Bri­tish Gas won’t re­turn my money

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I run a very small fam­ily busi­ness. More than six months ago I inad­ver­tently sent a £745 pay­ment elec­tron­i­cally to Bri­tish Gas when it should have gone to the man­age­ment com­pany for a flat we own to set­tle ser­vice charges.

Hav­ing failed in my ef­forts to get my bank to re­trieve the money, I ap­proached Bri­tish Gas. My let­ter was ig­nored so I wrote to its bank, also to no avail.

Even­tu­ally I man­aged to pro­cure “a cus­tomer ser­vice” email ad­dress. I scanned in all the let­ters and had some cheery re­sponses from sev­eral dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

They told me about all the won­der­ful ser­vices pro­vided by Bri­tish Gas and so com­pletely missed the point of my re­quest. LINDA MILLS, SUR­REY

You pro­vided proof that you had paid the money. Then a let­ter au­tho­ris­ing re­pay­ment was re­quested so you wrote one on your com­pany’s headed pa­per.

Then Bri­tish Gas moved the goal­posts and said it needed au­thor­ity from the ac­count holder. The ac­count in fact was con­nected to you but you had only a ref­er­ence for a bill per­tain­ing to past tenants of yours.

To con­firm that you were gen­uine you pro­duced ev­i­dence that you had at­tended the own­ers’ an­nual meet­ing for the prop­erty in ques­tion, that you had paid the ser­vice charges to the man­age­ment com­pany and that you owned the prop­erty. But after that, Bri­tish Gas stopped re­spond­ing.

Only after my in­volve­ment did the com­pany get to the nub of the is­sue and re­turn your mis­di­rected pay­ment at last.

A spokesman said: “When Mrs Mills called us to ex­plain that she had mis­tak­enly paid money into a closed Bri­tish Gas ac­count be­long­ing to a ten­ant, she did not pass our se­cu­rity checks as she was not the ac­count holder.

“We should have car­ried out more checks at the time to ver­ify the pay­ment. We have called her to apol­o­gise for the de­lays and the money is now back in her bank ac­count.”

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