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BES electricity
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# 1
michelle667667
Old 29-03-2012, 7:26 PM
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Default BES electricity

I was recently contacted regarding electricity for my new business from commercial energy who when phoning me aid they were from british gas who i had already agreed a contract with. They said british gas could not supply my elec due to meter incompatability so preceded to find me alternative electricity.. turns out they were'nt from british gas at all and yes ive been had bank details and everything...idiot I've complained but been ignored and am currently being helped by UIA.. Beware business customers I thought i was intelligent clearly not..now I don't know what to do being ignored at every turn feel so helpless!!
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# 2
Terrylw1
Old 29-03-2012, 9:18 PM
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Make a sales agent complaint to them. If they don't do anything, complain to the ombudsman.
It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
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# 3
Lisa Cornwall
Old 19-08-2012, 9:56 AM
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Default BES commercial electric LTD

I started a new business 4 months ago, (Hairdressers) The business had no electric (condemmed) Having rewired and revamped the shop completely we opened our business. As soon as the phone was connected we were inundated with 30- 40 calls a day (Driving us all mad) telling us our current supplier was not competative and we needed to change supplier, being contacted by energy companies (As we thought) specialising in finding new businesses the best deal, stating that unless we were under contract these calls would never stop. (They carried on calling for six weeks after as well) causing major issues to our working day, I agreed to go with BES as this apparently was the most competative offer they could find us.

Problem 1
I didnt receive any paperwork from this company and was sent an estimated bill. When agreeing the contract I stated I wouldnt pay estimated bills, and wasn't made aware that I had to read my meter monthly and supply readings. I was informed at this time to call with readings between 9th and 13th of every month. As a one off gesture they agreed to accept current readings and changed the bill

Problem two

BES decided to change our meter on the 11th of the following month meter readings were taken. On the 15th they sent an estimated bill 3 times our usual usage £150 for a £50 bill. Away on holiday I was unaware they had charged me for an estimated bill, which was not expected.

On calling BES I was told "We dont do refunds", and the money would have to stay on credit, even though they accepted they were at fault. I demanded the money to be repaid into my account claiming they had 'stolen' this money, or took it without my prior knowledge or I would leave the contract, which they had clearly broken, the cockey unprofessional response sent alarm bells ringing "Thats no problem I will prepare your bill for cancelling your 4 year contract with us once this is received you can leave". I decided to contact the ombudsman but as you will be aware they take 8 weeks to take action even though this company had stolen money from my account.

I cancelled my direct debit and said do your worse I am in credit and owe you nothing.

Two weeks later I was called by Gavin who apparently managed my account. "Mrs Foster you have cancelled your direct debits therfore you are being charged at a higher rate, I explained they had stolen money from my account and I was being held to ransom, he promised if I reinstated the DD he would refund the account that day minus current readings up to date. No refund took place and another week went by. I was then contacted the following week by a customer service manager to be told, management had made a decision on my account, and that I would not be refunded, accepting again they had charged me incorrectly. I repeated it was there terms not to send estimated bills if meter readings were supplied in time and that I was not at fault here. I stated it was they who had broken the terms of the contract and I would be using the Omudsman service to cancel this contract as their attitude sucked.

I called the ombudsman service who advised I needed a letter from BES explaining there current situation with me, this has now been asked for three times but has not materialised even after written requests, making a nuisance of myself, the following week I was refunded but still no letter explaining there issues refunding me.

Problem 3

I have just received my 4th bill the unit charge has gone up from 13.94p to 20.00p and the daily standing charge from 14.00p to a £1 a day and I still have an active DD god knows what it is if cancelled.

I called Uswitch Friday..........OMG I soon realised I couldnt have been conned into a worse company and was advised to contact the Ombudsman immediatley. I was told all about the dodgy way they talk you into singing up to them and the shoddy customer service, when there are much cheaper tariffs available. I called all afternoon friday and emailed them but they went home after 5pm and instead of listening to music everytime I called it now allowed me to leave a message, I had also emailed them early afternoon and received no reply.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with this company? There is little online warning of this companies dealings and after the response from uswitch I cant believe I am alone.

I cant believe with all the stress of opening my new business I have been conned into this my bill has almost doubled with these charges and they are breaking my business.
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# 4
Terrylw1
Old 19-08-2012, 10:24 PM
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Hi Lisa,

A few issues here:

- when you rewired, did you have a new supply fitted by the distributor? If not, you were misadvised as you had a current supplier. This is a miss sale of sorts. The more these are reported, the more likely they are stopped.

- Standard Licence Condition (SLC) 21.1B states they should use your readings, if the appear to be correct. Suggest you use this against them if your bills were due at the ti e if the reading.

- check your t&c's about reverting to Deemed rates, why they do it and if they should notify you in writing X days first.

- you have been misadvised...by the ombudsman. You don't have to get a letter detailing your current situation with your supplier. You should follow the complaints process with the supplier and then refer to the ombudsman at 8 weeks. The ombudsman takes your complaint and will approach the supplier. I suggest you raise this issue with ombudsman as it is incorrect. If it were true, customers would be in limbo until the supplier could be bothered...and they wouldn't.

- are you classed as a micro business?

- if so, read Standard Licence Condition (SLC) 7 which sets out how they should have handled your switch to them. Anything they have not followed, add it to your complaint.

Do not let the ombudsman remove reference to SLC's as it weakens your complaint. They tried this on Backfoot's EDF thread with that case and Snowcats.

Use the supplier .pdf's on this link to Ofgem's site.

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Licensing/Wo...solidated.aspx
It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!
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# 5
robbie 12
Old 07-11-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default please dont get involved !!

This company is as bad as it gets. They miss sold us the contract over the phone and we ended up on a 48 month contract !! I only found this out 7 months later. We are a small start up business and they are threatning to close us down...the charges they inflict are massive......I have now been to the ombudsman to complain and just pray that they will get me away from these crooks.....please please please anyone reading this stay away from this company at all costs !!
They are hell bent on swtiching of my power.....Every time I offer to pay them they just say no its not enough....I have now started to just deposit money into their account anyway ! this is one of the very few companies that had an objection put to them by ofgem when they applied for their supply lisence....and I can tell you they should never have got it......There is every chance that they could close me down, I know that they have done it to other small businesses. One lady who I spoke to seemed to relish the fact that she was putting me under so much pressure...really nasty.....I would hate to see anyone else fall to these people and feel for the people who already have.

Last edited by robbie 12; 07-11-2012 at 11:56 AM. Reason: write more
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# 6
seamline
Old 23-11-2012, 11:48 PM
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Default BES Nightmare :(

I too started a small business at the start of this year. Again same as above I was contacted by commercial but was told that they were the national meter registry and I was not registered with a supplier for the premises I had just rented. How the hell they got my number and knew I had just moved in is beyond me. I was then given loads of speil of how good BES electric was. After being lied to about the whole thing they managed to sucker me into giving my bank details (first business and age 28 so never had to do any of this before)

After that initial phone call I never heard or recieved anything from BES regarding them supplying the electric not even a contract. It was only when I rang Scottish Power to inform them that the previous tenant had moved out because had recieved a debt letter they had sent they told me that BES were taking over my account on such a date!

In my premises there are 3 meters due to the 3 phase electric circuit installed (but i dont use 3 phase machinery so 2 of the meters never turn and have been on the same reading since moving in)
First month in and BES send me a bill for nearly £900. Estimated bill 1,400 units on each meter! I immediatly rang them and they then informed me that i needed to supply a reading as they dont come out and take them but once I have a smart meter installed i wont have to. They agreed to ammend my bill and I explained the 3 meters to them.

Next month to my suprise a guy turns up to read the meter on behalf of BES (confused to say the least and still no smart meter) next bill nearly £800!
This time I cancel my direct debit as them taking these ridiculous amounts could seriously affect my business.
This has gone on month after month and I have lost all will with them going round in circles all whislt being charged a higher rate.
To my shock I am then told after being with them for a number of months that I signed into a 5 year contract!! Why the hell i would of agreed to a 5yr contract with only a 12month lease and being a new business, i'm not that stupid?? When challenging them about this she claimed to have a telephone conversation recording of me agreeing this. She even put me on hold then came back saying she had just listened to the recording and i did?? When i sent a letter asking for a copy I never got any response

It's now at the stage where they are claiming i owe them £1000. After speaking to them last week the lady said she had amended the bill but could not post a copy out to me??

I'm not paying something I cannot physically see what i'm paing for. I told her I did want to pay what I owed but not ridiculous amounts I should not be paying
(I run a sewing machine a few lights and a stereo - my bills should be no more than £50 a month)

Now i have a letter sent to me saying they are attending my local court on Monday for a warrant to enter the premises for disconnection. I am going to attend court and highlight just how horrible this company have been and how I was conned into it all, hopefully they will not get the warrant.
Having been diagnosed with skin cancer a few weeks ago at the age of 28 all this undue stress is just not good for me or my business
I would advise anyone to stay away from BES they are the worst spineless comapny I have ever come across
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# 7
Debtfree wannabe
Old 30-11-2012, 8:37 PM
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Default Feel physically sick!

I have just read all the posts about BES and now feel so sick! My husband has a small buisness which he recently moved to a smaller shop next door.
As you all were we were soon contacted by said company saying they were suppliers of the shop and would be taking over our contract!
Previously he was with Southern electric and the quarterly bill in winter was £78!!! In a bigger shop!
They rang several times a day enforcing the fact that they would be our suppliers, rather naively he went along with this!
The guy on the phone said he would be charged around £40 a month and if it proved that we were paying too much the contract would be terminated by them as it wouldnt be worth them supplying us.
The first bill came for around £250 (Im not at home so not exactly sure) this was despite fact that theyd had starting readings!
The starting readings on the bill werent even the ones we had given them!
I rang to give the readings but of course they refused to speak to me! My husband rang and gave the starting readings and current readings to be called a liar by the person on the phone!!!
Several calls were made and he asked to cancel contract as they were not fulfilling their part of deal to be told "oh no you cant cancel you ve got 48 month contract with us"
He was also told he had to call on the 9th to give meter readings so November he did just that, then a bill for £300 arrived, the readings were again not ones given and the starting readings were still wrong!
Yet again he rang but the person he needed to speak to wasnt available asked for her to call back but no she didnt!
So he rang again, again told them meter readings again was called a liar and told to take a picture of readings and email it in, he refused on grounds he d wasted enough time and they had previously said someone would come and read meter, of course no one did.
Eventually someone rang back to say theyd send someone to read meter but it would cost £20 !!!! After much shouting they agreed to waiver this charge but has anyone been? NO!
Please can anyone give us advice on what to do? The buisness is very small and this will bankrupt us if it carries on!
We can clearly see how much electric we ve used and it equates to no where near what we are being charged for!
HELP PLEASE SOMEONE!
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# 8
FREEDOM30
Old 26-03-2013, 8:10 AM
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I have also been conned by BES, but happily am now free of them. It has been a very long hard road to getting rid of them and I was also conned by their underhand sales technique from a company claiming to be my broker. How they get these details I will never know.
I had to get a friend to take over the tenancy and sublease the room to me and even then we had to provide legal tenancy documentation signed by the landlord and a legally binding sublease agreement before they would believe me. After all that I have still had to pay a massive bill before they would allow the transfer to go back to the original supplier, even though they held the transfer up with extremely petty and unfounded objections, however this to me is a small price to pay to be rid of BES. And make sure that whoever takes over the responsibility of the utilities is prepared to fight for their own freedom too as BES will do anything to keep the account.
The only way to break their contract is to be able to prove that you are not responsible for the utilities.
I wish you all the luck in the world but would recommend that you fight tooth and nail to get free of them and if need be complain to the ombudsman and to ofgem.
Also please please please make sure that you warn people so that they are not allowed to scam any more small businesses.
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# 9
CrayzeeDad
Old 25-04-2013, 12:54 AM
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Default Excerpts from the law

Further to the post by Terrylw1 above, here are some specific document extracts that may help...

Electricity Supply Standard Licence Conditions
Condition 7A. Supply to Micro Business Consumers.
7A.1 states that a licensee (i.e. the supplier, not a broker) must take all reasonable steps to identify a consumer as a Micro Business consumer, or else the supplier MUST deem a consumer to be a Micro Business consumer by default. [Such "reasonable steps" would be to ask the consumer several basic questions - see below.]
7A.2 states that this applies to both new AND extension contracts.
7A.11 states "The notice period for termination of a Micro Business Consumer Contract must be no longer than 90 days".
7A.14 refers to a definition of Micro Business Consumer with "the meaning given to “relevant consumer”" in the following document...

The Gas and Electricity Regulated Providers (Redress Scheme) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2268)
Article 2 (1) states "relevant consumer" means a consumer who is—
(b) a person supplied or requiring to be supplied with gas or electricity at premises other than domestic premises, with—
(i) an annual consumption of—
(aa) electricity of not more than 55,000 kWh; or
(bb) gas of not more than 200,000 kWh; or
(ii) (aa) fewer than 10 employees (or their full time equivalent); and
(bb) an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding Euros 2 million.

In summary, a supplier (not a broker) MUST gather and be able to provide evidence that you are "big business", or else they MUST presume you are a "micro business"; Micro Businesses can only be held to a maximum notice period of 90 days; the vast majority of sole traders will fall well within the criteria that define a Micro Business.

The two documents above are THE LAW, respectively: Electricity Act 1989 Standard conditions of electricity supply licence; and Gas and Electricity Regulated Providers (Redress Scheme) Order 2008 pursuant to the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.
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# 10
Kerienn
Old 25-04-2013, 5:12 PM
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Me and my other half took over a cafe business nearly 4
months ago. BES made a contract with me over the phone. I
was on the way to the supermarket. The agent was so pushy and speaking
so fast over the phone and it was freezing cold when the contract was
made. I barely heard anything, jut wanted to get over it. I was so
stupid. At the present they charge me £100 for gas every month and
paid £112 for electricity last month. A phoned to them several times,
when it turned out I made with them 48 months contract!!! The unit
price for electricity is going up and so the standing charge, every
month. As I am new in business and never paid any utility bill before,
I thought this is normal such a high price after the first bill. Then
I made a calculation. We will not survive this business if we can't
get rid of this monster utility company. I got contacted with Business Advice Companies as well.
They don't let you slip out of their hands as long as you have money
in your pocket. The only way to get rid of them is the change the name
of the tenancy or to pay the Early Termination Fee which is £1600 and
that is for the gas only!!! I got
contacted to my solicitor but haven't responded yet. I am not sure how
much does it cost for us.
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# 11
Chelterschickadee
Old 05-06-2013, 12:05 AM
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By the advice of their customer services lot, this company is tiny and their director manually approves everything. So there's why you won't have any money - your refund is probably paying for some nice car or holiday they are after. They have to reply if you issue your complaint in writing and if you check ombudsman timescales then they have a limited time to reach a resolution, then you can launch an official ombudsman complaint. If this happens it will cost them £400 even if you didn't win the case so go for it - rinse the so and so's of every penny!

(Oh and also I should mention, these guys were on one of those 5 live investigates programmes which prompted us to leave them as soon as our contract ended - as well as the awful customer service, the admissions by their own staff there was nothing they could do and once we did some background checking on this dodgy lot. Basically the "independent advisors" work for the guy who owns BES under some other blokes name, but manager on the radio admitted BES's director was actually the big boss. So all the "cheapest tariff" stuff is rubbish and they race through a verbal contract winging it hoping you won't notice. You fight for that refund mate!!!)

just google 5 live investigates commercial energy for the radio thingy...
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# 12
pinkshell_nails
Old 07-06-2013, 8:43 PM
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OMG!. Im petrified. I stupidly have agreed over the phone to sign up with this company, as i believed they were calling from N power, who i had already called about a month ago to tell them i was moving into my shop...BES have hassled me and hassled me, and when i finally took the call they said " Oh because you havent signed your contract, which i dont remember ever having anything to sign, then your details have been released onto a database, we are calling to sort your contract out over the phone. " Again i stupidly thought they were calling from Npower.... I was with a client at the time, and stupidly agreed to do the contract over the phone, as im really busy. Now i beleive i have just signed up for a 48month contract, ( my lease is only 3yrs)...and am going to be paying a massive bill. :-( This will crucify me, as i struggle to keep my head above water as it is. The people on the phone were talking so fast i could hardly understand a word they were saying, i struggle with people talking quick on the phone at the best of times.... Is there not a cooling off period, like with other companys?...Can i cancel my card, so they cannot take money from my account? If i call Npower, will they be able to stop this company taking over my elec bill?....Im so stressed out with it...Please can someone help me get rid of this company.....Im desperately worried. :-(
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# 13
nPower company representative
Old 10-06-2013, 10:25 AM
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Default Adam at npower

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkshell_nails View Post
OMG!. Im petrified. I stupidly have agreed over the phone to sign up with this company, as i believed they were calling from N power, who i had already called about a month ago to tell them i was moving into my shop...BES have hassled me and hassled me, and when i finally took the call they said " Oh because you havent signed your contract, which i dont remember ever having anything to sign, then your details have been released onto a database, we are calling to sort your contract out over the phone. " Again i stupidly thought they were calling from Npower.... I was with a client at the time, and stupidly agreed to do the contract over the phone, as im really busy. Now i beleive i have just signed up for a 48month contract, ( my lease is only 3yrs)...and am going to be paying a massive bill. :-( This will crucify me, as i struggle to keep my head above water as it is. The people on the phone were talking so fast i could hardly understand a word they were saying, i struggle with people talking quick on the phone at the best of times.... Is there not a cooling off period, like with other companys?...Can i cancel my card, so they cannot take money from my account? If i call Npower, will they be able to stop this company taking over my elec bill?....Im so stressed out with it...Please can someone help me get rid of this company.....Im desperately worried. :-(
Hi pinkshell_nails,

If you can contact me by email (just click on my profile and the email address is there) I can can take a look at this and see if there is anything that we can do.

Many thanks,

Adam
Official Company Representative
I am the official company representative of nPower. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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# 14
michelle667667
Old 10-06-2013, 10:58 AM
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Default Bes

Hi I am Michelle the original poster of this thread. I haven't been on for a while (very busy in my new business) Anyway I contacted the ombudsman and I logged every single call letter I ever made to BES and commercial energy. Got names and everything. The ombudsman called them on my behalf and we came to a solution whereby they let me go from contract and I was then free to choose my new supplier.
Get in touch with them they say they have had numerous calls regarding this company and all the stories are very similar too. Dont be scared just get in touch with the ombudsman and they will sort it for you. They were great with me and I can't tell you the weight it lifted from me..Terrible company with terrible customer service. Just a word of advice if they have fitted a new meter apparently they can charge you for it!! Hope it all goes well for you..pleas elet us know.
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# 15
merc_fintail
Old 14-06-2013, 6:30 PM
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We are having the same problem. We are paying too much and they have put us on an industry tarrif of £550 pm even though we only use £240 @ their rates!

We've been conned just the same. Can't you just stop paying and go to court?
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# 16
TerryLee
Old 23-09-2013, 7:09 PM
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I have been scammed by BES and the price they are taking via direct debit has tripled. We have only two air blowing gas heaters and nothing else in our premises uses gas yet they are charging us about £80 per month for Gas, having previously told us they "work on behalf of the meter registrations service and it is their job to ensure our utilities are registered with a supplier at a cheap rate. I am surprised how the government and regulation system in the UK will allow this sort of day-light robbery.

What can we all do to stop this scammers? EVERY ONE MUST GET IN TOUCH WITH THE OMNIBUDSMAN to ensure this company does not keep getting away with their scams. The stories from everyone sound very similar.
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# 17
dude89
Old 23-09-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryLee View Post
I have been scammed by BES and the price they are taking via direct debit has tripled. We have only two air blowing gas heaters and nothing else in our premises uses gas yet they are charging us about £80 per month for Gas, having previously told us they "work on behalf of the meter registrations service and it is their job to ensure our utilities are registered with a supplier at a cheap rate. I am surprised how the government and regulation system in the UK will allow this sort of day-light robbery.

What can we all do to stop this scammers? EVERY ONE MUST GET IN TOUCH WITH THE OMNIBUDSMAN to ensure this company does not keep getting away with their scams. The stories from everyone sound very similar.
The same post 3 times? Any need? Once is more than enough on YOUR thread. There is no point dragging up threads that are months old
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# 18
Gingernut20
Old 03-10-2013, 9:11 AM
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Default BES Nightmare

Hi, we opened a small cafe eighteen months ago and we were, like you all hassled from the outset by BES. My husband was in the shop decorating and they rang everyday and in the end like a lot of you agreed to go with them (for 4 years)!! Since then they have been a nightmare and the most recent thing tops the lot. Firstly last year they didn't send a meter reader out for 6/7 months just estimated bills which we paid by dd, suddenly they sent someone and sent us a bill for over £1300 pounds and wanted payment straight away, I argued it wasn't our fault this had built up but in the end had to agree to a twelve month repayment plan which we have been paying on top of the normal bill. At the same time we agreed to a smart meter being fitted so that we knew each month approximately what we would be paying and it worked fine until last month. I must admit I had been a bit slack and never checked the bills just the total amount owed for the month then filed it and made sure the money was in the bank. Had a phone call a couple of weeks ago saying we owed them £2,900 because they hadn't been charging us for the day rate for six months since the smart meter had been fitted, to say I was upset is an understatement. They offered to set us a payment plan (as though they were doing us a favour) to pay it back which is a joke I may as well close the business as we are just keeping our heads above water at the moment as it is. I am at the moment arguing with them about it and told them I can only correspond with them by e-mail as I have staff in and customers all the time and am not discussing it with them in front of people. for some reason they said they need to speak over the phone obviously to try bully me into submission (apparently they are the only company in the country who cant contact you through e-mail!) which I can tell you isn't going to happen. I have checked our contract and it doesn't say anywhere we have to pay for their mistakes and where I agree we have probably used the electricity it isn't my fault they didn't bill us, I thought they were high anyway so wouldn't have realised they hadn't been charging enough. They have now come back to me with a payment plan of four installments which is also not going to happen. I asked them permission when this first happened to cancel my dd for last month because I wasn't sure of what they were going to take out of the bank, they did not reply, I cancelled the dd and now they are charging me a higher rate because I cancelled it without their say so (I wasn't about to let them take what they wanted out of the bank) I did ask their permission and they didn't reply, I have kept copies of all the e-mails I have sent. They are also very aggressive on the phone and the only way to stop them is to refuse to talk to them and do it through e-mail like I am. I am not someone who doesn't want to pay her bills and I have done every month and will of course continue to do so when they send them through, I will be checking every bill in future and also making a bank payment myself not a dd as I don't trust them to not try take money they shouldnt take. I am going to take this as far as I have to to get something done about this fiasco and how they treat you and try to get money from you, so any advice anyone has please let me know.
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# 19
ValHaller
Old 03-10-2013, 9:30 AM
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So how are they finding the contact details of startups? Perhaps they are vulnerable to the Information Commissioner on this one?
You might as well ask the Wizard of Oz to give you a big number as pay a Credit Referencing Agency for a so-called 'credit-score'
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Fruit and Nut Case
Old 03-10-2013, 5:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValHaller View Post
So how are they finding the contact details of startups? Perhaps they are vulnerable to the Information Commissioner on this one?
A cynic might think they have informers in all the letting agencies. Surely that would be unethical?
Are you for real? - Glass Half Empty??
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