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 herefrom 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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
Arguing With British Gas Is Exhausting – I Do Not Have The Energy To Fight With British Gas – Cancelling Accounts in Error.
I have had enough of British Gas and its antics.
British Gas is most definitely affecting my mental health!
I reported British Gas to the Ombudsman over another matter which is still ongoing and was recently notified my account has been closed by British Gas.
I never closed my account, and they are insinuating that I moved out of my property in September of this year.
I have since been given a complaint reference number and a task number. Complaint Reference Number: 8014408673 Task Number: 7023097367
My Complaint 26/10/22.
I phoned on 26/10/22 and spoke to someone for 1.5 hours (screenshot below). I asked her to send me an email which the agent tried to do 3 times and each time it bounced. I asked her for a copy of the audio recording and she said that was impossible. She then told me that the Move Home Team would contact me in 12 days (deadline 7th November 2022).
Phone calls totaling 3 hours and 29 minutes.
Not trusting British Gas as far as I can throw them I phoned back again on 27/10/22 and spoke to a woman that said she would put me through to the Moving Home Team and that is when the call got disconnected. She did not phone me back.
So I phoned again (screenshot above) and this time had to update the agent again as there were no notes in relation to my complaint that my account had been closed in error because another tenant from the (Ground Floor Flat) said I had moved out (This is according to the first agent I spoke to).
I have never resided in a Ground Floor Flat. I have lived since 1998 in Flat 2, (First Floor Flat). According to British Gas, there is no property listed on the national database for a “First Floor Flat” yet there is a “Ground Floor Flat”, strange don’t you think?
I have since been given a reference number but have been told British Gas has closed the complaint as there is nothing they can do. We will see about them when I invoice them for my time.
I am going to be invoicing British Gas for all my time wasted when I could have been working but instead had to make 3 phone calls which disrupted my business and lasted nearly 3.5 hours. I am self-employed and my time costs money.
But I am not stopping there I will also be sending an invoice for my previous complaint that the Ombudsman advised I should take British Gas to court.
According to the text message from British Gas and the final bill with a meter reading I never submitted there is something definitely fishy going on. I have since spoken to the new tenant that confirmed they never submitted a meter reading, so who did?
Previous Tenant Text Message To Me!
Upon further investigation, I had a text from the previous tenant prior to the new tenants moving in stating they were handing in their keys beginning on 2nd June 2022.
So from the time June to September, the property downstairs was empty, with contractors coming in and out whilst it was being refurbished.
So the text message from British Gas has the dates wrong because the tenant moved out on 02/06/22 and not 18/09/22 as they claim I did even though I never resided in the Ground Floor Flat. The mind boggles. For legal reasons, I will not publish the previous tenant’s name.
British Gas Text Message To Me!
Move Home Team
I have been told to wait for the Move Home Team to contact me in the next 12 days. (Deadline 07/11/22). I am not holding my breath. I also spoke with the new people that moved in and they have not submitted a meter reading on my behalf.
If I do not hear from them by the 7th of November 2022 let the fireworks begin.
The last meter reading I did was on the 29th of September 2022.
Meter Reading After I moved out presumingly (according to British Gas)!
According to my final bill, the last meter reading was 2860 (24/10/22) which I never submitted. How could I submit a meter reading after moving out? If I moved out presumingly on the 18th of September 2022 how could I then possibly submit a meter reading on the 29th of September 2022 and then another on the 24th of October 2022? Explain that to me.
So whoever submitted a meter reading was not me, and was not for my meter. Because how could the usage be fewer units on the 29th (2837) and more units on the 18th September 2022 (2860) when I supposedly moved out?, it just does not make sense and I have a witness when I had my meter reading read because I asked a friend who sent me the photo of my meter via text.
Not only did I receive money back into my bank account today (03/11/22), which I was under the impression they are not allowed to store your bank details but as I have proven again they obviously do, considering I canceled my direct debit in February I have obviously caught them out red-handed again because how else would they have refunded me if I did not give them my bank details?
According to my last bill, it clearly says Ground Floor Flat but every letter and bill previously has never mentioned the ground floor or first floor. I have never resided in a ground-floor flat. I do not want to say it out loud but reading between the lines someone has purposely thrown a spanner in the works at my expense.
So had I not intervened, would I have had free gas?
It is as if history is repeating itself. It is not the first time this has ever happened.
When I first moved in 24 years ago I tried to set up an account with British Gas and when no bills arrived I phoned them and for a year they were adamant they were not supplying my gas. Finally, they realized the error and ended up sending me a bill for £900. I do not want to be in the same position again. I will take this to mainstream media if I have to.
I have evidence and date stamp screenshots of text messages above redacting the sender’s name when I last submitted a meter reading (29/09/22).
How could I have submitted a meter reading on 29/09/22 when I supposedly had moved out on 18/09/22?
I am going to report this to the ombudsman again.
Companies like British Gas cannot go around playing God and messing with people’s mental health.
If I was in charge I would fire the people responsible. This should never have happened.
I even have a screenshot of my past meter readings to show I submitted a meter reading on the 29th of September 2022
Ironically when I tried to access this information again it no longer is appearing on the dashboard.
I suspect my account will disappear any day now, seeing as my account is closed and I have had a refund, which means British Gas has tampered with past readings to cover their backs as there is obviously an error in plain sight.
Therefore if I submitted a meter reading on the 29th of September 2022 where I was billed followed by a mysterious reading on 24/10/22 if I supposedly had moved out of the property on the 18th (Muppets). I should not have been billed again after that date seeing I supposedly had moved out on the 18th.
British Gas then generated another meter reading on the 24th of October 2022 (unknown person) according to my payment history. How could this amount be applied after they claim I moved out on the 18th?
Either way, there is something definitely wrong!
First phone British Gas and ask for a complaint reference number, do not trust them to log anything on the system.
With the complaint reference number write a formal complaint to British Gas via email with all the evidence you have collated.
Take screenshots of the duration of the phone calls and the dates.
Take screenshots of text messages and any other correspondence.
Give British Gas 14 days to respond and if you hear nothing report them to the ombudsman, link below.
I simply have not got the energy to fight any longer with anyone. I feel so deflated. I will be so grateful when the universe helps me out. I am tired and lack motivation, I struggle with work and everything is just getting to me, especially when companies play GOD with your mental health. I persevere because I have to. I am done with people testing me, pushing my buttons, and getting away with it. I need to find the strength to fight back, I am just taking each day as it comes. I cannot deal with stress and anxiety. I am trying to stay focused but it’s hard. I will be grateful when tomorrow comes with positive news.
I decided to have a go one last time and phoned them again. I raised the points:
How are they storing bank details without the customer’s permission? I never gave permission for them to store my bank details. This is a breach of GDPR. The agent could not or would not answer me.
I asked for the audio recording and the agent said I would have to send a postal letter to the ‘Privacy Team in Centrica. Why was this not done on my previous phone calls on the 26th and 27th of October 2022.? I turned around and said if the agent did not sort this out here and now I would report it to the Ombudsman.
I asked for another complaint reference number: 8014474220 and was told the task would take 12 working days for someone to get back in touch with me. The Move Home Team never came back to me previously which also took 12 days, so for me to expect any response is going to be slim, hence I am sending them an email today.
“Seeing as I have been a loyal customer for 24 years at the property and have not moved out, it is absolutely shocking to have been treated this way”.
What I believe has happened is that between 02/06/2022 to 19/09/2022 someone stated that the previous tenant moved in on 13/01/07 and moved out on 18/09/22 when in reality the property for the ground floor was empty between 02/06/22 and 18/09/22.
The entity whoever they may be, falsified information stating I moved in on 13th January 2007 when in reality the old tenant moved in (13/01/07) and moved out (02/06/22) and the entity used my name causing me to have my account closed.
It would be interesting to know who submitted the meter reading on the 24th of October 2022. However they could have used the new tenants’ name that recently moved in, rather than giving their real name, so I cannot prove who did this, although I can second guess. This is a low blow by any means. There is only one ENTITY that would have known the moving-in date of both tenants, that’s all I am saying.
My phone call today (08/11/22) took two hours and twenty-two minutes.
SIX HOURS TOTAL TIME SPENT ON PHONE CALLS
I told the agent that I have spent nearly six hours in total trying to resolve this issue and that I would expect to be compensated for my time. As published on my website terms and conditions in the footer of www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk there is a section on page 20 that says anyone disrupting me from doing my work will be invoiced for my time:
I have recently received a letter from British Gas about the new prices on the 1st of October 2022 with their incorrect estimated usage of £2015.92 Again they are basing their calculations on past usage. My past usage is going to be nothing like my present or future. Whereby I had the central heating on full blast last year I would rather freeze than put the central heating on this time round.
I have today submitted a meter reading and it showed I had used £37 pounds worth since my last reading. More is a pity I did not screenshot the price even though I have proof I submitted a reading online (screenshot below) which should reflect the current prices and anyone reading this would be able to agree on the current price of Gas as of the 29th of September 2022. Under the current energy price cap of £1,971, a typical UK household pays 7p per kilowatt hour for gas and 28p per kWh for electricity.
So if they try to scam me as they have done before, (Yes I have documented evidence of that) I will report them once again to the ombudsman where my case is still ongoing. I do not trust British Gas as far as I can through them and will NEVER RECOMMEND them to anyone.
Here is their estimated usage forecast which equates to a 45% increase:
Now let’s do the maths if my current usage as of 29/09/22 is about £40 per month x 12 months = £480 x 45% increase (£216) = £696 per annum, not £2015.92
I will be damned if they try to bully me into increasing my monthly payment plan and as I spoke to someone today advised me to contact my local MP Jo. Stevens.
I feel for the people on direct debit who will be paying for over-estimated prices. Imagine how much interest the British Gas bank account will accumulate from their inaccurate estimations. It will be interesting how quickly they will refund you the money when they realize their error. Will they refund the interest they have earned and you have lost where the money could have been in your bank account, rather than in theirs? You will not see a penny extra mark my words.
There is another post coming shortly regarding the ombudsman which I have appealed their decision. How they responded will shock you and I plan to share my proof and findings with mind.org.uk
I will interlink once the article has been published here.
Final Notes From the Editor.
The billing system should not be based on the previous usage, the world is changing and so is our energy usage, with most of us using as little energy as we can. Companies should be fined for being heavy-handed with customers.
I have always known that large corporations do not care about people. If you look at the bigger picture, if you or I murdered someone we would go to jail regardless if we did it ourselves or hired someone to do it for us. So why is it that world leaders can start wars and get away with murder?
The whole point of wars is to raise inflation, people tend to panic buy, by worrying about price rises. But for organizations such as utility providers that are on a gravy train getting compensated by the federal reserve, they do not care about your well-being either.
It is all about the sheer greed for money and power.
OFGEM the ombudsman for energy suppliers is the government. The energy suppliers and the governments work hand in hand. Ofgem is supposed to work with people and not against them: However, Samantha Allen, chief executive of the NHS in the North East and Cumbria, hit out at Ofgem for halting energy supplies for vulnerable people who haven’t paid. Risks to clinically vulnerable people (northeastnorthcumbria.nhs.uk)Do you see that OFGEM is on the side of the energy supplier and not the people?
It will be interesting to see if what I say is true, because I have reported British Gas to OFGEM and I have until October 14th, 2022 to get a response.
The MPs are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer.
So it is no surprise there is an investigation going on how MPs have claimed taxpayer’s money to pay for the energy bills.
Ministers’ claims for gas, electricity, and water came to just over £195,000 in 2021–’22, according to an analysis of data from IPSA.
It also showed since 2019 that MPs have claimed just over £692,000 to cover these utility costs, with £538,000 alone going on heating bills.
Suella Braverman, favorite to be named home secretary if Ms. Truss wins the leadership contest, has claimed £7,160 for household utilities since the 2019-’ 20 financial period.
Education secretary James Cleverly, predicted to become foreign secretary, billed taxpayers £4,142 in energy and water bills at the same time.
Among senior Labour MPs making the claims was the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, who has been handed £2,318 to cover energy and water bills since 2019.
You have to bear in mind that these people in power have never experienced poverty for themselves, they have never had to worry about keeping a roof over their heads or putting food on the table let alone finding money to pay bills.
It is ironic that the same people go around preaching how someone should budget their money and send you to places like stepchange .org when you already have a clear picture that you do not have enough money coming in to cover your bills. So how can these charities help other than to give donations?
It really rattles me that the people at the top preach to the rest of us about money yet they are the ones causing us to get into debt.
Note From The Editor
Think of it this way the world is overpopulated, and the governments are forking a shed load for vulnerable people and people with disabilities. The governments (UK are in trillions of debt to the EU for Brexit, so where is the money going to come from to clear the UK debt?
I am now on par with managing my money after months of sheer heartache with British Gas. This cost of living, British Gas, and my creditors have caused me to dive into a deep state of depression and some days find it hard to function properly. If Covid was not bad enough and I lost a lot of business now I am having clients dropping like flies because they cannot afford to run their websites any longer. I do not see the government helping small businesses, do you?
I do try to keep myself busy and I try to learn something new every day. Talking to people does not help (not for me anyway), what advice can someone give, if they are not more qualified than me, or know my personal circumstances?
“Knowledge is Power“.
I am not saying do not talk to someone, in fact, I advise you to talk to a friend, family, or colleague, especially if life is becoming unbearable. Even go as far as talking to your GP (Doctor) but if it can’t wait phone A&E or ER.
What I find is venting my thoughts on this site helps. It not only helps me but can help someone else like me.
You do not have to use your real name just set up a Gmail email and register on here to also vent. In fact, I have even got categories called “Online Journal General” and “I Need To Vent”.
My final recommendation is not to stop paying your bills altogether, but instead, pay what you can afford while at the same time reducing your energy usage. This will hurt the energy suppliers’ profits. I have elected to pay monthly by bank transfer rather than direct debit, this gives me greater control over my bank and does not give energy suppliers a license to help themselves.
How To Reduce Your Energy Usage Home & Business – CYMRU DIGITAL MARKETING BUSINESS JOURNAL (cymrumarketing.com)
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.
Warning: Reality Check for Utility Providers, the whole of the UK is not going to be using the same amount of Gas or Electricity prior to the Price Hikes and therefore do not go by past usage and only go by current usage moving forward. British Gas is purposely putting people in debt.
Excited at the fact that I had only used 8 units in the last two weeks which equates to £20.07, according to the customer service advisor I spoke to today, yet my payment plan has not changed and is still asking for £190 per month even though I am going to be using £40 worth of Gas moving forward. (See screenshots of my meter readings below).
According to ‘British Gas’, they calculate past data of usage and I have said in the past I had my central heating on 24/7 other than the summer months, but I am going to be using the bare minimum moving forward.
It was like talking to a brick wall and I have been told that perhaps the payment plan would be adjusted in 6 months but not before. This is forcing people to go into debt.
So hypothetically speaking, if my predicted usage will be £40 per month moving forward x 6 months left of this year which would equate to £240 but British Gas wants me to pay £190 per month x 6 months which equates to £1,140, minus what I owe = £368 & usage £240 gives a final total of £532 overpayment.
I suppose the surplus money in their bank making interest is better than it is in yours.
Now the way my plan has been calculated is for the past years’ usage rather than usage in the future even though I have proved it will be lower as I do not plan to cook, use hot water or turn the central heating on.
If what I owe is £368 and say next month’s bill comes to £40 per month based on my new meter reading on the (15/06/22) x 3 months = £120 + £368 = £488 that I would owe and if British Gas wants £190 x 3 months = £570, that would mean I would overpay £82.00
Yet they are saying “the computer says no” scenario ‘Little Britain’ quote.
I also asked the question today about what support they have for mental health and the vulnerable and this is what I was told:
A payment plan (which we cannot agree on and they refuse to spread over 36 months but in the past they have). This is intimidation.
The Charity ‘British Gas Trust’ is a joke and I would not waste time donating or asking for donations because British Gas does not support the vulnerable, (notice I am not giving this company a backlink in this article).
So their support for me personally is as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
It was further confirmed that British Gas does not support people with Mental Health other than what has been mentioned above.
This is how condescending companies are because I did not agree to the £190, British Gas expects me to get financial advice “hello, is anyone listening? I do not need financial advice”. I know what my usage is going to be moving forward.
Like I said in my article yesterday “if you do not have the extra money, to begin with, how are you supposed to find the extra money to pay the greedy corporate companies that make a profit on the back of your vulnerabilities”?
Below are screenshots of the meter readings.
When I pay this company off I am going to switch providers and not recommend this provider to anyone. If any utility company refuses to spread the costs with affordable payment plans and is unreasonable with zero support for your disabilities then you should take action.
They should at least offer you breathing space to give you the time to find the money. I have proven with photographic evidence that my usage is now going to be lower.
I begrudge helping a company that makes money off me or anyone else in a vulnerable position and who is disabled. If I thought any company was worth a good review and marketing I would consider partnering with them, but I do not in this case because they have caused emotional distress which in turn has made my mental health worse.
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.
Can stress cause your cerebellar atrophy to get worse?
The link between the cerebellum is connected with stress-related brain areas and expresses the machinery required to process stress-related neurochemical mediators.
As most of my readers already know I suffer from ‘Cerebellar Atrophy’. Other than jumbling my letters and words up when I am writing (thank God for Grammarly) and occasionally memory loss, hence I have to jot things down to help me remember, I also have noticed lately an increase in loss of balance.
In fact ironically with what I am about to tell you, just over a year ago I did have a similar episode where I fell down five steps landing on my back and being severely bruised (I do not recall feeling lightheaded at the time just lost my footing). I made sure my doctor (GP) was notified in the letter I wrote that was confirmed was put on the system but no one in the surgery took any action.
However, on 10/06/22 being home alone I was at the top of the stairs and all of a sudden my whole body started to give way. Not only did I feel very lightheaded and the room was spinning, but I also could not balance properly and could feel my body about to hurtle down a flight of stairs. Fortunately, I grabbed hold of the central support pillar to help me break my fall. Had I not stopped myself I would not be writing this post today.
Research suggests people who suffer from psychological stress are more prone to having their condition worsen.
Analyzing why this happened to me yesterday all I can put it down to is I am under a lot of pressure. With the rise in the cost of living and having to also run a business, I am really feeling a financial pinch.
By coincidence taking a leaf out of my own book, I wrote to all the utility companies and my creditors offering to pay anything I owe in affordable installments. All the utility companies and one of the creditors were all understanding and seemed to all accept my offer Barr one who as it happens I owe the least of money to and no word of a lie has written to me 22 emails to date repeating the same things over and over again. As it is my understanding either multiple people are dealing with one account and not updating one another or they are trying to intimidate me to pay more. I have since written a 10-page letter which took me all day to do and no doubt I will be getting email #23 soon.
My utility bills at the beginning of the year were £154 per month in April they rose to £219 and have risen again to £412. Now here is the question where does one find an extra £267 per month if you do not have that sort of money, to begin with?
So I wrote to all my creditors and explained the situation and all have agreed on my offer and the most I pay is £239
It has riled me that every day I get one or two emails from this one creditor (V) and every day I cannot move forward because I always have this nagging conscious feeling that I need to reply.
They are purposely trying to break me down and they leave me no choice but to report them to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
They have caused me considerable emotional and psychological distress.
If it was not for the fact I am pushing myself to fight this battle I could easily have just given up, turned to alcohol, drugs, or worse.
If you are feeling down and are in a similar position to me DO NOT TURN TO Alcohol, Drugs Smoking, etc, instead seek medical advice through your doctor and professional advice immediately.Here is our useful links page.
You should not suffer alone and millions of people are in the same boat as you.
There is a solution to every problem. Stand your ground and never let anyone intimidate or harass you as I have experienced lately.
Write to your creditors on headed paper rather than just email. Provide them with a breakdown of your expenses. This one creditor never sent me a form similar to the one I have designed below, just bombarded me with daily questions.
According to the harassing creditor (V) they claimed they could not have asked all the questions in one email and in my reply I sent them the form below arguing that if a solicitor or governing body writes to you they do not send multiple emails they send one email and or one letter. 22 emails and counting is harassment and is designed to break you down.
I have a sample template of a form you can send your utility companies and creditors. I can customize it for you, make it editable, and remove any watermarks.
I do not drink alcohol as a rule as it has landed me in heaps of embarrassment and trouble many times in the past doing stupid things and am just happy drinking my energy drinks, but this company (V) which shall remain nameless for now is harassing me and that is against the law, consequently making my illness worse.
I have been meaning to update the GP surgery on my health conditions for a while now and have not found the time, but even if my illness worsens I am not going to get treatment, tests, infusions, etc like my daughter is getting. She is 21 and she can make her decisions but I have my own views which I will leave for another day.
Do contact us if you want the customized form in this article using the form below, **please note we may consider sending the form to you (free of charge) if you are experiencing financial difficulty, however, our business information (Disability UK -Disabled Entrepreneur will be in the footer. It will not have Designed by Renata):
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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A smart meter is the next generation of a gas and electricity meter.
They are being installed in homes across Great Britain at no extra cost, to replace the traditional meters including prepay key meters, which most of us currently have tucked away under the stairs, or outside our homes.
Theoretically, smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you’re using, as well as what it’s costing you, and display this on a handy in-home display. The smart meter, also called an Advanced Meter Installation (AMI), is a two-way device used by utility companies to measure energy usage in your home.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
The advantages of a smart meter are you can wave goodbye to estimated billing. The smart meter shows a digital meter reading and uses a secure smart data network (managed by the DCC) to automatically and wirelessly send the readings to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you will receive accurate, not estimated bills.
Smart meters also come with an in-home display screen that shows you exactly how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence, in near real-time.
WHAT THE UTILITY COMPANIES SAY.
If you ask your utility company if a smart meter impacts your health, you’ll likely be told there is no health risk. They will be biased and will hopefully convince the unaware consumer that there are no dangers. However medical evidence has proven there are dangers.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY.
According to the BioInitiative Working Group, more than 6,000 studies show the correlation of electromagnetic energy with harmful effects, chronic conditions, and disease.
There is also evidence that electropollution triggers an immune system response. That’s because the body thinks the electrical fields are foreign invaders similar to bacteria and viruses.
Amy Myers, MD is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and an internationally acclaimed functional medicine physician. Dr. Myers specializes in empowering those with autoimmune, thyroid, and digestive issues to reverse their conditions and take back their health.
Amy Myers is a successful founder and CEO of Amy Myers MD®.
Dr. Myers has been quoted as saying: “I’ve seen with thousands of patients in my functional medicine clinic, that chronic inflammation leads to fatigue, cognitive problems, brain fog, irritability, anxiety, and memory loss. It is the root cause of autoimmune disease. In fact, chronic electrical exposure triggers symptoms that mirror those experienced in dozens of autoimmune diseases”.
According to David O. Carpenter, MD, radiofrequency exposure at elevated levels for a long period of time increases the risk of cancer, damages the nervous system, and causes sensitivity. It also has adverse health effects on the reproductive system and other organ systems. In addition, it elevates the levels of peroxynitrite (a toxin made by your body), which is linked with over 60 chronic diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, tissue heating is the principal mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the human body. Sam Milham, MD has spent nearly thirty years researching the impact of electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). He links dirty electricity to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and suicide. He also connects it with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
RF radiation was classified in 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as “possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans.” Furthermore, there is no data that shows RF radiation is safe. In fact, no one has conducted health studies on humans living in homes with smart meters. The World Health Organization is planning a formal assessment of the health effects of RF exposure, however, this report is not yet available.
“People with smart meters in their homes have reported a sudden increase in dizziness, ear pain, memory problems, heart palpitations, anxiety, and sleep problems”.
Whether you owe money to a creditor or a utility company they will not stop until you contact them. They have been known to text and phone multiple times in a day in order for you to react. It is always best to communicate with them so that they can arrange something with you. My interaction was with Utility Companies and they insisted on meter readings, prior to Covid, and even During Covid they would come and read my meter but now they are singing a different tune. Because of the height of where my meter is located, it is impossible to read, yet I do not want a smart meter because of the health implications.
Whenever I communicate I always forward articles I have written, this gives me more authority on what I am talking about.
Learn about Deficit Spending and the Debt Ceiling by watching “The Hidden Secrets of Money” by Mike Maloney To Know Why ‘Our Utility Prices’ have been hiked and how utility companies will bully you into having ‘SMART METERS’!
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR.
I had a text message come through on my phone from ‘British Gas’ despite me telling them that I do not give them permission to communicate with me this way and only by email. So they have given my number out without my permission to third-party engineers, which is a breach of GDPR for starters.
This has gone on deaf ears. Needless to say, they have booked me in for a smart meter even though I have told them I do not want one.
Now both my daughter and I have autoimmune disorders (cerebellar atrophy and multiple sclerosis), so if any utility company insists on the installation of these meters I think I have enough evidence, that should either my daughter or I relapse, we would be able to take legal action against the energy providers.
I was told in a conversation I had with ‘British Gas’ that I use more gas than the average household. They even asked me to add a backlink for them on this site on the useful links page, yet they never offered to pay for it. (Which is disgraceful that they can money grab, but won’t compensate for the traffic I send them). The link is useful for my readers and I am not doing British Gas any favors and will be looking for compensation.
I am not arguing if I use more gas or not, although I have a brand new boiler and I have to have my home heated because of black mold that grows on our walls.
I have to safeguard both my daughters and my health because we have black mold.
Our landlord is aware of the situation and has simply said to wash it down with bleach and soapy water. This does not eradicate the problem and the health of my daughter and my own is paramount and I will fight to the end anyone that tries to reduce our quality of life.
Remember the Governments and the Large Corporations work hand in hand. If you read on the government’s website that smart meters are safe, they will never tell the truth.
Why is our cost of living increased?
I will tell you why it is to do with deficit spending and the debt ceiling. Basically, the Government has overspent and in the case of the UK, they owe money to the EU. The Brexit Divorce Bill in July 2021, was estimated at £40.8bn but Downing Street insisted the figure was between £35bn and £39bn. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/51110096 we now have a crisis on our hands. The Government needs to find the money to pay the EU. Goods and services are now subject to tariffs, increasing the cost of raw materials into Britain and finished products out.
If people’s mental health is affected due to price hikes and people are forced to endure corporate bullying and intimidation to install smart meters which leads to illness then the corporations need to be made accountable. If people are struggling to pay their finances before the price hikes how are they supposed to pay after bills are increased exponentially?
“Pushing vulnerable people into a corner can easily send them over the edge”.
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