Energy markets were thrown into confusion over revelations that the UK's biggest supplier of nuisance phone calls, spurious bills and mis-sold contracts may have inadvertently provided ‘actual energy’ to their customers. Despite a clear brief to defraud the public and freeze pensioners, British Gas employees may have knowingly piped gas and electricity to homes without consent.
The regulator Ofgem claims that rather than making exaggerated claims to potential customers, British Gas ‘…wantonly provided a service in exchange for cash’. One shocked house owner said: ‘I couldn’t understand it. My radiators started giving off heat. The TV became brightly coloured and started to emit a range of bewildering noises. It was almost as if someone had flicked a switch somewhere.’
As energy bills have increased so has the public’s trust that they were getting ‘well and truly ripped off’ in an efficient, free-market manner. These recent revelations that British Gas may have actually converted some of their grotesque profits into gas, has irretrievably damaged consumer confidence. Some customers have threatened to swap providers to someone more reliably untrustworthy, like ‘Andy Coulson’s Phone & Electric’.
A spokesman for Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Residential, assured the public: ‘…that normal service would resume – with good old fashioned doorstep intimidation and confidence tricks’. An average of £130 compensation has been paid to 4,300 affected customers; along with a promise to stop providing energy and return to their core values of ‘scaring your Gran into handing over her credit card details’.