Yikes! Gas bill madness

I just had a great London Electricity moment. I returned home this evening to two letters from London Electricity regarding my gas supply from them. To start with, for some reason they seem to have decided my name is James. Letters are addressed to Miss James Kingsley. huh? I wasn’t always James. At one point, they really did have my name right, they just decided James suited me better, I guess.

Anyway, I soon overlooked the name change when I read the letters. Bear in mind that I currently pay £38 a month and really I think that’s a bit steep. So, the first letter I opened said

“We need to ask your bank or building society for an extra £313.72 to pay off your balance. This is your yearly payment review…”

and then

“We need to change your Direct Debit to £240 a month

EXCUSE ME??? How did we use so much gas in the last year that our monthly payments are going up by more than 600%?

Then I opened the second letter. This one says

“Can we have your gas meter reading please? Our records show that your last few bills have been based on your estimated gas usage.”

No kidding! Did it not occur to anyone to put a check in the obviously automated system that does something along the lines of

if (extra payment is greater than £100 AND direct debit to go up by more than 600% per month AND gas meter has not been read in six months) {
     read meter before sending insane letters demanding money

pah! Anyway, I phoned them with my meter reading and the woman said “ah, that’s more like it” and now I’m not paying them £313.72 and I’m keeping my direct debits the same. Madness.

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