the teeth considering I arranged a payment plan. (I think they move the goal posts as and when they please).
I received an email yesterday that I could choose to be on a variable or fixed tariff. I am currently on a variable which means if the prices go up, so will my bill. With a fixed tariff, it stays the same for 12 months. I did not understand what that meant other than if I switched to a different tariff I might be signing a contract that I could not move to another provider, (according to the woman I spoke to on 04/08/22 that is untrue, yet I have since found out this is a contract and there is a £100 transfer fee if you move to another provider. It is just as well I am not on a fixed tariff after all and do not believe the BS this company tries to feed me). The woman I spoke to today 04/08/22 said I was not eligible for a fixed tariff, so why send me an email giving me the option to switch? (Not that I want to be in any contract with this nightmare company).
I reiterated I wanted to pay manually online and the person I spoke to on the 27th understood that but sent out a magnetic card which according to the woman today meant I would NOT be able to pay online. She then continued to say I needed to set up a Direct Debit (not likely). Direct Debits allows British Gas or any organisation to help themselves to your bank account. She said as long as I made a payment today (which I did) no one would come chasing me. She also said she would text me with my complaint (I am still waiting).
I said I wanted British Gas to explain themselves how they have caused me ‘Emotional Distress’ and ‘how it has affected me’ and what they are going to do about it. I am now preparing to publish this article across all the social media platforms including LinkedIn where I have nearly 11K followers. Let’s see how much British Gas will lose in revenue and donations to their charity when my followers learn that British Gas has nearly pushed me to breaking point, with a header title I plan to use: ‘British Gas Phoned the Police On Me’, I wonder how many connections will take notice?. I also have Chris O’Shea’s email. To think I am advertising their charity as per the request of British Gas, yet they do not pay me for the backlinks.
Because of British Gas, my OCD has got worse, I have anxiety and panic attacks, I stress over everything, and have spiraled into a deep state of depression. I cannot face my neighbours because of the humiliation I endured. I struggle with work (I am self-employed and the Editor of this site, if I do not work, bills do not get paid). I am procrastinating and simply lack energy. This is affecting my health and my business.
Low and behold I phoned the second time today to double-check what the first agent had said and she basically told me (NO) payment plan has been set and the only way I can have a set price I can pay on a monthly basis is if I set up a Direct Debit (they are intimidating people to set up Direct Debits because what is wrong with setting up a standing order or paying manually, there is no difference other that they do not have access to your bank account) and that providing I pay in September I will not have anyone chasing me. I was told to phone back on 22/09/22. When I said how British Gas has been treating me because of the miscommunication she did not escalate a complaint and just said sorry and it won’t happen again (I DO NOT ACCEPT THE APOLOGY and I am going to take this further).
Trust No One. Even after speaking to two people yesterday both saying they have done a payment plan and checked up with a follow-up call no payment plans were set up. (What happened was on the 27th I had a magnetic card set up but the first agent I spoke to yesterday said I could not pay online and canceled the payment plan but then reinstated a cash plan. So the second agent I spoke to yesterday said the same, yet today I have a totally different explanation and eventually have a magnetic card re-instated with a fixed payment plan).
Lies after lies after lies. So today I phone up checking up on yesterday’s phone call and the guy says no payment plan was set up. (He went on to say with a magnetic payment card I do not have to use it and that I can also pay online which was a contradiction to what the agent said yesterday).
I am getting tired of the💩 because they keep insisting I need to set up a direct debit which would mean they could help themselves to my bank account when the prices get increased rather than stick to a set payment plan.
I then discussed both complaints I made on the 27th and basically I was offered £10.00 compensation for the two over charges of £9.64 each totaling £19.28 (they obviously cannot count), which I refused as this is all part of the one complaint and I am not accepting anything less than £xxxxx for the complaint about my ill-treatment and emotion distress and the scamming.
I told the guy I am finding it hard to work, I just about can make updates let alone anything else. If I cannot work I cannot pay my bills.
Not only am I an Editor of several publications, but I am also a website designer, content writer, and digital marketer www.irenata.com So if I cannot work because of ill health, how am I supposed to run my business (www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk)?
So regarding my complaint about the ill-treatment by this company the agent I spoke to today who had advice from his supervisor said that ‘British Gas’ do not offer compensation for emotional distress. So they can treat you like 💩 and get away with it. Absolutely disgusting company.
So after speaking to two agents today assuring me that my debt is included in my payment plan, you won’t believe what I have just received by email, only an email chasing me for the outstanding balance.
I have phoned this wretched company yet again (this is my 3rd call today) to sort this out. I am sick to the back teeth with the antics that are taking place. God forbid someone who is more vulnerable, like an elderly person or someone with worse mental health disabilities to me or anyone with cognitive impairment and cannot argue their case.
Despite two agents assuring me yesterday, that I would not be chased for my debt I get the email today chasing me for the debt, (you cannot make this up) screenshot below:
In the third and final call, I made today the woman told me to ignore the email I received today. But this is causing unnecessary stress which I could do without. I have contacted the charity for an update and they are just saying it may take another couple of weeks. If after all this my grievance goes on deaf ears I will share this on social media and make sure that investors think twice before donating to this company. This is a company that does not care about its customers and its workers. This is a company that can treat their customers badly and thinks they can get away with it, this is a company that is causing people to have mental health issues.
What about my‘HEALTH’ and other vulnerable people’s health, who have been treated just like me?
British Gas should not be able to treat people like something they stepped in and should be held accountable for their actions. British Gas nearly pushed me to breaking point as per the Police callout and they claim they will not compensate for the emotional distress I have endured, we will see about that…
Chris O’Shea CEO of Centrica & British Gas Earns £775K Whilst The Vulnerable Suffer.
Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea has a salary of £775,000 per year and waives a £1.1 Million Bonus. His decision came as gas and electricity prices are set to soar by more than 50% for 22 million households across the UK in April.
Centrica said British Gas Energy saw a 44% jump in profits to £118 million last year.Citation.
** (The following is just my opinion and not fact). However one needs to look at the bigger picture if there is a board of directors for argument’s sake there are 12 as the pdf below suggests, and some not all are on a payroll (Non-executive directors are not directly employed), but that is not to say they do not get commissions or donations) and if each one has received £250K (hypothesis) per annum, that would be £2.75M, you have to ask yourself this question who works for nothing... https://boardappointments.co.uk/uk-non-executive-director-remuneration/
How can you pay for increased prices if you do not have the money, to begin with?
I first would like to add I actually give this company free advertising space on my useful links page under the heading charities and on this page. (Backlinks Cost Money)!! Advertising was requested by British Gas in May.
I would like to introduce myself, I am the Editor of ‘Disability UK -Disabled Entrepreneur Journal’. I am a Businesswoman and Author. I suffer from Cerebellar Atrophy Cognitive Impairment, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Depression. My Disabilities do not define me and I am not afraid to say I have them. I am also a carer for my daughter who has ‘Multiple Sclerosis’.
I have indeed contacted ‘TheBritish GasCharity’ which is a joke (application Number 1035904). I filled in the form and submitted my meter reading and documentation. They said it would take 10 days for someone to approve my application (that was on the 31st of May 2022) and it did not surprise me that they never responded.
It is all smoke and mirrors because if the majority of people in Britain with British Gas are in turmoil, I do not think they have endless amounts of money to give away. So their charity is not worth the web space.
I am a genuine case and for them to not even respond says a lot about them. (Try them out for yourself if you are a British Gas Customer, but do not get your hopes up).
Now if a company has profits into the millions then they should take into account vulnerable people which they do not.
After being prompted to phone British Gas because I was being spammed 6 times by this number: 03332029470, (this is harassment)I took it upon myself to phone and complain. The phone call today lasted 2hrs 18 mins (see screenshot).
The original number that phoned me was (03332029470) to set up a smart meter and I had to justify why I do not want one which I have written previously about: https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/how-safe-are-smart-meters-for-your-health/ The customer representative technical department went on to say they would send someone to my home to ask me why I do not want one. Good Luck to anyone visiting as I am not allowing anyone over my threshold. The woman I spoke to said that because I had submitted a meter reading my monthly bill which was at the beginning of the year £65 rose to £90 in April, then rose again to £138 in May, and wait for this rose again today to £190 per month.
£190 Per Month GasPayments!
I started crying (no word of a lie), I told the operative that the most I can afford is £100 per month and she point blank refused to help spread the costs over 36 months.
She continued to say that my usage is a prediction….well before the meter reading I had my central heating on 24/7 as I have black mold and my daughter who has multiple sclerosis cannot be around the spores, so I need to keep the house warm.
I said my life is not important whilst my daughter is and I said it was unreasonable and unfair to make me pay £190 when I cannot afford to do so right now.
(Obviously, the woman does not know how to count because if I paid £100 already this month and I still owe £333 (1st quarter) and each quarter after that was £400 for argument’s sake that would be £1,600 per annum divided by 12 months = £133 per month and not £190). I am going to bring this up when I submit my new meter reading.
This woman simply did not care what I was saying.
I also said if I cannot afford to heat my home and the black mold spreads I can then sue British Gas if my daughter relapses again. She did not like what I said.
She gave me a complaint reference number: 8013807386
I said,“if I killed myselfBritish Gas would not get a single penny from me”... My point was, do not push people over the edge, not that I was actually going to do it, there is a difference!
My Mental Health.
In my defense, I am NOT feeling suicidal just emotionally distressed, this is why I have an online journal where I can vent my anger and make my opinions known. I have a lot going for me and I feel for people who do not have a strong mind as I have, I see myself as their voice if they cannot defend themselves.
I use this platform to speak on behalf of people like myself or people worse off than me.
With social media, you may be restricted to what you can and can’t say. But on your own platform, you are in full control. Although I use social media to spread the articles I write.
I have a lot to live for, unbeknown to thepeople that are too ignorant to find out but are too quick to judge.
I mentioned this website multiple times “www.disabilityuk.co.uk” which forwards to “www.disabledentrepreneur.uk” in the phone call as I knew it was being recorded. I did it purposely so that people realize who I am. I will not stand for intimidation from anyone of any kind.
What made me laugh was at the end of the call she said it was a duty of care for her to report me to the authorities because I mentioned the dreaded “If I kill myself”. She did not want any repercussions. It was not that she cared. People do not care unless it directly affects them.She did not want ‘British Gas’ to be in the news and I guess they are told if a customer says anything that is a red flag to report it. In other words, she has kicked the can down the road, so nothing happened on her watch.
Bring it on is all I can say because this will cause a domino effect and open up a can of worms.
In fact, I reached out to my GP in a letter over my mental health that was put on the system last year but was never actioned by any doctor.
According to the practice manager, Doctors are too busy to respond to emails or letters even though my daughter’s Neurologist who is also a Professor at Oxford University has the time and decency to respond to my daughter’s emails.
My time does not matter to anyone.
I have another day wasted rather than working, I have had to fart around having to waste nearly two and half hours of my precious time to get nowhere.
Let’s see what the media will say when I send this to every corner of the planet.
British Gas Has Caused Me Emotional & Psychological Distress!
Let the fun begin because if ‘British Gas’ decide to try and come after me and they use harassment tactics I am fully armed. Besides I plan to pay them off next month.
This would not be the first time they have been sued and I doubt it will be the last.
I mentioned the National Debt Line: https://www.nationaldebtline.org/fact-sheet-library/gas-and-electricity-arrears-ew/ and said that Utility Companies have to adhere to rules such as and the woman said my circumstances do not apply and it would be impossible to give me breathing space:
People can be vulnerable for a wide range of reasons. Vulnerability can be linked to age, physical health, mental health, or going through a difficult time in life. A vulnerability could be temporary or ongoing. You should let your supplier know if there is anything about your circumstances that makes you vulnerable as they may offer you more support if they know this.
You should also check if your supplier has signed up for the Energy UK Vulnerability Commitment. Energy UK is a trade association. Suppliers signed up to the Vulnerability Commitment have said they will provide extra support to vulnerable customers. This includes:
Make sure staff have an understanding of vulnerability and can identify that you might be in vulnerable circumstances;
Give you an alternative way of contacting them in addition to phone contact;
Provide a freephone number if you are in financial difficulty and they think it is appropriate; and
Make sure you have paper versions of your bill if this is what you need.
This is a B#ll Sh#t because the woman today did not provide any of the above.
Furthermore, she refused to co-operate by turning the onus on me that I am not co-operating by not agreeing to pay £190 per month.
British Gas is having a laugh.
I said if it means I do not use hot water to bathe and not cook as well as not heating my home although I cannot see it being cold for a few months then that is what I will have to do. (This is degrading and affecting one’s quality of life).
I reiterated that I would be writing about British Gas on this websiteand “I quote the woman saying “we do not have anything to do with disabilities”.
I had zero support for my daughter and me who both have mental and physical disabilities.
The moment I can pay this company off I am going to switch providers and will never recommend this company to anyone. They have an affiliate program which means they want help with marketing, so any affiliate marketers should avoid this company. By coincidence ‘British Gas’ are advertisers on Awin who I use for my affiliate marketing projects. Saying this I will never promote this company actively even though I have them listed on my useful links page and mentioned them in my article indirectly.
May I add that they never responded to my letter attachment in the email which had an auto-responder come back that they had in fact received my correspondence on the 28th of May 2022but chose to ignore it?
Condenscending and Intimidating.
People working for these large blue-chip companies should keep their tone neutral, and opinions to themselves they should not be biased.
The woman (Valencia) I spoke to said I should look at stepchange.org I explained I am fully aware of my rights and she became condescending demanding I tell her what they said.
I am not going to allow you to browbeat me as this woman was trying to do.
My gut feeling is they have calculated my meter reading of what I owed prior to the price hike to the new prices to make more money.
I will be posting my new meter reading on here tomorrow including the one on the 31st and will see if my reading goes up again.
**I have published this page but may update it with more information, as when I get any updates from British Gas who emailed me today and said they had deadlocked my complaint, according to ‘Valencia’. As far as I am concerned it is not over until ‘the fat lady sings, in other words,it is a colloquialism that is often used as a proverb. It means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event that is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is nearing its conclusion.
So please come back for more updates.
I am now going to be a thorn in British Gas’s side and every month I will be doing a meter reading.
Will I be pursuing “Emotional Distress Compensation” of course I will, and this is what you should do if you too feel you have become unwell because of any company.
Did yesterday’s (14/06/22) fiasco cause me emotional distress, and did British Gas treat me badly of course they did and this is not over until I say it is regardless of their deadlock narcissistic letter.
If you are in a similar position to me, it is not the end of the world and there is a solution to every problem.
If you feel suicidal call the Samaritans116 123 (UK) or visit A&E – (UK) / ER– (USA) or call the Emergency Services 999 (UK) / 911 (USA).
On that note, I did get a welfare check from the Police albeit it was seven hours after my initial phone call to British Gas had ended and guess what the Police said they were on my side and agreed that the CEO needs to be aware of this as they are getting a lot of calls like the one they received about me.
Stay safe and do not let these companies bully you.
It is not your fault that the greedy people blue-chip companies, at the top of the food chain like P#tin, and the Banks, Governments, and Large Corporations want to milk every last penny out of you.
I have received two emails from British Gas and a letter regarding my complaint despite me saying I do not want letters in the post. (How to kill the planet with carbon emissions).
So they have disregarded my new meter reading which is calculated as follows and are not supporting people with mental health or disabilities, let the fun begin because I am going to be messaging the CEO directly:
Below is the email that was sent to me:
Here are the calculations per unit as per the British Gas Website:
Ironically ‘British Gas’ will report you as “Duty of Care” if you happen to say something out of turn to make them look better but in the next breath disregard your disabilities and worst-case scenario cut off your supply.
People who are vulnerable especially old people may not turn on the heating or cook a hot meal in order to make sure their energy bills do not increase.
So although ‘British Gas’ may come across as they are helping it is all smoke and mirrors and they do not care about your well-being and would much rather pass the buck.
The other joke is why not reach out to organizations that specialize in financial difficulty. If you already know your financial circumstances and do not have the extra money, to begin with, no amount of juggling will pay off your debt and all you will be left with is to sell your assets if you have any or go bankrupt.
Maybe if everyone were to go bankrupt nationwide the Government would do something about it or maybe this is the end goal where no one owns anything (the great reset)?
I am not sure what the hidden agenda is but if vulnerable people do not get the help then unfortunately there is going to become a bigger problem.
Nobody should live in poverty, not in the 21st Century, and not have a good quality of life. People should NOT be killed because of W#rs. W#ars are big business to the people on top of the food chain. If world leaders have no regard for human life by starting w#ars, what chances have the rest of us got?I am sorry but if any country starts a w#r where people will be killed it just shows they do not care about humans in general. Nobody should die to help the 1% richer.
If the cost of living is the cause of the increase in mental health then powers that be that are responsible for the demise need to be made accountable.
Disclaimer: This site primarily focuses on residents in the UK, however, it’s okay if you are from another part of the world as we try to help everyone. One thing you must take into consideration is this article has links to UK Government Official Bodies. Should you be reading this in the USA for example please contact your local legal office for advice. Furthermore, if you are experiencing financial difficulty and you are in debt, tell someone, you should not suffer in silence. Write down all your income and outgoings and let your creditors know you are finding things difficult. Ask them for extra time. They may give you an option to pay reasonable amounts without you losing sleep. No one should get themselves so worked up that it affects their mental health.
Who is a Creditor?
A creditor could be a bank, a credit card company, a business, a loan company, or a utility provider.
The creditor usually provides property, services, or lends out money, including but not limited to anything you have taken out on finance such as a car, white goods, or even phone/broadband providers.
A creditor is basically a person, a business, or an institution you own money to.
All creditors should give you the option to pay off the debt in installments even going as far as capping interest rates.
It will take the creditor a lot longer to get his/her money if he/she has to pay a credit agency or if you agree on an IVA where most of your debt is written off.
Most creditors are reasonable but there are a few that are not.
Explain how the debt is affecting your mental health and if you are unable to function properly or go to work, (after all they want you to continue getting a wage, in order to pay them). Most will be understanding and show empathy but there will be a few that may not care.
Remember to document everything including saving emails/text messages and letters which all count as evidence of your communication.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
A creditor that continually phones and texts on your business number causing you to turn it off consequently causing you to lose business is causing a criminal offense.
Debt collecting agencies and creditors, especially credit card companies use multiple telephone and mobile numbers and even if you block them they will still get through, even if you have blocked all notifications and incoming calls.
They after getting their money back by any means possible. Some have no regard for your circumstances or your mental health and may become patronizing, judgemental, and condescendingwhen you finally contact them.
Engaging in harassment during the debt collection process is also deemed a criminal offense.
“The harassment may be verbal or written, either via letter, email or text and includes making repeated calls and texts during non-social times or to the workplace of the debtor”.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 considers it a criminal offense for a person to take any action that is known or should be known, to be harassing another person.
DEBT COLLECTION GUIDELINES
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) specifies unfair practices regarding debt collection in its Debt Collection and Debt Management Guidelines. These include accounts in arrears or those having missed payments.
The Guidelines focus on a section about “contacting debtors at unreasonable times and intervals.”
Hours for contact regarding intervals and times that may be considered unfair are outlined. Making multiple calls during working hours, using the business number, phoning at unsociable hours, contacting neighbors and informing them of the purpose of the call, and contacting a debtor at his or her workplace are included in the whitepaper.
HOW TO HANDLE A HARASSING CREDITOR
If you think a creditor has violated one of the above laws or is not in compliance with the OFT Guidelines, you should discuss the issue with the creditor or a collection company representing it. Always reach out to the creditor with the initial complaint and then escalate it with the professional body if you feel your complaint is not taken seriously. Tell your creditor how you want to be contacted in the future and ask them to confirm this in writing.
Your letter should state that harassment is a criminal offense and you can take further action if your creditor doesn’t stop. Initially, you could write to them by email, usually, they have autoresponders confirming receipt of your email. Give them a few days to reply. Follow up by a snail mail postal letter andremember to send all letters by recorded deliveryand keep copies so that you have a record of your complaint.
Prior to making contact, gather all your evidence including calls/texts (screenshot the message and capture the phone number and date) and visit times, and any emails or letters that you consider threatening or menacing.
The letter should include a request that the party immediately stop the behavior. You should also provide a preferred method of contact and acceptable times to make contact.
Once your complaint have be received and acknowledged, your creditor has 3 business days to respond informally. This could be by phone or email (This depends on your preferred method of communication as outlined in your letter of complaint). A final response letter might take longer. Your creditor also has to report your complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), even if they respond within 3 business days.
If the creditor fails to change its practices following receipt of this letter, submit a formal complaint to the Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards, or OFT.
If the behavior of a bailiff, creditor, or collection agency ever becomes extremely threatening or violent in nature, notify the police immediately.
Support Making A Complaint
If you need help complaining, writing letters, or phoning your creditors, you can phone the debt helpline on 0300 330 1313. Lines are open between 9 am and 8 pm, Monday to Friday. Calls cost the same as calls to landline numbers. Alternatively, You can also get help by contacting your nearest Citizens Advice.
You could also contact us and we could send you a template letter and you just need to fill in the blanks.
To escalate your complaint you should complain to a professional body too. Your debt collector may belong to a trade association or professional body with a code of practice (FCA) that sets out how they are supposed to behave towards you.
If you are wondering if your lender belongs to a trade association that has a code of practice, then check out this link for Further Help. The trade association may also take action against its members who break the code of practice.
If your complaint is against a bank, building society, or credit card company, they may belong to the Standards of Lending Practice.
The Standards of Lending Practice have guidance for members which they should follow.
Avoid putting pressure on a lender and not allowing harassment.
Should advise to consolidate the debt or debt management.
Should provide support if the lender is vulnerable, for example, if you have physical or mental health problems.
Should use trustworthy debt collection agencies who must also follow the Standards of Lending Practice if the debt is passed on or sold.
You should complain to the bank, building society, or credit card company first, using their complaints procedure. If this does not sort out the problem, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, telling them that a debt collector or creditor has broken the terms of the Standards of Lending Practice. For more information about complaining to the Financial Ombudsman Service, go to the Financial Ombudsman’s website at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
Complaining about a solicitor acting for a creditor
There may be times when the debt is forwarded to a legal team and initially you get a letter from a solicitor notifying you that you have defaulted and a demand for a payment settlement. If a solicitor then starts to become harassing you on behalf of a creditor, this is considered to be professional misconduct.
To make a complaint about a solicitor, you will first need to use the firm’s internal complaints procedure. What this means is you will have to contact the law firm and lodge a complaint. If the complaint is ignored or handled unsuccessfully, you can then escalate to the Law Society. If this does not resolve the problem, you can complain to one of the professional associations. A bonafide solicitor will be a member of the Law Society and you can find their registration number in the footer section of their website. You can also check the Law Society website if the law firm or solicitor is a member.
If they are registered in England or Wales, you can complain to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) at www.sra.org.uk. If they are registered in Scotland, you can complain to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) at www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. If they are registered in Northern Ireland, you can complain to the Law Society. Go to www.lawsoc-ni.org.
Complaining to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service
If you want to complain about a local firm, you can contact the Citizens AdviceConsumer Service. They can put you in touch with your local Trading Standards Office, which can investigate whether an offense had been committed.
Complaining to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The FCA has rules and guidance about debt collection. Although the FCA cannot take up your individual case, they can refuse or revoke the firm’s authorization or, for example, fine the firm. It may be worth reminding the creditor that breaching the rules could affect their FCA authorization.
More about the FCA rules and guidance on debt collection in the FCA’s Consumer Credit Sourcebook at www.fca.org.uk.
Illegal money lending
In desperate times we sometimes do desperate things and we may come across companies offering us money dangling a golden carrot until the day come to pay our loan back, we may get into financial difficulty and this is where we end up in murky waters.
It’s easy to borrow money but it’s not so easy to pay it back.
You may have borrowed money from a moneylender who is not FCA authorized. These lenders are for the better word often called loan sharks and they may physically or verbally threaten you if you can’t pay back the money.
They also charge extremely high rates of interest, which means you may end up owing much more money than you originally borrowed.
It’s important to remember that loan sharks are breaking the law by lending you money in this way. They can’t enforce the high rates of interest they are trying to charge. You can’t be legally made to pay back the money and you have not broken the law if you don’t pay it back.
If you are being harassed or threatened by a loan shark and you think your life is in danger you can phone the police. If loan sharks threaten you or your family they can be prosecuted. You should also report them on the GOV website to find out how to report a loan shark on GOV.UK.
Reporting a problem to Trade Standards
If you want to report a problem, you should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, (citizens advice is a community of volunteer solicitors, usually found in every town/city in the UK). The citizen’s advice will then share the information reported with Trading Standards.
Creditors Are People
Some creditors and debt collecting agency may take their jobs too seriously and may become patronizing, judgmental and condescending, and even sometimes intimidating or threatening.
“You should not live in fear of another person or organization. It is not your fault that the powers that be have decided on price hikes and consequently got you into debt”.
Creditors are the people at the end of the day, either owners of businesses or employees trying to do their jobs.
If you owe money to a creditor and stop making payments, they can take action against you to get their money back. Therefore it is best to write to them, that way everything is documented, giving them a proposal on how you plan to pay the debt off.
“If you have more overheads than the income coming in tell them this. No one on the planet can get blood out of stone”.
Try to exhaust all avenues of getting extra money to pay your debt off before saying you have no money.
If you have reached out to everyone you know and have contacted organizations that may give you grants and been unsuccessful then by all means be truthful with yourself and with your creditors and do not try to brush the problem under the carpet because it will not go away and will only get worse if you do nothing over time.
You could save yourself money with postage simply by emailing them. Explain your incomings and outgoings and ask them for more time. Ask them to spread the cost of what you owe over a fixed term between 12 – 60 months.
“No One Should Live In Fear and pushing people into a corner may send them over the edge”
How Creditors Are Supposed To Behave.
Creditors are supposed to behave professionally, they should not express their personal opinions, or become, patronizing, judgmental or condescending towards you when they are trying to recover their money.
Harassment is any action that makes you feel emotionally distressed, stressed, anxious, humiliated, or threatened. It makes you live in fear and will consequently damage your mental health.
If you feel you are being harassed and becoming unwell because of a creditor, there are several things you can do to stop them from doing it.
If you need help talking to a creditor about their behavior, you can also phone the trading standards debt helpline on 0300 330 1313 if you are located in the UK. For all other countries find your local debt management agency that can assist you further.
Citizens Advice (UK) is open between 9 am and 8 pm, Monday to Friday. Calls cost the same as calls to landline numbers.
If the creditor tries to do any of the following things to try and get you to pay back the money you owe, this could be considered harassment. They include:
If a creditor or debt collection agency contacts you several times a day (during working hours, whilst you are at work), or early in the morning or late at night.
If a creditor or debt collection agency pursues you on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn.
If a creditor or debt collection agency puts pressure on you to sell your home or take out more credit.
If a creditor or debt collection agency uses more than one debt collector to chase you for payment.
If a creditor or debt collection agency does not inform you that your debt has been passed on to a debt collection agency.
If a creditor or debt collection agency uses paperwork or business logos that appear to be official when they’re not, (this is fraud) for example sending you letters that look like court forms.
If a creditor or debt collection agency puts pressure on you to pay all the money off, or in larger installments when you can’t afford to.
If the creditor or debt collecting agency becomes threatening you physically or verbally abusive to you.
If a creditor or debt collection agency ignores you if you say you don’t owe the money.
If a creditor or debt collection agency tries to embarrass, humiliate or intimidate you in public.
If a creditor or debt collection agency tells someone else about your debts or uses another person to pass on messages, such as a neighbor or family member.
If a creditor or debt collection agency falsely claims to work for the court or be a bailiff in England and Wales or sheriff officer in Scotland (this is deemed as fraud).
If a creditor or debt collection agency implies that legal action can be taken when it can’t. For example, implying that your home can be taken from you without a court order.
If a creditor or debt collection agency gives the impression that court action has been taken against you when it hasn’t.
If a creditor or debt collection agency gives the impression that not paying the debt is a criminal offense. For most debts, it is not a criminal offense if you don’t pay them.
What doesn’t count as harassment by a creditor?
Not all actions that a creditor takes can be called harassment. Creditors are allowed to take reasonable steps to get back the money they owe them. These include:
Sending reminder letters, texts, or emails.
Telephoning you to ask for payment (not during working hours and not on your business phone).
Call at your home, as long as this is at a reasonable time of the day.
Taking court action.
Who is harassing you
If you’re being harassed by a creditor it’s important to know who is chasing you for payment.
You may be surprised that the people in your case may not be the people you originally owed money to. This is because your original creditor may have sold the debt to someone else to collect. If your original creditor does this, they cannot come after you for money, instead, you will have someone else in their place. If your creditor decides to pass the debt on, they must tell you in writing before they do it.
Your debt may be collected by:
Your original creditor
A debt collection agency acting on behalf of your creditor
A third party who has bought the debt from your creditor
Bailiffs in England and Wales or sheriff officers in Scotland.
Things to consider before making a complaint, gather as much evidence as you can to support your claim.
Depending on the seriousness of the situation this could include (although not all compulsory) It makes sense to gather as much evidence as possible to build your case:
Documenting the number of visits or calls with dates and times. Write down what was said to you each time and who you spoke to.
Has the original correspondence been printed to include letters, documents, emails, and texts you have received?
Witness statements from neighbors or other people who live with you.
Evidence of your circumstances.
Any medical evidence if you suffering from mental health issues.
Further help and information
Trade and professional associations
Your creditor may belong to one of the following trade or professional associations which have a code of practice that its members must follow. You can find a list of members on the organizations’ websites:
The Finance and Leasing Association Imperial House 15 -19 Kingsway London WC2B 6UN
We also have a useful links page of resources such as Charities and Other Organizations.
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