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  • FIRST POST
    • mr_accountant
    • By mr_accountant 4th Dec 17, 10:40 AM
    • 636Posts
    • 161Thanks
    mr_accountant
    Toto energy massive price increase
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:40 AM
    Toto energy massive price increase 4th Dec 17 at 10:40 AM
    MoneySavingExpert.com Update 13 December 17:

    Thank you for your posts everyone. We've updated our news story:


    Back to mr_accountant's original post...

    ----

    received email this morning regarding Toto Energy price increase, for me from £954 to £1170, thats £216 increase. im already moving as the customer services is pants (thats being very kind). for everyone else check your prices
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 13-12-2017 at 12:00 PM.
Page 5
    • jrh2254
    • By jrh2254 12th Dec 17, 7:32 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jrh2254
    Seems bizarre that TOTO suddenly come out with the misprint excuse now, some 7 months after it occurred?

    Also in addition I would appreciate knowing why they think the guarantee was a misprint?

    Accompanying the guarantee were early exit fees of £10 per fuel.

    Early exit fees and price guarantee go together.

    Variable plan and early exit fees do not.

    Was the misprint the word ‘variable’?

    I wonder?

    I have emailed TOTO to seek clarification.

    John.
    • D & G Hilton
    • By D & G Hilton 15th Dec 17, 8:09 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    D & G Hilton
    Formal Complaint To Ofgem
    F.A.O. The Head of Licensing (Domestic Suppliers)
    F.A.O. The Head of Consumer Protection and Redress,

    OFGEM, (text removed by MSE Forum Team).

    14 December, 2017.


    Dear Sirs,
    I need to respectfully draw your attention, please, as the Energy Regulator, to the behaviour of TOTO Energy Ltd, of Towerpoint, (text removed by MSE Forum Team)., a domestic supplier of electricity and gas under licence number 9256482.
    This should, I feel, call into question their suitability as a fit and proper company to continue operating in this field.
    Ofgem's licence conditions stipulate that every energy supplier must provide information that is easily understood and doesn't mislead customers.
    In all respects, licence holders must act in a professional manner.
    As stated in your 'Licence guide - tariffs and contracts':
    'It is important that customers understand what they’re signing up to, their rights, and their responsibilities according to their contract.... so that a consumer can make properly informed choices about whether any given tariff is appropriate for them, they will need to be able to understand what the tariff means and involves. Clear and appropriate tariffs and contracts are vital to allow customers to grasp the details of their tariff or product.
    These are aimed at ensuring licensees (and their representatives in the case of domestic suppliers) treat each customer fairly. This includes behaving in a fair, honest, transparent, appropriate, and professional manner, and providing information that is complete, accurate and not misleading.'
    I believe that the attached account of my dealings with this company, and the supporting evidence, will show TOTO Energy to be in flagrant breach of their licensing responsibilities, and raises issues of either deliberately or negligently misleading customers by misrepresentation of their tariff terms, gross mismanagement and incompetence, and potential breaches of the relevant consumer protection law, including, inter alia,
    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
    (by falling below the good-faith standards of skill and care that a trader in this industry would be expected to exercise towards customers, by misleading actions or omissions, and in providing material information in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous manner.)
    Yours truly,
    etc.
    c.c. to Citizens Advice consumer service (Energy)

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team).

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

    SUMMARY (1.) As a dual-fuel consumer, I have, for some years, only dealt with suppliers who can offer me guaranteed prices for an agreed period.
    (2.) As my previous (guaranteed) tariff with Flow Energy was due to expire on 30 April 2017,

    I decided to 'test the market' to see what other offers were available at that time.
    (3.) I used for this purpose the comparisons provided by Money Saving Expert's (MSE) 'Cheap Energy Club'. I searched specifically for 'fixed' deals, knowing that this would give me the certainty of guaranteed prices for a fixed term, possibly with the proviso of an 'exit penalty' if I should decide to leave before the expiry of the agreed term (a perfectly understandable and straightforward contractual arrangement.)
    (4.) Amongst the 'fixed tariff' results was an entry by TOTO Energy Ltd. Although the title had used the word 'Variable' the details supplied by the MSE listing were absolutely clear and unequivocal to me: To attract new business, the prices quoted were being guaranteed for a specified period (1 year), subject to 'early exit' penalties. On this basis (and this basis only) I agreed to switch to TOTO Energy. (5.) Naturally, as the tariff details had come via a third party (MSE), I made a mental note to check the tariff details carefully, as soon a notification arrived from TOTO Energy.
    This notification duly arrived in a 'Welcome Letter' reference KCI001 dated 11 April 2017, signed by (text removed by MSE Forum Team)., Managing Director (document marked 'A1' attached) in which
    (text removed by MSE Forum Team). writes '...this letter forms part of your contract... here you'll find your Tariff information..'
    (6.) The accompanying sheet, (marked 'A2') was headed 'About your tariffs', and set out the unit rates and standing charges for electricity and gas respectively, exactly as had been offered via the MSE site.
    For each tariff, this document, which forms the heart of the contract, clearly states the special terms and conditions applicable to this contract:
    Tariff ends on: 02 May 2018
    Price guaranteed until: 02 May 2018
    Exit fees (if you switch before the end date): £10.00 per fuel (inc VAT)
    (7.) To reinforce the impression that these quoted rates were to be fixed for the stated period of time, there was a footnote to the tariff information, stating:
    'If this tariff type does not have an end date then please note that prices are not fixed and may rise in the future.'
    The only sensible interpretation of the footnote is that, since this tariff does have an end date, the prices are to be regarded as fixed until that end date.
    (8.) Accompanying the 'Welcome letter' and 'Tariff information' was a lengthy set of general, all-embracing 'Terms and Conditions' drafted by TOTO's lawyers, running to some 6,000 words. It is, however, a fundamental and long-established principle of contract law that a printed standard term must not be construed so as to defeat the main object and intent of the contract. (Glynn v Margetson & Co. House of Lords) [1893] AC 351)
    This point was recently reaffirmed by the Court Of Appeal in Alexander (as representative of the "Property 118 Action Group") v West Bromwich Mortgage Company Ltd. [2016] EWCA Civ 496. As stated therein "Where standard printed terms and conditions of a contract are inconsistent with its special terms and conditions, and cannot fairly or sensibly be read together, the special conditions will prevail."
    (9.) In the Alexander case cited in the preceding paragraph, the Court also makes clear that: 'What matters is the terms agreed, not the label attached.' Thus, merely labelling a tariff as 'variable' is of no legal effect, if, as in my case, the contractual terms clearly spelt out a fixed term and a guaranteed price.

    (10.) As the year progressed, I became increasingly concerned that I had no statement of account. The online account was not properly recording the gas meter readings, and there was nothing by which I could check that my fuel was being properly charged, on the agreed terms. Repeated attempts to contact TOTO Customer Services were in vain, telephone calls not answered, requests for call-backs ignored, and my email dated 25 September (document marked 'B' attached) was also ignored. Finally, in exasperation, I served a Formal Notice by email dated 23 October (document marked 'C' attached) with an 8 week time limit, after which the matter would be referred to the Energy Ombudsman without further notice.
    (11.) A first Statement of Account was finally issued to me on 08 November 2017 (letter reference 00018436). This Statement included the full tariff details (documents marked 'D1' and 'D2' attached), including the special terms which were unchanged, except that the end date was now stated to be 01 May 2018, which would be one calendar year from the switch date on 02 May 2017. So someone at TOTO must have consciously amended the end date from the previously stated 02 May 2018.)
    Once again, the prices were stated to be guaranteed:
    Tariff end on: 01 May 2018
    Price guaranteed until: 01 May 2018
    Exit fees (if you switch before the end date): £10.00 per fuel (inc VAT)
    (12.) During the summer, we began to receive unsolicited telephone calls on behalf of TOTO Energy about accepting a 'smart meter'. I telephoned TOTO customer services 0333 210 7070 on 28 July, I managed to actually get an answer after several attempts, and I was transferred to their Smart Meter Installation team. I advised the lady that we did not want a smart meter. She confirmed that this had been noted on our account and we would not be contacted any further. In the event, alas, we continued to receive telephone calls. By 25 September, after receiving yet another unwelcome call, this time wrongly suggesting that smart meters were to be made compulsory, I sent a formal complaint by email together with a legal Notice (documents marked 'E1' and 'E2' attached). Alas, TOTO Energy persisted, by sending a representative who turned up, unannounced and uninvited, on our doorstep on 24 November, 'to arrange for your smart meter to be installed'. This pressure had now become a case of harassment, and a complaint has been lodged with the Energy Ombudsman, decision awaited. (case 01569625-01).
    (13.) On 3rd December an email was received from (text removed by MSE Forum Team). CEO of TOTO Energy, enclosing a letter signed by (text removed by MSE Forum Team)., (document marked 'F1' and 'F2' attached) substantially increasing the tariff rates from 02 January 2018, in contravention of the previously stated fixed term and guaranteed prices, of which no mention was made.
    (14.) Formal Notice of Complaint was given by email dated 06 December 2017. (document marked 'G' attached).
    (15.) In a subsequent email dated 12 December, headed 'Changes to your TOTO Energy monthly Direct Debit plan' (document marked 'H1' and 'H2' attached) CEO (text removed by MSE Forum Team). made a rather strange matter-of-fact assertion, as if merely in passing, on Page 2, as follows:
    What’s a price guarantee and exit fees?
    A variable tariff terms and conditions means the price could be subject to change. Unfortunately, some welcome packs may have mistakenly included a reference to a “price guarantee”. We’re very sorry, this was a misprint.
    (text removed by MSE Forum Team). should be advised of the legal position as outlined in paragraphs (8) and (9) above - 'what matters is the terms agreed, not the label attached.'
    Her attempt to explain the 'price guarantee' as a 'misprint' is not credible. A misprint occurs unknowingly when there is a typographical or mechanical error, typically a spelling mistake or such like. T seems to be confusing the terms 'mistake' and 'misprint' in her sentence.
    A Court would, I am sure, take a very dim view of any attempt to dismiss the essential terms of a contract as 'misprints' or 'mistakes'. A thorough investigation is requested, to find out how this supposed 'misprint' or 'mistake' arose, why it was not previously discovered, and, indeed, why the same 'misprint' or 'mistake' was made in the Statement issued to me in November, with a slight adjustment of the end date? Another 'misprint'?
    (16.) In her email, (text removed by MSE Forum Team) poses the question: What’s a price guarantee?
    (text removed by MSE Forum Team). should be advised that a 'guarantee' (as TOTO gave) means 'to provide a formal assurance, especially that certain conditions will be fulfilled relating to a product, service, or transaction; to promise with certainty.'
    (16) In my submission, TOTO Energy has not behaved in the manner to be expected under the requirements of their operating licence. I trust the Regulator will investigate these matters and take appropriate action.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 27-12-2017 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Personal details
    • victor2
    • By victor2 15th Dec 17, 9:10 AM
    • 4,739 Posts
    • 3,162 Thanks
    victor2
    Like it D & G Hilton!
    Please do keep us informed of the outcome.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Dec 17, 9:30 AM
    • 4,805 Posts
    • 2,947 Thanks
    Hengus
    If my responses from Ofgem are anything to go by they will push back on this part of the above submission:

    Quote: This should, I feel, call into question their suitability as a fit and proper company Unquote

    Included in one of Ofgem's responses to a breach of Standard Licence Conditions by a supplier was this paragraph:

    Quote: With regards to due diligence checks there are a number of technical codes and standards new suppliers have to meet. Our guidance on licence application makes clear that being granted a licence does not mean that Ofgem have given any endorsement to the applicant or any associated person, their financial status or their business plan or methods. We do not give any guarantee or warranty that the licensee or any related person is 'fit and proper'. Unquote
    • Arnster
    • By Arnster 15th Dec 17, 4:15 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Arnster
    Toto
    Yep, I've made exactly the same mistake as you. I'm in the middle of a switch to Breeze energy. Again they say their price is fixed......we'll see!
    Have you seen a statement from Toto, because I can't get any response from them.
    Regards
    Last edited by Arnster; 15-12-2017 at 4:19 PM.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Dec 17, 11:45 AM
    • 4,805 Posts
    • 2,947 Thanks
    Hengus
    I am not a lawyer but is the Charge dated 20 October 2017 a worrying indication?

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09256482/filing-history

    Or is it just security for wholesale goods supplied? I ask because I cannot find a similar Charge against the other smaller suppliers that I have looked at?
    • burnsbarber
    • By burnsbarber 17th Dec 17, 1:04 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    burnsbarber
    If you want to leave Toto you can avoid the charge for leaving. As well as increasing the cost of fuel they have also increased the winter DD by 50% and reduced the summer DD by 50% and if you don't like that you can cancel WITHOUT PAYING THE LEAVING CHARGE.
    • 4steve
    • By 4steve 18th Dec 17, 12:28 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    4steve
    I'm in the same position - when I called Toto to complain the operator spoke to her superior and then returned with "we've been told to say its the discount that was guaranteed ...not the tarriff"..

    re. the suggestion it was a typo - the thing is that every statement also includes the Price Guarantee wording
    • Keith666
    • By Keith666 19th Dec 17, 3:27 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Keith666
    I'm leaving them because:
    - Massive increases
    - Failure to honour stated guaranteed prices until June 2018
    - Failure to confirm change from previous supplier to Toto, which is the trigger for them paying the kickback to MoneySupermarket (who then give me half of it)
    - Slow / unsatisfactory response (including the 'misprint' statement) to request for clarification of price increase.

    I really hope they cease trading so others don't have to suffer as many here have done.
    • 4steve
    • By 4steve 19th Dec 17, 6:01 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    4steve
    Toto v Breeze
    Just switched both properties to Breeze.
    12 month fixed and the prices are lower than the original Toto - so a result all round.
    Rang them and discussed the specific 12 month period and clause 2 of their standard conditions saying they can increase prices with 30 days notice - seems all is fine 😳.

    re Toto - I suggest everyone copies the lawyer letter from above, modifies it as appropriate and send to all relevant authorities. Let's put them out of business.
    • D & G Hilton
    • By D & G Hilton 20th Dec 17, 10:44 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    D & G Hilton
    OFGEM acknowledgement email received
    OFGEM have sent their standard acknowledgement, but the clear message is the MORE individual complaints they receive from other dissatisfied customers, the greater the pressure will be on the Regulator to start a formal investigation.
    The email is from (text removed by MSE Forum Team), Consumer Affairs Officer, and reads as follows:
    "...In response to your letter: Although we do not get directly involved in any issue you have about your energy bill or energy supplier. However, we will use the information you have sent us towards monitoring the energy market. For more information about what Ofgem does, visit our website.
    It may be useful if I confirm how Ofgem investigates and takes action against energy companies after receiving information from consumers.
    When Ofgem receives an individual complaint, we add the information to our intelligence database. Ofgem also receives information from consumer organisations and the energy Ombudsman. We analyse information received in accordance with our Enforcement Guidelines. We keep issues under review to help us decide if we need to take action.
    Where an issue becomes the subject of a formal investigation, then that fact would generally be published on the Ofgem website and, subsequently, the result of any such investigation would also be published. Sometimes we take alternative action to deal with a problem – we might contact a company and ask them to put things right - and this action is not necessarily within the public domain. In such instances we are very limited as to what we can tell consumers, including the individual who may have raised the relevant complaint. It is helpful if a complaint to us is specific, well-reasoned, clear and supported by evidence. If we need any further information, we will contact a complainant and ask them for any further information we may require...".

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 27-12-2017 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Personal details
    • robdogg11
    • By robdogg11 20th Dec 17, 3:53 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    robdogg11
    Quick question.

    I've not had any letter or emails from Toto about this. The first I heard was an email from MSE Cheap energy club.

    I am on the 100% renewable variable tariff. I'm pretty sure that this wasn't how it was advertised when I switched as I always fix but that's what all my welcome pack says and there is no mention of a price guarantee date.

    Its my fault for not checking the welcome pack properly but as we had just moved into the house I was getting post left, right and centre for new accounts etc.

    So not sure where I stand now, do I just wait for a letter and then deal with it (the post has been really bad since the snow last week) or switch away now. The worry is that if I switch and they haven't increased my prices or changed my DD then I am liable for the early exit fees?
    • 4steve
    • By 4steve 22nd Dec 17, 9:02 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    4steve
    I got this reply

    Thank you for contacting Ofgem.

    We do not get directly involved in any issue you have about your energy bill or energy supplier. However, we will use the information you have sent us towards monitoring the energy market. For more information about what Ofgem does, visit our website.

    You should first contact your energy company to resolve this matter and follow their complaints procedure. If you are not happy with the outcome or after eight weeks they have not dealt with the issue, you can ask the Energy Ombudsman to investigate.

    You can find further information for consumers here or through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

    Regards,

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)

    Consumer Affairs Officer
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 27-12-2017 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Personal details
    • jrh2254
    • By jrh2254 26th Dec 17, 11:33 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jrh2254
    Just received:
    TOTO Energy Discount Variable tariff update
    You spoke, we listened - Your energy prices will not be increasing.

    We’re following up on the email update we recently sent to you: “TOTO Energy Update” and wanted to let you know we have listened to your feedback. Your energy unit rates WILL NOT be increasing as previously communicated.

    What’s happening?
    We notified you by email at the end of November that we were changing our prices for our variable rate customers who pay by Direct Debit. This was due to the rise in wholesale energy. Unfortunately, some welcome packs had mistakenly included a reference to a “price guarantee”.

    We’re very sorry, this was a misprint. We have acknowledged this has caused concern and listened to your feedback. Your prices will now STAY AS THEY ARE and NOT INCREASE to the new rates until the end date for your tariff as stated in your welcome pack.

    What else can I do?
    We have introduced two new Fixed Price tariffs to give our customers ‘extended peace of mind’ for the at least the next two winters. By switching to one of these two tariffs you can continue to take advantage of our great value tariffs.

    To switch to one of these tariffs - all you have to do is reply to this email with the tariff you wish to switch to and we will update your account and send you a new Welcome Pack with everything you need to know.

    The Fixed Saver tariffs you can switch to are:

    TOTO Fixed Saver – 13 Months
    TOTO Fixed Super Saver – 18 Months

    To learn more about tariff changes, login anytime to totoenergy.com/my-account or see our Help & Support pages.

    Comments please?
    • victor2
    • By victor2 27th Dec 17, 8:37 AM
    • 4,739 Posts
    • 3,162 Thanks
    victor2
    They didn't have much choice really. They screwed up and are now trying to make themselves out as a caring supplier. But at least they're not increasing the price...
    • jrh2254
    • By jrh2254 28th Dec 17, 9:24 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jrh2254
    What is the advice to those that have switched or are in the process of switching ?
    • D & G Hilton
    • By D & G Hilton 28th Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    D & G Hilton
    Can't trust TOTO!
    We certainly won't trust TOTO. Their change-of-heart at the eleventh hour smells like panic .. in the face of mass desertions? Also OFGEM breathing down their necks after numerous complaints - we suspect there has been some pressure behind the scenes. Our switch to BREEZE fixed for 12 months takes effect 29 December, very impressed so far with efficiency and customer service far superior to TOTO, and the icing on the Christmas cake is that we are actually saving on the original TOTO tariff.
    TOTO was a bad experience from start to finish.
    The toto energy reviews on energy-advise.com make interesting reading!!
    • Wolfey
    • By Wolfey 30th Dec 17, 1:48 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Wolfey
    Misleading claims, false information and SHOCKINGLY BAD PRACTICE
    When I signed up I understood, from the way TOTO presented the figures, that I had variable tariff but with a price guarantee for a year, but they increased their prices to me, significantly, within a couple of months. They have also proposed to take an exceptionally high amount by DDR to cover the winter months and a much smaller amount in the summer, instead of evenly spreading the payments over the year. There was no mention of this before I signed up.

    I take exception to their now suggesting what my annual charges will be, after they reduced my estimated usage to produce these. I believe this is misleading and dishonest - it would suggest I would be paying less than their original quote while, in fact, it would cost a lot more! This is shockingly bad practice.

    I gave them figures for my quote which were based on my actual consumption in the previous year and would not expect this to change significantly. Their latest figures suggest a reduced yearly cost to me, despite a significant increase in charges.

    Based on my actual consumption figure they estimated, in September, my yearly costs to be £2067.21.
    In their communication of 04.12.2017, based on the increased charges, they estimate it to be only £1758 - How can this be?

    My costs, based on their increased charges, will actually be £551 more in a year.


    I have had 10 calls, so far, asking to arrange installation of a new SMET1 meter, despite me stating in my first conversation with them that I was exercising my right to refuse a SMET1 until they are installing SMET2 meters.


    I suspect they have had far more customers signing up for their deals than they can afford to lay out for over the winter months and are therefore happy for their customers to take their business elsewhere. They have agreed they told customers they were on a price guarantee and, as they have broken the contract, have agreed I can switch without penalty and, guess what?... I found another provider happy to sign me up for the same price originally quoted by TOTO - Fixed for a year.


    It is no wonder people don't want to switch - bad experiences like this reinforce the message that it's nothing but trouble and maybe you should stick with your current supplier. I am connected to a local Citizens Advice who work hard to save people money on their energy bills. They helped to switch lots of people onto TOTO who will now be significantly worse off!
    • john edward
    • By john edward 4th Jan 18, 12:45 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    john edward
    Good news for Toto energy customers
    Like most customers of Toto I'm toto..lly brassed of by their unprecedented hike in charges. My DD increased 50% !!! Yes. Really. And I was on a fixed tariff. They moved me unilaterally but apparently I'd agreed to allow this. You couldn't make it up. But they did. They took the new charge from my account before they should have according to their letter. So I'm off to a different provider obviously. So what's the good news? They've agreed to waive any charges even though I missed the January 4th cut off. Although today is January 4th!!! Life is too short to waste time with companies who are as poor as this. Cut your losses and move on is my advice. I could go on about their shocking lack of transparency. There are no details of my energy usage available on my account. They appear to just make up the data they quote but cannot give you access to it. It's appalling. End of rant.
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