I finally got round to trying to pay the 79p British Gas bill online. Note the word “trying”.
The site let me fill in all my credit card details and helpfully put 79p in the payment field automatically. And then, when I submitted the form, it said:
There are problems in the form you submitted
The minimum amount that can be paid is £2.00.
Then why did you ask me to pay? Don’t make me fill in all my credit card details first! Just put up a page telling me not to worry about such a low amount, it’ll appear on the next bill. That would make me feel good about your site. And saying that “there are problems in the form you submitted” makes it sound like it was all my fault!
Interestingly, a couple of days ago I received an email from British Gas telling me that they’d launched a new web site. Shame they didn’t send it two weeks earlier. Unlike the site emails apparently from the Brand Marketing Director, this one came from the Director of Customer Service, and from an (apparently) real, if generic, email address. Shame it was addressed “Dear Smith”.