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looking to take Npower to court...advice please?

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Hello,

 

I am a newbee...i got the details from the npower bot=ycott fcebook page and am after some advice please...

 

The very short vesion is I have had shocking service from npower with bill reversals, countdowns and cheering on the phones and the wrong meter being read. I have complained and gone through the ombusman who wish to give me 150 pounds for customer service but upholding the bill. I wish to take them to court rather than agree to the ombudsman on the following basis...

 

I paid 1100 to npower for duel fuel but they claim i owe them another 1200. i live in a two bed 1995 built house two adults and a six year old. My previous year bill with another supplier was 1400 and having swapped i am on course for 1400. Npower billing shows that in winter i used combined fuel totalling 77 per month but that in the summer we used 177 pounds...the ombudsman thinks this is normal.

 

Does anyone think i stand a chance? How much does small claims cost? I have 12 days left to decide?

 

Thank you.

 

Anita

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I am sure there will be quite a few people who will pop in and have a look at your thread and offer advice. Meanwhile, have a read round other Npower threads and see what others are doing as seem to be getting quite a few complaints about this company.


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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Welcome to CAG. Would not be at all surprised if Npower has made a mistake somewhere.

 

Double check the bills you do have and check they are billing you on meter readings (not estimates).

 

Can you give us all some more information regarding the event of the wrong meter being read please? Could do to understand your situation in more detail too. Bullet point key events in chronological order - this really helps.

 

Costs in a small claims court are fairly minimal and dependent on the amount you claim. See the following:

 

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex050-eng.pdf

 

Claims over £1500 also attract a £40 allocation fee later on in the process. You'll also have to pay a hearing fee when the case is listed for hearing (see the above form).

 

You also don't have to pay the other side's legal costs if you lose, which takes a huge amount of risk out of the equation!

 

What are your damages? You need to have an idea of this figure (and justify it) before you can take Npower to court.

 

More advice to follow, but first please address the above.

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This was my complaint

 

16th April 2015

 

 

Dear Sirs,

 

My complaint about Npower (my account number was xxxxxxxxx2) is broken into several parts for your convenience and in the hope to make this letter coherent. Part 1 is about the ongoing billing which I have complained about BEFORE being aware of a bigger problem and so did not document each phone call/email etc. Part 2 is a documented complaint about the poor level of customer services received. Part 3 is about the ongoing billing as documented/recorded as I was becoming more aware of the seriousness of the issues and the dwindling chances of a resolution. There will be some overlap. I will label my screenshots and clearly point out when I am referring to a piece of evidence.

 

Following advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau and my partners’ employer (xxxxis) offered Legal Advisory team I have not paid the final bill as I dispute the value. I have requested an account summary (several times, more details follow) of the amounts billed & the amounts paid over the life of the account but this has not been forthcoming.

 

I joined Npower 22/10/2013. I swapped online having entered the figures from my annual statement from my previous supplier (Scottish Power) of Gas and electricity used.

 

Payments. I have paid the following moneys to Npower

 

02/01/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

03/02/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

03/03/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

01/04/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

01/05/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

02/06/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

01/07/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £72.63

01/08/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £66.00

01/09/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

01/10/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

01/10/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

03/11/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

01/12/2014 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

02/01/2015 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

02/02/2015 DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENT TO NPOWER REF 000158828772, MANDATE NO 0040 £78.00

 

Total paid to Npower £1120.41.

(For reference we live in a two bedroom, 1 reception end of terrace two floor house built in 1995).

 

Please see document 1 an email from Npower dated 27th November 2013 stating that they believe based on the figures that I should be paying £72.63 per month to cover my usage.

 

BILLING

 

Document 2 shows a print screen of the emails received from NPOWER where you will think that I received my first bill online on 6th July 2014. However if you look at Document 3 you will see that they generated the bill on 3rd May 2014.

 

I had called in March 2014 as I was worried about the lack of a bill and to check my payments were OK as it was a big drop from my previous supplier. I provided meter readings and was told that it was all fine and on schedule and that a bill would be generated from the call/readings & that if I had not received it to please get back in touch in a month. I called again in April and was told it was in hand but that my payments were plenty to cover my usage.

 

So a bill was produced on 3rd May 2014.

 

Key information from this bill was that I was projected to use £671.01 electricity and £558.28 gas (total £1229.29) within the year. This bill shows clearly my direct debit payments to date and that I am £22.07 in debit which according to my earlier telephone call I will easily clear in the summer months.

 

24th June 2014, another bill is produced (see document 4)

 

Key information is that my yearly electricity usage is down & my gas is going up. However I have somehow used £361.41 of energy since the previous bill. My one payment since the last bill is shown. MY Direct Debit is decreased on this bill to £66 (I have not been notified of this as I’ve not been emailed or texted at this time)

 

6th July 2014 I am emailed notification of the bill. I phone up as I am concerned am and told there is a mistake on the bill and not to worry my DD will stay the same not go down and that a new bill will be produced.

21st July 2014 The previous bill of 24th June 2014 is reversed including payments.

21st July 2014 a NEW bill is produced saying I have used £585.04 fuel since the previous bill which I believe is referring to the 3rd may 2014.

 

Key information on the new bill is that my estimated electricity for the year is now £1140.92 and gas £644.39 and my DD is going up to £150.

25th July 2014 I am emailed the bill dated 21st July 2014. I am concerned and phone up again and am again told the bill is wrong & my DD will not change from the £72.63 – although I am told I can reduce the payment to the notified £66 if I wish (they have no record for my DD being set at £150 as per the bill 21st July). I say no I want to keep it the same.

26th July 2014 I receive an email thanking me for changing my DD amount. I phone up but am told my DD is still £72.63 & that it had been changed the day before from £150 at my request. This is not correct & I am not happy and explain to the man on the phone about my previous calls. He is very sorry but assures me that the system that has been going through a period of change is now complete and the problems will not persist.

 

This is now the first time I have gone through all of the bills and complain that the meter number is wrong. I read out the correct meter number and am told the system will be updated.

 

1st August 2014 my direct debit goes out for £66.

I now go online to change my direct debit details to £78 as I want to compensate for the reduced months payment & I am not confident in the staff on the telephone. I do NOT receive an email to confirm this change.

 

6th August 2014. The bill is reversed from the 21st July 2014

6th August 2014. A new bill is generated this has the same figures as the bill from 21st August 2014 but says that my direct debit has now been reduced to £39 per month. The meter serial number has not been changed.

 

8th August 2014 I am aware of the bill as I am now regularly checking my account. I go online and change the DD back to £78 and this time receive an email to confirm.

 

11th August 2014. I receive an email in reply to my phone call 26th July 2014 apologising about the problems with the Direct Debit.

 

19th August 2014 I am email to inform me the bill is available. But when I log in it turns out to be the previous bill from 6th August.

 

All the above bills refer to the period until June 2014.

 

I now continue to pay my DD and make monthly phone calls to find out what is going on. I am fobbed off & told no problems until.

 

5th February 2015. I receive an email saying my monthly direct debit is going up to £253 per month.

 

FROM THIS POINT I START TO DOCUMENT MY OFFICIAL COMPLAINT TO NPOWER HAVING SAUGHT LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO USE THE OMBUDSMUN.

 

At 19:45 on 5th February 2015 I phone up Npower customer service number about the direct debit notification. I am on the telephone and am informed that there is no record of my DD being £253 per month, it is in fact £440 per month. I was upset and while on the telephone logged on to the online system. The lady on the phone asked for the current meter readings and current meter number. While my partner was getting these for me mid conversation with the lady on the phone I heard a man in the background saying numbers…it took me a moment to register “5,4,3,2,1” >> the phone went dead. I phoned right back thinking I was cut off in error but get a message that lines are closed as it’s 8pm. What I heard was someone in the call centre, wanting to go home, count down and cut the calls off. Decent customer service would at least say sorry the lines will go dead. This was out right rude, selfish and unprofessional.

 

I now examine my account page on Npower DOCUMENT 7 is timed and dated and annotated screen shot. It shows my account is in CREDIT by £84.15. That my direct debit is £440 per month. Two points a)why would I need to pay £440 per month for fuel when I am in credit? And b)Why have they emailed me to say my DD is £253 when it is in fact £440? It also shows me a Bill dated 3rd February 2015, followed by bill reversal dated 6th February 2015. It also still has the wrong serial number on it for the electricity meter.

 

I go to my bank online and cancel the direct debit as I only get £880 per month wages and am worried about the money going out of my account.

 

6th February 2015 14:50 My online account it unchanged (I can provide a timed dated picture if you wish). I phone back and speak to Amber. I explain that I wish to speak to a manger. Amber says there are no managers available as they are in a meeting, so I decide I wish to make a formal complaint and ask to be put through to the complaints department. Amber informs me that there is not a complaints department. I ask how customers are expected to complain and Amber says that it is her job to document the complaint. So I complain about the following points :

Continued problems with bills and bill reversals.

Differences between the information emailed to me and that showing online about Direct debits.

Serial number on the meter being wrong, them being informed and not doing anything and the effect this may have on my bills.

The rude call the night before being counted down and cut off…

With each of these points Amber tries to interrupt me and give excuses which wind me up (for example she said the lines do not cut off at 8pm, I did not hear a count down, I had not phoned the night before). Until I add my next complaint…

When I try to relay my complaint the complaint handler keeps interrupting and saying I am mistaken about what happened and making things up.

Amber then tells me she is putting me through to a manger (yes one of those non existent people she couldn’t transfer me to earlier!)

 

I am now put through to Phil Whitehead who gives the impression of being professional and helpful at this stage. He is very sorry, wants to discuss compensation with me and sort the bills out, the meter and the readings. One of the things Phil tells me it that it takes 3 days for info to get from them to my online account but my documents show that the bill dates are often the same date that I log in. Phil changes my tariff to a lower priced one but not the cheapest as I no longer pay by direct debit. He gives me a complaint reference of 99999347 and my call in total was 1 hour 34 minutes and 24 seconds.

 

17:46. For my records I produce DOCUMENT 8. This shows the overview of my account online. Including a new bill since earlier in the day and a new bill reversal. One downloadable bill and one that is not viewable. Three different bill date information areas on the same page that don’t agree with each other. The fact that I am still in credit despite the new actions and that I have cancelled my direct debit, which since I only did the day before further proves that online updates do not 3 days.

 

7th February 2015 Phil calls back! Phil tells me that as I have now applied to change suppliers my account is locked, he is unable to change the meter number, check up on any inaccuracies of the meter or anything else. He tells me that there will be a couple more bills and reversals until the final bill is produced he says they will be dated 17th & 19th for reversals but not sure of final bill date. He is actioning my complaint about the customer service.

 

7th March 2015. I get a letter about my compliant from the no existant (Amber) complaints team.

9th March 2015. Iphone the number on the complaints letter to find out how things are progressing. I get through to Ashleigh who does not have half the details so I fill her in (to date) Ashliegh also wants to make to good, give compensation etc and tells me that most of what Phil and Amber have said is wrong. She whispers to me her own email address so I can send my photos of the meter to her. She says she is not supposed to do it but she needs to sort this out for me…I am give no other choices. Ashleigh says there will be no final bill until all the investigations are done. But whereas Phil said they have 56 days to soft my complaint Ashleigh says there is no time scale.

 

14th March 2015. Ashleigh phones back. She has my pictures but they do not apparently affect my bill as they knew the meter was wrong all along but didn’t do anything about it. I ask for proof they knew. I am put on hold and told proof will be in the post to me. I also ask for a full statement of payments & usage & Ashleigh puts me on hold & then comes back and says this is in the post to me now. Ashleigh ties to work out manually how much electricity we should use in a property of this size. After some time on hold she comes back with 19 units per day which happens to be the average we would get if we used Npowers figures over a year divided between 365 days. I express surprise as in February we used 16 units per day and it’s not summer yet (I had emailed Ashleigh or daily readings) and refer her to the Department of Energy and Climate Changes Average domestic standard electricity bills by home and non home supplier document dated 18th December 2014 which says a Direct debit customer in a non home supplier in our side property pays an average of £529 per year for electricity, but she doesn’t know what I am talking about.

 

My online account shows

22 February 2015 Bill

3rd March 2015final Bill

10th March 20154 bill reversals not openable

10th March 2015 two bills you can open

10th March 2015 Final Bill you can open.

All on DOCUMENT 9.

 

30th March 2015 We get a letter asking why we have not paid our final ‘recent’ electricity bill

31st March 2015 we get final gas bill (£438.30)

1st April 2015 Receive a letter dated 27th March asking me to call so I phone and get through to Louise at 13:29. She tries to find out why I am calling – reading through complaint & then put me on hold to find out what is happening. At 13:33 she says the notes not clear as Ashliegh has complaint locked to her…will send an email asking her to phone me tomorrow as early as possible.

2nd April 2015 Ashleigh called back at 10:38 and said anyone should talk to me not locked to her. She has forwarded request for statement. Chasing up today sorry for delay but ends by saying the complaint willstay locked to herself. (!) >> and she will call back in 10 days.

8th April 2015we get a final reminder for the electric bill.

 

 

Documents enclosed

1. Npower generated email setting payments dated 27th November 2013.

2. A print screen of emails received from Npower regards to the initial setting up of the account.

3. Page 4 of Npower online account payment summery

4. Page 3 of Npower online account payment summery.

5. Page 2 of Npower online account payment summery.

6. Page 1 of Npower online account payment summery.

7. Contradictory information on one account page dated times and annotated.

8. Contradictory information on one account page dated times and annotated 6th February

9. Final bills listing screenshot from account page

10. Evidence of failing to action something promised (in this case the tariff has not been changed)

11. Evidence of contradictory information (in this case meter reading dates that do not tally).

 

Solutions.

 

To resolve this issue I expect the following.

 

Npower or OFGEN to agree a reasonable amount of fuel used in our property over the time of the account.

For our payments of £1120.41 over the course of the account to be deducted from the above amount.

Compensation for the various incompetency’s of Npower to be deducted from the first amount and if there is a difference owning to me, for that amount to be paid promptly by cheque to myself.

 

 

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Anita

 

THERE IS MORE TO ADD RE THE OFGEN REPLY I HOPE THIS HELPS

Edited by maroondevo52
Removed name

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Hi Msu,

 

I'm sorry to say that this is too comprehensive to go through.

 

Please can you type out, as brief as you can keep it, a bulleted or numbered list of the problems you've had with Npower. Try to summarise!

 

This is really important so people can begin to understand your specific circumstances. The nitty-gritty detail can come later.

 

Will also need to know if you still have all your written correspondence and whether you have any recordings of the phone calls with Npower?

 

Also list what you consider to be damages you have suffered and what your expected resolution is.

 

Thanks!

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Hi Msu,

 

I'm sorry to say that this is too comprehensive to go through.

 

Please can you type out, as brief as you can keep it, a bulleted or numbered list of the problems you've had with Npower. Try to summarise!

 

This is really important so people can begin to understand your specific circumstances. The nitty-gritty detail can come later.

 

Will also need to know if you still have all your written correspondence and whether you have any recordings of the phone calls with Npower?

 

Also list what you consider to be damages you have suffered and what your expected resolution is.

 

Thanks!

Also - where does 12 days come into it?


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The ombudsman has made a recommendation and I had 14 days (now 12) to agree or not.

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The Ombudsman recommendation doesn't prevent you from making a claim. Although if you accepted the money, that may diminish your chances of success.

 

As per post #5, get a nice summarised list of the issues posted up and we will help as best we can.

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You need to remove your name from post 4.


Dont let the parasite dca's prosper

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You can respond to the Ombudsman advising that you will be responding to their letter/email, but that you will need more time to assess the situation.


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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