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.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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