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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70298
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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IN SEP 2013 I TOOK OUT A NEW CONTRACT WITH BRITISH GAS FOR

Customer Question

IN SEP 2013 I TOOK OUT A NEW CONTRACT WITH BRITISH GAS FOR TWO YEARS AFTER MISSING THE DEAD LINE FOR MY PREVIOUS CONTRACT BEING A MICRO BUSINESS THE TARRIF THAY PUT ME ON WAS NOT SUSTAINABLE FOR MY BUSINESS MY BILLS WENT UP BY A STAGERING 200/300HUNDRED POUNDS PER MOUNTH EFFECTIVLY I WAS FORCED TO TAKE OUT ANOTHER 2 YEAR CONTRACT WHICH WAS AT A HIGHER RATE THEN MY PREVIOUS CONTRACT WHICH I HAD INADVERTEDLY FAILED TO CANCEL OR RENEW IN THE TIME PERIOD IS THERE ANY WAY TO CHALLENGE THE LEGALITY OF THESE BULLYING TATICS
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do you accept you were locked into a rolling contract?
What does your contract say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes contract for two years pretty much the same as the yearly contract

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
But does it roll over?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

looking through my terms and conditions booklet I cant find any actual statement that says this is a rollover contract however as my original contract was worded exactly the same I would have to say yes I can at the end of the term exit providing I give 30 days notice prior to the end otherwise I would like last time go on to a higher tariff which brings me back to my first question could b/gas have done more to help me instead of bullying me into signing a 2 year contract simply because at the higher tariff my business could not sustain these costs even thou the 2 year fixed tariff was higher than other supplyers at that time thay left me with me with no choice but to sign

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, obviously they could. The fact is that they haven't and they are not under any legal obligation to do so. The fact that a company is unhelpful doesn't mean they cannot enforce their contracts like any other.
Rolling contracts have been criticised by the OFT recently but that just amounts to guidance rather than law.
You can always challenge these things on the basis of UCTA and ask them to prove that this is not an unfair term within the meaning of that legislation. It is a high test. Also, generally if you are a corporate custody then courts do expect a higher level of sophistication from you than from consumers.
However, it is open to you to challenge on that basis and they may not bother to sue you.
Also, you can ask them to prove that they had proper authority to roll over. It is worth checking the exact wording of the contract as quite often it is void.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no jo thank you for your time

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
All the best.