British gas

‘Broken France’ feels much healthier than Britain

Some business stories are useful economic signals, some are not. For example, I’m not building any hopes on news that Ferrari sales are up 15 per cent thanks to buyers demanding ‘cashmere and corduroy’ interiors. Indicative of greater realism among the very rich is the statistic that superyacht sales are down by a third following a spectacular two-year boom. And far more worrying are other maritime bulletins, one from the Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Mærsk, the other from the fiefdom of the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. Maersk has downgraded its forecast for global container demand this year to a fall of 1 to 4 per cent, on the basis

My battle with British Gas

By the time I got through to someone at British Gas to complain about them holding £491 of my money in credit, they were holding £924. This was made up of £858 of my own money plus £66 from the government support scheme, the first instalment of which had just hit my account. So there it was, nearly a thousand pounds sitting there, doing nothing, and the builder boyfriend and I were agonising over whether we could afford to go to West Byfleet for a kebab. British Gas had emailed me to inform me that it was giving me this £66 a month. And I had emailed back to complain

Me and the builder boyfriend are going to go without hot water

‘I’d like my money back please’ was what I was waiting to tell British Gas, if they ever stopped the deafening rock music of their recorded hold message to answer the phone. My account was £490 in credit, like it was a savings account. Only it wasn’t a savings account for me, and now energy prices are going up beyond all reason, I’m not going to be so relaxed about these matters. I want my 500 quid back. They have been over-estimating my usage for too long, despite me diligently giving them my meter readings. The £2,500 cap announced by the Prime Minister doesn’t mean a damn for me, because

British Gas has turned the builder boyfriend into a socialist

A cleverly worded email has arrived from British Gas to explain why, despite the Prime Minister’s announcement, my gas and electricity is going to rise to £3,761.60 a year. When I say this email was well worded, I mean it was a master class in stating the indefensible while making it appear reasonable. You could tell that what they had wanted to type was: ‘Listen here, Missy. That Liz Truss might have told you she’s capping energy prices but we are here to tell you it will be a cold day in hell before that happens. (Leaving hell aside, which we are trying to work up a new tariff for,

A boiler service – spaghetti western-style

The British Gas engineers arrived in convoy, and the dust from their tyres flew into the air as they came down the track. If this boiler service had a theme tune it would be Ennio Morricone’s ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. The engineers parked up and got out of their vans in a cloud of dust. One was tall and lean, a good enough ringer for Clint Eastwood, given the circumstances, while the other was short and stout, making an ideal supporting character. They strode towards my house grim-faced and I opened the door. ‘Gosh, you’ve come mob-handed,’ I said, and Clint nodded. The little fella looked scared.

In praise of bots

British Gas finally agreed to service my boiler, for no reason I could make out other than the boiler wasn’t new any more. All the while it was new, they refused to go anywhere near it. The majestic Worcester Bosch was installed four years ago as I began my renovations, egged on by the builder boyfriend’s bold assurances about the king of combination boilers. When I rang and asked to take out a Homecare agreement on it, I was expecting them to jump at the chance of what would surely be money for old rope. It was hardly going to break down any time soon, or ever, according to the