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    • Hi Stormy   I do wish you good luck but I'd urge you not to get over-optimistic about a letter from your GP having any bearing on the outcome of this.  I do not share London1971's view that such a letter will assist you in defending the claim against you - unless you are suggesting that the diagnosis is so bad that you aren't functioning - in which case you probably ought not to be working.  Is your GP going to say that you can't be held liable for a breach of contract, but that you're perfectly OK to continue working and to make significant decisions in other areas of your life?  I don't know.   Also, I'm uncertain where the question of bullying and harassment first surfaced in this thread.  You engaged them on a NWNF basis to pursue a claim for you.  Apparently they contacted (or attempted to contact) you a lot - certainly more than you felt necessary or were comfortable with, and you ended up deciding to discontinue the case.  But were they harassing you?  Again, I simply don't know because I wasn't there - only you were.  Most people complain that they don't have enough contact from their solicitors, not that they are being harassed by being contacted too often.  [EDIT:  I also think most people would associate "harassment" with behaviour that is in some way harmful or damaging to the recipient, and not with a situation where the alleged harasser is trying to act in the other person's interest and to their benefit].    And I'm not sure where the bullying comes from?  They're suing you because they think you are in breach of contract and that you owe them the costs and expenses they've already incurred - and that they cannot now recover from the other party because you decided to discontinue the case.  I'm no particular supporter of law firms but, unlike some people, I don't have "anti-lawyer" as a default setting.  If they've genuinely incurred costs acting on your behalf and in your interests, then I think they've got a more than fair case to recover those costs.  Threatening to sue you or actually suing you isn't necessarily bullying.   I honestly think your best chance of success is questioning the level and extent of costs and expenses they claim to have incurred and try to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.   As I've said before, I'm not intending to be critical of you in any way and I'm really sorry that all this (the original accident, hassle with the lawyers and now them suing you) seems to have contributed to all the stress you have to bear.  I'm really just interested in ensuring that you can see this problem from all points of view and that you don't place too much reliance on an approach that I think has only very limited chances of success.  (But of course - as London1971 has pointed out - there's no harm in getting a GP's letter anyway AND preparing a legal defence like BankFodder is suggesting AND preparing to think about settling.  They aren't all mutually exclusive and you should keep as many irons in the fire as you can.  Use belt and braces and don't just rely on one).   Anyway.  Good luck.  I'm frequently wrong and you may win outright!
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Symbio Energy - Stupid Estimated Bills

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I'm surprised there isn't already a thread on this outfit.   

The way they work is that they bill for electricity in advance, using their "estimate" for that month's use. 

If you provide a meter reading at the end of the month, then the next bill contains a correction for any over or under charge.   


So for example the May bill includes charges for 31 days standing charge, and for an "estimated" number of units for May,

but also includes a calulation for the previous month comparing estimated and actual use, and applying a credit or presumably a debit as appropriate. 

The bills are not easy to read, but essentially you end up paying for what you use.


Our problems started in January when they suddenly started to work off really high estimates meaning you're paying in advance for electricity that you won't actually use, and although the over charge is credited next month it's coupled with another stupid estimate for the following month. 


To put that in context their estimate for December turned out to be only 6% higher than our actual use. 

Their estimate for January was 52% high than their estimate for December, and 88% higher than our actual use.


I've gone through a series of months in which I've challenged their estimates, each time the meter readings have shown that I was right and they were wrong. 

in April I dug my heels in and raised a formal complaint, stated that I would not pay any bill based on a stupid estimate and suggested either a fixed monthly sum (I named a figure), or to pay in arrears each month based on actual use. 

Their initial response was to ask for a fixed monthly payment, naming a figure higher than any of their previous variable bills. 


I was wondering if anyone else has been going through anything like this process, and if so then have they managed to reach any sort of resolution?


Thanks, Tony S

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Posted (edited)

Are you sending them the reading each month, if No read the meter yourself and send the reading each month .

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...



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Are they proposing to set up a direct debit? If they are then the direct debit has to be with your approval and you will have to tell them how much it's going to be and that if they argue about it then you will make a complaint to the energy ombudsman. That is your starting point.

You need to write down a detailed account of everything that has happened, the conversations, the bills – et cetera.

In further phone calls with them you should be recording your calls. Read our customer services guide. This is essential

In fact I just noticed that you've been here since 2016 so you know all about the customer services guide and you have already implemented the advice there to record your calls. Bravo

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FWIW BGAS are just about to start a new company that will be far cheaper than most of these miniature independent providers

pers i'd switch ASAP.



please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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Thanks for the comments.  Yes I'm providing meter readings.  There was a bit of confusion earlier as they used to bill from the 2nd of each month to the 1st of the next, so ideal meter reading was on the first.  They then changed to billing from 1st of the month, so ideal readings need to be from the last day.


However the meter reading doesn't affect the estimate for the following month.  They're billing in advance so the amount billed is always an estimate.


So my current situation is that after several months of complaining about excessive estimates I mutinied, cancelled the DD and said I would only pay either a bill based on a realistic estimate in advance, or a fixed monthly amount of a sensible amount, or in arrears based on actual consumption once the meter reading is submitted.  Since then we've exchanged a million emails in which they've tried to persuade me that (a) their estimates are realistic based on some mythical "national database" and (b) that I shouldn't worry because any overcharge is reconciled in the following month.  And (c) repeating their suggestion that I agree a fixed DD at a figure higher than any of their previous variable bills. 


That's where have been for a while.  The complaint is with the Ombudsman Service, awaiting their response.  


However later on yesterday I had a call from them which I didn't record (sorry), however they have confirmed by email.  What they're now saying is that I should hold off paying the May and June bills and review the situation once they have the end of June meter reading and have generated the July bill.  I'm OK with that if the July estimate is sensible, but I did point out to the guy that if July's estimate is another stupid one we will be no further forward.  That point is also vaguely confirmed in their email.


So it still hinges on their willingness to base their advanced billing on a sensible estimate.  



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switch supplier, simple as.

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Contract runs until mid September with a £25 penalty for early exit.  I seem to remember somewhere that they're not allowed to penalise for transferring within the last 30 days or the contract.  Or something like that. Can anyone confirm?

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Yes, that is true but it is 49 calendar days.

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