British Gas Twitter Q&A gives customers chance to vent at supplier

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British Gas customers have hit back at the energy firm over its energy price increase averaging 9.2%.

Disgruntled billpayers slammed the 'Big Six' energy supplier during a Twitter Q&A session designed to calm the waters following its price hike.

The energy giant announced it will rise its electricity prices by 10.4% and gas prices by 8.4% - with customers in certain regions hit by bill increase of up to 11.2%. This latest announcement comes only a year after the firm raised its bills by six percent in November 2012.

On the hashtag #AskBG, British Gas tweeted "Our Customer Services Director Bert Pijls will be taking part in a Q&A about our price rise at 1-2pm. Tweet your questions using #AskBG!"

With 7.8 million customers set to face an average increase of £123 a year, the response from customers was perhaps unsurprisingly mostly highly critical of the price hike, although some did outline it gave the firm the opportunity to explain its move.

One customer tweeted "@BritishGas I can barely make current payments to you. My income is v.low. Can you assist me, or shld I switch?"

A tweet British Gas actually responded to, tweeting back "Hi Claire, if you are worried about rising energy costs please call us 0800 980 1917 or visit"

Other tweets pointed out the plight of pensioners struggling to pay bills already, the huge pay packages of certain British Gas members, and even mockingly suggesting the use of notes as an alternative fuel.

Mr Pijls used the session to reiterate a point made by British Gas managing director of energy, Ian Peters, that the decision to raise prices was not taken lightly.

He said the three main reasons behind the hike were: "1. Wholesale price rises 2. Improvements needed to pipes & wires 3. Cost of govt programmes."

He added: "We have tried to hold our prices for as long as possible but factors such as rising wholesale prices have forced our prices up."

After the session closed, British Gas released a statement which read: "Our announcement today is difficult news for customers.

"We didn't make this decision lightly. We know people are worried about rising energy prices and they want to talk about this - including on Twitter - and it's important we're there for them to talk to"

Despite many customers understandably finding the price hikes hard to shallow, British Gas is still part of the government's Green Deal initiative offering customers loans on measures to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

By contacting the firm, customers are able to receive loans on things such as replacement boilers, loft or wall insulation in order to improve energy usage and cut down their energy bills.

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