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Gas turned out to be so not free

One of my free rides has finally caught up with me. To the tune of £830.

I explained in that post how my gas and electricity service with EDF Energy was switched to British Gas without my active participation. And how I never saw a gas bill afterwards, although an electricity account re-appeared almost immediately after I wrote about having those services for free.

I knew I should have banned British Gas employees from reading my blog…

But British Gas screwed up along the way. It turns out that the gas service ended up being set-up with them in the name of our landlord. So, I have been receiving gas bills – I just never opened them.

And a couple of days ago, I opened what looked like a bill without checking the name on it. Uh-oh! The amount was somewhat shocking, even though I suppose it might be right, given that I have not paid for gas for almost a year now (I checked, and EDF only got money from me for electricity once). This is the funniest thing – I actually got a refund from EDF Energy upon my account being closed, without a single payment made.

I called British Gas and got a surprisingly prompt and attentive service from them, for a change. The quality of service is likely to be directly linked with the amount of money being owed. A nice gentleman assured me that I was certainly not responsible for the bill that was not in my name. Instead, the account will be reset in my name, retroactively to sometime in December when British Gas took over, and a brand new bill will follow. I supplied the meter reading from my “final” EDF statement in hopes that the amount that I owe would end up lower. We’ll see.

Broadband remains the last bastion of freedom…

In other notes, I got my passport back from the central driver licensing office, exactly a week after sending it in. Recalling that Natasha’s passport was also returned within a week, I am willing to admit that I exaggerated the inconvenience brought by the British process of obtaining a license (expounded upon here). It is a bit confusing when you are advised to budget up to six weeks to have your passport returned, yet get it back within one, but I obviously would rather have it this way than vice versa.

Contrast that with Natasha still waiting for renewed kids’ passports to arrive in New Jersey, and I soon will be giving UK plaudits at the expense of America.