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Energy Bill Debt - Just been landed with large bill, wasn't aware in debt!

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Hi

 

Hoping to get a quick bit of advice please.

 

Our energy company (Extra Energy, fwiw) has told us today we haven't been paying enough and are £440 in debt.

 

A while back, they dropped our DD from 95 to 65, saying that's all we needed to pay, so we did. Now they are saying we have used too much. If we had stayed at 95 we would have still be 160 in debt so we accept that and are happy to pay it, but they are telling us now we need to pay the 280 debt they have caused us. We simply can't afford this, they have said we need to now pay 125 a month, almost double.

 

Where do we stand? Thank you.

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Are you domestic or business?

 

Can you give us the date to which the bills apparently go back? How long you been a customer of theirs?

 

You really do need to think about giving us proper detailed information otherwise we can't possibly advise you


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Hi

 

Didn't want to overload with info, I have a tendency to give too much!

 

Domestic, we have been a customer since last November, just approaching 1 year. They changed our DD on the 20th May.

 

Thank you.

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The back billing rules say that they're not entitled to try and bill you for usage older than 12 months. Unfortunately, you don't come into this category.

 

It is clearly very careless of them but am afraid that you probably do owe the money and you probably will have to pay. Do you agree that the sum claimed as correct? Have you checked your usage – your meter readings et cetera?

 

Although these things should go smoothly and the company should understand what your usages, it is always prudent to monitor your own usage to understand whether you are going above or below what they think. Have the meters been read or or has it will be based on estimated readings?

 

If the amount they are claiming is correct, then I think that you are left with the problem merely of making sure that the instalments are manageable. I would suggest that you start making a formal complaint about the way they have handled your account and tell them that you want to go to the energy ombudsman. You won't particularly get any result out of this, but at least it will go on record that there is a formal dispute and hopefully this will stay their hands in terms of any silly action they might take including thinking about putting in prepayment meters et cetera. At the same time I think you should come up with an instalment plan that you can manage. Propose it to them – but whatever they say start making instalment payment straightaway – even if they refuse. If you have some kind of direct debit in place then you will have all their bank details and to start making the payments without waiting for their agreement so that even while they are fussing around and trying to deal with your complaint and being stupid, the level of debt is reducing. By the time the eight weeks for dealing with your complaint and giving you their final response and allowing you to go on to the energy ombudsman, the debt will have been reduced by two payments – and by the time it goes to the energy ombudsman, it should be reduced by a third payment and by the time the energy ombudsman has come to some kind of limp wristed decision, you may find that the debt has been almost entirely sorted out so that they will have nothing else to argue about.

 

If this idea sounds feasible to you that I suggest that you start making the first instalment immediately – even before you tell them what you are doing. The important thing is to take control and to keep them on the back foot. If they start threatening anything silly against you and make it clear to them that there is a formal complaint in progress.


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Appreciate the advice, thank you very much.

 

We're just gonna put it on a CC, pay them off, then switch to a different provider, although I worry they're all the same!

 

Thanks again.

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They are all the same. Best to go with the cheapest provider but always keep your eyes open and always be prepared to switch


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Hi

 

Hoping to get a quick bit of advice please.

 

Our energy company (Extra Energy, fwiw) has told us today we haven't been paying enough and are £440 in debt.

 

A while back, they dropped our DD from 95 to 65, saying that's all we needed to pay, so we did. Now they are saying we have used too much. If we had stayed at 95 we would have still be 160 in debt so we accept that and are happy to pay it, but they are telling us now we need to pay the 280 debt they have caused us. We simply can't afford this, they have said we need to now pay 125 a month, almost double.

 

Where do we stand? Thank you.

 

This is a ploy by many energy companies to keep their hooks into you as you cannot afford to switch and pay two enegy bills. This happens especially when people do not supply regular reads.

As they are the ones that made the mistake, initially raise a complaint with the energy company pointing out their mistake. They will of course reject it. At that point ask for a deadlock letter so that you can take it up with the energy Ombudsman as you have exhausted their complaints procedure. This will cost them £500 whether they win or not so it may be cheaper for them to write off part of the debt.

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they have said we need to now pay 125 a month, almost double.

 

Yes, if there is no error in the calculations, you either pay what they suggest or pay the full amount and switch to quarterly billing and/or another supplier.

 

The only other option would be to plead with the supplier and ask for some sympathy. The danger of going down this route is that the supplier might reduce the monthly payment but then record what you are doing as a debt repayment arrangement rather than a simple change in the direct debit.

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