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  • FIRST POST
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 7th Jul 17, 1:08 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Rm1505
    New tenant
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:08 AM
    New tenant 7th Jul 17 at 1:08 AM
    Hi 👋

    I moved into my rented flat in mid March, since then I've been trying relentlessly to set up an account with the previously chosen energy supplier.

    After sending my details via the new tenancy form on their site and hearing nothing, I then sent my details directly via email and heard nothing, I then began to phone them in June to give them my details and meter readings, and the lady told me they hadn't received a single email or any communication from me at all. She told me my account setup would be fastracked as it was then 3 months I had been in my flat. I have still not heard anything from them.

    Two weeks later (i.e. Monday of this week) I decided to phone them again, and lo and behold, this lady told me that they HAD received all my emails and forms as she was looking at them on her screen. She wasn't much help, but said my account was in the process of being set up, and yesterday I received my first ever communication from them, which was just a general email saying they were in the middle of setting everything up.

    So, short version is that by the time I go to pay my bill, I will have 4 months of gas and electricity to pay all at once. All because they basically ignored my forms and emails for so long. I have no idea how much this is even going to cost me (new to renting) and I am worried about being landed with a massive bill.

    Is there any point in my complaining to them about how long it has taken? Or is there any other action I could take? I am so stressed out about not being able to pay my bill which I wanted to pay monthly for ease as this is the first time living away from my parents and it feels like I am failing.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do next?

    Thanks for reading!
Page 1
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 7th Jul 17, 7:25 AM
    • 735 Posts
    • 634 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 7:25 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 7:25 AM
    i would start saving just in case the bill is bigger than expected. It is summer time so the bills should not be to large at this time of year.

    Perhaps you need a second current account to pay bills from? If you setup a standing order from your main current account to the bills account for all your regular bill then next time this problem happens, you will automatically be accumulating something towards the bill each months until the payments start to go out again.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 7th Jul 17, 9:28 AM
    • 27,005 Posts
    • 13,127 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 9:28 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 9:28 AM
    Hi ��

    I moved into my rented flat in mid March, since then I've been trying relentlessly to set up an account with the previously chosen energy supplier.

    After sending my details via the new tenancy form on their site and hearing nothing, I then sent my details directly via email and heard nothing, I then began to phone them in June to give them my details and meter readings, and the lady told me they hadn't received a single email or any communication from me at all. She told me my account setup would be fastracked as it was then 3 months I had been in my flat. I have still not heard anything from them.

    Two weeks later (i.e. Monday of this week) I decided to phone them again, and lo and behold, this lady told me that they HAD received all my emails and forms as she was looking at them on her screen. She wasn't much help, but said my account was in the process of being set up, and yesterday I received my first ever communication from them, which was just a general email saying they were in the middle of setting everything up.

    So, short version is that by the time I go to pay my bill, I will have 4 months of gas and electricity to pay all at once. All because they basically ignored my forms and emails for so long. I have no idea how much this is even going to cost me (new to renting) and I am worried about being landed with a massive bill.

    Is there any point in my complaining to them about how long it has taken? Or is there any other action I could take? I am so stressed out about not being able to pay my bill which I wanted to pay monthly for ease as this is the first time living away from my parents and it feels like I am failing.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do next?

    Thanks for reading!
    Originally posted by Rm1505
    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly you have no choice but to set up an account with the existing supplier(s) to your property when you moved in. This is a legally binding 'deemed contract' as laid down in the Gas and Electricity acts.

    You need to send your gas and electricity meter readings, at the time you moved in, to that supplier. That should have been explained to you by the letting agent and hope that they recorded those meter readings - otherwise you might find yourself paying for the previous occupant's gas/electricity.

    I suspect the difficulties with your 'chosen supplier' is they had no details of your current(deemed) supplier. They could have found out the details, but as so often with energy companies, your correspondence would have been filed in the 'too difficult' tray.

    Anyway you will have to pay for several months consumption to the old supplier, and this will be at their most expensive tariff rate.

    You should have had correspondence addressed to 'The Occupier' from the existing supplier if the old occupant had informed them they were leaving.
    Last edited by Cardew; 07-07-2017 at 9:32 AM.
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 7th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    Thanks for your replies!

    The current energy company was chosen by previous tenants, and we haven't changed supplier (although due to the problems we have had, the landlord suggested we should change in the future)

    The day I moved in, the landlord notified the company about us being new tenants, and told us she didn't know what would happen next but assumed we would get a welcome pack through our door, which we waited around a month for but didn't receive a thing.

    That same day, we were given our copy of the lease which had the meter readings at the time, which were definitely accurate because she showed us where to find them ourselves and she pointed out that they were the same as on the lease. I have no worry about paying anyone else's usage, but thanks for pointing that out as it wasn't something I fully understand until recently.

    Since May I have been contacting them with the meter readings from when I moved in, which is all the form asked for. It wasn't until June when I phoned them that I was asked for the current ones as well as the old ones since they apparently had no record of my emails/online forms.

    I am very willing and eager to set my account up, and finally get this bill paid. I hate owing anyone money and feels like I have a huge weight on my shoulders right now. I do have some money set aside for it but I still worry as we did have the heating on in March and April!

    I am also worried because my landlord knows the situation I am in, I hope they dont think I am trying to avoid paying it as I do only have 2 months left on my lease! Don't worry though; I am planning to stay here for at least another year

    Thanks again
    • trickytree1963
    • By trickytree1963 7th Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    trickytree1963
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    Sounds like the company have been very slow. It might be worth complaining as if they were quicker in responding you could have discussed their tariff options and get yourself on their best deal. I can't imagine you are on that as they tend to change it to a Variable tariff on Change of Tenancy cases.

    Once you do get set up with them and can see your SC and unit rates, do a comparison with other suppliers.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 7th Jul 17, 4:24 PM
    • 3,077 Posts
    • 1,811 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:24 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 4:24 PM
    You should have your meter readings from the day you moved in so all you have to do is read your meter now. Take the orignial readings from today's and you'll then know how much you've used.

    Do some sums - multiply your kwh used since you moved in by your suppliers standard variable tariff rates and you should then be able to work out how much you've spent.

    Make sure that you've got that amount in the bank (or a jar) then put another £75 a month into the jar (or bank) to add to it. Hopefully you won't be ever so far out and shouldn't get a nasty surprise when you eventually get a bill.

    It's a PIA when the supplier mucks up, but by using a bit of intelligence you can make sure you've got the money to pay the bill rather than going into blind panic like some on this forum.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 7th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • 27,005 Posts
    • 13,127 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    I am still confused about your terminology. Is your 'previously chosen energy supplier.' the same as the existing supplier when you moved in; i.e the 'deemed contract' supplier?

    If they are one and the same company, you will have a good case to reduce the amount you owe - due to their ineptitude.
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 7th Jul 17, 10:21 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 10:21 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 10:21 PM
    Sorry, I do realise I wasn't very clear, my fault for posting late at night!

    My landlord said that the company was chosen by previous tenants, and all the tenants they have had since then have experienced problems with the company.

    So what I meant was it was previously chosen by someone else. We haven't changed supplier (yet) and I think this flat has been supplied by the same company for a few years. I should've made that clearer, sorry!

    In short, we were told the company's name, the landlord told them they had new tenants, I've spent two, nearly three months, trying to get some communication back from them and I have only ever received one very general email saying they were still setting my account up.
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 9th Jul 17, 12:40 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:40 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:40 AM
    If I wanted to complain to the company, how do I go about it and what is the best way to word it? It isn't fair for me to be automatically charged the highest tariff because they are taking their time issuing my bill.
    • WhoIsThat
    • By WhoIsThat 9th Jul 17, 11:42 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    WhoIsThat
    If I wanted to complain to the company, how do I go about it and what is the best way to word it? It isn't fair for me to be automatically charged the highest tariff because they are taking their time issuing my bill.
    Originally posted by Rm1505
    If you wish to complain, the best way would be to follow the suppliers complaint procedure.

    The best way to head your letter is "COMPLAINT" which will hopefully ensure there is no confusion as to the subject matter of your correspondence

    But to be clear, no one other than you can set up an account in your name (otherwise I would set all my bills up in the name of Teresa May).
    Account set up is usually immediately on contact, and in that same call you can usually select whichever of the supplier's tariff you desire (the expensive standard variable one is the deemed tariff if you do not make any other selection), as you can also do anytime therafter.

    If you have so far failed to contact the supplier to select an alternative tariff, then you will be charged at that deemed tariff for your consumption since becoming liable - this is as per the rules that apply to all suppliers, and so any complaint about this to the supplier will be without foundation (but if you are not happy, do complain, but expect little more than an answer informing you of this policy)
    Last edited by WhoIsThat; 09-07-2017 at 11:54 AM.
    • trickytree1963
    • By trickytree1963 9th Jul 17, 2:14 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    trickytree1963
    If you wish to complain, the best way would be to follow the suppliers complaint procedure.

    The best way to head your letter is "COMPLAINT" which will hopefully ensure there is no confusion as to the subject matter of your correspondence

    But to be clear, no one other than you can set up an account in your name (otherwise I would set all my bills up in the name of Teresa May).
    Account set up is usually immediately on contact, and in that same call you can usually select whichever of the supplier's tariff you desire (the expensive standard variable one is the deemed tariff if you do not make any other selection), as you can also do anytime therafter.

    If you have so far failed to contact the supplier to select an alternative tariff, then you will be charged at that deemed tariff for your consumption since becoming liable - this is as per the rules that apply to all suppliers, and so any complaint about this to the supplier will be without foundation (but if you are not happy, do complain, but expect little more than an answer informing you of this policy)
    Originally posted by WhoIsThat
    The way I read OP, they did contact the "Deemed supplier" on moving in, the deemed supplier claimed not to have received the moving in forms, then in June , 3 months after moving in, found the forms. As to whether OP was offered a choice of tariffs on calling , that might the bit missing from the puzzle. Still worth a Complaint though!
    • macman
    • By macman 9th Jul 17, 11:04 PM
    • 41,344 Posts
    • 16,998 Thanks
    macman
    OP, it's your job to register for the utility accounts and take your own meter readings on day one. Don't ever rely on an LL or letting agent to do this for you-it's nothing to do with them. The same applies to water billing, telcoms, council tax etc. It's the responsibility of the bill payer: the tenant.
    If you fail to register or specify a tariff, then you are put on SVT-the default tariff, and the most expensive.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 10th Jul 17, 12:37 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    I understand that, but like I said, I did spend a good few weeks filling out my meter readings on the new tenant form on their website and then emailing them the same information as they didn't get back to me. I was initially told to expect a welcome pack via mail, then when that didn't happen I started communicating online for ease. I started phoning 3 weeks ago and still haven't got it sorted. Had I known they weren't going to send me anything in the mail and had I known how slow they were going to be, I would've phoned them the first day I moved in, as I did with my council tax, internet and phone providers, and tv license etc.

    Anyway, I am phoning again tomorrow to hopefully sort all of this out! Thanks everyone!
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 10th Jul 17, 1:19 AM
    • 1,056 Posts
    • 677 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    Think yourself lucky that :
    1) You have had a free loan
    2) Your energy supplier doesn't run :
    a) The airline you use
    b) Your local nuclear power station
    c) etc.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 10th Jul 17, 8:29 AM
    • 618 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    House Martin
    Why do I have the feeling this is a Spark Energy scenario ? .OP you do not have to be shy in naming the supplier..you wont get sued..
    I agree with Macman that you should not accept the landlords start readings. It is the old tenants end read, ( which may not have been sent in) and new one who it falls upon.The old tenant could have skidaddled with debts and not sent in an end reading...l/l are notorious for trying to avoid paying out utility bills which fall upon them when the property is vacant in between tenants and try to offload months of vacant weeks standing charges onto the new tenant..Also many are hopeless at understanding Eco 7 meters ( if you have one ), not knowing day from night..which can lead the supplier being baffled by start/end readings which do not match.
    This is a very common scenario with rentals..all would end with smart meters in place, yet another positive for the obligatory fitting of these sensible meters. Anyone who thinks they should not be used just does nt get the whole picture in the utility business.
    Last edited by House Martin; 10-07-2017 at 8:54 AM.
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 10th Jul 17, 12:57 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    The landlord showed me both gas and electricity meters the day I moved in to prove to me she had written the right ones on the lease and to show me where to find them.

    I have now raised an official complaint against the company (which is Flow, btw) and I have been assured that I am on the right tariff as they automatically put new customers on the variable tariff which I think is right for me as there are no exit fees, and as I am saving to buy a house next year hopefully, I can't guarantee how much longer I will be in this flat. The cheaper tariff is Fixed July 18, but apparently it would cost me £30 to get out of it.

    They also mentioned in their reply that they will look at reducing my bill, not sure how much I believe they will do that but I will phone again with today's meter readings once I get home from work.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 10th Jul 17, 1:11 PM
    • 3,814 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    footyguy
    May I ask, which supplier is it that allows a new tenant to send "details via the new tenancy form on their site" to set up a new account?
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 10th Jul 17, 1:49 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    Im with Flow, I dont think many people have heard of them but then I am new to all this!
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 10th Jul 17, 3:00 PM
    • 3,814 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    footyguy
    Im with Flow, I dont think many people have heard of them but then I am new to all this!
    Originally posted by Rm1505
    Thanks. Oh I've heard of them, they are on most, if not all, comparison sites

    However, I cannot find the online form you say you found on their website.

    I have found this pdf
    https://www.flowenergy.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Flow_MovingHome_InteractivePDFv10FR.pdf

    However you have to return it, once completed, by either email or snail mail.

    That form also asks you when a good time for them to call you would be, so that you are put on their best tariff. If they did not call you when you requested, why did you not call them?

    Edit: Oh, I guess you just used their contact us page
    However, without an account number, I guess it was ignored or otherwise unable to be followed up.
    Or if they did respond, it would have been via email as that would be the only contact info you provided ... and email is never a 100% sure way of communicating unless you receive a receipt confirmation. Maybe a reply got lost on it's way to you?

    They have a freephone number to contact them on - that's the simplest and most appropriate in the circumstances.

    Why were they unable to set up your account when they first accept they had contact from you 7 days ago? It is normally done whilst you are on the phone. Then they can also discuss better tariffs. But you will be charged at the default tariff for the period you became liable for consumption until mutual contact was established.
    Last edited by footyguy; 10-07-2017 at 3:11 PM.
    • Rm1505
    • By Rm1505 10th Jul 17, 3:42 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rm1505
    Yes that is the form I used several times and I emailed it into them. I waited about maybe ten days before resending it, and then I used the contact us page asking why it was taking so long.

    I should've phoned sooner had I known it wasn't being processed at that time, but I partly thought it was being dealt with and knew these things can take time, as my other bills did, and I also didn't want to pester them too much. I've been too polite and just hoped that they'd email or phone me like they were meant to.
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