The gas hits the fan

Blue gas flame

This post is related to this post: Mum’s hassles with British Gas.

I spent this evening writing a carefully worded letter to four people:

  1. Mr Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica plc
  2. Mr Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas
  3. Mr Alastair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem Scotland
  4. Mrs Rosalie J Saunders

A word of explanation:

  • #1 is the chief executive of Centrica, the company that owns British Gas — the company that’s causing #4 quite a lot of distress
  • #2 is the managing director of British Gas, the company that’s causing #4 a lot of distress, and that is owned by the company that #1 is the chief executive of
  • #3 is the chief executive of Ofgem, the watchdog that tries to make sure that companies such as that run by #2 (which is owned by the company that #1 is chief executive of) don’t screw over kind, law-abiding ladies such as #4
  • #4 is quite distressed because the company that #2 runs (that’s owned by the company that #1 runs) are sending threatening letters demanding that she pay her bills … even though she’s set up a direct debit with them

Actually, I’ll break out of bullet points to further elaborate on this.

Since August, when Mum moved in, she’s had numerous unpleasant and threatening letters from British Gas. Some are addressed to her personally, some simply to “The Occupier” (even though they know that she owns that flat)

Some letters have the correct address and postcode, others don’t. And there have been no fewer than four customer reference numbers!!

It’s as though British Gas’s left hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing. I’m utterly disgusted by the lack of customer service. And so I’ve written to these people in the hope that it will lead to a resolution of her situation.

I’ve also advised Mum to telephone EnergyWatch and get them involved too.


In the end, everything was eventually sorted out and Mum stopped getting worrying letters. The accounts were sorted out and British Gas apologised.

Thanks to the diligence of whichever British Gas customer services employee finally took my Mum seriously and looked into the details of her case and actioned them… that action alone helped restore my faith in British Gas. That is the power of good customer service; that is good marketing.

Safari 3.0.4 Beta for Windows upgrade?

Screenshot of Safari 3.0.4 Beta

Today I upgraded to the latest version of Safari for Windows, version 3.0.4 Beta.

Unfortunately, for some reason it’s completely unusable. I can’t read any of the menus, and the displayed web pages are corrupt.

I guess that’s what “beta” means, then.


I’ve uninstalled Safari, and then reinstalled 3.0.4 Beta but I still get the same corrupt screens.

I’m back to version 3.0.3 Beta and it’s all working fine, so I guess the problem really must be with the 3.0.4 update. Which is a shame.