The gas bill plopped into The Informed Consumer’s inbox recently.
Prompt Payment Reminder
Dear Informed Consumer,
A quick reminder that if you pay your latest Gas bill by 01 Feb 2010 you will qualify for a prompt payment discount* on your next bill.
The easiest way to pay and receive your prompt payment discount is to log on to your online account to pay your bill, or go to www.britishgas.co.uk/pay and enter your Customer Reference Number and payment details.
Thank you for choosing British Gas. We’re delighted you’re one of our customers [yes, so am I, now where’s my discount to show me how delighted you actually are?]
Managing Director, Online
*Does not apply to all tariffs. If you are eligible we will tell you below the line which contains your 'please pay by date' on your next bill. See your next bill or visit www.britishgas.co.uk/promptpay for details.
Which tariffs/long term contracts are not eligible for the Prompt Pay discount?
Price Protection Feb 2009
Price Protection April 2009
Price Protection 2010
Price Guarantee 2009
Price Protection 2009
Fixed Price 2010 (v1 & 2)
Price Guarantee 2009 Green
Note that sneaky “if they pay in full”.What is the Prompt Pay discount?From 19 February we’re introducing a prompt payment discount for some customers on quarterly payment options. And eligible gas and electricity customers will have this discount applied to their next bill if they pay in full within 14 days of the bill date.
Which payment options are eligible for the Prompt Pay discount?
Quarterly variable direct debit
Quarterly equal payments.
What about online/paperless bills?The Prompt Pay discount applies to both paper and online/paperless bills.
At the bottom of the online enquiry form was written:“None of which payment options are open to me if I want to pay my entire quarterly bill all in one go online with my debit card. Which I imagine the very vast majority of your customers will want to do. So its rather pointless trumpeting in an email that I can receive a discount, isnt it, when the only payment options open to me are not ones that can be made by anyone receiving an online bill?”
If you contact us by email, we'll get back to you within 3 daysThe automatic receipt for my question I got a minute or so later read:
Thank you for contacting us.
So, not within 3 days then? Within 7.Your complaint has been assigned to the Online Complaint Handling team to begin an immediate investigation and they will be in touch with you within the next 7 days.
Five days later the following dropped into my inbox.
"I have spoken to our Technical team and they are now in the process of updating our website to include all methods of payments. This update should be taking effect shortly [but not before all this quarter's bills have been paid, presumably - don't want everyone who pays online to be clamouring for their discount, do we?] and I am happy to email you again once this has gone live online. I would also like to thank you for bringing this issue to my attention to allow me to rectify our online information."