Great-great grandmother hit with gas bill - even though she doesn't have gas

This Is Lancashire: Beatrice Burke with her bill for having a gas meter Beatrice Burke with her bill for having a gas meter

A GREAT-great grandmother has been billed for her gas meter — despite not having any gas in her home.

Beatrice Burke was amazed when she received the bill for £13.52 from British Gas for having the gas meter in her kitchen.

The furious 89-year-old, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Little Lever, has not had gas appliances in her home since she moved in in August, 2011.

But she is being billed simply for having the meter — a new charge introduced by British Gas in November last year.

Mrs Burke, a retired nurse, said: “I don’t use the meter, it’s obsolete, it doesn’t work. They always used to read the meter and say I didn’t have to pay anything for gas.

“When I found out I’d be charged for having the meter, I was very angry.

“I think it’s greed. Don’t these gas companies make enough profits? I can’t believe it, it’s incredible — I’ve never known anything like that.”

Until the meter is removed Mrs Burke will be charged 26p per day.

Mrs Burke’s daughter, Rosemarie Simmins, a 64-year-old retired commercial manager, said: “When I mentioned that my mum’s gas meter didn’t work, I was told it was okay, she wouldn’t have to pay a bill.

“My mum might be an old age pensioner, but she’s got her wits about her. She’s said she’s not paying for it and why should she?

“I’m just disgusted and I think this is immoral.” British Gas insists the 26p daily standard charge is to cover the costs of providing energy to a home and is applied on a daily basis.

A spokesman said: “We’ve done this so our customers can better understand and compare tariffs. We have spoken with Mrs Burke and explained how the standing charge works and will be removing the meter on Mrs Burke’s request.”

Comments (26)

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6:38am Tue 28 Jan 14

GrumpyB says...

Good old british gas... Let them take you to court sit and smile politely then tell them your charging them for storage of the gas meter since you moved in 2011 as you made it perfectly clear you dont use gas... Unfortunately my dear these energy companies are like our politicians GREEDY... FACT!!!! And they dont care for the elderly which is clear to see as they dont even care about the youth of today... Unless you got wads of ££££ your a bottom feeder yet its people like yourself that made it possible for young men like ourselves.
Good old british gas... Let them take you to court sit and smile politely then tell them your charging them for storage of the gas meter since you moved in 2011 as you made it perfectly clear you dont use gas... Unfortunately my dear these energy companies are like our politicians GREEDY... FACT!!!! And they dont care for the elderly which is clear to see as they dont even care about the youth of today... Unless you got wads of ££££ your a bottom feeder yet its people like yourself that made it possible for young men like ourselves. GrumpyB
  • Score: 29

6:57am Tue 28 Jan 14

M.I.B. says...

Gotta pay for them bumper bonuses somehow
Gotta pay for them bumper bonuses somehow M.I.B.
  • Score: 15

7:04am Tue 28 Jan 14

limey redneck says...

TELL THEM TO TAKE IT OUT SHOVE IT UP THEIR BACKSIDES AND CAP THE LINE.
TELL THEM TO TAKE IT OUT SHOVE IT UP THEIR BACKSIDES AND CAP THE LINE. limey redneck
  • Score: 21

8:16am Tue 28 Jan 14

cosmicma says...

a close pensioner friend of mine found the exact same thing out as the pensioner in the report and has no gas appliances they hid the notification of the new standing charge in the small print of a standard bill some time last year after having no standing charge for years
he has now changed suppliers from British gas to EBIco who have no standing charges at this moment

well done British gas you really do know how to keep your customers
a close pensioner friend of mine found the exact same thing out as the pensioner in the report and has no gas appliances they hid the notification of the new standing charge in the small print of a standard bill some time last year after having no standing charge for years he has now changed suppliers from British gas to EBIco who have no standing charges at this moment well done British gas you really do know how to keep your customers cosmicma
  • Score: 16

8:25am Tue 28 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

If you have been given incorrect information by an employee of the lousy British Gas, then they should stand the cost. The money isn't a large sum, but neither is it the actual issue in this case. It's the principal, and BG, like all other big outfits, have absolutely no moral compass.

They will dream up any old crap, change terms and conditions at randon just to fleece the most they can from customers. The government, and not just the present set of useless buffoons trying to run the country, are to blame for letting big business bully ordinary hard working and retired people into being fleeced.

As I have stated, no morals whatsoever from these big utility companies, so long as they can chase every last pence out of people regardless of tactics.

A complete and utter shower or greedy 8a5tards .
If you have been given incorrect information by an employee of the lousy British Gas, then they should stand the cost. The money isn't a large sum, but neither is it the actual issue in this case. It's the principal, and BG, like all other big outfits, have absolutely no moral compass. They will dream up any old crap, change terms and conditions at randon just to fleece the most they can from customers. The government, and not just the present set of useless buffoons trying to run the country, are to blame for letting big business bully ordinary hard working and retired people into being fleeced. As I have stated, no morals whatsoever from these big utility companies, so long as they can chase every last pence out of people regardless of tactics. A complete and utter shower or greedy 8a5tards . wsw69
  • Score: 17

8:53am Tue 28 Jan 14

danssoncabaret says...

Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it!
Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it! danssoncabaret
  • Score: -18

9:58am Tue 28 Jan 14

Gore Seer says...

I Heard It Is Government That Have Told Companies To Force Charge For Meters Not In Use.
I Heard It Is Government That Have Told Companies To Force Charge For Meters Not In Use. Gore Seer
  • Score: -3

10:25am Tue 28 Jan 14

danssoncabaret says...

Gore Seer wrote:
I Heard It Is Government That Have Told Companies To Force Charge For Meters Not In Use.
You made that up!
[quote][p][bold]Gore Seer[/bold] wrote: I Heard It Is Government That Have Told Companies To Force Charge For Meters Not In Use.[/p][/quote]You made that up! danssoncabaret
  • Score: 10

11:46am Tue 28 Jan 14

stylist666 says...

Why should my great grandmothers her pay for this bill when she has never used gas in her home some of you on here need to rethink about tour opinions before you speak about an elderly woman does it look like she's sitting there proudly with her bill in her hand no she's disgusted. One day this will happen to you and i hope you remember this report about mrs burke (my great grandmother) and say to your self you know she was right why should i pay for something in not using?
Why should my great grandmothers her pay for this bill when she has never used gas in her home some of you on here need to rethink about tour opinions before you speak about an elderly woman does it look like she's sitting there proudly with her bill in her hand no she's disgusted. One day this will happen to you and i hope you remember this report about mrs burke (my great grandmother) and say to your self you know she was right why should i pay for something in not using? stylist666
  • Score: 5

12:03pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Donkey Stone says...

Greedy B******S like all large companies. They should be charged for bothering this lady.
Greedy B******S like all large companies. They should be charged for bothering this lady. Donkey Stone
  • Score: 4

12:32pm Tue 28 Jan 14

danssoncabaret says...

Mrs Burke’s daughter, Rosemarie Simmins, a 64-year-old retired commercial manager, said: “When I mentioned that my mum’s gas meter didn’t work, I was told it was okay, she wouldn’t have to pay a bill................
... All's well that ends well.
Mrs Burke’s daughter, Rosemarie Simmins, a 64-year-old retired commercial manager, said: “When I mentioned that my mum’s gas meter didn’t work, I was told it was okay, she wouldn’t have to pay a bill................ ... All's well that ends well. danssoncabaret
  • Score: -4

1:03pm Tue 28 Jan 14

cliff4treasurer says...

How did she know it didn't work if there was no gas appliances in the house?
How did she know it didn't work if there was no gas appliances in the house? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Tue 28 Jan 14

cliff4treasurer says...

Tell them that will have to take her to court and they will back down but her name will probably end up on the bad debtors list so when she applies for a mortgage or car loan she will be refused!

As I said tell them "I aint paying".
Tell them that will have to take her to court and they will back down but her name will probably end up on the bad debtors list so when she applies for a mortgage or car loan she will be refused! As I said tell them "I aint paying". cliff4treasurer
  • Score: -3

3:10pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

Charge British Gas storage for the meter,

£100 a month until they remove it.
Charge British Gas storage for the meter, £100 a month until they remove it. Jim271
  • Score: 7

6:18pm Tue 28 Jan 14

boltonnut says...

Stick to your guns beatrice, let them take you to court and embarass themselves, (if that's possible).You will become a celeb.a fighter of injustice.I wish you all the best sweetheart.









eatrice
Stick to your guns beatrice, let them take you to court and embarass themselves, (if that's possible).You will become a celeb.a fighter of injustice.I wish you all the best sweetheart. eatrice boltonnut
  • Score: 3

9:21pm Tue 28 Jan 14

lindlandl says...

It is irrelevant what a utility company has in their small print. If someone does not use any gas at all then they are not being supplied with gas, whether or not they have a gas meter on their premises. If they are not being supplied with gas they do not have a contract for the supply of gas so the utility company cannot charge for anything that they are not contacted to supply. They can ask for the money but, legally, have to back down if the householder questions it, which is why they told the lady's daughter that her mother didn't have to pay the bill. They are happy to just rake in money they are not entitled to from those who assume they have to pay if they get a bill. It is also common practice amongst utility companies to not automatically refund any credit customers have accrued at the point of switching supplier. A specific application for the money often has to be made and customers often have to be quite persistent over extended periods if time in order to get their money back.
It is irrelevant what a utility company has in their small print. If someone does not use any gas at all then they are not being supplied with gas, whether or not they have a gas meter on their premises. If they are not being supplied with gas they do not have a contract for the supply of gas so the utility company cannot charge for anything that they are not contacted to supply. They can ask for the money but, legally, have to back down if the householder questions it, which is why they told the lady's daughter that her mother didn't have to pay the bill. They are happy to just rake in money they are not entitled to from those who assume they have to pay if they get a bill. It is also common practice amongst utility companies to not automatically refund any credit customers have accrued at the point of switching supplier. A specific application for the money often has to be made and customers often have to be quite persistent over extended periods if time in order to get their money back. lindlandl
  • Score: 3

11:01pm Tue 28 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

danssoncabaret wrote:
Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it!
You really come across of a tool - shut up!!!
[quote][p][bold]danssoncabaret[/bold] wrote: Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it![/p][/quote]You really come across of a tool - shut up!!! wsw69
  • Score: 0

12:24am Wed 29 Jan 14

danssoncabaret says...

wsw69 wrote:
danssoncabaret wrote:
Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it!
You really come across of a tool - shut up!!!
What is across of a tool mean?
[quote][p][bold]wsw69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]danssoncabaret[/bold] wrote: Sounds like a bit of a fiasco to me. Doesn't anyone laugh any more? It's an obvious mistake. No harm done, just something else to moan about, get over it![/p][/quote]You really come across of a tool - shut up!!![/p][/quote]What is across of a tool mean? danssoncabaret
  • Score: 1

12:42am Wed 29 Jan 14

Disfor says...

Visiting the ofgem website will show that it is a regulatory requirement for all energy tariffs to include a standing charge and a unit rate as part of the current Retail market review which is taking place!! If a gas meter is at a property, but the resident chooses not to use gas they need to get the meter capped or removed, therefore in this case the energy company has done nothing wrong and a letter would have been sent to explain the tariff structure when the tariffs changed!!
Visiting the ofgem website will show that it is a regulatory requirement for all energy tariffs to include a standing charge and a unit rate as part of the current Retail market review which is taking place!! If a gas meter is at a property, but the resident chooses not to use gas they need to get the meter capped or removed, therefore in this case the energy company has done nothing wrong and a letter would have been sent to explain the tariff structure when the tariffs changed!! Disfor
  • Score: 0

10:29am Wed 29 Jan 14

Gore Seer says...

If Capped You Pay, The Meter Must Be Move Out, And They Do Not Send Explanations To Customers.
If Capped You Pay, The Meter Must Be Move Out, And They Do Not Send Explanations To Customers. Gore Seer
  • Score: -1

10:53am Wed 29 Jan 14

RosemarieSimmins says...

I would like to correct some errors in reporting this article which has led to one or two of these comments particularly from danssoncabaret.

I have not spoken to British Gas regarding the Gas Meter and whether or not it "works" since my mother moved into the premises over 2 years ago. My ACTUAL comment to the Gas company was "The meter is not required as my mother does not use gas and the meter is not connected therefore she would like it removed". I was then advised that this would not be a problem as my mother would not be charged and therefore there was no need to remove the meter. British Gas HAVE NOT said that my mother does not need to pay this bill, they have said that the bill HAS TO be paid.
Far from "Problem solved" this problem is very much alive not just for my mother but for many other people in the same or similar positions.
I would like to correct some errors in reporting this article which has led to one or two of these comments particularly from danssoncabaret. I have not spoken to British Gas regarding the Gas Meter and whether or not it "works" since my mother moved into the premises over 2 years ago. My ACTUAL comment to the Gas company was "The meter is not required as my mother does not use gas and the meter is not connected therefore she would like it removed". I was then advised that this would not be a problem as my mother would not be charged and therefore there was no need to remove the meter. British Gas HAVE NOT said that my mother does not need to pay this bill, they have said that the bill HAS TO be paid. Far from "Problem solved" this problem is very much alive not just for my mother but for many other people in the same or similar positions. RosemarieSimmins
  • Score: 0

10:59am Wed 29 Jan 14

RosemarieSimmins says...

Disfor wrote:
Visiting the ofgem website will show that it is a regulatory requirement for all energy tariffs to include a standing charge and a unit rate as part of the current Retail market review which is taking place!! If a gas meter is at a property, but the resident chooses not to use gas they need to get the meter capped or removed, therefore in this case the energy company has done nothing wrong and a letter would have been sent to explain the tariff structure when the tariffs changed!!
This resident requested this meter be moved two years ago and was advised it was unnecessary. No letters were sent out to say policy or tariffs had changed and this resident is informed by BG that the meter cannot now be removed until end March very nicely for them resulting in charges for another Qtr.
[quote][p][bold]Disfor[/bold] wrote: Visiting the ofgem website will show that it is a regulatory requirement for all energy tariffs to include a standing charge and a unit rate as part of the current Retail market review which is taking place!! If a gas meter is at a property, but the resident chooses not to use gas they need to get the meter capped or removed, therefore in this case the energy company has done nothing wrong and a letter would have been sent to explain the tariff structure when the tariffs changed!![/p][/quote]This resident requested this meter be moved two years ago and was advised it was unnecessary. No letters were sent out to say policy or tariffs had changed and this resident is informed by BG that the meter cannot now be removed until end March very nicely for them resulting in charges for another Qtr. RosemarieSimmins
  • Score: 1

11:36am Wed 29 Jan 14

RosemarieSimmins says...

I am happy to advise that I have now been back in touch with British Gas and I have been advised that my mothers bill will be credited and she will not be charged for the next Qtr.

Many thanks to you all for your support and comments and thanks to Bolton News for reporting on this issue.
I am happy to advise that I have now been back in touch with British Gas and I have been advised that my mothers bill will be credited and she will not be charged for the next Qtr. Many thanks to you all for your support and comments and thanks to Bolton News for reporting on this issue. RosemarieSimmins
  • Score: 2

2:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14

stylist666 says...

boltonnut wrote:
Stick to your guns beatrice, let them take you to court and embarass themselves, (if that's possible).You will become a celeb.a fighter of injustice.I wish you all the best sweetheart.









eatrice
Love this comment thank you for your support for my dear great grandmother
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: Stick to your guns beatrice, let them take you to court and embarass themselves, (if that's possible).You will become a celeb.a fighter of injustice.I wish you all the best sweetheart. eatrice[/p][/quote]Love this comment thank you for your support for my dear great grandmother stylist666
  • Score: 1

5:00pm Wed 29 Jan 14

MrBenggo says...

Lets hear from the 7% who voted "yes" you should pay for having a meter but no gas.
Lets hear from the 7% who voted "yes" you should pay for having a meter but no gas. MrBenggo
  • Score: 1

12:17pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Gazmac says...

You are not alone, I have just received a bill for 19.98 out of the blue. I have never used any gas since moving here 3 years ago. I was not made aware of any standing charges being applied to my redundant Gas meter. How many thousands of people are/have been ripped off by the big six ????? . After talking to a manager at BG the charge has been dropped for last quarter. I have also contacted EBICO who are now going to be my supplier for Gas and electric (NO standing charges) Don't let these people get away with it, if you've been charged ring them up and ask to speak to a manager and DONT let them fob you off with waffle and change your supplier !
You are not alone, I have just received a bill for 19.98 out of the blue. I have never used any gas since moving here 3 years ago. I was not made aware of any standing charges being applied to my redundant Gas meter. How many thousands of people are/have been ripped off by the big six ????? . After talking to a manager at BG the charge has been dropped for last quarter. I have also contacted EBICO who are now going to be my supplier for Gas and electric (NO standing charges) Don't let these people get away with it, if you've been charged ring them up and ask to speak to a manager and DONT let them fob you off with waffle and change your supplier ! Gazmac
  • Score: 2

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