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ploddertom

@FirstUtility what a shambles

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Last October I was one of those caught out when Usio Energy went out of business, subsequently Ofgem appointed First Utility to take over their customers. Wary at first because of comments I had read I styaed with FU - apt initials - but soon changed my mind after seeing how much they were going to charge after their "special deal" expired, so found another supplier. To this point no problems with them.

 

When initially I joined Usio Energy I gave an opening meter reading & also supplied this to my then existing supplier - Powershop. Imagine my great surprise to find the few days energy supply to Usio did not have my opening reading - it had been substituted by one of their own as mine was deemed to be incorrect, which also meant that the final meter reading for Usio was also incorrect - despite being listed as an Actual Reading. Compounded by this FU also took up the deemed readings and refused any I supplied. Having changed now to Peoples Energy  and given them an opening meter reading again it was instantly dismissed as being incorrect as has every reading I have submitted.

 

I received a Final Bill from Powershop for some £236 but when querying it and sending a photo of the current Meter Reading they have now accepted I have been correct all the way and it turns out I was in Credit by approx £40 which has since been refunded. Powershop have tried to talk to FU but they will not engage. Having made a similar complaint to my new supplier - Peoples Energy - gets the same response as FU also refuse to speak to them and just a few minutes ago having submitted another meter reading they reckon I am now £315 or so in Credit - maybe I should just ask them to refund and go elsewhere.

 

In the meantime FU took a DD on 7 January then in an email sent 5 Feb said they were having trouble transferring my details on to their system. Another email a few days later says this is all done. In between the two dates they have produced a bill which is for my Cheque Account. Thinking things will catch up as they have my bank details I did nothing as expected all to go through smoothly. As I was still mystified by all the misbilling I raised a complaint with them on 23 Feb to which they acknowledged and said they were investigating. Forward to 1 March and I get an email telling me they had been trying to get in contact because my account was in arrears - this was the first I knew as thought the DD would have gone through by now. This was followed a few days later by a phone call but as I refused to "pass security" the call ended. Another email lands but I'll deal with that in another post.

 

Now it appears they will not communicate with me via email - I use different computers in different places so my email address changes and although they were happy to communicate earlier they now quote data Protection issues and refuse to talk. Their Ask First online assistant does not work for me - have I been banned I wonder? They are very difficult to contact and note some of the comments on Trustpilot seem to mirror my own.

 

What a shambles they are.

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This is part of an email received from FU earlier this week.

 

"Previous request for payment ignored - please pay now

You have not paid your energy bill despite several attempts by us to contact you - 1 phone call + 2 emails. At this stage and having not heard from you, we have to assume that you do not intend to pay. - they seem to forget the messages sent to them.

In this situation, we pass outstanding debts to external recovery agents. In your case this will happen unless we receive full payment in one week.

The agents’ fees are also added to the debt. These could be as much as £100, which we are sure you would rather not pay. Can't find anything which states they do this

To avoid this, we urge you to pay your bill in full immediately.

If you have recently set up a Direct Debit, - it's already done - or have paid everything you owe within the last five days, ignore this communication. Seems as if left & right hands don't know what they are doing."

 

Comments in blue above are mine.

 

What a shambles.

 

 

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I had something similar when I left FU.  They tried to charge me something like a years worth of gas within a month period before I left due to an incorrect metre read.  I corrected the error with my new supplier but FU couldn't compute and eventually sent it through to a debt collector - They don't seem to have a system in place to prevent and deal with obvious errors.

 

Eventually I went through resolver and FU caved wiping the bill completely.  Resolver seems to be a good place to clear any issues you may have with businesses. 

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Thanks for that. I have tried Resolver previously and am no fan of how they do it. I took the time this morning to go through everything with a fine toothcomb & lo & behold it appears I am owed money from them. Let's see what happens.

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Well despite assurances that all was put on hold I then receive:

1 - a message informing me account now transferred to their external debt collectors

2 - an extra message to tell me tha account has been transferred to the First Utility Collection Dept

 

Begs the question do they know which DCA they are going to use.

 

Seems that the initials from First Utility are very apt - FU, answers on a tiny postcard.

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