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LCS / British Gas debt

Last post Thu, Aug 12 2010, 3:51 PM by ABCXYZ. 17 replies.
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  •  Thu, Aug 12 2010, 3:51 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi,

    All has been quiet since Jan, but I have just received a text message from LSC asking me to contact them urgently on 0844 847 6631 with a reference number.

    Can anyone tell me if LSC is the same company/connected to LCS? Or just really strangely similar names?!?!

    Thought this was resolved as it's been 7 months since I heard anything...

    Am reluctant to call if it's the same company, would rather put it in writing now.

    Thanks for any help/advice you can give.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Wed, Jan 20 2010, 11:19 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi don't worry yourself. British gas are happy I don't owe them but LCS are still chasing me. I've done a lot of research on these guys and really it appears as though they just scare people into paying. They're legit and legal in what they are doing but in reality if it comes to court, without British gas being able to supply the bill (which they can't as the bill doesn't exist) they have nothing and will lose. They rely on you being worked enough from their constant pestering to just pay up. Don't give in, if you want I can post the letter I sent them which basically says if you can't provide a bill from British gas leAve me alone or I have a case for harassment. Once sent recorded delivery anything else they send I'm just ignoring and keeping record of.

    I've read up on a lot of their cases and it's all we will take legal action, we really really will take action, we really really really really will... And so on. Don't pay up unless you have something from British gas.

    Also if you speak to them again tell them they are not to contact you unless in writing otherwise you'll consider it harassment, you're well within your rights to do so.
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Jan 20 2010, 5:07 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi,

    I'm glad you've got it resolved, and that they agree you don't owe them. Unfortunately I can't say the same!

    It had all been quiet since mid-December (a few phonecalls from LCS requesting paymenyt, explained not had copy of bill etc) and I foolishly thought maybe it was done with. But no! Just had a call from LCS today, where I spoke to a man who was rude, would not listen to me, cut me off when I was speaking, and threatened further legal action, etc. He was really quite aggressive and I've come away from the call shaking and close to tears, I'm just so stressed out by this all!

    He basically acussed me of lying about not receiving the copy of the bill. I could understand him thinking that way if we were talking a lot of money, but for £35 I would have paid it if I had!! I repeated that I accept no liability until I see a copy of the bill, and he more or less said he didn't care and would move forward with legal action now.

    I have previously contacted BG complaints department by phone- who I have to say were nice and helpful, but it still didn't result in me getting a copy of the bill. I will be putting it all in writing tonight and sending to BG's complaints address and following the complaints procedure.

    This has cost me more than £35 of my time and in phonecalls now, trying to resolve this since September and as I've said all along, I'm perfectly willing to pay if it's mine (the outstanding debt letter is vague so I don't know).

    Will let you know what progress I make.

    • Post Points: 50
  •  Tue, Jan 19 2010, 6:47 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi, I contacted bg and they said they were happy I owed them nothing. I've since wrote a second letter stating this to LCD asking them not to contact me again.
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, Jan 19 2010, 3:47 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi Chrissyboyhurley,

    As it appears BGAS have charged you for a period you were not resposnible for the property, i would immediately contact BGAS's complaint teams and try and resolve this directly with them, remember if required to request a copy of their complaints procedure and follow this to the letter, to enable you to quickly resolve the query.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, Jan 11 2010, 11:32 AM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi,

    I'm now in exactly the same position. The 1st letter arrived saying I owe 60.01. The period quoted however was after we'd vacated the property. We'd already had multiple disputes with them for charging us on our own and our neighbours metre so I have little faith in anything they say any more.

    As a result my response to LCS was I'm happy to pay anything owed provided someone from BG explains the costs and how £60 was racked up for a month period for an account that had been closed. (Upon leaving we gave a reading and paid in full).

    A year after leaving the property in question we destroyed all the old documents, 2 years later LCS send us the 1st letter! I have just received the 2nd letter with no mention of my dipute to the 1st. This is the one saying we'll get a solicitor involved or send the boys around and threatening legal cost liability.

    This time I've emailed a response and copied myself in so I have a record of the communication. This time I've said pretty much the same thing as well as offering to send a copy of my current tenancy contract showing that we'd moved into the new property at the time in question. I've requested confirmation of my 1st response as well as confirmation that they will contact British Gas before threatening me again.

    I have a good credit score and have never been in trouble financially. Don't bow down. As long as you've stated that you'll pay anything owed legitimately then I'm confident the law is on our side. If they want the money they can bloody well come and explain why.

    If they carry on harassing me without listening to what I say I'll write them a letter of intent along the lines.

    "I'm giving you x days to respond to me stating you have communicated with British Gas blah blah blah before I involve my solicitor...
    ...In the event of legal action you will be liable for costs etc"

    For the money involved I'm sure they would then drop the case. Have you made any further progress?
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Nov 04 2009, 10:01 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Hi,

    I requested a copy of the bill on 10th Sept from LCS, 29th Sept from BG, 16th Oct from LCS and BG (complaints dept). To date I have still not received anything (at my current or previous address). I know there has been a post strike recently- although LCS have still managed to send me a nice little postcard informing me they will be calling in person at my home.

    I intend to call them tomorrow but not sure how to proceed. Should I start putting this all in writing as telephone calls aren't getting me anywhere? It's just such a lot of hassle/worry for a debt of such a small amount, but I really don't want to pay it without seeing the bill so I can be sure a) it exists b) I'm liable.

    Trying to keep my credit file clean as have been a foolish in the past, so am very nervous of being told I owe money and trying desperatley to resolve this.

    Should I worry that LCS will come to my house and if so what rights do they/I have? I can't imagine them coming over a 'debt' this size- if they do perhaps they can bring me a copy of the bill!!! :-)

    Thanks again.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 4:56 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Mynewt:

    Considering (as some may have assumed by now) I am currently working in the energy sector and have been for a considerable number of years - I'm confident of my facts.

    I am happy to respect your confidence in respect of the Energy Ombudsman scheme where I have made an assumption that the scheme was financed in a similar way to the Financial Ombudsman Service of which I do have factual knowledge that the financing scheme in place actually does defy your logical scenario.

    In fact that financing model is not quite as illogical as you present. Mandatory participating in ombudsmen or alternative dispute resolution schemes is just another on-cost imposed on organisations by regulators. The "initial threat" has to have a modicum of teeth, in the case of financial organisations a £400ish case fee, regardless of "issue merit".

    If you look at the operation of the FOS scheme, cases can take from 6 to 12 months to determine the "issue merit". The acceptance criterion is mainly that the issue falls within the FOS terms of reference and the organisation's own complaints mechanism has failed to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the complainant. That is why it is not as illogical as you argue to levy a "case fee" (not a "fine/case fee") where the "terms of reference" and "8 weeks" criterion are satisfied. Otherwise, "guilty" organisations would end up not just paying for their own failure but the cost of finding their competitors "not guilty". Just a different form of "unfairness" depending on your viewpoint.

    But I can see how the fairness or otherwise looks different depending on which side of the fence one sits.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 4:56 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Mynewt:

    Considering (as some may have assumed by now) I am currently working in the energy sector and have been for a considerable number of years - I'm confident of my facts.

    I am happy to respect your confidence in respect of the Energy Ombudsman scheme where I concede I have made an assumption that the scheme was financed in a similar way to the Financial Ombudsman Service of which I do have factual knowledge that the financing scheme in place actually does defy your logical scenario.

    In fact that financing model is not quite as illogical as you present. Participating in ombudsmen or alternative dispute resolution schemes is just another on-cost imposed on organisations by regulators. The "initial threat" has to have a modicum of teeth, in the case of financial organisations a £400ish case fee, regardless of "merit".

    If you look at the operation of the FOS scheme, cases take from 6 to 12 months to determine the "issue merit". The acceptance criterion is mainly that the issue falls within the FOS terms of reference and the organisation's own complaints mechanism has failed to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the complainant. That is why it is not as illogical as you argue to levy a "case fee" (not a "fine/case fee") where the "terms of reference" and "8 weeks" criterion are satisfied. Otherwise, "guilty" organisations would end up not just paying for their own failure but the cost of finding their competitors "not guilty". Just a different form of "unfairness" depending on your viewpoint.

    But I can see how the fairness and otherwise looks different depending on which side of the fence one sits.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 4:02 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Jalexa:

    If that is not the case with the Energy Ombudsman process, thank you for correcting my error. However are you sure of your facts?

    Considering (as some may have assumed by now) I am currently working in the energy sector and have been for a considerable number of years - I'm confident of my facts. Looking at the scenario logically for a moment, the assesment of the customer's claim is a preventative mechanism - stopping customer's who have no ligitamate complaint excacting "revenge" on a supplier by allowing/proactively encouraging the complaints process to reach a stage of dead-lock and forcing the ombudsman's involvement, thus incurring the supplier a fine/case fee regardless of the complaints merit.

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 1:10 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Thanks for the link Jalexa.

    I have been trying to get a copy of the bill since early Sept, with no luck. AllI I want to do is pay it (if it's my debt- won't know until I see the bill!).I now have debt collectors phoning every other day and have had many letters- all very frustrating, stressful, and time consuming.

    I no longer use BG so

    I am not worried about upsetting them- they have upset me quite a lot recently!

    Thanks again for the replies.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 1:04 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Mynewt:

    .. assuming the regulator agree's there is merit in the customer's complaint. If they do not then there is no fine imposed to the supplier.

    Firstly you overlooked part of my last sentence "They would be stupid to allow it to go that far...". In this case, because of the relatively small sum involved, the threat of a referral ought to be sufficient to concentrate minds at BG within the 8 week time period.

    On your more substantive points however about the process I don't necessarily agree. I have borrowed from the Financial Ombudsman Service process which I am more familar with. For an issue to be accepted - and for the organisation to be charged a "case fee", not a "fine", - it only requires that the issue complies with the ombudsman service terms of reference. The "merit" is not decided until much later. The "case fee" is payable by the organisation regardless of any found "merit".

    If that is not the case with the Energy Ombudsman process, thank you for correcting my error. However are you sure of your facts?

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 12:27 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Jalexa:

    A reference will cost you nothing but will cost BG a hefty case fee well in excess of the amount in dispute.

    .. assuming the regulator agree's there is merit in the customer's complaint. If they do not then there is no fine imposed to the supplier. In addition you may find your supplier will not provide the same options and flexibility (if any) as they did prior to the escalation to the Ombudsman.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Oct 17 2009, 12:10 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    ABCXYZ:

    Thanks, I have just phoned the complaints department.

    Its good that you have done that. I hope that you will continue to follow the procedure strictly in accordance with the procedure here... http://www.britishgas.co.uk/complaint

    If you remain dissatisfied after 8 weeks you will be entitled to refer the issue to the Energy Ombudsman. Do not alow BG any "wriggle room" around the 8 week point. A reference will cost you nothing but will cost BG a hefty case fee well in excess of the amount in dispute.

    They would be stupid to allow it to go that far, unfortunately I cannot say they are not stupid.

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Fri, Oct 16 2009, 1:48 PM

    Re: LCS / British Gas debt

    Good news, be sure to report back when you have the bill, and we'll see what can be done!
    • Post Points: 5
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