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  1. Published on: 28/07/2022 04:34 PMReported by: editor
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    A few weeks ago I phoned British Gas with a query and got put through to their customer service department in South Africa, writes Southport journalist Martin Hovden.

    Throughout my conversation, all I could hear was loud laughter and giggling. I told the young man I thought that was very unprofessional and he apologised.

    Two weeks ago I spoke to another British Gas member of staff about setting up a new direct debit in view of the forthcoming price increase. Although I was horrified at the new amount I’ll have to pay monthly, he was very helpful and patient.

    Then I received an email the other day saying they want to do meter readings, but to save waiting for someone to come to the house I could submit the readings online.

    Fine. I went online and clicked on the links they gave and all that comes up is a blank page, with the message “page uploading”.

    After 20 minutes of the spinning wheel I decided to ring them and after a 12 minute wait I was put through to customer service ... in South Africa.

    I gave the young man the readings. Electric reading was fine, he said, but the gas one came up as error. I checked and I had missed out one number and gave him the correct reading.

    Then followed 15 minutes of mostly silence with the occasional comment by him of the page not uploading properly, or he would try another system but that takes time. After 20 minutes with me having to constantly ask if he was still on the line, I told him he had my phone number and he could phone me back.

    He said OK, adding “I’ll upgrade the problem”, whatever that means. After that I needed a cup of tea.

    The point I make is this: British Gas is going to be inundated with calls from genuinely upset and worried customers when the big price increases hit in the autumn/winter. If the “system” can’t cope with taking meter readings over the phone, that is simply going to add to the anguish and distress of their customers, many of them elderly who are not as computer savvy as the younger generation.

    It has to be sorted.

    PS: I've just emailed British Gas a copy of this article. Within seconds came the response: “Thanks for getting in touch. One of our team will take a look and get back to you. The average time to respond is currently running at 7 days, but in some cases could take up to 21 days....”

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    Your Comments:


  3. MICK/GILLY says:28/07/2022 05:56 PM
    Good luck getting through to British Gas .

  4. libraryguy says:28/07/2022 09:27 PM
    British Gas are hopeless. Look at their reviews on Trustpilot.

    There's no phone number to call and any issues have to be sent via Facebook or Twitter - Erm NO!!!

    I moved to Octopus energy.

  5. Likes daviebaby, ieddy liked this post

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