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British Gas prepayment customers unable to top up online due to IT issues

British Gas prepayment customers unable to top up online due to IT issues

Some British Gas customers with prepayment meters have been left unable to top up their accounts online due to an IT issue.

Some customers of the UK's largest energy supplier have been left unable to access their accounts online or on the app – which is particularly problematic for some prepay customers.

The issues first appear to have been reported on Sunday, and British Gas has apologised on social media and has said it's "trying hard to get the systems back online for the website."

What are prepayment meters?

Prepayment meters, sometimes called key meters or card meters, are electricity and gas meters that let you pay for your energy on a pay-as-you-go basis, and more than four million UK homes have them.

You top up prepayment meters via a key or a card, which you can buy credit for at newsagents, Post Offices, garages and sometimes online. While they can help to budget, you usually end up paying more for energy.

Usually, you can use a small amount more than the total you've prepaid, but when you dip into this 'emergency credit' it doesn't charge you the standing charge (the fixed charge you pay daily just to be connected), so the next time you top up you have to play catch-up, which can throw your budgeting out.

What are customers saying?

On social media, many customers are saying that they haven't been able to top up their accounts:

I'm affected – what can I do?

If you're affected, you can still top up by:

  • Calling British Gas on 0333 202 9862.
  • Going to a local PayPoint shop with your pay-as-you-go card – you can find your local shop on the PayPoint website.
  • Go to a local Post Office with your pay-as-you-go card.

What does British Gas say?

A British Gas spokesperson said: "Some of our customers have not been able to access their accounts with us due to maintenance of our systems.

"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience and are working hard today to get our operation back to normal."