Just after 11:30pm on Wednesday 29th August, thousands of homes in East London lost gas supply. Supplier, EDF issued the following statement:
‘At approximately 11:30pm on Wednesday evening, supplies of gas intended for households across East London were redirected to our customer LOCOG.
We are mystified as to why this should have happened, as supplies to LOCOG were suspended following a dispute over payment by Direct Debit. Our collections department had been in contact with a representative of LOCOG who became quite agitated and loud-spoken when we reminded him, it was our company policy that ALL customers pay for supply & services by Direct Debit (gave name as Sebranastian Ko or similar, but our operator was multi-tasking on the new 111 non-emergency number and did not write it down – but remembered the name sounded east European and the caller had a Chiswick accent).
Ko was reported to have said – “W-T-F do you need unlimited and unrestricted access to our bank account for? Send us a bill and we’ll send you a cheque, end of”, and then put the phone down on our operator. We didn’t have chance to explain the Direct Debit Guarantee, the fact it cost us 60p to clear every cheque (which is why we only & reluctantly accept them if there is no genuine or viable alternative) or the benefits to him, of granting us unlimited and unrestricted access to his bank account. We had no choice but to terminate supplies late on 12th August 2012. Since then silence.
There is always something happening in London, it’s a busy place. We plan for every eventuality, but never saw the trailers or advertising for Olympics Part 2 – More Fun & Games (with a twist)!
EDF customers should be reassured that we will do everything we can to restore supplies. We have placed an emergency order with our partner RuskiGazGazGaz for immediate delivery. The good news is that a large tanker should arrive in the next 11 days or so, after which supplies should return to normal’.