How can the author get gas turned back on at their rental property? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
How can the author get gas turned back on at their rental property?
Me and my partner have lived in this rented property for well over 3 years. When we first moved in, we setup our registered meter with a gas supplier and have not had any issues with that until now. Shortly after we first moved in, a different energy supplier started sending us letters about a debt for a meter number that didn't match our one. We contacted this supplier a few times. Their answer was always that the letters are an error, the meter number is not ours, and we would stop receiving letters. After multiple communications, the letters never stopped, so we just started throwing the letters away with the rest of the junk post. A month ago, I came back from work to discover someone had been in the property while we were out. There was now a smart meter next to our boiler with credit ticking down and an accompanying letter. I immediately contacted the number on this letter: a locksmith had been hired to let somebody into the flat to drop off this digital meter. In the coming days, me and my partner investigate and find out that the meters were registered to the wrong addresses, and we have been paying for someone else's gas for over 3 years. The new pay-as-you-go meter has indeed been installed on our gas line. We contacted the energy company that installed the new meter and explained the situation. After hours on the phone, they finally let us lodge a complaint with them and promised us that we should not have an issue with the gas supply in the meantime. However, after the emergency credit ran out on the meter, the gas has been switched off. The energy company has since said that we need to setup an account with them before they can switch the gas back on. However neither we or them can setup an account because the meter is not registered to our address. Their conclusion is that they cannot provide us with any gas until the complaints department has sorted everything out, but we are receiving no response from the complaints department. How do we get out of this mess? All we want to do is pay for and get gas, not have to live off microwaved pasta and be wrapped in a million blankets this Winter.

Christina Mckeane

6th October 2021

+736

739 upvotes

Top Answer
If the meter is in PAYG mode, can you go buy some credit at the corner shop to top it up?

Patti Marks

3rd February 2022

+68

71 upvotes

You can try contacting [OFGEM]( https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/making-complaint-about-your-energy-supplier-or-network-operator) who are the regulators

Herbert Maggio

3rd February 2022

+27

30 upvotes

Have you spoken to the energy company that you have been paying? I would phone their ‘no gas’ emergency line, they have to send out an engineer to replace a non working meter within hours, even at the weekend. Admittedly it’s an odd situation, but if you have been paying for the usage on the meter removed, and it sounds like the people fitting the payg meter didn’t verify they were removing a meter with the correct serial number?

Maude Durant

3rd February 2022

+360

363 upvotes

As you're renting this property you need to involve the landlord and/ or agent. The account/ supplier is your concern but the meter/ gas line is not your responsibility and from the sound of they have already been involved by providing keys to an engineer. You can show that you've paid for gas in good faith and presumably based on information you were given when you moved in.

Louie Orio

3rd February 2022

It might not help, and it's not the same type of service, but I had a nightmare with TalkTalk and BT and the complaints teams were not much help. I used one of those 'CEO Finder' sites to get the CEO email addresses for both BT and TalkTalk and made my complaint direct to them. Of course neither replied, but I did get a senior complaint handler - with direct email and contact numbers - allocated to me by both the next day, which then led to the issue being resolved. It could be worth looking up the energy company CEO and emailing them? Otherwise you have to wait 8 weeks for your energy supplier to issue their final response to your complaint (or fail to deliver one). Hope you can get it sorted.

Neil Bowers

3rd February 2022

+42

45 upvotes

Contact your M.P and the Ombudsmen asap. The company are able to add credit to the payg meter from their end.If they know they have messed up, tell them to add credit themselves to the meter for now. It will look worse of them if they dont.

Donald Powell

3rd February 2022

+132

135 upvotes

Citizens Advice have a team called the Extra Help Unit who deal with complex energy queries. You have to get referred into them, you can't contact them directly, but [here's how to get a referral ](https://ehu.org.uk/advice-for-you/how-get-advice)

Sonja Murphy

3rd February 2022

+179

182 upvotes

I am a complaint manager for an energy company. Set up an account right now. Get the pay as you go card numbers and top the meter up. You won't pay an exit fee anyway with it being a pay as you go account. Then deal with the complaint.

Jessie Roselli

3rd February 2022

You could try to phone the gas emergency number, 0800 111999. Ask them for help, explain the situation, and they may be able to do an emergency meter exchange.

Lisa Alvarez

3rd February 2022

+10

13 upvotes

I think this is a lot more simple than you think You have a contract with a company to supply you with gas, linked to a meter on your line and verified by the serial number of the meter (company A) Another company claims they are supplying you with gas and due to repeated failure to pay their bills, gets a warrant to enter your property, remove the old meter and install a pre pay meter (company B) Company A claims you have been paying for someone else's gas but if they have been receiving your meter readings, that is not correct. They have allocated them to the wrong account. If they have been making you pay other people's meter readings, they have failed to deliver a proper bill and are at fault. You have no contract with company B. How have they calculated the amount you owe if you have been giving meter readings to another company? Sounds like fraudulent/negligent billing practices to me. Company B has entered your property, causing damage and stolen someone else's property (the meter), which presumably belongs to company A. Your next steps need to be: 1. Contact company A needs to allocate your payments to the correct account or send you a proper bill or refund you including interest and look to offer you compensation for breach of the contract 2. Contact company B, you have a contact with another supplier, how have they calculated the amounts you owe? How did they gain access? What have they done with the missing property? 3. Contact your landlord, explain the damage, you will be contacting the police, the landlord's insurers will likely need s crime reference number and contact details for all parties 4. Contact the police, report a crime - likely criminal damage and potential theft 5. Contact your MP and Councillor, as well as citizens advice and all other charities/organisations mentioned above Tell company A the meter is removed, tell them they need to start speaking to company B. Tell both companies all of these steps you'll be taking. Tell everyone everything, give them all details, ask for confirmation by email of everything you tell them

Norma Santiago

3rd February 2022

+18

21 upvotes

NAL but had worked with Scottish Power as a SME specialist when I was in Uni. Honestly, at this stage your next steps is to get in touch with the Ombudsman as they have failed at every avenue . I would get in touch with a lawyer to claim against them for a number of factors which one of the lawyers here would be able to advise on. But first step is the ombudsman [here](https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy). This will provide you with necessary steps and action to take.