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Scottish Power is the most complained about energy supplier in Britain, the latest figures from Citizens Advice reveal.


The national charity and consumer advocate has released its latest quarterly complaints league table, which reveals:


  • There were 1,163 complaints about Scottish Power per 100,000 customers in the last quarter of 2014: the latest period for which data is available.
  • This is the highest number of complaints ever recorded about one energy firm.
  • Complaints about Scottish Power increased 588% throughout 2014.

The new figures also show that SSE retained top spot as the least complained about company. In the last quarter, the number of complaints about SSE, British Gas, EDF Energy and npower decreased. Npower has made improvements, but is still performing poorly relative to most other firms, with more than five times as many complaints as the next worst company.


Complaints about Scottish Power are due to its new billing system, which meant some people didn’t receive a bill and others struggled to have their problems resolved.


Scottish Power was banned from selling energy for 12 days in March 2015 after failing to meet Ofgem targets for resolving customer complaints. The investigation behind the ban found that the firm had not made necessary customer service improvements to respond to complaints.


Citizens Advice has worked with Scottish Power to help resolve the problems its customers are experiencing. As a result it has now taken steps to deal with its backlog of complaints. These include hiring new customer service staff, extending call centre hours, and setting up a special phone line for vulnerable customers.




Tips for energy customers


  • Complain to your energy supplier as soon as you experience a problem.
  • If you have not received a bill but are expecting one, try to put money aside so you are able to pay when you do eventually get the bill.
  • Energy companies are only allowed to back bill for energy you used in the last 12 months, anything older than that should be written-off where the supplier is at fault.
  • Ask for some sort of compensation for the time you spent on trying to sort out problems and the financial impact of late billing for example reduce the balance of the bill and cover the cost of phone calls.
  • Npower customers who have received a late bill can contact the supplier on 0800 9759065
  • Scottish Power has increased the opening hours of its call centre to 10pm to help deal with customer queries.
  • Suppliers must take into account ability to pay when setting debt repayment levels.
  • You can get advice from the Citizens Advice energy consumer line on 03454 04 05 06.
  • If you are struggling to resolve your complaint you can raise it with the energy ombudsman on 0330 440 1624.

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Not surprising. I transferred to them last year, gave readings and such. They were billing me monthly, I sent in readings again (for the first time since I gave opening readings) and they told me I owed nearly 2000 for duel fuel, for a 3 bedroomed terraced house, in march. Obviously I told them they were mistaken but they wouldn't have it and were threatening to send someone to fit a prepayment meter (stating if I was out they could break entry..not sure if thats true)


I switched providers again as they were unwilling to listen to reason..no way could I spend that much in a month even if my house was like the tropics with heating and all sockets on constantly. They blocked the move because or 'arrears' so I just switched to someone using my partners details instead.


Have had no contact since then, and they haven't registered a default

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not at all surprised to hear this.


I transferred to them 18 months ago and I have had a problem on my account ever since.

I have spent hours on the phone (most of the time waiting for someone to answer).

I escalated my problem to a formal complaint - this was closed without my knowledge so I raised another one - nothing was done for months.

After chasing them regularly, with no progress being made, I raised it with the Ombudsman over 3 months ago - Scottish Power agreed to follow the Ombudsman's proposals.

Fair play - I have received compensation and the issue is not costing me any money......


....... but YES - you've guessed it - IT IS STILL NOT RESOLVED!!!


As soon as this is resolved, assuming it will eventually happen, I will be switching away from them as soon as I possibly can.

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My story comes from more than a year ago but still very relevant here it seems!


Upon moving away from them, we tried to pay Scottish Power the remaining balance on our account, about £70, no less than three times. (I must add, we inherited Scottish Power from the previous owners of the house, it was not by choice!) Each time we were told that our payments by card had gone through with no trouble and that our account was up to date.


Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later on EACH occasion we were being sent red letters demanding payment for the amount we had already paid, each letter progressively more forcefully worded than the last.

Naturally I called them up and went mad at them each time (politely, obviously! It's not the callcentre workers' fault) and when we made the payment again, although we were told everything was OK, we found out that our payment never actually went through, despite being told it had.


When the third strongly-worded letter arrived, a threat of a visit from the bailiffs, I had to resort to publicly complaining to them on Twitter before anything 'real' seemed to happen.


To cut a long story short, they responded to my Twitter message within 24 hours and a very polite and apologetic chap called me on my mobile to get it all sorted. It turned out that the problem was entirely at their end and although none of my final payments actually went through, they wrote off the final bill as a gesture of apology.


Bless them. They do try ... If only the whole of the company was as good and professional as their people who deal with customer complaints. They really need to sort things out before sending out threats of bailiffs to people's houses. Some people are a lot more sensitive and more easily scared of threats than I am (having previously having dealt with parking companies before) !

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After not having hot water and gas for eight weeks, thanks to Scottish power bad customer service and negligence, we contacted Citizens Advice Bureau and finally we received a call from what they call 3rd Level complaints department and the issue was resolved. We were then asked how much compensation we expected to receive by the representative and we said £150 for each week we were not with hot water or gas (18 March till 16 May). We have now been ignored each time we call regarding the compensation and informed someone will contact us. bearing in mind we had a small child who suffers from severe asthma and was quite ill during the period we had no hot water or gas. At one point during March and April my sister literally had a break down after being passed back and forth by customer services which then led us to contact the citizens advice bureau meanwhile Scottish Power continued to take our direct debit payments for the two months and we still have not been refunded and they refuse to respond to any of our calls. We are at the end of our tither and don't know what else we can do to get a refund of the direct debit payments they took and the compensation for the suffering we endure for those two months. Any advice will be gratefully appreciated, thank you in advance.

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My sister and I have had the same issue of numerous phone calls and living without gas for two moths due to their engineers fault, they refuse to respond to our telephone calls regarding compensation. we have contacted Ofgem who have said they will write to Scottish Power on our behalf so we are waiting to hear back from Ofgem. I am constantly told the person dealing with our complaint (3rd level complaints apparently) is busy and will call us back but never does. we went for two months without heating and hot water with a small child in the house, absolutely atrocious but they don't seem to care. How long did it take for the Ombudsman to have compensation agreed for you? The gas is now working but we suffered for two months, will be leaving them as soon as they refund the direct debits they took whilst we had not hot water and gas, mind you we'll be lucky to get that back from their lack of response. We have spent so much money on phone bills we are at the end of our tither. The worst energy company to deal with, any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

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