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Topic: British Gas bugging us  (Read 345 times)

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British Gas bugging us
« on: March 05, 2019, 02:40:35 PM »
Since moving into our flat a few months ago, British Gas has been calling and texting me, wanting to change our meter to a new smart meter.  I've explained to them that we live in a flat, and that they need to discuss this with our landlord.  But they keep saying, "No, it's you we need to go through."  I honestly can't be arsed to change the meter, and I don't want to bother the landlord with this. 

Should I just stop answering their calls?  Or is this something that we actually need to have done?


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 02:52:28 PM »
Since moving into our flat a few months ago, British Gas has been calling and texting me, wanting to change our meter to a new smart meter.  I've explained to them that we live in a flat, and that they need to discuss this with our landlord.  But they keep saying, "No, it's you we need to go through."  I honestly can't be arsed to change the meter, and I don't want to bother the landlord with this. 

Should I just stop answering their calls?  Or is this something that we actually need to have done?

They can't force anyone to have a smart meter but the companies put a lot of pressure on because they have quotas to meet.

My company asked me two or three times after which I made an official complaint that they were harassing me (I said categorically, NO, the first time and that should have been the end of it) and I've been left alone since.

March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 02:59:12 PM »
They can't force anyone to have a smart meter but the companies put a lot of pressure on because they have quotas to meet.

My company asked me two or three times after which I made an official complaint that they were harassing me (I said categorically, NO, the first time and that should have been the end of it) and I've been left alone since.



Looks like I can stop answering their calls, then.  ;)  (Do they really think I'm gonna change the meter without asking my landlord?  Lol.)


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 03:53:18 PM »
I have read that there are "issues" surrounding smart meters. I like the idea of them, but like to let technology "settle" a bit before diving in.

Apparently there are two different kinds, or something. So switching providers is supposedly troublesome. And given that, for some crazy reason, staying with a company for a while is seemingly penalised, why cut down options.

/scanned an article a month or so ago in a waiting room. Jimbo or Denis will probably barge in soon and correct me.
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 07:09:31 PM »
I have read that there are "issues" surrounding smart meters. I like the idea of them, but like to let technology "settle" a bit before diving in.

Apparently there are two different kinds, or something. So switching providers is supposedly troublesome. And given that, for some crazy reason, staying with a company for a while is seemingly penalised, why cut down options.

/scanned an article a month or so ago in a waiting room. Jimbo or Denis will probably barge in soon and correct me.

I can't remember all the details, but I think it boils down to the current "smart"meters are pretty dumb and will stop being smart if you change suppliers.  The next generation will be able to work with all suppliers and I'm not sure if those are actually available yet. 

If you do agree, you will be "bugged" by British Gas in another sense of the word, as they will collect data on you and most likely sell it.  And if you ever commit a murder and claim you were taking a shower at the time, the police will be able to look over the records to prove you wrong.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's actually becoming more common for police to request these records to see who's been at home.

If you feel like being a thorn, simply go the web site and invoke your glorious new "Right to be Forgotten".  That will give British Gas a certain time period (90 days?) to erase every bit of information it holds about you, including any call centers or third parties.  As you can imagine, this is a MASSIVE pita for companies and the fines are high.    I process these kind of requests for my company and it's an absolute nightmare.  Too bad this won't work if you are actually a customer. 


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 09:44:06 PM »
I can't remember all the details, but I think it boils down to the current "smart"meters are pretty dumb and will stop being smart if you change suppliers.  The next generation will be able to work with all suppliers and I'm not sure if those are actually available yet. 

If you do agree, you will be "bugged" by British Gas in another sense of the word, as they will collect data on you and most likely sell it.  And if you ever commit a murder and claim you were taking a shower at the time, the police will be able to look over the records to prove you wrong.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's actually becoming more common for police to request these records to see who's been at home.

If you feel like being a thorn, simply go the web site and invoke your glorious new "Right to be Forgotten".  That will give British Gas a certain time period (90 days?) to erase every bit of information it holds about you, including any call centers or third parties.  As you can imagine, this is a MASSIVE pita for companies and the fines are high.    I process these kind of requests for my company and it's an absolute nightmare.  Too bad this won't work if you are actually a customer. 

Iiiiiiiinteresting.  I think I will just leave things as they are, and stop answering my phone for their number. 


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 10:03:17 PM »
The first gen meters may not work if you switch companies. They haven't, as far as I know, begun to roll out the second gen ones yet.  By "not work" I mean they do not transmit info to the companies. The meters themselves work fine. Ours stopped "working" when we left SSE. The control unit that sits on the table in the hallway still monitors our usage, warns of heavy use, provides a daily/weekly/monthly history on request, and tells us the number of kWhs used. It also provides the meter reading, so I don't have to go digging around in the meter closet with the spiders to get it. Supposedly, eventually they will all contact to a central clearinghouse that will distribute the data to the pertinent companies (I think that's what I read). But the software isn't ready yet that would allow the first gen meters to be polled remotely. I'm not holding my breath on it happening in the next year, or two even. But I do like the convenience of being able to track my usage and get meter "reads" off the table-top control device.

Not sure if this is correct or not, but was under the impression that the gas/electric companies actually own the meters, not the landlords.


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 10:03:39 PM »
In Scotland at least,  you don't need the landlords approval to change suppliers or meters. However, I still think it is a good idea to at let them know your intentions.

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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2019, 08:10:26 AM »
I receive cards in the post urging me to book a technician "Now in the area!" to come install a smart meter for me.  Those cards go straight to recycling without a second thought.

I don't want a smart anything.  I'm not planning to commit any murders, but if I ever do one, I'd like my home to be my alibi, not a rat.

But I have an out.  If They ever show up at my door with smart meter in hand, I'll just tell them to use their mobile to phone their boss and if Bossman says I have to have it, I'll let them put it in (if I legally have to*).  We have no mobile signal here, so the technician will never reach Bossman, and that'll be the end of it.   The smart meter won't be able to communicate with the mother ship, so they'll give up on me.  :)

* Under current law, you have the right to reject smart meters.  Do not let them bully you.  If you want one, have it.  But if you don't want one, you can say no.
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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 10:26:47 AM »
Since the meters use mobile signals, if you haven't got any, you can't really have a smart meter. So you're safe!


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 10:38:43 AM »
Since the meters use mobile signals, if you haven't got any, you can't really have a smart meter. So you're safe!

Yup.  No corporation will spy on me!  ;)
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: British Gas bugging us
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2019, 03:42:23 PM »
You can write them a "cease and desist" letter using a template you can find online. It will warn them that if they continue to contact you needlessly, they are breaking the law. It sometimes works. Otherwise, just block them.


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