§ Lord Balfour of Inchrye
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will ask the Gas Boards to supply statistics to establish whether they all follow the practice of the North Thames Gas Board in sending consumers who have delayed paying their bills because of some query a printed red threat, that legal proceedings will be instituted if the bills are not paid within 7 days, before answering or acknowledging letters from those consumers querying their bills; and if this is a general practice whether they 384WA will request the Gas Boards to stop it in the interests of good relations between producers and consumers.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Gray of Contin)
I understand that the practice by which British Gas send out final notices in respect of unpaid accounts is standard for all the regions. BGC are concerned to maintain good relationships with their customers, and where a query has been made in good time a stop is placed on the sending of the final notice and subsequent action. Of course there may well be times when British Gas do not receive the query in sufficient time to prevent the final notice being sent out.