Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Unacceptable service on quote for connection upgrade

Copy of e-mail to British Gas Connections :

Customer Ref. # xyz and uvw

In preparation for taking possession of a commercial property to install and run a small brewery, I asked British Gas (BG) to quote on upgrading the existing supply, as we needed greater capacity than currently available. I received a quote on 25/06/2009 for £-,---.91; I determined that the dig could be done more cheaply, and asked for another quote solely for connection and meter upgrade - i.e. without the groundwork.

This second quote was requested in September. I repeatedly called the BG project manager but there was no answer and the message box was full; when I spoke to a colleague, I was assured that the quote would be delivered.

On 2nd December I spoke to a person presented as a manager of the connections team, and he personally assured me that the quote would be delivered by the end of the week.

The quote was delivered 15th December. Unfortunately it is on exactly the same basis as the original quote (i.e. my request for a quote excluding groundworks was ignored), but at the higher price of £-,---.66.

Effectively BG has taken 6 months to tell me that connections costs have risen by 5%; this is farcical, as well as worrying for Mr. Darling - his budget does not seem to have accounted for inflation at 10%. For reasons beyond our control, we have been delayed in business start-up; otherwise, this appalling service from BG would have effectively put us out of business, as gas is a critical utility for the brewery.

With this degree of difficulty in merely obtaining a quote, I dread the prospect of actually having connections work done, let alone the continuing service and billing. There is now little prospect of us taking up British Gas as a supplier, much to the relief of my commercial neighbours - I note this "Special Feature" of the proposed work :

"The top surface material on private property is not reinstated to a permanent standard but is reinstated with a temporary material."

Coincidentally, I had a gentleman around trying to sell me domestic gas and electricity service from British Gas; I think he is now a little peeved with your business service for queering the pitch for his residential customer prospects.

cc: http://blog.tattonbrewery.co.uk

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