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SAR request to Energy Ombudsman after deadlock complaint with Npower

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Hello All


I made this SAR request to the Energy Ombudsman (E-O) as I wanted to see what Npower submitted to them as evidence to back up their response to my complaint with them. Npower are reknowned for saying they have done everything correctly but not substantiating anything with hard evidence. My questions are:


1) There are some emails between Npower and the E-O where the NPower's persons details (name number email etc) have been redacted. Is this permitted? Why?


2) The E-O hasn't sent me any evidence from Npower to substantiate their response to my complaint (but they did include the emails I sent them as evidence) . Should they withhold this from me in SAR request? As this was the purpose of me making the request in the first place.


3) Can I do anything about the above to get the info I was after in the first place?


Many thanks in advance



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Firstly, well done on deciding to put questions to the ombudsman. I think that this is a very good move and I expect that if people put the right questions, that some very interesting information might come out.


You say that you have put in and SAR – but if this is really the case then this could be one of the reasons why the information you have received seems to have been restricted to your personal information – if I understand you correctly.


The request that you should make should be a request under the Freedom of Information Act – this is free of charge and they are required to respond within 20 days.


You have to be very canny about the questions that you ask because organisations like the ombudsman will be very canny about trying to avoid providing you with information and finding loopholes in your questions.


The ombudsman is limp wristed except when it comes to transparency and then believe me suddenly they have a very firm hand.

However, I would say that even with a freedom of information act request, I would expect that it would be unlikely that the details of individuals involved in correspondence would be revealed to – and frankly I'm not too sure what this might be necessary anyway.


We would be very interested if you would post up the questions that you asked and also post up the reply that you received.

  • Confused 1
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Bankfodder let me explain further as I may not have been clear in the original post. I have not asked the E-O any questions yet I was asking those to the forum readers.


NPower (NP) made an error in 2013 (one of several). I raised complaints which seemed to go nowhere. In 2014 I raised another complaint about billing and made sure it was followed through. It culminated with their final response saying they had done everything correctly and would not reduce my bill substantially, as I expected really.


I took the complaint to the E-O this year and their final response and deliberation was pretty useless. There was nothing of any real substance in their finding and the actions binding on the NP were useless as far as I was concerned. So I asked the E-O what evidence did NP submit to you leading you to not uphold my claim and can I have a copy of my file containing this info? I got various answers every time I called ranging from "you aren't allowed to see you own file(?!)" to "I don't know enough about that/not sure" to " you will need to make a SAR.


So I raised a SAR. I looked through the info and there was no evidence of any kind from NP in the bundle - nothing. Only the evidence I submitted to them plus emails exchanged, call logs and same recorded calls (some of which are missing).


So I would like to know if they are required by the DPA to submit this NP evidence (that the O-E request from them) to me or do they have a right to with hold it?


The whole point I made the SAR to the E-O is to see this evidence NP submitted to the OE to support their complaint. And in a nutshell they haven't supplied it.


This is what the penultimate paragraph in the letter from the E-O's Quality Assurance Officer says:


"You will notice that we have removed some names and email addresses of our contacts at npower, as permitted in section 7(5) of the Data Protection Act 1998. We have not removed those you are already aware of from previous correspondence"


Any pointers/help/suggestions appreciated - if I need to make an FOI so be it, assistance with the correct wording so I don't go around in a circle would be helpful!!


Jimbo :-D

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If you believe that the ombudsman has failed to supply all your data then you should go back to them and state as much (in writing). Any data relating to you should have been supplied although they are allowed to redact names and other data from it as those names are not yours.


What may be worth doing is to SAR Npower making specific request for the communications between them and the ombudsman as well as all your data then try to reconcile the two sets of data to find any inaccuracies.


Keep everything in writing as what is said over the phone can be denied (unless recorded)

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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I think that you need to start from the beginning. You haven't told us what the errors are or what your complaint to the Ombudsman was about.


Also, have you sent an SAR to Npower?


It seems to me that you should be taking direct control of this rather than banging your head against the Ombudsman - who is limp-wristed, and so protected by regulations that you can't do much about him.

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Silverfox1 - I contacted the EO two days ago, they wouldn't let me talk to the Quality Assurance Officer directly so I left a message for the person to contact me. Should they give me the person's direct contact? It is obvious that they have left out all the evidence out from NPower. Do they have the right to withhold this?


Bankfodder how can I send you a personal message - sys says I need to do 30 posts?

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Once again - I think that you are putting to much faith in the Ombudsman. It will exhaust you with nothing in return.


You do need to lay out the story here - because I'm not sure how we can help you if you don't.


So far this seems to be all about a fight you are having with the Ombudsman but we have no idea what the basic issue is about

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1) My fight is not with the EO at all Bankfodder - I want to see if what the energy company submits to the EO as evidence to support their response to my complaint is the same as what they submit to me in a SAR. I would guess it would be substantially different.


2) How do I send you a (very brief) PM Bankfodder? It will all become clear when I do.


3) Can the OE withhold from me the file the energy company has sent them to support their side of things?

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  • 10 months later...

NPower have finally done something albiet negative as per usual.


So it seems they have made an application to the court to fit a pre-payment meter for the amount they allege is owed but isn't.


My advice to all out there if you have one of these is don't panic.


You MUST attend the court and give your side of things - which I will be happy to do.


Make sure you get there early and notify the usher who you are and for what sitting.


Will post an update after attendance.

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  • 3 months later...

Update (sorry v late!) - 1st Application withdrawn by the 3rd party 'issuer' outside the court. Apparently not NPower but Richburns on behalf of Npower who do this for several energy companies. He (the rep) seems quite sympathetic and said "well something definitely isn't right there" after listening to my side.


2nd application by Npower set aside due to an error on the application.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello CAGers


I made a SAR in 2015 to NPower but now require the info from 2015 to present - Do I make another SAR or ask for the old information to be updated? :???:


Not sure how this scenario works, so I thought people that know more than me can advise!


Thanks gang.



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You make a completely new SAR. Apart from anything else, you may find interesting to go over some of the duplicate stuff to see if there's anything new which should have been there – or anything which is missing, which was there in your last disclosure.

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Thank Bankfodder and fkofilee


Have no issue about the £10 was just wondering if they could say they have already done it. Fast and solid answers I am grateful.


Quick tip for anyone else reading that is about to make a SAR - when you pay the Statutory fee make sure you do it by electronic means with a clear reference to SAR and your energy account number. BEFORE you make the SAR wait one business day so it clears.


That way they cannot try any delay tactics regarding non-receipt of payment or sending you a silly form to fill in. The 40 day timer starts ticking from the time they receive your email.





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for sake of history three threads merged.




please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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