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aesmith

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Posts posted by aesmith

  1. Now on my third attempt to switch.  Bear in mind that Symbio's policy of billing advance for an excessive estimated usage makes the concept of a "debt" far from clear.  However to my mind if the agreed Direct Debit payment has been taken then the account is satisfied, and since in my case the DD comes off around 14-16 days after the bill is issues there are never grounds to claim anything overdue by 28 days.  So back to my story .. 

     

    (1) First attempt to switch - received an objection email from Symbio on 18th January confirming they have blocked the switch citing "Outstanding balance payable on your account.".  This is three days after they'd taken the agreed DD amount.

    When I challenged them and included a current meter read for good luck they changed their minds, issued a new bill up to 19th January and confirmed my account was in credit.  Email from Customer Services on 25th and from Credit Control on the 22nd both saying the account is in credit and they would not object to a switch.

     

    (2) Second attempt.  Their change of heart was too late, the switch had already failed, so I had to restart the process which I did on 26th January.  

    I submitted the normal end of month meter read on 31st Jan.  1st Feb Symbio issued their next bill, covering 20th Jan to 28th Feb.  3rd Feb another email saying they'd blocked the switch again and again citing "Outstanding balance due".

    In response to my aggrieved email they next responded with the revised January bill in arrears and using actual meter readings, obviously making a much lower value than before.  And again they've confirmed account is in credit and they would not block any switch.

     

    (3) Third attempt now, and in response Symbio have sent and email asking me to click on a link to confirm, but the link gives an error "Link expired".

    Just waiting to see if this is another trick to block the switch or whether it will or will not go ahead.  They've not responded to my email.

     

  2. This company is bonkers.  In response to the stupid November bill I raised a complaint.  As usual I had an ill judged initial reply.  However after I responded to that, they came back offering a fixed Direct Debit - but they've set the DD figure not just lower than their over inflated November bill, but actually lower than I think the real bill should be.  Essentially this has just kicked the can down the road for a bit, but if I decide to jump ship then hopefully it will mean we're not in dispute at the time of the change over, and not owed too much money either.

     

    Problem is, they're still the cheapest and the companies that come close look just as amateurish.

  3. IN my opinion please guilty and ask to be sentenced at the Fixed Penalty equivalent, in line with the guidelines ...

     

    Quote

    where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances. 

     

     

    • Like 1
  4. Thanks. 

     

    As it happened they simply didn't take the July payment even though they said they were going to.   

    However the August bill and estimate was perfectly fine, I've decided to give them the benefit of the doubt in the meantime. 

     

    They are still the cheapest supplier that I've found so I don't see the point in switching just because they've annoyed me in the past.  However once the current tariff ends I'm going to make sure I'm on an open ended deal with no cancellation change so I can jump ship immediately f they play up again.

     

    By the way them going bust isn't really a problem, I was with Iresa when they went bust and we still got our credit balance repaid.  However I'd be more than happy if one of the more reputable outfits started to be price competitive, like the comment from DX about British Gas's plans.

  5. Looks like we might have reached a resolution here.  The July bill has just come in and it's based on a reasonable estimate for their advance billing.  Well not too unreasonable.  It's higher than our actual in June, but then again it's well below EAC/12.  So on that basis I've offered to settle this bill and the two that unpaid months, bringing the account up to date.  It's just a matter of agreeing manual payment vs direct debit or what.

  6. Thanks for the comments.  Yes I'm providing meter readings.  There was a bit of confusion earlier as they used to bill from the 2nd of each month to the 1st of the next, so ideal meter reading was on the first.  They then changed to billing from 1st of the month, so ideal readings need to be from the last day.

     

    However the meter reading doesn't affect the estimate for the following month.  They're billing in advance so the amount billed is always an estimate.

     

    So my current situation is that after several months of complaining about excessive estimates I mutinied, cancelled the DD and said I would only pay either a bill based on a realistic estimate in advance, or a fixed monthly amount of a sensible amount, or in arrears based on actual consumption once the meter reading is submitted.  Since then we've exchanged a million emails in which they've tried to persuade me that (a) their estimates are realistic based on some mythical "national database" and (b) that I shouldn't worry because any overcharge is reconciled in the following month.  And (c) repeating their suggestion that I agree a fixed DD at a figure higher than any of their previous variable bills. 

     

    That's where have been for a while.  The complaint is with the Ombudsman Service, awaiting their response.  

     

    However later on yesterday I had a call from them which I didn't record (sorry), however they have confirmed by email.  What they're now saying is that I should hold off paying the May and June bills and review the situation once they have the end of June meter reading and have generated the July bill.  I'm OK with that if the July estimate is sensible, but I did point out to the guy that if July's estimate is another stupid one we will be no further forward.  That point is also vaguely confirmed in their email.

     

    So it still hinges on their willingness to base their advanced billing on a sensible estimate.  

     

     

  7. Hi,

    I'm surprised there isn't already a thread on this outfit.   

    The way they work is that they bill for electricity in advance, using their "estimate" for that month's use. 

    If you provide a meter reading at the end of the month, then the next bill contains a correction for any over or under charge.   

     

    So for example the May bill includes charges for 31 days standing charge, and for an "estimated" number of units for May,

    but also includes a calulation for the previous month comparing estimated and actual use, and applying a credit or presumably a debit as appropriate. 

    The bills are not easy to read, but essentially you end up paying for what you use.

     

    Our problems started in January when they suddenly started to work off really high estimates meaning you're paying in advance for electricity that you won't actually use, and although the over charge is credited next month it's coupled with another stupid estimate for the following month. 

     

    To put that in context their estimate for December turned out to be only 6% higher than our actual use. 

    Their estimate for January was 52% high than their estimate for December, and 88% higher than our actual use.

     

    I've gone through a series of months in which I've challenged their estimates, each time the meter readings have shown that I was right and they were wrong. 

    in April I dug my heels in and raised a formal complaint, stated that I would not pay any bill based on a stupid estimate and suggested either a fixed monthly sum (I named a figure), or to pay in arrears each month based on actual use. 

    Their initial response was to ask for a fixed monthly payment, naming a figure higher than any of their previous variable bills. 

     

    I was wondering if anyone else has been going through anything like this process, and if so then have they managed to reach any sort of resolution?

     

    Thanks, Tony S

  8. Just to make up for maybe treading on CAG's toes with my initial post, if anyone signs up for Smarty using the link below then both they and I will get a free month (the new member pays for a month and gets the second free).  I'll donate any saving that I get to CAG

     

     

     

    Mods - if this is out of line then please feel free to delete my post.

  9. Smarty is similar, month by month plans with no tie-in.  No credit check either.  Smarty runs over 3, Giff Gaff uses O2 so the choice may come down to coverage in your area. 

    We've been using Smarty in a Mikrotik router as our main home Internet connection for nine months now, it costs less than our ADSL broadband and gives 20meg download instead of 3.5.

  10. If your record with Halifax is good it might still be worth asking if you could take "additional borrowing" (that's what Lloyds called it when we extended our mortgage).   That's assuming there's enough equity in the house, and also that your income meets their affordability criteria.   When we took additional borrowing we were also allowed to take it on a longer term than the existing mortgage

    • Like 1
  11. To be honest I don't think it will help with insurance.  Although it seems unfair for something that was outside his control I think that even if the accident was due to a proven fault with the car they will still see him as at fault.

    Regarding repair, write off etc, the car will only be classed as write off of any category if the insurer chooses not to repair but to pay out the value instead.  It won't apply if he repairs the car himself dealing with the repairer directly.  If the excess is that much it might be a better way.

  12. On 07/12/2019 at 22:40, CraigMcK said:

    Can’t answer the other questions, but ABS on ice does not always work. 
    ABS works by detecting one wheel is stopped (sliding) while the others are still turning. It then releses the breaking to that wheel etc. However  on ice it’s very easy for all 4 wheels to lock up. Under that circumstance the ABS thinks the car has stopped and does not come into operation. It’s possible that is what happened in this case. 

    Some ABS systems work by sensing deceleration of the wheel,  meaning they would still work if all four wheels tried to lock up simultaneously.  Our car works like that, on slippy wet ice you may have no braking effect at all but the wheels do not lock up.  To be honest I thought they all worked like that, but if some work only be comparing speeds then yes they will be fooled by all sorts of conditions.

  13. Just thinking about this from another angle, if I understand this correctly this loan is the only one you have secured on the house. 

    If that's correct then £35K is quite small by mortgage standards. 

     

    Could you take out a more conventional mortgage at a sensible interest rate, and pay this loan off? 

    Or are you tied in for the term? 

     

     Even if there were early repayment penalties it might still be worthwhile given the high interest rate mentioned earlier.

  14. Just another point of view here, especially as your friend doesn't seem to be prepared to do a lot for himself.  If the bank repossesses and sell, your friend is going to end up with something like 3/4 million in cash, in addition to all his other properties.  That's quite a lot of wealth by many peoples' standards, although I understand that your friend may have higher expectations.

  15. On 17/08/2019 at 14:28, Lucky2004 said:

    ...

    There was no photographic evidence included in the letter and I'm seriously thinking of going down the court summons route if only to see what evidence they have.

     

    My question is, do they have to supply me with the photographic evidence if I request it before deciding which option I will choose?

    ...

    Are you assuming there is photographic evidence, or has it been mentioned somewhere?  I ask because it would be perfectly possible to be charged and in fact convicted without any sort of photograph or video, for example if the allegation was backed up by witness statements.  

  16. On 22/08/2019 at 23:25, Impsfan said:

    I have cancelled the insurance and tax now on the vehicle is that the correct way forward? So it is sat on the roadside outside my house which I am feeling abit anxious about.:-)

    Are you the registered keeper, shown on the registration document (V5C)?  If so then you're required to keep the car taxed and insured unless it's both declared SORN and kept off the public road.  If the finance house is the registered keeper, it's their problem.

  17. On 06/06/2019 at 20:14, BazzaS said:

    Tax and MOT : no requirement provided the vehicle isn’t on a public road (which can include a car park to which the public have access!).

    Again, you are fine as was off-road.

     

    Surely that's not correct, tax (VED) is due whether the car is on the road or not, unless declared SORN.  That's been the case for quite a few years well before continuous insurance requirements came into force.

  18. What I am sure of is that I haven't made payments to Lloyds themselves since the default and that the company they say they sold the debt to in 2013 is not Cabot or Credit1, as per my recent discussion with Lloyds.

    I guess if you included Statute Barred in your defence, and gave some plausible reason why that might be the case, it would be up to the pursuer to show otherwise.

  19. Yeah I knew about the 5 year rule but had it in my head that if I had been making payments towards the debt after the default then the 5 year clock only starts running from the date of the last payment (I don't know if it matters who the payments were made to though).

     

    Do you know when you last made payment?

    Reading the thread I think you said it was at least 8 years ago,

    then elsewhere maybe you're saying 2009 (which comes to the same thing).

    Do you now think that you made payments more recently?

  20. Have you got a copy of the court order yet? You probably think I'm banging on about nothing, but IF they have a Suspended Possession Order you need to make sure you are very clear on the conditions because if you don't adhere to them then they can reapply for possession with very little formality.

     

    Anyone here know the process to get an SPO eventually lifted, or does it hand over you for the remainder of the mortgage term?

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