I was waiting for my quarterly bill around March/April this year which seemed late getting to me when I received a letter saying I had failed to pay my bill of some three hundred and fifty plus pounds so as they had had to send me this reminder there was thirteen pounds add to it. I tried to phone them and spent over an hour on the phone but just could not get through to them at all. I then tried their online page where you type in your message and then some one types back to you. Even getting through on this was very convoluted and for me at least rather difficult as I am not the best of computer users.
The outcome was that unbeknown to me they had decided to send my bills by email instead of by snail mail. I told them that as my wife is blind and is not able to use a computer that this was not acceptable as if any thing was to happen to me as I already had heart problems etc there would be no way that my wife could or would be able to pay them. The very nice lady said she would remove the thirteen pounds and a new bill would be posted to me. The bill duly arrived but had now gone up to 30p. short of £500. I thought that it must now include the extra usage since the original bill so went and paid it.
One week later I received another bill for £137. So I went back on line and luckily got through to the same lady with whom I had dealt with on the first occasion. I explained that I had paid the £500. bill but had know had another one for £137. and could she check this out as it seemed that they were wanting far more than I normally paid. The out come was that I was put through to another department who asked for a meter reading. I went to check the meter but only the electric was showing any thing. After trying several things which did not respond it was decided that my meter was faulty. I told them that I had reported this and that no one had followed it up. It was then arranged that a person would call on a given date the following week to change the meter and that the gent I was in touch with would work out what was the position as regards my bill and let me know. Unfortunately he did not contact me as arranged which rather let his effort down a bit. But in mitigation I have received a letter from British Gas telling me that I am in credit to the tune of £377.
So beware the SMART meter is not as smart as its name would suggest and may not be as reliable either. Also British Gas need to learn how to answer their telephone and not keep customers hanging on like certain Banks like to do.