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Npower switch block - severely delayed notice

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Hi all, 


A bit of help/advice if you could spare some. I have looked for a similar example of my situation on the internet but not found anything so far. 


I lived in a rented flat in London where my gas/elec was supplied by Npower.

In early June 2018 I switched supply to Angelic Energy (via an autoswitching site called Flipper) because a substantial saving could be had.

I received emails notifying me of the successful completion of the switch and my direct debit was setup to pay Angelic (successful switch date 23rd June).


In late 2018 and early 2019 I began receiving bills from Npower.

I spoke to Angelic and they assured me I was on supply and my direct debit was setup.

I spoke to Npower customer services and informed them of this.


I continued to get bills from Npower and in May 2019 I phoned them only to be told I was still listed on the national database as being an Npower customer.

I queried how this could be the case given I had been paying Angelic for almost a year.


I spoke to Angelic Energy who then informed me that this does appear to be the case and that Npower appeared to have blocked the switch to Angelic back in June. Why I wasn't told about this I have no idea.


I asked Npower why this was the case and they told me that when an outstanding balance exists on an account they can block a switch to another supplier.

I have copies of my account standing at the time and I was in credit with the supplier to the tune of a few hundred pounds. 


Angelic refunded me for the monies paid to them and said I would need to speak to Npower about why the switch was not accepted.

Npower subsequently raised a bill for me for energy used up to that point on their standard variable rate tariff,

the bill amounted to almost £2000 given the winter period for which I was with Angelic was particularly cold and the gas rate between the two firms differed by over 1.5p/kWh (~3 vs 4.5).


I mentioned this to Npower and refused to pay the extortionate amount given I was now severely out of pocket because of a switch they did not have legitimate grounds to reject. Npower refuse to alter the rate and honour the lower unit prices of Angelic.


They have now passed the debt to a debt collection agency.

I have written to them and the debt collection firm about the matter but with no reply or even a dialogue.

Wescot continue to pressure me for the amount. 






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Hi Harold and Welcome to the Forum.


Its not clear from the above but I guess your now with another energy provider and on a decent tariff?

Angelic have refunded your payments for the same period so they are out of the picture.You had a substantial credit balance at the time of the switch so Npower should not have stopped the switch.


The raising of the tariff given that you was still an existing customer gives concern and I would assume that Ofgem may be interested in this incident. 




I would work out what of the debt is actually owed for the period and the amount that they have overcharged due to their incompetence.


Your only saving grace in this fiasco is that you only have Wescot chasing you....who do not own the debt or ever litigate and are simply ambulance chasers for Npower. Do not communicate with them as they know nothing of the problem or  particularly interested but simply get paid on commission if they manage to fool you into paying.


Raise your complaint with Ofgem ...Ignore Wescot.



We could do with some help from you.



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In June 2018, you say that you were in credit to NPower by several hundred pounds.  I presume you have copies of bills showing you as having a credit balance at the time of the switch.  Perhaps the debt is therefore still noted for a previous occupier and this is the problem.


Have you registered an official complaint with NPower and sent them a GDPR subject access request ? 


Agree about going to OFGEM but they may say you need to register the complaint with NPower first.   And getting NPower to provide copies of your records might be a wise move.  




My understanding is that Energy companies can only block if there is an outstanding debt of £500 or more.



We could do with some help from you.



 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group


If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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thats the right time for npowers crap database errors too.

they over charged 10'000's of customers and got castigated by the regulator too i believe.


have you sent them an sar too?



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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Hi all, 


Thank you for the responses so far. 


I do have bills/screenshots/proof of my credit balance at the time which should be sufficient evidence to show my switch should not have been blocked. 


I am no longer in the property but took meter readings when I left.

I wasn't able to switch after being made aware of still being on Npower as by that stage a balance had accrued (the disputed balance), which would have made it impossible to move to an alternative supplier given it was over £500 by then. 


I did speak to a customer services representative about the issue.

To be fair the gentleman was pleasant, he said Npower would make a goodwill offer to reduce the balance by some £80 or so, far less than what I was out of pocket.


I rejected the offer and asked him to raise the issue with the ombudsman stating that there seemed no point in both parties waiting for the 8 week or so response allowance to try and rectify the matter when we had both come to an impasse.


Since then I have heard NOTHING from Npower, no calls, no emails, nothing.

I have written letters to them, ignoring Wescot completely, to no avail. 


I want to raise it with the Ombudsman, which I will do now.

Hearing that Wescot are not a debt collection firm has made me feel much more comfortable so thank you for that. 


It's an absolute shambles and I can't believe Npower take such a hard line given such an obvious error on their part. 

Really appreciate the help. If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know. 



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wetcloths are debt collection firm..


what andy was trying to explain is they don't by debts, but mere chase for whomever their stated client is.


a DCA buying or owning a debt anyway makes no difference


and have 

ZERO legal powers on ANY DEBT no matter what it's type.



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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