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British Gas customers fuming with prepayment meters

Patrick Kelly
Jan 2, 2020


Some British Gas customers with prepayment meters were left fuming after claiming they did not know about the energy giant ditching Paypoint for Payzone terminals on 1 January 2020, narrowing their choice of where to top-up.

This led some people to complain they were left without energy on New Year's Day because they couldn't find a Payzone location nearby or the terminal was not yet set-up for British Gas payments.  

The change from Paypoint to Payzone caused concern when it was announced last month as there are 15,000 fewer Payzone locations around the country.

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he switch from one provider to the other was made yesterday with customers also now required to spend a minimum of £5 when topping up their card as opposed to the previous limit of £1.

The changes are a massive blow to prepayment customers who struggle to pay their bills and rely on paying small sums at a time to budget better.

Prepayment customers must now top up in person at 11,500 local Post Offices or at 13,000 Payzone locations.

This compares to the 28,000 Paypoint locations that customers were previously able to use.

However, the Post Office says that nationally 94 per cent of the population live within one mile of a Post Office or Payzone outlet and says Payzone is working with British Gas to fill in any gaps in areas where a Payzone outlet could operate.

Customers can also top-up online if they have or can get smart prepayment meters installed. 

A British Gas spokesman said: 'British Gas announced it will be ending its contract with Paypoint on 31 December and signed a new contract with the Post Office and Payzone, which took effect on 1 January 2020. 

'The services were dual-running between December and January, allowing for customers to find their nearest Payzone/Post Office location. 

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'The new contract means customers will be able to undertake all over-the-counter bill payment services at any one of the Post Office and Payzone's 24,000 locations. 

'We wrote to all of our customers to inform them about the change in December – this was either by email or post depending on whether we had email addresses for the customer.

'It is vital that our customers are able to access this important service and we are working closely with Payzone to ensure that we meet the demands of our customers. 

'We have undertaken an analysis of the areas impacted by the change and Payzone has committed to work with British Gas to increase its reach in areas where we foresee we will need additional services.'

Customers with any concerns are advised to contact British Gas' customer services. They can also find the list of their local Payzone points here

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