Questions of Cash: British Gas charged me £595 for just eight weeks' gas and electricity

Q. British Gas was my interim energy provider when I moved into my new home. BG has sent me a final bill of £595 for just eight weeks' gas and electric. It based this on a fabricated gas reading and an estimated electricity reading. My annual bill is usually about £1,200, so this is unbelievable. When you move into a new home you have to be with the existing provider until the energy transfer is completed from your old address. The interim provider can charge its highest rate and the customer gets no say in the matter. I provided BG with final meter readings on the date of transfer, but it keeps asking for the £595. BO, by email.

A. BG claims that you moved into your new home on 29 November, but only notified it on 1 January and only provided the readings at your move-in date after you received BG's bill. Npower had supplied BG with much higher readings than yours. BG has challenged those readings through the energy suppliers' dispute procedures. It has revised your bill in line with your readings and you have paid that revised bill.

Frustration over kickstarter investment

Q. I used Kickstarter last year to help get a UK company off the ground. It was aiming for $100,000 (£59,000) and raised an amazing $647,658 for a game console, GameStick. But that was over a year ago and many backers have not seen any rewards. The consoles arrived just before Christmas last year, nearly six months late. Many backers like myself also funded the development of a docking station, for which I provided $170. This docking station still has not appeared. Could you investigate, as over 5,000 people backed this, but the whole experience has been disappointing? MG, by email.

A. Kickstarter declined to comment and referred us to PlayJam, the company behind GameStick. Anthony Johnson, PlayJam's chief marketing officer, told us: "PlayJam is an established UK business with shareholders including GameStop, the world's largest games retailer, and Adobe. The company's core business is software, having developed a games platform designed to deliver affordable gaming to TV... We currently have our service running on between 80 million and 100 million devices in partnership with Samsung, LG, Sony & Panasonic.

"In January last year, we decided to use Kickstarter to raise funding to develop GameStick, a micro-games console powered by the latest version of our software. This was an ambitious project and we were delighted to have finished as [Kickstarter's] eighth most successful technology project at that time.

"If a Kickstarter project reaches its funding target during the campaign time limit – we reached ours in 30 hours – then additional products are often offered to help try and push the total higher. These are called 'stretch goals'. One of our stretch goals was an optional docking station for GameStick which was conceived during the campaign following feedback from backers. This has taken longer for us to fulfil. The delay is unfortunate and one which the entire staff at PlayJam have been working to mitigate for some time.

"The good news is that the product is palletised in China and awaiting shipment to forward distribution points in London, Texas and Hong Kong. They will be with our backers very shortly. Our chief executive has made updates via the Kickstarter platform and via direct email to all backers concerning this, as would be expected. We understand [the reader's] frustration and assure him that he will soon have his dock – we want that as much as he does."

Costs mounted during BT ombudsman dispute

Q. In early 2013, BT said it would make a refund in my next bill. BT did not, so I complained and switched provider. My dispute ended up with the ombudsman, who took months to come to a decision. BT told me I did not have to pay anything until the ombudsman made that decision. Despite this, BT passed my debt to three debt collectors. The first two backed-off when I said the bill was in dispute. In February, the ombudsman decided that BT should apologise for the shortfalls and deduct £25 from the account for goodwill. As soon as the ombudsman made the decision the debt collector threatened court proceedings for the outstanding sum without deducting the £25. I am being told to also pay the debt collector's charges, although the debt collection should have been put on hold. EG, Leeds.

A. BT's spokesman said: "We reduced the debt payable by [the reader] by £25, and contacted the debt collection agency to confirm this. [The reader] needs to contact the debt collection agency to discuss payment options for the outstanding balance of £32.69." As the final account balance was £51.15, this left £26.15 outstanding, suggesting that £6.54 had been charged for debt collection costs. We suggested to BT that given the small sum involved, it could avoid further dispute by writing this off. BT agreed and you have now paid the outstanding £26.15.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
Shoppers at Selfridges department store in central London
news

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

    Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Execution Trader

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...

    Citifocus Ltd: ACA - Financial Reporting

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game