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  • FIRST POST
    • Mabelhog
    • By Mabelhog 15th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Mabelhog
    £200 phone call to SSE! Furious!
    • #1
    • 15th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    £200 phone call to SSE! Furious! 15th Jul 17 at 8:51 PM
    As the title suggests I am fuming and soon to be out of pocket by a lot of money!

    At the moment my husband and I are with SSE and paying quartely. After receiving a £300 gas bill in March (our last bill) I called them and questioned how we had gone from £166 (the one before that) to £300 when we had actually used the gas less. They concluded that they had overestimated and that the excess payment would be taken off our next bill.

    Knowing that our bill was scheduled for the 17th of this month I called today give a meter reading (no chance of stupid over estimates). On calling I discovered that my June gas bill had already been issued on the 14th (Early and estimated again) and it was £75 and included the over charge from last time. Job done and all is well I thought...

    WRONG!

    The chap on the phone then informed me that the reading I gave him was HIGHER than their estimate and the bill would need to be amended! After changing the bill our £75 went up to £280!! An increase of £200!!

    My husband and I were horrified and demanded an explanation as to how our gas was so high when we had used it even less than last time. The man on the phone said that our usage had gone down but that they had increased their prices which made a difference.

    What a difference indeed!

    He tried to offer me a lower tariff but I was crying at this point and refused saying that I would change provider (Not a lie I was intending to this after this bill anyway)

    How can our gas cost so much? We are 2 people in a small house paying as much as my parents and siblings (4 people ) in a house 2x the size of ours.

    How do they estimate customers gas usage? Pluck a number out of a hat!?

    I am just not convinced by it all and will be contacting them to complain on Tuesday. Any advice in the meantime will be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 15th Jul 17, 9:06 PM
    • 17,016 Posts
    • 11,194 Thanks
    molerat
    • #2
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:06 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:06 PM
    Read your meter and submit readings every month, that way you will not get estimated bills and the system will give a pretty accurate estimate if it needs to.

    How much are you using ?
    Give us 2 actual meter readings and dates.
    How many kWh and how many units are shown on the bill ?
    What is shown on the front of the meter, m3 or cu ft ?
    What are your unit prices and standing charge ?

    You need to get a grip of your meter reads, put yourself in control.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Jul 17, 9:07 PM
    • 4,208 Posts
    • 2,457 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #3
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:07 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:07 PM
    The Data Collectors hold energy usage data on every property in the country based on the actual readings that are taken. Forget about estimates, they are meaningless. If you have provided an actual meter reading, then the supplier should bill you against this reading. It would seem that you are faced with a catch up bill. Are you on a standard tariff? If so, the supplier has an obligation to inform you that your tariff is changing.
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 15th Jul 17, 9:09 PM
    • 7,051 Posts
    • 5,449 Thanks
    daveyjp
    • #4
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:09 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:09 PM
    I'm struggling to see why any of this is SSEs fault.
    • Mabelhog
    • By Mabelhog 15th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mabelhog
    • #5
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    But how could we be being issued a catch-up bill when they over charged us last time? They said themselves they had overcharged us.
    • Mabelhog
    • By Mabelhog 15th Jul 17, 9:31 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mabelhog
    • #6
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:31 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jul 17, 9:31 PM
    The issue here is the way they have been charging us.

    Overestimate
    Massively underestimate (A £200 difference!)

    They billed us EARLY, before I could give a meter reading. It clearly states on our previous bill that our next bill would be between the 17th and 30th. We were billed on the 14th.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 15th Jul 17, 10:09 PM
    • 17,016 Posts
    • 11,194 Thanks
    molerat
    • #7
    • 15th Jul 17, 10:09 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jul 17, 10:09 PM
    You have had many opportunities to submit meter reads since March. If they have been given little real data estimates can be a bit hit and miss.

    The next thing you need to do is get a hold on what you are actually using and move to a better tariff.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • welshmoneylover
    • By welshmoneylover 15th Jul 17, 11:13 PM
    • 2,693 Posts
    • 3,584 Thanks
    welshmoneylover
    • #8
    • 15th Jul 17, 11:13 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jul 17, 11:13 PM
    Hardly SSE's fault!!
    Be happy, it's the greatest wealth
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 16th Jul 17, 6:32 AM
    • 1,654 Posts
    • 1,079 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:32 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:32 AM
    Read your meter - not the IHD - device if you have one,today and compare it with your bill

    Set up your internet account and submit online and do so at least monthly.

    Your thread title is misleading.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Jul 17, 6:52 AM
    • 4,208 Posts
    • 2,457 Thanks
    Hengus

    They billed us EARLY, before I could give a meter reading. It clearly states on our previous bill that our next bill would be between the 17th and 30th. We were billed on the 14th.
    Originally posted by Mabelhog
    Hardly a hanging offence. All the suppliers that I have used over previous years will reverse their estimated bill, and issue a revised bill, if you call in with an actual meter reading.

    I know that you are shocked and looking for someone to blame but suppliers can only work on the information that they have at their disposal. Up until Apr 16, meters only had to be read by the supplier once every two years. The requirement is now once a year. If the customer isn't providing actual meter readings, then estimates will always be used.

    Look back to an earlier bill based on an actual or customer reading, take a reading today and work out how much you owe. Compare this to what the supplier is billing you for. My guess is that you will find that the supplier has got it right, and its earlier estimates were wrong. In future, provide the supplier with meter reading/s once a month or ask for a smart meter to be fitted.
    Last edited by Hengus; 16-07-2017 at 7:53 AM. Reason: addle thoughts
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 16th Jul 17, 1:31 PM
    • 2,986 Posts
    • 1,756 Thanks
    matelodave
    If I ever get an estimated bill I send in an updated reading and get the bill corrected. However as I read the meter monthly and send the reading to the supplier I don't usually get any estimated ones.

    I also keep track of my meter reading on a spreadsheet so I know how much my bill should be before I get one.

    5 minutes once a month would have saved your upset.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • poppellerant
    • By poppellerant 16th Jul 17, 1:57 PM
    • 989 Posts
    • 507 Thanks
    poppellerant
    It sounds to me as though the bill from March might have been an estimate which was accurate. You don't mention if this bill was based on actual or estimated readings. If estimated readings, then there's your problem right there.

    When was an actual reading taken and recorded, by either yourselves or a meter reading? If possible provide us with actual meter readings from around one year ago and meter readings from today. By providing these people can assess how much it might cost you.

    The moral of this story is to take regular meter readings. Even once a month is enough to keep on top of things.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 17th Jul 17, 1:11 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    ComicGeek
    Read your meter and submit readings every month, that way you will not get estimated bills and the system will give a pretty accurate estimate if it needs to.

    How much are you using ?
    Give us 2 actual meter readings and dates.
    How many kWh and how many units are shown on the bill ?
    What is shown on the front of the meter, m3 or cu ft ?
    What are your unit prices and standing charge ?

    You need to get a grip of your meter reads, put yourself in control.
    Originally posted by molerat
    OP, if you want any help you need to take this post on board. Monthly bills and payments are also much easier to manage than quarterly, particularly if you're not reviewing meter readings regularly.

    Not impossible that the unit rates (m3 or cu ft) are wrong on your account - it's worth posting as much info as you can on here. Also how long you've been in the house, how well insulated it is, whether there's someone at home all day that needs the heating on longer, how old the boiler is, what temperature the thermostat is set at...

    If you just wanted a rant at SSE there's a separate forum section for that - if you want help then you need to provide more information.
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 17th Jul 17, 2:10 PM
    • 175 Posts
    • 145 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Estimates are based on historical usage, if possible, or if not, what is typical for your area.

    It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the moral of the story is, be more energy savvy, including taking estimates. Also, change supplier. SSE have not had the best rates available for as long as I have known.
    • Mabelhog
    • By Mabelhog 18th Jul 17, 10:05 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mabelhog
    UPDATE!

    I called SSE today and had a very long discussion. The agent investigated and found that the information I had been been given was actually wrong! Confusion over and a discount as an apology for the stress!

    Thank you very much to those of you who offered genuine advice. I will certainly be keeping an eye on those meter and giving regular readings. Hubby and I have haven't been moved out and living in our own place for even a year yet so we are still wrapping our head around how to run a house lol.

    To those of you so quick to accuse me of being the problem and basically being irrational...you were wrong ��

    Thanks once again to those who offered advice
    • redux
    • By redux 18th Jul 17, 11:08 PM
    • 17,130 Posts
    • 21,704 Thanks
    redux
    OP, if you want any help you need to take this post on board. Monthly bills and payments are also much easier to manage than quarterly, particularly if you're not reviewing meter readings regularly.
    Originally posted by ComicGeek
    In addition, unit tariffs may well be slightly cheaper for monthly direct debit than quarterly direct debit.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 19th Jul 17, 8:23 AM
    • 4,208 Posts
    • 2,457 Thanks
    Hengus
    UPDATE!

    I called SSE today and had a very long discussion. The agent investigated and found that the information I had been been given was actually wrong! Confusion over and a discount as an apology for the stress!
    Originally posted by Mabelhog
    I am pleased that you have resolved the matter with your supplier. Just for the avoidance of doubt, suppliers are not permitted to vary the terms of a tariff by offering one-off discounts. What they have given you is a goodwill payment for poor customer service. I only mention it - not to get a you - but because there are a number of people who post on this forum who mistakenly believe that buying energy is a bit like haggling over a Sky TV subscription.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 19th Jul 17, 9:01 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    BBH123
    OP

    Customers with energy problems will never get a sympathtic hearing on this board because most of the people responding work for the electrical companies as engineeers or similar.

    Time and time again people post about problems with bills etc and are always met with ' well read your meter ' its your responsibility to understand how it all works.

    If it wasn't such a science to understand all this estimate/ actual, multiple dials , tarrifs etc etc customers would stand a fighting chance of being able to control what is happening on their own. As it stands even the companies call centre people have difficulty understanding what is going on and they presumably have some training on it all.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 19th Jul 17, 9:28 AM
    • 2,986 Posts
    • 1,756 Thanks
    matelodave
    OP

    Customers with energy problems will never get a sympathtic hearing on this board because most of the people responding work for the electrical companies as engineeers or similar.

    Time and time again people post about problems with bills etc and are always met with ' well read your meter ' its your responsibility to understand how it all works.

    If it wasn't such a science to understand all this estimate/ actual, multiple dials , tarrifs etc etc customers would stand a fighting chance of being able to control what is happening on their own. As it stands even the companies call centre people have difficulty understanding what is going on and they presumably have some training on it all.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    I've seldom read such rubbish.

    Reading your meter and checking your leccy, gas or water bill is no more difficult than filling up your car. The only difference being that a fuel pump starts from zero and you pay for what you put in at the time.

    The energy companies allow you to use what you consume and then send you a bill. They dont come and read the meter more often than once a year or even less, so of necessity they have to guess how much they think you've used.

    It's up to you to check the bill and pay it if it's right and get it corrected if it's wrong.

    I'm sure most of us wouldn't accept a guesstimated bill when we went to pay for the petrol we'd just put into our cars or a meal we'd just bought in a restauarent - you'd check that it accurately showed what you used or eaten and get it corrected if it was wrong (unless you think you might be getting away with being under charged)

    If you dont like that way of doing it then get a pay as you go meter and pay for it before you use it. It's your choice but dont whinge if you can't be bothered to check your bills and get stuck with a big one.
    Last edited by matelodave; 19-07-2017 at 4:41 PM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Bigphil1474
    • By Bigphil1474 19th Jul 17, 10:18 AM
    • 694 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Bigphil1474
    #19 says it all.
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