Hi everyone, this is my first ever post here so please please be gentle
So this is on behalf of my mother and the timeline is as follows:
In March this year 2016 mother received a letter from EDF addressed to HOMEOWNER/OCCUPIER apologising for the gas supply being incorrectly transferred to them, and that they were working to transfer this back asap.
Mother contacted EDF who assured her that this is an error and that it happens regularly.
At this point my mother rang SSE (our current supplier) to ask what was going on. They assured us that there was nothing to worry about and that this was being dealt with.
Later in March we had a following letter from EDF again addressed to OWNER/OCCUPIER again apologising for the mistake. The letter stated EDF were not charging us for gas used, the chosen supplier would.
A further call was made to SSE who verbally said there would be NO PENALTY and that there would be no interruption to the gas supply. Mother asked for this to be confirmed in writing.
End of March - Mother has a letter from SSE - the current energy supplier, apologising and confirming another supplier had erroneously taken over the gas supply of the house at the end of August 2015!!!! SSE wrote that EDF have acknowledged the mistake and returned the supply back to SSE.
SSE also stated for the period of time (August 2015 to March 2016) EDF will not be charging us for the gas used. There was no written comment on the letter, regarding the verbal statement on the telephone previously stating there would be NO PENALTY. SSE also wrote that they will continue to bill us from the last meter reading they took as if the supply never left and requested an up to date meter reading. The letter also made us aware that there were no direct debits paid since August 2015 and therefore a meter reading should be provided to enable SSE to adjust the direct debit accordingly.
12th April, we telephoned SSE to speak to the agent who wrote the letter to us. The nature of our complaint was that the letter seemed to contradict the previous verbal conversation where we were told that there would be NO PENALTY. The agent said she would have to seek advice from her manager as we were raised a concern that the content of the letter seems to contradict the previous agents verbal statement (no penalty). An up to date meter reading was also given at this time. Words to the effect of "the account for the gas was cancelled in August 2015" were used and therefore we were refunded approximately £80.00 for cancellation.
We were then passed to a complaints advisor/manager who worked out the difference in the meter readings and less the standing charges, the total outstanding was nearly £480.00!!!!
I verbally raised objections on the basis that:
This series of mistakes was not of our doing.
We had notified SSE of the errors as soon as we could act, upon hearing from EDF.
That the account for the GAS had been cancelled, therefore if there is no account, how can there be a bill?
Mother was NEVER notified of any of this by SSE until we chased and highlighted the issue ourselves.
A Direct Debit is the responsibility of the company, not the customer.
The complaints advisor had us on a very lengthy hold, then came back to offer a £300 deduction from the outstanding amount they calculated leaving approximate £180 they wish my mother to pay.
Today we have had a letter from the complaints manager regarding the erroneous transfer, again apologising for the upset and inconvenience. It details industry regulations regarding the Erroneous transfer processes and again asking for the approximate amount of £180 with payment method to be discussed.
Can anyone offer any advice to my mother who is a pensioner, and myself regarding this horrible episode?
We do not feel we are liable for any outstanding money on the gas supply as this was all done without our knowledge or consent and we made no applications to change supplier at all.
Are we liable and do we owe any of the money detailed above? Is it worth raising a further complaint regarding this, and to whom?
We really are not 100% sure where we stand, only that we are not in the wrong for this issue.