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I wonder if someone can help please.


My daughter has had lots of problems with Shell Energy. She moved into a very small flat with her sister in December 2015, it is an only electric property.


The first energy supplier was First Utilities but they were taken over by Shell. My daughter was not paying enough on her direct debit and fully accepts this but the tariff she was put on was extremely high and equates to over £140 per month on electricity. 

She asked for a smart meter in January 2019 and an appointment was booked but the Shell person to put this in did not turn up.


Once Shell tried to take £600 out of her bank account. Long and short of it is the whole bill is over £8,000 and she has paid £4,000.


My question is now that she can offer £70 per month to pay this back but Shell want £140 per month. This is causing her much stress and she is on medication for panic attacks, Shell keeps ringing and e-mailing and generally harassing.  


Can she get this £70 per month direct debit accepted? Shell want it all paid in 2 years but this would cause financial hardship. 

Any replies would be appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

Does your daughter agree with the billing of the account?


Does your daughter have evidence of meter readings covering the period Shell Energy are billing for?


It is not unknown for energy companies to demand payment for inflated invoices using estimated bills which could be very different from the actual usage.

Edited by FruitSalad1010
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Your Daughter should send a subject access request to Shell ( SAR)  Does not cost anything, other than a stamp on a letter and at least she might then receive all of the information.


I think your Daughter need to address the high electricity cost.   Why is she using so much ?  Look into whether the best/appropriate tariff was applied by Shell.


Is this a rented property or one your daughter purchased ?


Could the heating (room and water) system be upgraded or measures taken to reduce usage ?


For example, is your Daughter using the immersion heater to heat water for washing ?  If this is permanently switched on, it will be very expensive.  The immersion heater can have a timer added, so it is only in use for enough time to heat the water required.


Can your daughter receive a free energy survey to look at the flat and recommend actions ?

We could do with some help from you.



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Thanks so much for replies. It was a rented flat and my daughters moved out in December 2020, she told Shell straight away and they still billed her for another £500 after she moved out although this has been taken off now. We do not agree with the billing, this was actually a tiny flat and it is incomprehensible that the electricity costs this, but Shell always kept her on a high tariff even when this was queried. We will definitely get a SAR and evidence of meter readings over the time. Thanks for that advice. One of my worries is the toll this is having on her mental health, its gone on and on and has made her depressed.

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You can expect that Shell Energy will respond to the SAR close to the 1 month statutory deadline and by sticking to the SAR format outlined on this website can expect a comprehensive response including recorded phone calls.

I'm sorry to hear about your daughters mental health, while it may seem overwhelming to enter into dispute with these companies it can end up being a very rewarding experience and can be considered an accomplishment.


If your daughter feels overwhelmed by their communication send them an e-mail/letter or complaint indicating how and when she is willing to be communicated with, I suggest requesting written communication only.


Shell Energy (read as First Utility) have a nasty habit of sending harassing messages by mobile phone, a mention of a possible claim for harassment provided the threat is serious and would be action should see an end to this fairly sharply.

If payments are to be reduced make it very clear that the account balance is in dispute and that Shell Energy will be strictly put to proof to substantiate any claim for payment.

Shell Energy are obliged to agree a payment plan if there are difficulties in paying an invoice.


As to whether Shell Energy have to accept the payment amount, quite simply if they do not they will be in a position where they have to bring a claim against your daughter to enforce another form of agreement. How likely they are to be successful in demanding higher payments and being awarded this by a judge against a defendant already making efforts to make payments with a reasonable explanation as to the amount remains to be considered.


Dx100 has a lot of experience regarding debt or rather speculative invoice collection and may answer this question more comprehensively.

It is industry practice that dunning proceedings are halted in the event that an account balance is disputed. However as Shell Energy regularly and arrogantly flaunt their obligations as a licensed gas supplier there is no guarantee they will follow industry practice.

Don't forget this is a company that was previously under a provisional order to prevent them from disconnecting the gas supply of vulnerable customers.


I would be wary of agreeing to set up a direct debit, as your daughter and many other Shell Energy customers have experienced they will vary the direct debit amount at short notice in an attempt to take substantially larger sums. By making card payments your daughter will be in control of how much and when money leaves her account.

Report back when the SAR has been responded too or if there are any issues in gaining a response.

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or you could have clicked sar as advised here earlier....

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Shell energy are chasing a friend of mine as he has been given a phone number of a person that owes them money. 

I can safely say this company does not listen and as result l have now started to help him. It is stupid how little they listen. 

Anyway you don't have to pay by card you can do a standing order and that keeps her in control as well. Start with the SAR and go from there 


OFT debt collection guidance


Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.


Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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