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Good morning. I'm worried about the action Co-Op Energy might take against me and would welcome any advice.



My story is as follows.


Just over two years ago and having been out of work for a number of months, I decided to switch my energy supplier from NPower to Co-Op energy.

It was not a smooth process from the start, mainly due to my flat having two meters

-one being formerly connected to economy 7 but for a number of years previously disconnected from my flat.

However I provided all the information asked for and assumed all was ok.



It took some months before I started receiving bills and to be frank, this suited me as I was struggling financially.

As time went on I continued to get quarterly bills and to my shame

-due to lack of funds

-I continued to ignore them.

This was made easier due to the fact I got no threatening letters just the odd reminder.


This situation continued for around 12 months, at which point I got a letter from Npower along with a bill.

I had just found work so decided to call them and sort things out.



They advised me that the switch had failed due to the two meters issue

-in effect only the main meter had been switched-and that as a result the switch was going to be reversed.



Accordingly I got another bill from Npower for an amount I would have paid had I still been with them-and never switched.

I made a payment arrangement with them in respect of this debt and future energy use.



Sometime after this I got a bill from the Co-Op.

I called them advising that I had now been back with Npower for some months and had been paying the debt etc.

Co-op advised that according to the national data base I was still their customer and owed them money.



After calling Npower they confirmed I was their customer and to advise Co-op.

This I did but they refused to accept this.

They also refused to speak to Npower....and Npower refused to speak to Co-Op.



After a number of further calls, the advisor at Co-Op finally agreed to raise an issue with their complaints dept.

This was about 6 months ago and I've heard nothing from them.



yesterday I found a card outside my flat from a meter reading service saying they had tried and failed to read my meter!

I can only assume Co-Op still believe I am their customer and owe them money.



Npower advise not to worry as Co-Op can't disconnect me-but what's to stop them?



My meter is outside my flat so access wouldn't be an issue for them.



There seems no point in calling them and I'm at a loss as to what action to take.


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You're right not to call them, keep everything in writing.


Have you exhausted their complaints procedure yet?


If so, and/or it's been more than 8 weeks for them to rectify your complaint then you can escalate it to the energy ombudsman,

which quite frankly I think is your best bet anyway!


At least then the EO, will get onto them and they will then know you're not messing about, and hopefully pull their finger out.



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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Have you still got the bills from both COOP and NPOWER? Your first port of call really is that you need to check the meter serial number on your bills match the number of the meter that supplies your flat.


The other thing is are both meters in use? Check the meter reads and whether they both advance or if just one of them moves on.


Did NPower send a back dated bill? If so they can only go back twelve months due to the billing code

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I wonder who is responsible for the transfer of the account and the meter switch? The old supplier or the new supplier?


Finding out this information would give this a good clue as how to deal with this problem for you.

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Thanks for your reply Bazooka Boo. I've written to them threatening the energy Ombudsman so hopefully they'll take notice now!


You're having a laugh aren't you?


Don't hold your breath.

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Thanks Notts Lad. I do still have the bills yes. As I suspected, the Co-Op one only showed the main meter. Npower's showed both. The serial no.s are correct. The meter in question-the one that wasn't switched to Co-Op-has been inactive for at least 10 years and the reading has never changed. It was there solely for the underfloor heating and the landlord had it disconnected from the flat. It is however, seemingly still live-i.e registered with Npower. I am calling shortly to ask for it's removal as it's clearly a barrier to any future switch. With regards to the Npower bill-there was an outstanding balance from the previous year and this was transferred to the current one once the switch was reversed. It's a shame the switch wasn't successful as the Co-Op was considerably cheaper and through no fault of my own I've ended up paying a higher rate for the whole period I was supposed to be with them.

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I wonder who is responsible for the transfer of the account and the meter switch? The old supplier or the new supplier?


Finding out this information would give this a good clue as how to deal with this problem for you.


I believed it was the new supplier-Co-op- as they requested info from me regarding the meters etc. Remember sending one of their agents photos of both meters showing the serial no's and readings. The sticking point seems to be this Data Base the Co-Op refer to which still shows me as their customer over a year after the switch was reversed-who knows whose responsibility it is to update it!

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It is the new supplier who is responsible for the switch; I think what has happened here is that co op only sent the data flows for the one meter, and the secondary meter is probably not able to be billed in it's own right as this would mean you'd have two lots of standing charges, meter operator agreements etc (the energy industry is still quite archaic in this respect!!)


Have the co-op now credited out the charges they made?


It would be my opinion that you should seek some form of re-dress from the co-op and at the very least NPower should be offering you a backdated contract.


Make sure that the NPower bill only covers 12 months, they should have billed you

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