It\’s Not Just Government

That is beset by idiot bureaucracy.

BG: \’Hello Sir I am a supervisor, we are calling a you for immediate payment of the £627 you owe on your gas account. Do you have a debit or credit card handy?\’

Me: \’Is this regarding (address)?\’

BG: \’Yes sir\’

Me: \’This property burned down in June of this year, as I have informed you at least half a dozen times. So this is for estimated usage yes?\’

8 thoughts on “It\’s Not Just Government”

  1. Pah. Nothing compared to my father-in-law. He lives in a village with no mains gas. BG regularly send demands for payment, followed eventually by an engineer to disconnect them. Oh the hilarity!

  2. Well, that beats my experience of British Gas cashing my cheque then denying that they had done so and sending me threats for non-payment for weeks afterwards.

  3. British Gas proves the rule that it takes a Government to consistently fuck up things on this scale.

    When one argues (as one does) that private companies competing in a free market are the best way to provide a service, the socialist in the conversation will say “but what about British Gas?”. And you know, it’s quite hard to reply to that. Why is British Gas so fucking awful? We all know it’s awful, we’ve all heard the stories, we all know there’s a non-trivial risk that something awful will happen to us, we all have a choice of supplier, so how come they still exist?

    I just don’t get it. They are proof-by-counter-example of the failure of the free market. In the true sense of “prove the rule” (i.e. test the rule) there must something very significant we can learn about free market economics by the continued existence of this corporate coprolite.

  4. Actually I’d say that they are more a good example of how the “free” market often isn’t. Even through many restructurings the UK energy retail and distribution network is only now shedding its history as a protected state owned monopoly.

    The barriers to anyone else entering that market on the sort of scale they’d have to do to compete effectively nationwide are huge. They turned a national public monpoly into a private cartel and it will take another generation of restructuring to enable real competition.

    I’d say energy supply was one of the most protectionist industries with loads of government interference still to be rooted out.

  5. After writing my last comment I just checked with my partner who supplies our gas and electricity. Guess what? British Gas. Bloody Hell.

    Inertia is a powerful force.

    Another powerful force is the Internet and uswitch.com. I am no longer a British Gas customer.

  6. Little Black Sambo

    Once I came back from holiday to find our gas had been cut off. Gas men had been digging up the road & noticed a pipe going towards our house. They looked through the kitchen window and saw a Rayburn, so decided we did not use gas and blocked the pipe. We returned to a cold house in January, the gas-fired Rayburn would not work, so sent for the engineer. It took another week for men to dig up the trench again and connect us. British Gas.

  7. I received an unsolicited letter from British Gas during the Christmas holiday period. It said they would like to visit to inspect my meter on the 31Dec. And then…

    “What happens next
    If we do not hear from you, we will call at your property to inspect your meter on the above date.
    If we’re unable to insepect the meter ont this date, due to our legal obligation we will have no option but to apply to a Magistrate for authority to enter your property to carry out this essential inspection and reading.”

    This is a plain policy of harassment. You can not make appointments by negative feedback.

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