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heichou

Opus Gas Contract Abandoned

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Hi,

 

Back in Nov 2016 I agreed a business contract with Opus to be my gas supplier in March 2016.

 

I have since found out that Opus had abandoned this contract in December 2015.

 

However they have failed to inform me of this resulting in my supplier at the time "Extra Energy" to move me to a high out of contract tariff.

 

Opus are currently investigating why this contract was abandoned as there seems to be is no clear reason.

 

Is there any action I can take against Opus for not upholding the contract and then failing to inform me of that i no longer had a contract with them?

 

Thank you for your time.

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A bit confused here. You say that you entered into a contract in 2016 but they abandoned it in 2015, three months before you start of the contract. I imagine that you have made an error with your dates but please can you clarify


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Sorry that should be November 2015.

Thanks for pointing this out.

Edited by heichou

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Yes, I'm sure that there is action you can take.

 

What paperwork do you have? Do you have a copy of the contract, the tariff, any statements, any bills, – et cetera?


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On the 10th of November 2015 I received a Welcome Letter from Opus with details of the agreed tariff and length of the contract, it also informs me that they will begin the registration process.

This is the only letter I have from them.

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Well it's not ideal, because it suggests that the contract might only begin once registration process has been completed. Does it contain any details of the start date of the contract et cetera?

 

Also, presumably you haven't received any bills and so you have made any payments at all. Didn't it occur to you that you should have received some bills and you should be paying for your energy?


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Incidentally, you talk about your previous supplier – Extra Energy. Did you actually have a contract with them? And how long had that contract endured? Had they ever received any notice of termination of contract from you?


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I really should have payed more attention to this, but i have been very busy. I also have my electric contract is also Opus which may have caused some confusion.

I only realized when Extra Energy kept billing me.

ExtraEnergy have confirmed they received my termination request and that i could switch in March 2016, but they have no records of any attempts to switch by Opus.

The letter does not state a beginning date for the contract, but Opus has confirmed that they were informed that the switch date is in March 2016. But for some reason they tried carryout the switch in November 2015 and December 2015. When they failed they just abandoned the contract without informing me.

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I've always been concerned about the practice in commercial energy contracts of moving people to a higher rate if they don't enter into an express contract when their previous contract expires.

 

It seems to me to be extremely unfair and I've always wondered whether the new implied contract at a higher rate is really enforceable – at that rate.

 

Have you got any idea what it says in the Extra Energy contract about what happens on the expiry of a contract? Could you link us to the terms and conditions please.


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This is an extract of their reply to my termination request.

 

"Please note, as you have decided to give termination, if your supply is not transferred away from us at the end of your current contract, your meter will be moved onto our Out of Contract tariff. If this does happen we’ll provide further details and notify you of this new rate at the time."

 

It seems they have the right to move me to higher tariff, but they did not notify or provide the any details of the new rates to me when my contract expired.

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Well they probably say that they have the right, but frankly I'm not convinced. I've always been struck by the provision in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 – section 8 which basically says that where a price has not been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied. It seems to me that in order to discover what is a reasonable price, one has to refer to average dealings in their area and also to any previous dealings that you might have had with the supplier.

 

There is a similar provision in the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 – section 15.

 

I think that this business of imposing a high tariff on deemed contracts both for commercial contracts and also residential contracts is a tradition that the industry has developed and everybody has just accepted it without question because they have assumed that the energy industry has an authority and an integrity about it which actually, it does not have.

 

It needs somebody one day to stand up to this and to get it to site in a court. It would only take a small claim in the County Court to get it moving along – but who wants to step forward and be the first?


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