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David2Prit

NPOWER - Issues with billing/meter

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Posted (edited)

 

November 2016 – Npower install a meter at property, taking out old pre-payment meter and switching us to economy 7 tariff.
During this period I did not send off meter readings, and then in Feb 2017 Npower asked for a reading to be sent to them, but when looking notice that the meter is faulty and screen is broken.

 

 

Feb 2017 – Npower installs new meter.

 

May 2017 – First bill from Npower shows a sharp increase in billing, so called Npower to question the high bills and what the justification for this was. Essentially for a few months we are back and forward.
Npower believe that the readings are the wrong way around and switch them, which makes bill even higher.
We were advised by Npower to not pay anything until the issue was resolved (Evidence of this in disclosure from Npower).

Npower now believe that they have resolved and refuse to engage further with this complaint. Final deadlock letter is issued to ourselves.

 

 

Nov 2017 - Went to Ombudsman outlining the current issues that we have.

 

 

Dec 2017 - Ombudsman find in favour of Npower. Stating this in finding in favour of Npower:

Quote

“I have reviewed the usage you have been billed for during the period 4 July 2016 to 28 February 2017 as this was estimated by npower.

The usage has been billed as 12 units per day with 30% being charged on the day rate and 70% being charged on the night rate which carries a lower unit rate.

I have then looked at the usage on your new meter.

This records 30 units being used per day which is not excessive for an electric only property.

The split on the day and night rates is 75% day and 25% night.

This means the majority of your usage is charged on the higher rate.

I understand there was an issue previously with the reads being transposed but this has been resolved and I have based my analysis on the correct readings as per the load tests which were completed with yourself and npower that confirmed which rate is which.“

 

 

December 2017 - Npower tell us that due to us not paying anything for 3 months we have severely fallen into arrears. Npower at this point say that we would not have been told not to pay anything towards the monthly billing.
Npower then offered to accept £157 per month to settle arrears. I have an email between myself and partner stating that we should accept this deal to just take some of the pressure off us as it was becoming unbearable.

 

 

October 2018 - Npower unilaterally raised to payments to £344 PCM
Npower tell us to speak with the energy efficacy team and see what we can do to cut down our bills. Speak with team and they advise that our yearly consumption should be averaging around £780 (got document from team confirming this).
Npower arranged a meter test
The test showed that the meter was faulty – 58.8% fast.

Oct 2018 new meter fitted and Npower agreed to revise the billing.

Email from Npower with amended details.

Quote

Our analysis shows that your previous meter has recorded high usage since it was installed on 28.02.2017 therefore, your account will be amended for the full period the meter was installed.

Start Date: 28.02.2017

Start Read Day: 24353

Start Read Night: 4275

Meter Removed: 29.10.2018

Removed Read Day: 38692

Removed Read Night: 13555

Based on the meter recording 58.82% Fast the removal readings have been amended to:

Amended Read Day:33381 – Removing 5311 Day Units

Amended Read Night: 10118 – Removing 3437 Night units

The billing on your account has been reversed and the incorrect final meter readings have now been removed. The removal readings have now been amended as outlined above and we have billed the account to the installation readings from your new meter.

The balance on your account detailed within your last bill dated 14.09.2018 was £1,926.72 debit, which was billed to estimated meter readings from 13.09.2018. The new balance on your account after adding the new amended removal readings is now £1,151.90 debit. Please allow 3-5 working days to receive your new statement within your online account facility

 

 

MY CALCULATIONS OF UNITS
Day rate: The total unit consumptions used during this period was - 14339 units. When doing my calculations 58.82% of that is - 8434.19 units.
Remove that from 38692 is 30257 (rounding down to nearest unit)

Night rate: Total unit consumption used during this period was 9280 units. When calculations 58.82% of that is - 5458.49 units.

Remove that from 13555 is 8100 (again rounded down to nearest unit)  

That's my calculation.

 

 

Dec 2018 Ombudsman are considering whether to revisit the complaint. Which they ultimately reject for bizarre reasons, reasons I did not ask about.
 

Quote

Thank you for your correspondence dated February 2018. I apologise for the delay in responding - your investigation officer was not made aware that it had been received and this was only picked up recently.

You have provided copies of bills form npower. We have already received these bills as part of the npower case file and they have been reviewed

I can confirm that we have fully investigated your complaint against npower (residential). Our conclusions are set out in the decision dated 22 January 2018.

I have reviewed the content of your subsequent email but do not consider that this warrants a change to our decision. This is because you have not provided new evidence or new information or highlighted an error in the facts that makes a material difference to the decision. 

Our role in determining the complaint is over and there is nothing further we can do. You are now free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problem.

 

 

From that the SAR was requested and nothing really has happened in relation to this (SAR all detailed in other thread)
 

At present, according to the online account, 2018 readings and billings appears to have been amended with new total figures per month, but 2017 appears to have been untouched and showing the original figures.

EXAMPLE: 2018 has been amended.

FEB 2017: £92.36         FEB 2018: £86.53
MAR 2017: £233.85     MARCH 2018: £70.40
APR 2017:£218.42       APRIL 2018: £71.12
MAY 2017:£194.42      MAY 2018: £49.92
JUNE 2017:£133.50     JUNE 2018: £45.94
JUL 2017:£133.60        JULY 2018: £46.33
AUG 2017:£134.62      AUG 2018: £47.26
SEPT 2017:£138.74      SEPT 2018: £48.05
OCT 2017:£241.23      OCT 2018: £56.85
NOV 2017: £338.47      NOV 2018: £60.10
DEC 2017:£159.54        DEC 2018: £155.61 (HIGH BUT CORRECT)

 

TOTAL: 2114.16          TOTAL: 793.38

 

 

 

Total amount that I have paid to Npower since Feb 2017 = £1793.07

Edited by David2Prit
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Okay I'm still getting a bit confused – but we will work it out.

I don't want to worry about all the figures at the moment. As far as I can see the most important thing is that they fitted a meter on a certain date and it was damaged.

Since then, subsequent meters have been either damaged or faulty

 

They eventually sorted it out on XXX date??

They are now trying to bill you for the period from the initial installation of the first faulty or broken meter until the date it was sorted out.

Is that correct?

What is the value of that estimate? How much of it have you paid?


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Yeah we will. Apologies, I am at work, so was quickly trying to get stuff down.

 

Npower eventually sorted the issue out on 31st October 2018, which is the meter that we currently have.

3 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

They are now trying to bill you for the period from the initial installation of the first faulty or broken meter until the date it was sorted out.

 

That is correct.

 

I shall get exact figure for the estimate (2017 was £2114), I have currently paid £1793.07 since Feb 2017.

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Thank you. Npower are signatories to an industry code of practice which I believe is called the back-billing code which basically says that if they failed to bill you beyond 12 months, they will not be able to go back and get that arrears.

At what date did they first bill you after a correctly functioning meter was installed?


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Should point out that at present, I am still currently £1300 in debt to Npower.

 

They first valued on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:21:48 PM. (This was the email that they sent attached above).

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Well on that basis it seems to me that the best hope they have is of billing you from 6 November 2017. That seems to me to be reasonable.

Of course they will say that they tried billing you for an earlier period but I can't for the life of me think that it is reasonable for them to claim that attempting to levy an invalid bill allows them to claim exemption from the back-billing code for the period before 6 November 2017.

Of course I suppose that you didn't argue this point with the ombudsman – which is a bit of a shame – but on the other hand the ombudsman is so lame and unimaginative that they would probably have felt nervous about adopting this kind of reasoning. However, at the moment I can scarcely imagine a fair-minded County Court judge agreeing that Npower can take the benefit of a flawed invoice which relied initially upon a broken meter and which they eventually decided to estimate once they had accepted that the meter was faulty and that they were responsible for it.

I'd be grateful if you could find the back-billing code please and post a link to it on this thread. Also, we now have to try and decide what you might reasonably owe for the 12 month period up to 6 November 2018.

How does this sound so far?

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Within 5 minutes, you've exceeded my expectations!
Shall find the back billing code, but it appears to be blocked on work filters. Shall do it this evening.

 

Yeah it is a shame that I did not go to ombudsman with this, but Npower should have used their own heads when applying new billing etc. Just trying to get one over on people (Man I despise them, sorry....)

 

Yeah, I think it would be reasonable to work out what is owed based on November 2017 forward.

 

 

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Sorry but if you can imagine that Npower would voluntarily apply this kind of code – in especially in these kinds of circumstances – then you are being a little bit naïve.

Don't forget, this is your starting position. It doesn't mean that everything is going to fall into place. It may well take litigation – and of course there is always a risk that I could be wrong.


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Oh of course, but it is a good starting point to look into, and hopefully build it into the claim.

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From the back billing code of practice these stick out. 

 

2.1 Your supplier will make sure meter readings are accurate and check any unusual readings before they are used.

 

 

3.5 Your supplier will make sure that they check unusually high or low bills before they send them out

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But where is the reference to the 12 months arrears?


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As of 1 May 2018, the 12 month back-billing rule, where a supplier is at fault (previously clause 5) has become a supplier license condition and is therefore no longer a part of the billing code. Energy UK is currently assessing potential new areas of focus for the code to ensure it is fully up to date.

 

need to check supplier license. 

 

https://www.npower.com/help-and-support/bills-and-payments/backbilling/

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Well forgive me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that I didn't even have to come up with the reasoning that I suggested above because it's there in black and white – and highlighted yellow – in Npower's own back-billing  guidelines

Quote

image.png.abc729cbdd418c994cb2277a7f037da6.png

 

Have I missed something? What the hell is the energy ombudsman doing if they won't even can give effect to publish guidelines which presumably they have had a hand in approving?

 

As a matter of legal principle the reasoning is unassailable – but we don't even have to turn to legal principle because it is clearly something that Npower has already signed up to.

The only possibility here is that Npower are going to say that this is simply a code of conduct and it's not necessarily binding – which causes a load of rubbish and it is going to be funny to litigate on this simply to embarrass them and then eventually the energy ombudsman


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So I now need to understand – in a very simple resumé please:

What is the total amount of money which Npower are claiming - including money which you have already paid?
What is the total amount of money which they are claiming until 6 November 2017?
That then should leave us with a legitimate claiming. – From 6 November 2017 to date.
Is that amount of money based on an estimate or on actual readings? If it is on an estimate then how have they arrived at that figure? If it's on actual readings, do you agree with the readings?

How much have you paid them so far? What is the alleged outstanding balance Npower is after?

I'm already getting confused again.

I'm trying to settle on an undisputed amount from 6 November 2017 and then to find out whether you have paid the undisputed amount or if any of it is still outstanding. I'm very much hoping that you will say that you have overpaid because that will give you a basis for a legal action to recover the money and establish the legal right of matter.

 


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We also have to calculate a fallback position.

The fallback position is necessary in the very remote event that a judge says that we are wrong in our interpretation of the act-billing code and that you must pay something for the entire period.

In that case we have to come up with a figure which we would consider would be a fair assessment of the energy that you used over the entire period from the beginning of the episode of the faulty and broken meters


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16 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

I'm trying to settle on an undisputed amount from 6 November 2017 and then to find out whether you have paid the undisputed amount or if any of it is still outstanding. I'm very much hoping that you will say that you have overpaid because that will give you a basis for a legal action to recover the money and establish the legal right of matter.

From 6th November, I will have to go into the disclosure and gain all the bills again to assertain the correct amount. What I would say though is that the billing for the 2018 period and current appears to be correct after they had amended the bills. Will do this later as I have them on my computer in hotel.

The current issue as I would see it, is that we still have £1386.78 outstanding on my bill which appears to pre-date that.

 

Total amount that has been paid to Npower since Feb 2017 is = £ 1793.07.
Total amount that has been paid to Npower since November 2017 is £1424.07

 

What is interesting and I have just thought about. Looking at the billing I posted above

Quote

FEB 2017: £92.36         FEB 2018: £86.53
MAR 2017: £233.85     MARCH 2018: £70.40
APR 2017:£218.42       APRIL 2018: £71.12
MAY 2017:£194.42      MAY 2018: £49.92
JUNE 2017:£133.50     JUNE 2018: £45.94
JUL 2017:£133.60        JULY 2018: £46.33
AUG 2017:£134.62      AUG 2018: £47.26
SEPT 2017:£138.74      SEPT 2018: £48.05
OCT 2017:£241.23      OCT 2018: £56.85
NOV 2017: £338.47      NOV 2018: £60.10

I am wondering if they have back dated from November 2018 to  November 2017. In lines with the back billing code they quote, and simply forgot to remove the costs for anything previous to that? Feb 17 - October 17?

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I'm afraid that you will have to do all the calculations et cetera for yourself.

You can see where I'm going on this and so what would be handy would be to have some simple totals which tell the story.


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So do we want the original totals from Nov 17 forward? Or the amended ones? They never provided an amended bill per month

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Well I suppose that we need to know how much they say you owe them, how much you say that you owe them.

Then we need to know how much you have paid and whether you agree that you still owe them some money on your calculations or whether you feel that on your calculations they have been overpaid – in which case by how much.

Your calculations are going to be based on what we consider to be a valid bill beginning sixth of November 2017.

I don't know why, I am still having difficulty getting my head around the timeline.

Using my post number two on this thread as a template, would you mind filling in the dates. Maybe I can finally get it straight in my mind. It really is doing my head in

 


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16 hours ago, BankFodder said:

They eventually sorted it out on XXX date??

They are now trying to bill you for the period from the initial installation of the first faulty or broken meter until the date it was sorted out.

Is that correct?

What is the value of that estimate? How much of it have you paid? 

Eventually sorted out meter = 31st October. New bill was produced 06/11/18 (bill as referenced in post 19)

 

Yes, it appears that Npower are attempting to bill from installation of original faulty meter in Feb 2017.

 

After bills were amended by Npower they have stated that we still owe £1151.90.

 

Total amount that has been paid to Npower since Feb 2017 is = £ 1793.07 to date
Total amount that has been paid to Npower since November 2017 is £1424.07 to date

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So from Feb 2017, they say you owe 

1793.07 (paid)

1424.07 (paid)

1151.90 (outstanding)

-------------

4369.04 - Total owed according to Npower.

 

Now how much do you say that you owe them over that period - bearing in mind that they are not entitled to claim for the period before Nov 2017.

 

 


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????


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Hello, 

 

sorry not hat hat is not what I meant. 

So the total amount that has been paid since installation of the meter £1793. 

 

Since the period in which they can bill £1424 (nov 17). 

Will be more now as paid them another couple of payments. 

 

 

 

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Right going to get all calculations for this tonight. I actually have a free night. Give me a few hours and I will be back. 

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