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Scottish Power issue.

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First of all, not sure where to put this. I did look for a forum specifically about gas/electric suppliers but couldn't see it. Apologies if I missed something obvious.


Ok, I was with Scottish Power for Gas and Electric. They were great, then my gas metre (prepayment) stopped working. I put my card in, it beeped, and the liquid diode screen stopped showing anything. We were worried. It was getting close to Christmas (2013) and we had a 3 year old son, it was cold, he had asthma and could do without the chance of catching anything.


I suffer from really bad anxiety, and had setup my Scottish Power account on the internet. I spoke to an online help assistant, who assured me that their online help was fantastic, and whilst phone calls usually got an immediate answer, an email through their accounts page would be far quicker than post and still get a response ASAP.



so I emailed, and waited.


And waited.


And Emailed, and waited.


And posted letters, and waited, and emailed and posted and waited.


I tried to phone, but I was just a jibbering mess. With me worried about my son, it just made my anxiety worse. I tried to top up £5 on card, just to see if it beeped so we knew we could put money on but nothing happened. We knew it accepted our last £40 top up, so we just hoped that we would get an answer before it ran out.


Over Christmas we put extra electric on, we never used the central heating. Our gas just warms the water and heating, everything else is electric. So we got a couple of electric powered oil radiators. They did the job of keeping our small house warm, but we were still worried that the gas would run out. We kept water use to a minimum, baths mainly. We took to doing dishes with water pre-boiled in the kettle.


After Christmas I kept sending requests for help. 1 letter by post, 2 via their email service, every month. Still no answer. By february, we'd still not run out of gas and came to the conclusion that the meter must be broken, but the supply is still permanently active. We'd got used to how we were doing things, so we didn't suddenly use as much gas as possible. We carried on as normal just happy to know that we wouldn't run out of hot water for baths and if we REALLY needed to, we could put the heating on for a bit. We still kept emailing every couple of weeks, explaining the situation. Eventually in June, we got a response. Someone would come and help, and an appointment would be made and a letter sent out.


We never got a letter. No one showed up. In August we did get a bill. £227 for gas if I remember (cant access it now, as my account is closed and it was online) I immediately emailed a complaint. Obviously, never got a response. Throughout all of the end of 2014, I continued to complain, and try and get help. At the same time, I was also getting treating for my anxiety which wasn't going to well.


By the end of 2014 I was beyond annoyed with Scottish Power, another bill turned up. £313


Anxiety be damned, I got the phone and made a call. I stammered and struggled through an argument about the service and the account. I got an apology and the promise someone would be out to fix the meter that week. Sure enough, they came and replaced it. I got back to paying for my gas.


A month later, a reminder bill was emailed. £313 again. I was annoyed, I phoned up and complained and left for another company, who have been great.


But Scottish Power, of course, still wanted their money. In May they contacted me for this £313. I said I cant afford it, and I dispute the amount. Apparently they read the meter when it was returned and £313 was accurate (somehow matching exactly their estimated bill) I said I would pay £1 a month, it's all I can afford now I'm paying Electric and Gas to a new company who actually give me working meters.


Not good enough, they want at least £40 a month or they will pass it to a debt collector. I told them I still dispute the bill and think £150 would have been a fair final bill, which is 356 days of standing charges, even though I spent every day wondering if I actually had it standing or if it would vanish.


Nope. £40 or it goes to debt collection. I couldn't afford it, so had no choice but to let them pass it on. I was told it would take 30 days to lapse allocated payment time, and then go to DCA.


In November, I got a message from LCS, collecting on behalf of Scottish Power, they'd added an extra £50 to my bill as Admin charges. They seemed to agree that if I dispute my bill, it should not have been passed to them so easily, but they still need paying. I offered £1 a month, they agreed as long as I send the income and expenditure proof required. Which I have done.


Now, I suppose I should be happy. This BS with SP has helped me beat some parts of my anxiety, but it's been a ton of stress I did not need. My question is though, is where do I stand here? is there anything else I can do to dispute this? Is there a higher up in Scottish Power I can send a complaint to. Are they within their rights to pass the bill off for collection when I disputed it?


Thanks for any help/.

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Was this a quantum meter by any chance?

The displays are battery operated and do run out after 2-3 yrs.

i'm also assuming here that the meter has been changed now and a new meter installed?

The info they would have if its been changed is from the meter dial so would be correct, however, as its taken some time for SP to deal with it they have contributed to the level of alleged debt they now say you owe.

As previously mentioned, they have passed the account to a DCA who have no power to do anything except send you letters requesting payment.

Ignore them until someone issues a claim form, then you can come back and post the details and help will surely arrive.

Enjoy christmas and stop worrying about it, at least until something happens courtwise.





I am not legally trained or qualified, any advice i offer is gleaned from experience and general knowledge, if you are still unsure after receiving advice please seek legal advice.




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