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#146561 - 01/24/07 07:18 AM Supplier problems
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
That's not the supplier as in the local DNO (Distribution Network Operator), but the supplier as in the company which is being paid for power and which has responsibility for metering and billing.

This is not Powergen, which is the default billing company for anyone in this area who has never opted for another supplier. The place in question had already changed to an alternate company a few years ago.

Ever since I finished the rewire in the store pictured recently in the violations forum I've been trying to arrange with the supplier for changeover of tails and isolation of the old, redundant equipment. It took a couple of hours the first day trying to reach the right department, being given various phone numbers and speaking to who-knows-how-many people, each of whom seemed to think that it wasn't his department (that's not to mention the usual tedious menus: "Press 1 if you want to transfer your business to us, press 2 if you are moving to Mars" etc.).

I eventually got transferred through to "Metering & connections." Getting an answer on that line is a job in itself. Either that or it's busy for hours on end. After finally speaking to somebody and explaining what was needed, he told me that their connections team in this area is very small and busy, so he'd have to get back to me. Within 72 hours.

The 3-day period came and went by which time it was the weekend. I tried calling "connections" again several times on Monday -- Lots of ringing, but no answering.

I finally did receive a call yesterday (Tuesday), but unfortunately I was out at the time and missed it. At least I had a direct-line to call back on now. Tried several times yesterday, again either busy for hours on end or no answer.

I eventually got through this morning on the umpteenth try, explained the situation yet again, and was told that their procedure now is to send out a letter quoting the price for the work and that they require payment before booking the job. The price quoted for this simple job is also £199.

This is the first time I've ever had to deal with this supplier, and I'm not at all impressed. The name? British Gas Business.

Anyone else in the U.K. had experience of dealing with them?

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#146562 - 01/24/07 10:34 AM Re: Supplier problems
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
It sounds like Auckland.
We have the same shamble over here with all the splitup between old POCO's and metering companies.
Everybody seems to be very good in providing useless numbers and you (the customer) can repeat the story over and over again.
Bureaucracys who have absolutely no clue what is going on !!
I am aware of CT sites with 5 Amp metering, which run at nearly 10 Amps and MDI pointers of the scale. doesn't get picked up in the billing by the people with no knowledge of metering parameters and maxima.
Best remedy, pull the pole fuse, service fuse yourself, get the job done, leave the existing metering on site and put that back in place when finished.
Nobody seems to care with this so called de- regulation.
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#146563 - 02/25/07 04:53 PM Re: Supplier problems
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Finally had the Siemens guy (sub-contracted from British Gas) show up to do the job last Thursday (February 22).

He actually called me at home from the place to check what needed to be done because the message he'd received from British Gas was, to use his own words, "somewhat garbled," and he wasn't sure if he was supposed to be leaving the place with a 3-phase supply or converting to single-phase.

This is the first time I've had to arrange any metering/connection change with British Gas. If I get another job which involves them, I think I'm just going to rip the seals off, make the connections myself and tell 'em to come and reseal if they ever feel like it.

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#146564 - 02/26/07 02:30 PM Re: Supplier problems
uksparx Offline
Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Egremont,Cumbria,UK
Yes - that's how it goes with British Gas, or at least that is my experience of them. I had one customer waiting 18months with a temporary connection through his old consumer unit! In the end I did exactly what you thought of, that is pulled the service fuse and did the job myself. I then told BG what I had done through sheer frustration - next day got a letter telling how it was a criminal offence to do what I'd done!!! If they got their act together it wouldn't get to this.
Dave

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#146565 - 02/26/07 11:01 PM Re: Supplier problems
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
It is interesting to note that in the UK the gascompanies seem to run the electricity metering business, Why !

In NZ we have the same, the metering business is run by the NGC, Natural Gas Corporation.

All the field work is contracted out to different contracting companies with long waiting times to get anything done.

It is time we go back to the old POCO's when everything was done in house with a lot better service. Also the load control, Hotwater, (restricted supplies) with cheaper tariffs, no one seem to check if these conditions apply on certain metering points.
_________________________
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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#146566 - 03/02/07 09:53 AM Re: Supplier problems
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
I had one customer waiting 18months with a temporary connection through his old consumer unit!


18 months?! That's ridiculous! I thought the time this job spent with the new tails Henley-Blocked to a temporary 30A feed from the old unit was bad enough.

 Quote:
next day got a letter telling how it was a criminal offence to do what I'd done!!!

That's something I wondered about. Is it actually a criminal offense? If so, what? Obvioulsy breaking seals to tap in ahead of the meter would be the old "abstraction of electricity" charge, but if there is no attempt to defraud, what exactly would the offense be?

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#146567 - 03/03/07 06:21 AM Re: Supplier problems
TeesdaleSparkUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 20
Loc: England
I don't think it's a criminal offence but it appears to be a civil one:
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20022665.htm#25

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#146568 - 03/04/07 12:33 AM Re: Supplier problems
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
 Quote:
No person shall make or alter a connection from a distributor's network to a consumer's installation, a street electrical fixture or to another distributor's network without that distributor's consent, unless such consent has been unreasonably withheld.


My italics.

I would say that an 18 month delay in responding is 'unreasonably held consent' and that the Courts would find that no offence had occurred.

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#146569 - 03/04/07 08:28 AM Re: Supplier problems
TeesdaleSparkUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 20
Loc: England
I have no qualms about pulling the fuse myself. As an electrician I have been sent to jobs where I have had a choice of breaking the seals and pulling the fuse or working live. No job is worth risking your life for and I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for removing the fuse.

[This message has been edited by TeesdaleSparkUK (edited 03-04-2007).]

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#146570 - 03/06/07 05:35 AM Re: Supplier problems
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Criminal or civil, if I get another job where the customer is paying British Gas and I just need to change tails over, the seals are coming off and they can rant and argue about it later!

This one was a little more complicated. You can see what was there previously in the first two pictures in this thread . The meter has now been replaced with a single-phase type which has an integral Economy 7 contactor.

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