So here is where things stand at the moment (sorry it's a very long post!):
I moved into this property in November. I contacted both my electric and gas suppliers to change address and get my accounts moved over.
Electric - I closed my old account from my previous address, opened a new account for this address, set up a direct debit and requested they become the supplier. The only thing that was outstanding on the account was a discussion about tariffs.
On 21st November they tried to call me but I didn't answer (judging from the time I was probably driving home from work). I received a payment from them at the end of November from my previous account (which I clearly didn't check as I thought it was money going out for my direct debit). I incorrectly assumed the call was about tariffs, which tbh, I'm not really fussed about.
Their request to become the supplier was rejected but they didn't follow up on it or try to contact me again. So I, like an idiot, thought it was all sorted out. It's only now that I've been through my account that I realise they haven't been taking payments. I have spoken to them since Friday and the above is what they have told me has happened.
Gas - I closed my old account and have been trying to get a new account opened since November.
I have had several discussions with them re: the change request being rejected and they didn't know why it was being rejected but to leave it with them. They told me at the beginning of this month it would be done by the 21st January.
During this phone call they said I could call the current supplier to make sure it goes smoothly but that it wasn't essential as they expected it to be completed by the 21st. Last week they sent me a final demand for my previous address. I contacted them to raise a complaint as I thought they were at fault, as I expected it to have been changed as per the above.
I spoke to them on Saturday and have sorted out my final bill and they have advised me to open accounts with the current supplier, Spark, clear them and then I can switch.
Interestingly they also told me that Spark went bust in 2018 and it is a company called Ovo who are on the national database as the gas supplier.
Spark - This is the company who changed the meters on Friday.
I have two letters (one for gas, one for electric) that were left with the smart meter they had plugged in in the kitchen, both addressed to the previous tenant.
I obviously did open these on Friday. Both letters state that they had changed the meters to prepayment meters. There are several boxes that list current debt, amount of credit on meters etc none of which are filled in. They also state that a booklet has been left explaining how the smart meter works. There was no booklet.
When I contacted them on Friday they told me that I was in fact on credit meters (I don't know if they changed this remotely when they realised I wasn't the person with the debt). They also told me they had every right to enter the property and aren't able to check every time who the current occupant is and I should have told them I'd moved in. I was told that someone would call me at 1pm on Saturday to discuss my complaint, thus far no one has called me.
I spoke with citizen's advice yesterday who really weren't much help tbh. They said I should have contacted the current supplier when I moved in and provided a copy of my tenancy agreement.
I've moved A LOT over the years and have never had to do this. I have checked several energy supplier websites and they all state to switch to them or move home simply to contact them and they will basically do the rest, not one of them states that you need to call the current supplier... obviously, on reflection I really wish I had!
My letting agent/landlord have requested that I take any post for the previous tenant to them and they will return it. They also want confirmation of what type of meter (prepayment or credit) is now in the house. The locks were changed when I moved in so only myself, the letting agent and the landlord have a key. None of us let them in on Friday.
My next step is to open accounts with Spark/Ovo, clear the balances since November and then change suppliers.
All of the above have advised me to follow Spark's complaint procedure which I will do but as I said above they haven't contacted me so far re: the complaint I made on Friday.
Should I also contact Marston's to raise a complaint with them?
Whilst in all of this I do appreciate I could have done a fair bit to have made my life easier and probably prevented this happening (hindsight is wonderful!) my main complaint is that neither Spark nor Marston's felt they needed to perform a very simple check and see who actually lives in the property before breaking in.
I cannot for the life of me see how this is acceptable or legal. Whilst they had the legal right and a warrant to enter the previous tenant's property as far as I am concerned they had no right to enter mine.