Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scottish Gas the Truth About Direct Debits

I heat my house through Scottish Gas, they also cover my electricity. Three months ago they reappraised my monthly gas direct debit downwards by 50%. However, yesterday I received a letter telling me they were increasing my direct debit upwards by 66% a month. So now I will be paying £5 more than I was two quarters ago. My account is also currently in credit.

Paying by direct debit, the little information leaflet enclosed with the bill, eases your worries over your fuel bills. "We reassess your bills to spread your payments evenly through the year" says a little graph. Oh no you don't Scottish Gas! For each of the last five quarters my direct debit has been going up and then down now up again. You give me less than three weeks notice that before I get paid again (as I get paid mid month) you will be looking for an extra £20 this month.

Scottish Gas are also currently running an ad saying they have cut prices twice in the last 12 months. Yet the only reason you could have for a 66% hike in my bill currently in credit is to cover increased costs. I do not use 66% more gas in the winter over the autumn. I even appear to have over half of one month already paid for. So you may be actually asking me for 75% more.

I will be looking for another service provider as this yo-yoing (when fuel prices are actually coming down at source) is not the way I'm prepared to make budgeting decisions any longer.


Anonymous said...

Me Sir! Pick me, Sir! It's been a while, but I think I can remember this...

Let x be how much Stephen paid per month before.

1.66(0.5x) = x + 5
0.83x = x + 5
-0.17x = 5
x = -29.41

Note the minus sign. So Scottish Gas used to pay you £29.41 monthly? Wow, that's great customer service! ;-)

Unknown said...

Stephen, tell them to get lost. I had an annual conversation with Scotish Power when they wanted to put up my payments by extortionate %. I usually managed to negotiate them down to half of what they wanted and then a few months later they would come and put it down again because even that was too much.

I don't know what Scottish Hydro-Electric will be like - we'll just have to wait and see as we only joined them in June.


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