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  • FIRST POST
    • northernpainter
    • By northernpainter 11th Oct 17, 4:40 PM
    • 3Posts
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    northernpainter
    Energy Ombudsman & E.ON
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 4:40 PM
    Energy Ombudsman & E.ON 11th Oct 17 at 4:40 PM
    Long thread alert. I will try to keep this simple.

    I have a complaint with E.ON which I've raised to the ombudsman, in March of this year (after raising with E.ON through resolver.)
    It's not been resolved because I had an investigations officer looking into it who decided to go AWOL and not reply to anything over months and months. the original complaint has been resubmitted twice, and I have additionally complained about the service level received from OfGem.

    So two things I'd like your thoughts on.

    1. Complaint against E.ON:
    - I resided at a property for 2 years between May 2014 and May 2016.
    - In that time the billing schedule I received from E.ON was mostly made up of estimates:
    Date Bill Amount Bill Type
    28/06/2014 11:18 Actual
    21/08/2014 36.54 Estimate
    10/09/2014 27.53 Estimate
    08/10/2014 26.57 Estimate
    30/10/2014 109.39 Actual
    23/02/2015 31.53 Estimate
    18/05/2015 61.14 Estimate
    24/08/2015 30.52 Estimate
    16/10/2015 19.68 Estimate
    16/02/2016 34.01 Estimate
    02/05/2016 418.66 Actual
    16/05/2016 433.61 Final

    - I provided 3 or 4 meter readings during the time that E.ON continued to send me estimates; they didnít use them and claim they have no record of them. i don't have records I submitted them because i submitted on their website.
    - E.ON continued to bill me on estimates for over 20 months (Actual bill received on 30/10/2014) and then another not received until 02/05/2016, despite me sharing actual readings during that time).
    - Then as I notified E.ON that I would be moving out of the property, and shared a further actual reading, my bill leapt from £34 to £419, something that any normal person would struggle with in pulling that out of their finances at the end of the month Ė and this landed me in financial hardship with numerous bank charges in excess of £80.
    My complaint is this: that the increased bill of £418.66 on 02/05/2016 constitutes a backbill of energy usage of more than 12 months.
    Furthermore: that because I provided meter readings during that time that were not used, E.ON are at fault, and this amount falls under the back-billing principle as E.ON billed me using estimated meter readings instead of valid readings provided by me
    I would like the bill reversed and the amount refunded

    Am I wrongly applying the back-billing principle?

    2. Complaint against OfGem
    Over the course of this year, since March, I submitted the claim and waited for the normal lead times for the response. the investigating officer both misunderstood and misrepresented the facts (even facts stipulated to by E.ON) and at times went 2 months without response, or would simply send me a blank email - no idea why. This person has now left the ombudsman after causing 6 months worth of delays.
    Ofgem will only investigate their service where they have been unfair, rude, or have caused unnecessary delays.
    I complained about them, and received a response today which was thoughtfully written and acknowledges the shortcomings in service. They have offered me £100 for the annoyance and frustration caused by their investigating officer.
    Do I take the money? Is this typical? High? Low?

    I'd really appreciate any thoughts / advice.
Page 1
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 11th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    • 2,087 Posts
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    Andy_WSM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    I can't see how backbilling rule would apply as you were aware that the readings you had submitted had not been used - or should have been as the estimated readings were shown on a bill. It's something that a quick phone call should have sorted, rather than relying on their website recording the readings.

    Whilst EON are not faultless here, you have to accept some of the responsibility too. My opinion, sorry if you don't agree.

    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 11th Oct 17, 5:00 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
    • 2,810 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 5:00 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 5:00 PM
    The Energy Ombudsman and Ofgem are different organisations. What did The Energy Ombudsman decide in respect of your complaint against E.oN? The bottomline is that if you agree to go to arbitration then you agree to accept The Energy Ombudsmanís decision. If you reject the offer, then neither The Energy Ombudsman nor E.oN will discuss the matter any further.

    FWIW, up until April 2016, energy suppliers only had to read your meter once every 2 years. If E.oN failed to use the meter readings that you provided then you should have raised the matter with them prior to your Final Bill. I agree that The Back Billing Code does not apply: there is an onus on the consumer to approach the supplier to get an accurate bill.
    • northernpainter
    • By northernpainter 11th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    northernpainter
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    Apologies for confusing the two - my error in not realising ombudsman and ofgem are different.

    Thanks for the responses - itís actually exactly what I wanted, just a view on whether or not Iím applying the principle incorrectly.

    The ombudsman hasnít made a final judgement on the complaint about E.ON yet, theyíre considering all of the facts and reinvestigating after the last person doing it contradicted themselves in 3 seperaye Ďconclusionsí.

    In accepting the £100 (if I do) from the ombudsman, that is the ombudsman compensating me for ombudsman shortcomings in their service levels, and itís independent of the E.ON complaint, which is being investigated by a different dept in the ombudsman.

    Iím trying to be balanced rather than bl**dy minded, and working on the basis that as you say I should accept some responsibility for not overtly nudging them more forcefully on using estimates.
    I did however continue to submit readings online, assuming each time they would use them. My bills were quarterly intervals so I kept assuming it was be fixed by the next round - but I know what they say about assuming... :-)
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 11th Oct 17, 10:02 PM
    • 27,103 Posts
    • 13,219 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:02 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:02 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    If you read various threads on this section of the forum you will find most of us have a low opinion of the Ombudsman. They simply award £50 or £100 without any real investigation; that suits the Energy company and goes down as another case solved by the Ombudsman.

    As said above the 'back billing' provision doesn't apply as you have had bills.

    There is a technical reason why Eon could have ignored your meter readings and substituted an Estimated reading. Essentially all billing is done automatically by the all seeing, all knowing computer. This predicts the next meter reading from historical consumption at the property, and allows a fixed tolerance. If it is outside this tolerance the computer 'assumes' it is a mistake and substitutes an estimated reading. If you contact the firm and challenge that estimated reading, a real live human should intervene and over-ride the computer. If not large credit or debit balances can build up.
  • E.ON Company Representative: Helena
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    Good morning northernpainter and welcome to the forum.

    I'm sorry that I can't rally add anything to the thread, due to the level the complaint has now reached.

    I agree with the others, the 'back billing' provision doesn't apply as you have had bills.

    As your complaint has gone to the Ombudsman we'll have sent a Final Resolution Offer letter giving our position. You can use this when talking to the Ombudsman. Now the complaint is at this point, the Ombudsman will decide what happens next. Their decision is binding on us but not on you. Whilst we wait for this decision to come through, our advisors won't be able to talk about the complaint or do anything more until we have their ruling.

    Thank you

    Helena
    ďOfficial Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. 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"
    • TomShaw1949
    • By TomShaw1949 16th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
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    TomShaw1949
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    Eon compliants resolution useless
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    I too have a complaint with Eon and found that their complaints resolution system is useless.


    In a nutshell, in 2011 Eon installed a smart gas meter with an initial reading of zero. In April 2017 I decided to switch from Eon to nPower and sent nPower an initial reading of 12020, and they took over the account on 10/05/2017. For various reasons I didn't get a final bill from Eon until September, when I was shocked to find they claimed I owed them over £1800 for gas. After I complained they upped this bill to £2009.


    On checking I found that they had not read the meter since April 2016 when the reading was 5685, so what they are saying is than in just over 12 months I had used more gas than I had used in the past 5 years. In kWh this means that whereas my average yearly consumption between April 2011 and April 2016 was round 13,000kWh, they were saying I had used 70,000kWh in one year.


    When I complained I found that Eon's system was simply designed to fob you off. Their initial response was that the bill can't be wrong, we will arrange a payment plan to pay it off. You never get to speak to the same person twice. They won't discuss the complaint via email, only by phone, so you have nothing in writing. Several times they rang my mobile phone but rang off before I could answer, then sent me emails saying they couldn't contact me.


    Eon said they had "lost contact" with the meter after April 2016. They said it was my fault for not having read the meter during 2016, but they never asked me for a meter reading or tried to find out why they couldn't read it. It seems obvious to anyone with half a brain that some unknown event happened after April 2016 that screwed up Eon's communication with the meter and also the reading.


    I eventually got through to someone who seem to understand the problem. He agreed that I could not possibly have used this amount of gas and that the meter must have been faulty and said that I would be billed based on my historical usage. They then reneged on this and said that all they would do was offer a pitiful amount of compensation. When I refused this they said my complaint was closed and they sent the bill for £2009. I now have no option but to complain to the energy ombudsman.


    I want to check my historical usage pre 2016 for my ombudsman complaint, but I can't go back more than 12 months on my Eon account, and Eon have ignored my request to send me earlier data which I know they have.
    • Castle
    • By Castle 16th Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • 1,307 Posts
    • 1,697 Thanks
    Castle
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    I want to check my historical usage pre 2016 for my ombudsman complaint, but I can't go back more than 12 months on my Eon account, and Eon have ignored my request to send me earlier data which I know they have.
    Originally posted by TomShaw1949
    Send them a Subject Access Request, (SAR), and a cheque for £10. (See post #8).
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5165199
    • TomShaw1949
    • By TomShaw1949 16th Oct 17, 2:35 PM
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    TomShaw1949
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 2:35 PM
    Sar
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 2:35 PM
    Thanks for your suggestion Castle
    • Raxiel
    • By Raxiel 16th Oct 17, 2:47 PM
    • 475 Posts
    • 246 Thanks
    Raxiel
    Thanks for your suggestion Castle
    Originally posted by TomShaw1949
    I've had problems accessing historical meter readings on my old (closed) eon account, but the historic bills should go back 2 years, have you checked that system?

    I recently asked them for as much info as they have on my old account and was told they only retain it for 2 years, and the reps don't have access to more than the bills.

    Whether that's entirely true or whether I was getting fobbed off, I obviously can't say for certain, but that's what I've been told.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Oct 17, 2:50 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
    • 2,810 Thanks
    Hengus
    Send them a Subject Access Request, (SAR), and a cheque for £10. (See post #8).
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5165199
    Originally posted by Castle
    The OP may have missed the boat if The EO process is already in train. From the ICO website:

    In most cases you must respond to a subject access request promptly and in any event within 40 calendar days of receiving it. However, some types of personal data are exempt from the right of subject access and so cannot be obtained by making a subject access request.

    Once The EO has adjudicated its response will usually include this paragraph:

    You now have to decide whether you accept our resolution in full and final settlement of your complaint. Please provide a response within 14 days of the date of this correspondence.

    If you do not accept our proposal then you can contact me using the details below but must be able to:

    ē show there is a significant error in the facts which makes a material difference; or

    ē produce significant new evidence which may make a material difference, along with an explanation of why that information was not previously made available.

    You must provide your response no later than 14 days from the date of this correspondence.

    It is not an open ended process which stops whilst the complainant gathers more information. In sum, they may not wait for the conclusion of a SAR.
    • Wolf3
    • By Wolf3 16th Oct 17, 11:34 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Wolf3
    I too have a complaint with Eon and found that their complaints resolution system is useless.


    In a nutshell, in 2011 Eon installed a smart gas meter with an initial reading of zero. In April 2017 I decided to switch from Eon to nPower and sent nPower an initial reading of 12020, and they took over the account on 10/05/2017. For various reasons I didn't get a final bill from Eon until September, when I was shocked to find they claimed I owed them over £1800 for gas. After I complained they upped this bill to £2009.


    On checking I found that they had not read the meter since April 2016 when the reading was 5685, so what they are saying is than in just over 12 months I had used more gas than I had used in the past 5 years. In kWh this means that whereas my average yearly consumption between April 2011 and April 2016 was round 13,000kWh, they were saying I had used 70,000kWh in one year.
    Are you sure the reading you have submitted to NPower is the correct one? is the reading provided already converted to kWh or is in cubic meters. modern gas meters measure in cubic meters so the read you provided of 12020 would confirm a consumption of around 70000 kWh if your last actual read was 5685 from a year ago? or are you trying to dispute the meter is faulty?
    • northernpainter
    • By northernpainter 17th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    • 3 Posts
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    northernpainter
    Hi Hengus,

    this is a different complaint from a different poster -
    I already did the SAR, and got what I needed for the complaint - the EO is still investigating.
    • TomShaw1949
    • By TomShaw1949 17th Oct 17, 10:24 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    TomShaw1949
    Eon bill nonsense
    Yes the reading of 12020 on 10/05/2017 is correct. And the meter does read in cubic metres. I even sent photos of the meter to prove it.
    And this is the whole point. Eon are claiming I used 6335 cubic metres of gas between April 2016 and 10/05/2017, whereas I had used only 5685 cu. m. of gas in the previous 5 years since they installed the meter, which is ridiculous in itself.
    Of course energy consumption is not constant throughout the year, which is why I wanted historical data to weight the usage seasonally. Using the historical data that I do have, it works out that the average weekly usage during the period of peak consumption would work out to 2750kWh per week, whic is one-fifth of my normal annual usage. It also means my 30kW* gas boiler would have to be burning continuously for 14.5 hours each day during this period.
    To use the old "one-bar electric" fire analogy, this would be like having 30 electric fires in my house switched on for 14.5 hours each day.

    *OK I know that the boiler rating is 30kW input, not output, but it is a very efficient condensing boiler.
    • Wolf3
    • By Wolf3 18th Oct 17, 9:18 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Wolf3
    Eon are claiming I used 6335 cubic metres of gas between April 2016 and 10/05/2017,
    They are claiming this because that is what the meter has recorded you have used, based on the readings you have given to your current supplier which have been passed to Eon as the final read. There is nothing dodgy about the billing as far as i can see. I think that is pretty obvious you have a fault with the meter and will need an OFMAT test with your current supplier to confirm this. If the meter is found to be faulty then your bill with Eon can be adjusted.
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