Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Ergin9
    • By Ergin9 6th Oct 16, 8:19 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Ergin9
    Scottish Power Billing Query
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 16, 8:19 PM
    Scottish Power Billing Query 6th Oct 16 at 8:19 PM
    Hi all,

    Wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge of the below and would be able to provide any advice?

    I completed the purchase of my new property in November 2014, at the time of purchase Scottish Power were the energy provider. I moved into my new home in January 2015 at which point I immediately switched energy provider to British Gas. Scottish power generated an electricity bill for this period (no gas connected at the property) in excess of £300. Naturally I was surprised the electricity bill was so high for an unoccupied property so I challenged their estimate, Scottish power agreed it was excessive and charged me circa £100. I believed this meant the account was settled until July of 2015 where Scottish Power sent me a cheque for £21 stating I was in credit. I cashed this cheque and happily got on with my new energy supplier.

    Fast forward to now (October 2016!!!), Scottish power have sent me a bill for £120 stating that I was undercharged for the period of Nov 14-Jan-15. They claim the bill has been generated by their audit team, who believe no meter readings were provided at the time of my switch. Unfortunately I cannot prove that meter readings were in fact provided namely due to the fact that this occurred two years ago, but secondly due to the fact that my Scottish Power online account has no details of previous correspondences/bills whatsoever apart from the one generated in October 2016. After contacting Scottish Power again, they have said I absolutely am liable for the bill (which I dispute), meaning I have subsequently raised a complaint.

    Scottish Power claim they have two years to collect on an account, however I am wondering if the 'back billing principle' would apply here? As they are trying to chase a bill from over a year ago, i am in fact not liable to pay anything as I have been co-operative throughout and what has generated this bill is a series of errors on their part?

    I am happy to fight this (and will take to Ofgem if necessary), even if they are indeed entitled to this money, I find the practice of taking the best part of 2 years to generate and chase for a bill abhorrent and something which could potentially be extremely upsetting to vulnerable customers.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone would have on this. Am I in the right here to dispute this, or is the energy company acting totally within their rights?

    Cheers
Page 2
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 10th Oct 16, 11:49 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    The whole thing sounds really rather bizzare.

    I have never heard of an utility supplier challenging the opening reading of an account (If this is the case. Have they confirmed this?), 2 years after the fact and after accepting the closing readings.

    The only reason I can see them doing this is that after giving your closing readings, they have calculated that for the period you were with them [and based on the reading you gave] you used a suspiciously low amount of energy. If this is so low that it does not tally with the time you were with them, their system may have flagged it up. If they accept the closing readings, they must therefore (I assume) challenge the opening reading.

    Without any evidence, It is hard to see how this will be resolved.

    Going back to your original post (as sometimes information can get missed).....

    ....I can see that this [the disputed bill] is only for the two month period you were with them. Now, this is not very long, but it is in winter. You are responsible for the bills from the time the property completes. You say the property completed in November, but you only moved in in January.

    When did you actually take over the supply? Was it when you moved in?

    This could be the cause of the issue. You were responsible for the bills from the completion date. If the electrics were left on to keep the house warm for winter, it may have some KWH use over those two months.

    If you set up an account in January, giving an opening reading then (at taking the reading at that time), and then immediately instigated a switch with a reading soon after, this will not tally with the final reading given by the previous occupants in November.

    This may have only been picked up at a later date.....

    This is all guesswork however, but the only logical reason I can see for SP to challenge your bill.

    1) You need to check if the closing readings on your SP bill and the opening reading on the BG bill are actual/confirmed readings. Do they have letters next to them? If it is an e, then that is an estimate.

    .....Having said all that, in your opening post you do say that SP are challenging the closing reading...which makes my theory less convincing...

    So back to my original question....have they actually confirmed what the audit is challenging.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 11-10-2016 at 12:29 AM.
    • Ergin9
    • By Ergin9 12th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Ergin9
    The whole thing sounds really rather bizzare.

    I have never heard of an utility supplier challenging the opening reading of an account (If this is the case. Have they confirmed this?), 2 years after the fact and after accepting the closing readings.

    The only reason I can see them doing this is that after giving your closing readings, they have calculated that for the period you were with them [and based on the reading you gave] you used a suspiciously low amount of energy. If this is so low that it does not tally with the time you were with them, their system may have flagged it up. If they accept the closing readings, they must therefore (I assume) challenge the opening reading.

    Without any evidence, It is hard to see how this will be resolved.

    Going back to your original post (as sometimes information can get missed).....

    ....I can see that this [the disputed bill] is only for the two month period you were with them. Now, this is not very long, but it is in winter. You are responsible for the bills from the time the property completes. You say the property completed in November, but you only moved in in January.

    When did you actually take over the supply? Was it when you moved in?

    This could be the cause of the issue. You were responsible for the bills from the completion date. If the electrics were left on to keep the house warm for winter, it may have some KWH use over those two months.

    If you set up an account in January, giving an opening reading then (at taking the reading at that time), and then immediately instigated a switch with a reading soon after, this will not tally with the final reading given by the previous occupants in November.

    This may have only been picked up at a later date.....

    This is all guesswork however, but the only logical reason I can see for SP to challenge your bill.

    1) You need to check if the closing readings on your SP bill and the opening reading on the BG bill are actual/confirmed readings. Do they have letters next to them? If it is an e, then that is an estimate.

    .....Having said all that, in your opening post you do say that SP are challenging the closing reading...which makes my theory less convincing...

    So back to my original question....have they actually confirmed what the audit is challenging.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped

    Hi Cashstrapped,

    Can provide a bit of an update on this now. Had a call from a Scottish Power complaints handler earlier who wanted to detail all the reasons why the bill was raised and understand why I was disputing it.

    As expected, the customer read closing reading was not a problem. The issue was with the opening reading which they stated was estimated. The handler asked if I had records of the original reading, which as mentioned earlier, I am no longer in possession of. Following on from this, the handler explained that the bill was re-raised due to such low energy usage between Nov14-Jan15, for some reason the system flagged this up as being unusual/potentially inaccurate. He then went on to explain that the last estimate from the property was used to generate the new opening reading and the new bill, i.e. before the property was in my name.

    To cut a long story short, I explained that the previous owner of the property had passed away some months before I bought the property meaning their previous estimates were likely wholly inaccurate. I also explained that as the property was unoccupied (and completely empty) the low usage was entirely plausible. As a result, the handler agreed with me and cancelled the bill and agreed that my inital payment last year was likely accurate and covered the energy used!!

    SP did apologise and again blamed their computer system. I raised the point that whilst the advisor was extremely helpful (in this instance at least), I still have concerns about the practice of raising bills so late and the impact this could have on more vulnerable customers, to which they agreed they'd look at their practices. Unlikely, but we'll see.

    Anyway, i'm pleased to not be getting charged for any of this, and more importantly thanks again for all your advice everyone!
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 12th Oct 16, 10:32 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Fantastic...

    Looks like my guess as to why it was raised pretty much there..

    As I suspected, with no or little evidence, I did not see how they could charge you.

    So...all good in the end.

    Thanks for the update.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,374Posts Today

6,911Users online

Martin's Twitter