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  • FIRST POST
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 6th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Chamellow
    £20k EDF bill out of the blue! They haven't taken a reading since 2013
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    £20k EDF bill out of the blue! They haven't taken a reading since 2013 6th Jul 17 at 9:04 PM
    Hoping someone can help, EDF attempted to take £20k as their direct debit, after phone calls back and forth, and providing a meter reading I was shocked to find it wasn't a mistake, and that the last reading they took was in 2013, they had estimated since, and estimated incorrectly.


    They now want £20,000 asap. They are willing to set up a payment plan of 25% then the rest over 12 months.
    They will not reduce the bill at all, or take any responsibility for the bill being large and unexpected.


    Even though I'm sure we set up a new contract before in Sept last year, and I was told I was now on a really good deal/tariff, they are saying yes I was put on a new deal in Sept, but actually its not a good deal at all, and they cannot backdate any deal on the rate either, so I am paying 15.41 ppu for this whole bill backdating 4yrs, and that I HAVE to sign up to a new RECOVERY deal/tariff until the debt is paid off, which increases my ppu to 15.67 for all future usage too.


    The guy in billing seemed to think I could negotiate a deal/tariff with the instalments team, which would bring the bill down dramatically.
    I was also told by billing that I should have been contacted by a Higher Billing Department for a large bill like this, but checking the system that hasn't been done.


    I have paid £2k over the phone, as they pretty much demanded that instantly, but want the rest of the 25% by Friday.


    I need to know if there is any help available, or if they are right in everything, and I have no way of reducing that bill, and that I have to go onto their recovery tariff, which seems to be very high unit rate.


    This is a Small Business, seasonal selling sweets & holiday gifts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as the way things are going myself and my staff will be out of a job as this just isn't possible to do at such short notice.


    Many thanks,
Page 1
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    • 3,883 Posts
    • 1,543 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    Hoping someone can help, EDF attempted to take £20k as their direct debit, after phone calls back and forth, and providing a meter reading I was shocked to find it wasn't a mistake, and that the last reading they took was in 2013, they had estimated since, and estimated incorrectly.


    They now want £20,000 asap. They are willing to set up a payment plan of 25% then the rest over 12 months.
    They will not reduce the bill at all, or take any responsibility for the bill being large and unexpected.


    Even though I'm sure we set up a new contract before in Sept last year, and I was told I was now on a really good deal/tariff, they are saying yes I was put on a new deal in Sept, but actually its not a good deal at all, and they cannot backdate any deal on the rate either, so I am paying 15.41 ppu for this whole bill backdating 4yrs, and that I HAVE to sign up to a new RECOVERY deal/tariff until the debt is paid off, which increases my ppu to 15.67 for all future usage too.


    The guy in billing seemed to think I could negotiate a deal/tariff with the instalments team, which would bring the bill down dramatically.
    I was also told by billing that I should have been contacted by a Higher Billing Department for a large bill like this, but checking the system that hasn't been done.


    I have paid £2k over the phone, as they pretty much demanded that instantly, but want the rest of the 25% by Friday.


    I need to know if there is any help available, or if they are right in everything, and I have no way of reducing that bill, and that I have to go onto their recovery tariff, which seems to be very high unit rate.


    This is a Small Business, seasonal selling sweets & holiday gifts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as the way things are going myself and my staff will be out of a job as this just isn't possible to do at such short notice.


    Many thanks,
    Originally posted by Chamellow
    If you owe them the money, don't you think you should pay it?

    Get pushing those penny chews. Good luck!
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 6th Jul 17, 9:33 PM
    • 3,176 Posts
    • 1,896 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:33 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:33 PM
    Did you not notice that you weren't paying leccy bills or that the the bills were estimated?

    You can't just blame the supplier if you didn't put any effort into checking bills, meters and payments.

    If you are or were a small business then hopefully you'd have a better hold on your business paperwork than you have with your energy.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 6th Jul 17, 9:34 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Chamellow
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:34 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:34 PM
    Well that's rude?! I'm not saying not to pay it, I am asking if I should have to pay so much in one go, and if I can negotiate a deal on the tariff.


    I don't believe I have said once that I won't pay it, or how to not pay it?


    I have asked on advice to reduce the bill, and whether I have to sign up to their Recovery tariff, which is very high.


    Also any other advice on the situation? Not sure where you've got your idea from? Also I know for a fact this is not what this forums ethos is, the ethos is to help each other, and give friendly advice.
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 6th Jul 17, 9:36 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Chamellow
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:36 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:36 PM
    They actually reduced my direct debit, I had it set at £400 they lowered it after an actual reading by them. My usage has stayed the same since, I just didn't realise they had read regularly up until 2013, then stopped and estimated since then.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 6th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • 732 Posts
    • 630 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    EDF are at fault because they just let customers go for years and years without trying properly to access meters with their meter readers.. I have worked for them for many years and noticed how, unlike British Gas, these over seas invaders do not comply with OFGEMS rules on accessing all meters every two years..They, and Scottish Power, do not elevate properties and businesses to "must read " status.. It costs more to read these sorts of addresses so they just let it ride for donkeys years..Its very rare for us to receive meter reading work from these two renegade suppliers as "must reads ". The public need to be protected from themselves as it can lead to prepayment meter on debts, and bankrupt businesses..OFGEM just allow these foreign suppliers to get away with it..British Gas dont do it, they pay the extra and comply..Shame that the Ombudsman, if their is one for businesses, will side with these cheapskate suppliers like EDF and Scottish Power..Eon do at least comply but those two do not.
    Last edited by House Martin; 06-07-2017 at 10:16 PM.
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 6th Jul 17, 11:03 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Chamellow
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:03 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:03 PM
    Thank you House Martin. Is there anything I could do about this to help?
    Mostly I want to spread the cost, and not be locked into a high tariff.
    Secondly I'd like to reduce the bill.


    Thank you
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 7th Jul 17, 8:14 AM
    • 3,176 Posts
    • 1,896 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:14 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:14 AM
    I wasn't being rude, I just find it really hard to understand how someone who runs their own business can let four years of esimated energy bills rattle by without checking them against the meter readings to make sure that they were correct.

    I doubt you'd let your other suppliers "estimate" their invoices without you checking that they correspond with the goods & quantities supplied.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 7th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • 15,297 Posts
    • 21,829 Thanks
    antrobus
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    ...I need to know if there is any help available, or if they are right in everything, and I have no way of reducing that bill, and that I have to go onto their recovery tariff, which seems to be very high unit rate....,
    Originally posted by Chamellow
    There are Voluntary Standards for back billing of Micro Business Energy Customers. EDF has signed up to them, and promises to limit back billing to one year.

    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/files/docs/Policies/Micro%20business/VoluntaryStandardsforBackbillingofMicroBuisinessCu stomersApril2.pdf

    You have to qualify as a 'micro business' and there are certain 'Customer responsibilities in relation to bills' which you apparently have to fulfill in order to qualify.

    I don't know whether you qualify, but it might help.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 7th Jul 17, 8:33 AM
    • 4,651 Posts
    • 2,824 Thanks
    Hengus
    There are Voluntary Standards for back billing of Micro Business Energy Customers. EDF has signed up to them, and promises to limit back billing to one year.

    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/files/docs/Policies/Micro%20business/VoluntaryStandardsforBackbillingofMicroBuisinessCu stomersApril2.pdf

    You have to qualify as a 'micro business' and there are certain 'Customer responsibilities in relation to bills' which you apparently have to fulfill in order to qualify.

    I don't know whether you qualify, but it might help.
    Originally posted by antrobus
    EDF has been billing, it has just been using estimates. I am not sure how the Back Billing rules apply in this situation.

    Note that the 2 year meter reading rule does not apply (it is now once per year for domestic customers). Also, the word 'reasonable' keeps lawyers in £s for years.
    Last edited by Hengus; 07-07-2017 at 8:45 AM.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 7th Jul 17, 8:47 AM
    • 732 Posts
    • 630 Thanks
    House Martin
    Thank you House Martin. Is there anything I could do about this to help?
    Mostly I want to spread the cost, and not be locked into a high tariff.
    Secondly I'd like to reduce the bill.


    Thank you
    Originally posted by Chamellow
    I think Hengus has probably got it right in quoting the "back billing " rule..Being a business user you have`nt the same rights as a domestic user where a reduction in the bill could have been offered seeing as how they broke the minimum period of taking a supplier reading every 2 years ( now its only 1 year ).
    Is the electric meter working in a form of "smart mode " as most business electric meters are now at least in my area ?.Many of these meters don t work in smart mode and have nt worked from day one so check on that one. Many business users I meet are not aware their meters are duff because the supplier could nt be bothered to inform them.
    • JamoLew
    • By JamoLew 7th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    JamoLew
    We had a similar situation with BG a few years ago.

    We tool the case to the Ombudsman under the back billing clause and won.

    Expect a fight, but in the end we won over the statement "you must provide a meter reading OR not prevent access to your meter for reading"
    or something similar.

    They claimed we had refused access to our house to have the meter read, however our meters are outside the house accessible from the drive, on one occasion they claimed we refused we were actually in holiday in USA and the nail in the coffin was ---- it transpired they were going to the wrong house !!!!!

    In the end, the bill was reduced to the maximum of I believe 15 months of use and we negotiated to pay back over the period of time that was under dispute --- In you case this should be a reasonable solution
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 7th Jul 17, 9:20 AM
    • 4,651 Posts
    • 2,824 Thanks
    Hengus
    We had a similar situation with BG a few years ago.

    We tool the case to the Ombudsman under the back billing clause and won.

    Expect a fight, but in the end we won over the statement "you must provide a meter reading OR not prevent access to your meter for reading"
    or something similar.

    They claimed we had refused access to our house to have the meter read, however our meters are outside the house accessible from the drive, on one occasion they claimed we refused we were actually in holiday in USA and the nail in the coffin was ---- it transpired they were going to the wrong house !!!!!

    In the end, the bill was reduced to the maximum of I believe 15 months of use and we negotiated to pay back over the period of time that was under dispute --- In you case this should be a reasonable solution
    Originally posted by JamoLew
    With respect, you may be confusing a house with a small business.

    The above link above doesn't work for me but this one does:

    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/files/docs/Factsheets%20and%20guides/energy_bill_business-customers.pdf
    Last edited by Hengus; 07-07-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • trickytree1963
    • By trickytree1963 7th Jul 17, 10:14 AM
    • 186 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    trickytree1963
    Have you considered contacting CAB or Stepchange to see if you can get a reasonable and/or affordable repayment plan set up. Going forward Id recommend taking regular reads so you can monitor your actual usage too.
    • jpwjpw
    • By jpwjpw 7th Jul 17, 11:22 PM
    • 245 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    jpwjpw
    If the last accurate reading was in 2013, that would mean your bills should have been £4000+ a year?

    Is that electricity only?

    Sounds like a huge amount to consume for a small business, especially if it's seasonal only.
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 7th Jul 17, 11:39 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Chamellow
    This is why I thought it was incorrect, but apparently not, plus I have been paying between £400 - £800 a month direct debit, although for 6months they reduced it to £1 a month!
    • Chamellow
    • By Chamellow 7th Jul 17, 11:45 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Chamellow
    I think she said today 163k units since 2013 but she was struggling to add them up
    We do have a freezer, big outside spotlights, an air conditioning unit (or the sweets melt) and a whippy machine?
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 8th Jul 17, 1:49 PM
    • 11,559 Posts
    • 15,159 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    I think Hengus has probably got it right in quoting the "back billing " rule..Being a business user you have`nt the same rights as a domestic user where a reduction in the bill could have been offered seeing as how they broke the minimum period of taking a supplier reading every 2 years ( now its only 1 year ).
    Is the electric meter working in a form of "smart mode " as most business electric meters are now at least in my area ?.Many of these meters don t work in smart mode and have nt worked from day one so check on that one. Many business users I meet are not aware their meters are duff because the supplier could nt be bothered to inform them.
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Isn't AMR an accepted alternative for business customers where a smart meter can't be fitted?
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    Married to an immigrant.
    Even my PC is nicknamed "GIBBS".
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    • 1,961 Posts
    • 1,271 Thanks
    Robin9
    Isn't AMR Smart by another name ?
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 8th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
    • 11,559 Posts
    • 15,159 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    Isn't AMR Smart by another name ?
    Originally posted by Robin9
    There are similarities, yes, but they're not SMETS1 / SMETS2 meters from what I remember.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    Married to an immigrant.
    Even my PC is nicknamed "GIBBS".
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