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Me and my partner have been fighting Npower since the start of 2007 and it is still ongoing.

 

When I met my partner 2 1/2 years ago she had a token meter and one day I went to put one of her tokens in to find that she had a debt on the meter of around £860 being taken at £3.02 a week.

 

She was unaware that there was a debt that high on the meter and told me that it should have only been around £64 from when she changed from a credit to a token meter but thought it had been paid off through the meter a long time ago.

 

We opened up a complaint well what a song and dance that has been. customer service have not been any help. one tells me one thing and they can do this and that while another says they can't.

 

mid 2004 credit meter was changed to a token meter with a debt on an old bill found of £64. however once the complaint was opened Npower said they need to look at the meter e.g. take it out and put in a key one as they said old one maybe broken.

 

We then find out the meter wasn't looked at and looking further into the account the debt is actually £1680 of which they can on the old meter only put a debt on of £999 as thats all it will allow on one go. this has gone on now since 2007 to the point we spoke to a manager on the phone for an hour and she said well you must owe it.

 

Before speaking to her 1st April gets our quartly statement december 7 to march 10 bill was £1448.99 on the 3rd of april gets a letter saying that the debt of £1500 will be taken at £10 a week and added to the token key in a few days.

 

We as manager why it has gone up £51 and she said it could be emergency credit. but it cant be right that from 10th march to april 3rd that it would be £51

 

She went onto say that a warrent of exacution was sent out to force a token meter in march 2006, however my partner phoned up june 2006 to ask why there was a warrent (this was logged on computer) when she already had a meter and they came march 2006 to change the something on the meter and gave her a new card.

 

The manager said there was a new card around that time but we would have to send that old one back in to prove our case. partner said that the old card was sent back to them in 2006 as they requested in writing to send it back which they still do now because when we went onto this new key meter they wanted our old card sending back to them.

 

She told us to put everything in writing explain everything and the back dated statements we had been asking for over the course of 2 years for 2004-2006 and mention this managers name so they know we spoke to her.

 

Now the other day we were told we still owe the debt they are not looking into it anymore now and if we want the back dated statements from 2004-mid 2006 they are £35 each statement which would cost us around £350

 

Is this right can they actually charge £35 per statement I thought under the data protection act (subject access request) We are allowed for a small fee to have copies of whatever information companies hold on you for a fee of around £10??

 

She went onto say that they dont have to prove we owe the money we have to prove to them we dont how the hell can I do that when they wont release the information as we haven't got electric statements dating that far back.

 

What Npower have tried to say is that we had a credit meter in from 2004-2006 and never paid them (hence the warrent of execution to force one in march 2006) although there was already on here.

 

They haven't answered the question if we didn't pay electric for 2 years you would have cut us off.

Edited by finaldj

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Yes, your partner is entitled to all the information they hold on her when issued with a subject access request together with the fee of £10.00.(they're most probably trying to scare her off by saying £35 per statement)

 

How did your partner pay for the electricity for 2004-2006 does she have statements proving payments?

 

 

enamae


Please note: I have no qualifications in this area and any advice offered is given in good faith.

 

 

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/Ombudsman-news/40/40_setoff.htm

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They said that upto April 2005 she was paying by DD although will now have to contact the bank to get confirmation. As she doesn't have statements for that time period.

 

Only found 2 statements for 2004 one when DD was being paid and the month after it had stopped. because that was when she went onto a token meter mid 2004 although they say she was on a credit meter then and we need to show them recepts from tokens bought from a shop in 2004 to prove to them she did have a token meter but she said to them that she doesn't have them as they get thrown away after a few months.

 

So need to get statements from the bank now for mid 2004 to 2005 although in 2 years this is the first time Npower have said they were getting DD still in 05 because up until the other day when I phoned them they stood by the fact they never got paid for 2 years

 

Partner is with Halifax and online banking wont go that far back when looking at past statements.

 

We've been passed about since 2007 when the debt questioned.

 

I was told the statements npower has are archived 2004-2006 and because they have to go where ever it is they are we have to incur an admin charge of £35 for each statement. when I said I thought it was a maximum charge of £10 (subject access request) I did put this in writing when I sent the letter to them 4 weeks ago. she went away and came back 5 mins later and said I just checked for you about the £35 charge and its a grey area I will have to call you back when I find out more about it and see what we can do.

 

Well since then its been 2 days now and no calls?

 

Just another thing I dont understand when I go into EM credit on a meter and incur a standing charge because I dont understand how this works.

 

For instance if I use £2 of the £5 EM credit and I put in £10 I pay back the £2 and only get £8 credit.

 

Is there an additional charge per day/hour/min or something I dont know about?

 

Because I keep getting told that if I go into EM credit then that will be adding the debt up?

Edited by finaldj

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The £35 charge per statement is rubbish, as previously stated you have a legal entitlement to see everything they hold on you, you would need to make a SAR for which the fee is laid out as £10, they cannot vary the amount of this fee.

 

I really wouldn't waste your time calling them, they will basically say whatever it takes to get you off the phone and promise all sorts of call backs and complaint escalations. they don't even log accurate call comments, a lot of their operators haven't got a clue and are KPR driven to get through the max no of calls in the shortest possible time

 

As you were advised by NPower, put everything in writing and ask for a copy of their complaints procedure, follow this, and don;t feel shy about chasing them up. It is obvious, even if the meter isn't faulty and their charges fair that you have been dealt with correctly. It would be advisable to list everything in chronological order, if only to assist you in clarifying exactly what happened when and so on. If you do speak to anyone at NPower, insist that they log the call and you do likewise

 

When NPower fail to resolve you complaint, request their final word and complain to the ombudsman. NPower are the worst of the worst and they rely on people not complaining and not knowing their rights.


Hope this helps

 

 

If you feel that this site has helped you in any way please leave a donation if you can afford to do so.

 

If you feel that have been helpful please feel free to tip the scales.

 

 

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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Hi Guys, disagree with your last comment spamheed aswell as the KPR driven & not having a clue (yip i work for them), I do not know where the £35 charge per statement has come from as this is incorrect information that has been given, you can call npower & request a SAR form, it will be sent & then send in the fee (£10), Once you get the statements i'd pay attention to the statement/bill produced after any meter exchange from credit to prepay, which should show the amount of debit built up off the credit mtr.

 

finaldj

 

with regards to your comments on the key meter, you can not get into debt by going into the emergency credit, gas meter total diffrent story as these can do into time based recovery.

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hi, dont know if this will help, but i was on a pre-payment meter with Eon june 07- jan 09 and every now and then we would get a bill from Eon saying their meter readins and amount due, amount paid etc.. usually there was an outstanding bill of about £20ish per bill that they would send us, i phoned Eon the 1st time i got one of these bills and said i couldnt understand why im being sent a bill when im on a prepayment meter and a very nice Eon lady told me that as this would be a result of them failing to set my meter correctly then they will remove the remaining balance and they did this every time i got a bill and phoned up. I dont know if this is an Eon rule or if theres some kind of legislation to this which if there is then you can argue that your bill was increasing as they failed to set your prepayment meter correctly and therefore dont have to pay the bill.

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Do you still have a cardmeter farmlama? If so, watch out when they change it to a keymeter. If they haven't come out to reset the cardmeter with the correct prices, they will try and set a "debt" on the keymeter when they fit it. EON will say that you have been paying less for your electric than you should have been and so you will have to pay back the shortfall through the keymeter. A lot of electric suppliers just write off this "debt" but EON don't! Even some that don;t write it off, cap the amount that gets paid abck - eg: NPower. EON don't do this either. I work as a meter-reader and I have seen some customers with over £500.00 "debt" set on their new keymeter for this reason. Beware - whatever the person on the phone told you!

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Hi Guys, disagree with your last comment spamheed aswell as the KPR driven & not having a clue (yip i work for them), I do not know where the £35 charge per statement has come from as this is incorrect information that has been given, you can call npower & request a SAR form, it will be sent & then send in the fee (£10), Once you get the statements i'd pay attention to the statement/bill produced after any meter exchange from credit to prepay, which should show the amount of debit built up off the credit mtr.

 

finaldj

 

with regards to your comments on the key meter, you can not get into debt by going into the emergency credit, gas meter total diffrent story as these can do into time based recovery.

 

Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, mine is based on a complaint which went on for almost three years, being told by one of your wonderful colleagues that they had resolved/escalated my complaint, only to find from another that they hadn't done anything. having my complaint marked as closed without any notification. the fact that it took the involvement of the ombudsman to get your employers to accept that they were wrong.

 

Or what about the thread as above, one of your colleagues telling blatant lies in an attempt to put off a caller and avoid actually doing any work or making the slightest attempt to consider customer care, I stand firmly behind my claim that NPower and their call centre drones don't have a clue


Hope this helps

 

 

If you feel that this site has helped you in any way please leave a donation if you can afford to do so.

 

If you feel that have been helpful please feel free to tip the scales.

 

 

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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Yeah everyone is entitled to an opinion & npower is far from perfect & yes they get things wrong, & npower takes it serious if anyone just fobs a customer off or avoids taken calls & that should have been brought to the attention of the complaints team or the manager who would have had it fed back to the advisors manager to decide what action to take next, & every call is recorded so it isnt a case of customers word against advisor.

 

call centre drones dont have a clue?? this is of course your opinion off 1 bad encounter of customer service from npower, you were let down from what i read in your thread. I only work for the company but i am proud of what i do & nothing more pleases me than helping someone out with the account/meter issues.

 

People don't post regarding Happy encounters with companies only the bad ones.

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Do you still have a cardmeter farmlama? If so, watch out when they change it to a keymeter. If they haven't come out to reset the cardmeter with the correct prices, they will try and set a "debt" on the keymeter when they fit it. EON will say that you have been paying less for your electric than you should have been and so you will have to pay back the shortfall through the keymeter. A lot of electric suppliers just write off this "debt" but EON don't! Even some that don;t write it off, cap the amount that gets paid abck - eg: NPower. EON don't do this either. I work as a meter-reader and I have seen some customers with over £500.00 "debt" set on their new keymeter for this reason. Beware - whatever the person on the phone told you!

 

 

we have moved house now and no longer have a meter, direct debits now, our final bill came through with about £2 outstanding and i phoned them up as usual and they removed the balance. so i guess we got lucky

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Guys I want to take my complaint further with Npower to the financial Ombudsman.

 

 

Is there a templated letter I have to fill out or can I just write to them can't seem to find out on the site if there is a particular form that needs to be filled out as never had to write to them before.

 

 

thanks

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Looking for some advice on my next step.

 

I put a complaint into Npower on the 5th february this year through their online form. I got the usual email from them that they are experiencing a high number of complaints and will be dealt with as soon as possible.

 

Gave me a number to call instead. Yeah whatever been down that route never gets sorted and they don't log half the call let alone any of it.

 

So I left it a month then emailed them again with my ref number stating that they should be following their own rules of 18 days and it has now been over a month and I would like some kind of update. I have complained in the past and usually got a response by post to say they are looking into it and would get back to me soon as.

 

Not this time it's now the 22nd March and still nothing back from Npower.

 

What should my next steps be when this fails?

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Ofgem might be your next step I would think.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Npower's obligation to implement their own complaints procedure is a contractual requirement and so therefore failure to implement it is itself a breach of contract.

 

You could begin a simple County Court claim for this breach alone. In fact Eversir on this forum has already begun a substantial County Court claim against npower for various breaches including their failure to carry out their contractual obligations in respect of implementing their complaints procedure.

 

I wouldn't bother to go to ofgem. It's a waste of time. It won't get anything done. By the time ofgem decides to look at it, you will find that npower will start implementing their claims procedure.

 

You gives no details at all of what the problem is. Why don't you let us know exactly what has gone wrong and then maybe we can give you some advice about the whole thing. However, I'm quite confident that the advice that I will give will be to bring a small claim in the County Court.

 

Have you read our customer services guide at all?


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I apologise for the long winded post but it will give you an idea of my complaint with Npower

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Dear Sir/Madam

 

 

I would like to draw your attention to my account and ongoing problems since 2012.

 

 

In September 2012 you stopped taking a Direct Debit I didn't notice this until you sent me a bill December 2012 for £114. I checked my bank and noticed you hadn't been taking a DD so I contacted your company to be told that the bank had cancelled the DD. Checking my internet banking showed it still active and contacting the bank they said the DD was also still active.

 

 

I went back into my Npower account to check my DD details and they were still set-up on the account so had to confirm that I still wanted to use them and set-up a DD that was already set-up and received a letter from you thanking me for setting up a DD which was confusing as it was still active on both accounts.

Payments started coming out again from January 18th 2013 which I had missed 4 payments from September – December I was paying about £80 a month which resulted in missed payments of roughly £320.

 

 

By the time my bill came in for first part of 2013 it was Nearly £800 this caused me financial difficulty as my bills have never been this high before. My wife contacted you and it was suggested that a payment plan be set-up and a change of tariff to your August online 2014.

 

 

Your payment plan worked out to be £125 with about £21 of that going towards the debt this was set over a 36 month period.

 

 

Payments were due to start coming out July 2013 and as always payments to come out on the 18th of the month. You took a random DD for £130 on the 24th June 2013. My wife contacted you regarding this and was told it was taken out in error and to contact the bank and claim the money back.

 

 

A few days later I started getting emails from you regarding the set-up of the August online 2014 e.g. contract details, DD details and how much each plan was...this was all in the same day. I got an email late on to say all plans had been cancelled and so had the DD. I contacted Npower to see what the problem was and was told because we had gone to the bank and reclaimed the money back Npower had taken by accident it cancels all agreements we have made with you.

 

 

The assistant on the phone said that the bank should have told us that claiming the money back would cancel all agreements with the Npower.

 

 

I explained that we were told by your company to claim it back from the bank and the bank wouldn't have told us what would happen because they wouldn't have known what arrangements we had with Npower so you arranged payments to start from August 2013 instead of July 2013.

 

 

The first payment came out as normal, then when the bill came in from September 2013 it had a part payment towards August online 2014 and a part payment for Standard Tariff. I assumed it was a part month moving over to the online August account.

 

 

When the bill came in January 2014 it was saying I was on a standard Tariff, not long after this you stopped taking a DD again.

 

 

My wife contacted you about this and you said that you didn't know why any of this had happened and to give you a few days to look at the account. On the 4th April I got a letter from the person dealing with it Ref – 99688871

 

 

**** **** from the complaints team said she had looked at the account and re-billed for the whole period.

 

 

She took it off her own back to cancel the 36 month plan we had in place that we had only just set-up in August 2013, told me that my average usage was now £112 a month over a 12 month period and that my payments of £21 were now over 24months at £28 a month

 

 

This made my monthly payments from £125 to £140. I never agreed to any of this all I asked her to do when contacting your company was “why had my DD stopped and why had you moved me from August online 2014 back to a Standard Tariff” I never asked anyone to touch my account and make changes.

 

 

I got a load of different bills in May 2014 all prices were different amounts to pay, there was also some bill reversals on the account for this period none of this made sense. I took the option to just pay by debit card from this moment on at £125 a month till November and paid £100 after that date.

 

 

In January 2015 I received a bill for £117 I paid £100 which is something I have been doing since December 2014. I got a letter from you 30th January saying that £45 was still outstanding to be paid. the bill was £117 and I paid £100 of that I don't know where you got the £45 from?

 

 

I would if possible like to have all outstanding amounts put on a final bill with the option to close my account and setup a payment plan of £25 a month till the account is clear. I've had ongoing problems since 2007 and it is causing stress and anxiety for my family and I would like to move to another utility company.

 

 

Can you please look into my account and let me know the outcome.

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As it stands my account is £237 in arrears. I will be billed again at the end of April taking into account I would have paid another £100 by the time that bill comes in my account with stand at £137 plus whatever the next bill is. if I was to guess I could say it might be back to £337 off the top of my head.

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When did you send this letter, please?

 

have you sent them an SAR?

Have you got screen shots or other evidence from your bank showing that the DDs were in place?

 

have you read our customer services guide?


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I've not read the Customer service guide but something I will dig into tomorrow I think.

 

I don't really need a SAR with them as can see everything on my account and what's been happening.

 

I actually updated my Meter readings and it's showing I've used £396 plus £237 already outstanding on my account by end of April I put my account at £637 in arrears. I expect to have my account to £0 balance by September however this will be the 3rd year I have missed out on my £100 a year discount because of all the errors that has been happening with my account and me coming off DD

 

Looking at my account I need to up my Min payment from £100 to £130 a month.

 

I did send the letter on the 5th of February. I also got a response from Npower today

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Hello

Thank you for contacting us about your account.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in response. We have recently received higher volumes of customer contact than we anticipated and I would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can to respond without any further delay.

I am sorry to learn that you would like to set up Direct Debit. Having checked our records, I confirm that you have an outstanding balance of £437.00 and we have set up a payment plan for 24 months for a total debit balance of £676.49 wherein, monthly instalment is £28.00 and £420.00 is the balance left to pay. Please provide us with your up to date meter readings so that we can reinstate Direct Debit.

 

 

So the Above doesn't really make sense and didn't really address the issues in the letter I sent.

 

 

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Believe me, you need to send an SAR.

You will be shocked at what you receive.

Ask Eversir.


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Really think I better send off an SAR.

 

I was thinking maybe because I am on a standing Tariff I might switch to the June 16 fixed rate to get a lower price with no early exit fee and while fighting with them?

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£437.00 appears to be a magic number with Npower!

 

finaldj - you have nothing to lose by requesting an SAR. In fact you may find it's the best £10.00 you have ever spent.

 

Npower's systems have been and - as I have witnessed to date - still are in a complete and total disarray. The problem is, at the moment, it is the consumer (i.e. you) that is hurt by this monumental cock-up. Unless you put your foot down and do something about it now, it will only continue and worsen. Given enough time it may escalate to such a point where it becomes far too convoluted to resolve (in your favour).

 

Npower's complaint's process: Not fit for purpose

Energy Ombudsman: I fear, sadly, as above.

Ofgem: Not usually interested in individual complaints.

Social media: A waste of both time and keystrokes.

 

Far better instead to channel your energy into meaningful action - that will actually get results.

 

From your previous posts, a breach of contract has almost definitely occured. It is actually uncanny how similar certain aspects of your case are to our own. You need to evidence these breaches in whatever way you can. Screenshots are a start - call recordings are far better. This is where your SAR comes in.

 

Quite frankly, I would even begin questioning whether you owe them anything at all. Make sure you know one way or the other.

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Hello

Thank you for contacting us about your account.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in response. We have recently received higher volumes of customer contact than we anticipated and I would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can to respond without any further delay.

I am sorry to learn that you would like to set up Direct Debit. Having checked our records, I confirm that you have an outstanding balance of £437.00 and we have set up a payment plan for 24 months for a total debit balance of £676.49 wherein, monthly instalment is £28.00 and £420.00 is the balance left to pay. Please provide us with your up to date meter readings so that we can reinstate Direct Debit.

 

 

So the Above doesn't really make sense and didn't really address the issues in the letter I sent.

 

 

You are quite right that this response is a load of nonsense. You're also quite right that it doesn't address the issues.

 

You had better understand that npower routinely breach their complaints commitments and as I have said before, this itself is a breach of contract.

 

Don't expect any quick solutions – or any solutions at all from npower. If you decided to go to the regulator then this could take up to a year or maybe more. The situation will simply get worse. If npower sorted by that time then that would be good but you will be extremely lucky.

 

Also, our experience is that npower don't respond correctly or at all to subject access requests. You should put in your SAR immediately and start counting the 40 days.

 

If the matter has not been resolved – then at the end of the 40 days if you receive the disclosure then you should go through it and then you will be able to come back to us and tell us what the real story appears to be and we will then advise you as to what further action to take. If you don't receive the subject access request disclosure at the end of the deadline then I think you should let us know and we will help you formulate a claim against them in the County Court not only for their breaches of their complaints guidelines and also there breach of contract in mismanaging your account, but also for their breach of their statutory disclosure obligations under the Data Protection Act.

 

The claim will be relatively straightforward although it is worth preparing and putting out in detail. Once they receive the claim documents, I expect that the statutory disclosure will be made very quickly and then if necessary you will be able to amend your claim.

 

Start keeping a very detailed log of everything that happens. If I were you I'd go through all your correspondence and make sure that it is all properly organised. One of the reasons for doing this is not only so that you have your case ready but also that if you ever get your statutory disclosure, you will be up to go through it and it will be easier to spot whether or not things are missing from it and what those things might be.

 

I see that in Parliamentary debates in 2014 it was even suggested that npower should have their licence taken away from them as they were so incompetent.

 

Make sure you have read our customer services guide and if you have any dealings with them on the telephone then make sure that your following the advice strictly. You will find that the information you get from customer service dealings which are recorded are extremely helpful. In fact if you do install a recorder then I would suggest that you start talking to npower on the telephone and recording everything. They customer service function is just as inefficient as the rest of it and you will find all sorts of useful information and admissions being made which later on they might try to retract – but they won't be able to because you will have the recordings.


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