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  • FIRST POST
    • roachguard
    • By roachguard 14th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 2Thanks
    roachguard
    Transposed meter readings
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    Transposed meter readings 14th Feb 18 at 7:41 PM
    i recently moved into my mums house to look after her and my stepfather she is 78 on two crutches and he 77 and has dementia
    last november my stepfather received a bill putting his direct debits up from 57 pounds to 297 pounds which obviously upset him and caused him to be abusive i calmed him down and said i will find out what was wrong
    i had to pretend to be my stepfather to speak to them the first person i spoke to when i asked about the huge difference said i should pay it as i would get into more debt i asked if the meter could be wrong she said i should take some meter readings not even looking at my account to see how old i was or even ask
    so i took the readings and they didnt seem to be moving fast so i collected the figures and phoned i asked the person what the figures meant and was told they were the kilowatts figures so i thought this was strange as the figures were hardly moving so i made my excuses and hung up
    i brought a smart meter to compare the kilowatts it was reading to the ones the meter were giving and there was no relation so i phoned up again went through it all again and i was asked again to read the meter without checking on my age health or where the meter was(its high up next to the ceiling) because they said this time the readings the meter gave are then calculated into kilowatts
    so i take more figures but i notice the night time figure was running during the day
    so i ring the up again and i tell them the night time figure was running during the day and the day was running at night and the joker on the phone said he had figured it out and it was a transposed reading so he raised it to a complaint
    during the 8 weeks of discussion i found out the meter had been giving transposed figures since it was put in 4 years ago
    they had notes on the account saying the figures were transposed but they were still entered in the wrong way round
    since the meter was put in it was read once in 2014 just after the meter was put in 4 times in 2015 3 times in 2016 the last time being november then they never read it again till november 2017 for some reason and during this period they estimated the bill and put the direct debit down from 76 pounds to 56 pounds
    the complaints dept corrected the figures for the whole of the 4 years as back billing but i thought they could only do it for 1 year so we owe over 1200 pounds and are saying that the 297 pounds a month is the correct figure for our usage (its a three bed semi with 3 storage heaters that are hardly on as we have gas fires) they have offered 150 pounds compensation for asking a pensioner to climb a ladder knocked 300 pounds off the bill which brought it down to the 1200 figure
    sorry it is such a long post basically should i accept/go to ofgem/ask them to reduce it more
    any advice would be gratefully received
    i'm tempted to go to ofgem as if it wasn't for the fact i was here they would be paying the 297 pounds on a transposed meter still and the company will still be asking OAP'S to climb ladders
    thaks
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • 5,195 Posts
    • 3,183 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    Hi - welcome to the forum. I wonít go through your post point by point: suffice it to say, that you have done a good job so far. The Back Billing Code is a voluntary code designed to avoid bill shocks resulting from billing issues. If it was applied to my account today, it would write off usage PRIOR to 14 February 2017. In other words, the amount owed is only for usage over the last 12 months.

    Your supplier has offered a deal which you are free to reject. Provided you have followed the supplierís complaints procedure then after 8 weeks (or deadlock) you are free to take your complaint to The Energy Ombudsman (not Ofgem). Before you go down that road, you need to think it through carefully. What more do you want from the supplier? Do you have actually have a case for more compensation? Remember, The Energy Ombudsman could rule that the offer already made is too generous. The Energy Ombudsman will come to a Final Decision after about 8 weeks. The Decision is binding on the supplier but not on the complainant. If you reject the offer, then the supplier is off the hook and it may withdraw its original settlement offer (bearing in mind that your escalation has cost it £400 + in referral fees)

    As far as £297 per month is concerned going forward, then just ask the supplier to show how this amount has been calculated. If you are not happy, then do a full market price comparison and switch suppliers.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • 1,041 Posts
    • 891 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    This is happening all the time and your transposed readings has gone on far too long. Someone should have spotted this in 4 years.
    Looks like the supplier is trying a sneaky full backbill hoping you will pay up.
    If the suppliers meter readers have been entering the wrong time period on your meter then they are at fault and should be offering you a large discount.
    I would tell the supplier you wish to lodge a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman, ( not OFGEM ).
    I have seen suppliers force fit a prepayment meter and loading the full debt on it to be repaid at £16 a week when suppliers send meter readers out and they have no idea how to read the meter and put the readings in as they appear on the meter and do not match night readings properly.
    My old company G4S were really good at that. They read for British Gas, EDF, Scot Power and lots of small suppliers . They routinely enter rate 1 seen on a digital meter into the night field on their computers. This would mean 14 hrs billed at the half price night rate and only 7 hrs at the expensive day rate.
    The supplier could spot that if they could be bothered to check.
    another fault on Eco 7 meters is when the cheap 7 hrs is running in the day time due to a faulty 24 hr old analogue timerswitch.
    Let the Energy Ombudsman decide, I m sure they would be sympathetic.
    This question has cropped up on here enough times over the years. One poster got back to us to say the supplier had scrubbed the whole debt after going to the energy ombudsman ,EDF in that case
    Last edited by House Martin; 14-02-2018 at 8:37 PM.
    • roachguard
    • By roachguard 15th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    roachguard
    • #4
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    i'm in the opinion it should be brought to the the energy ombudsman i could pay the bill outright but thats not the point these are old people and there should be a process in place where the first question a person gets asked is how old they are
    • welshbookworm
    • By welshbookworm 15th Feb 18, 9:46 AM
    • 2,342 Posts
    • 6,146 Thanks
    welshbookworm
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:46 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:46 AM
    i'm in the opinion it should be brought to the the energy ombudsman i could pay the bill outright but thats not the point these are old people and there should be a process in place where the first question a person gets asked is how old they are
    Originally posted by roachguard
    Surely the first question should be
    Can you reach the meter to read it
    The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Feb 18, 9:53 AM
    • 5,195 Posts
    • 3,183 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:53 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 18, 9:53 AM
    i'm in the opinion it should be brought to the the energy ombudsman i could pay the bill outright but thats not the point these are old people and there should be a process in place where the first question a person gets asked is how old they are
    Originally posted by roachguard
    The Energy Ombudsman does not exist to give an opinion. It exists to arbitrate between the supplier and a consumer on the detail of a complaint. All suppliers have what is known as a Priority Services Register. Have you considered registering your parents?

    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register-people-need

    If you have decided not to accept the supplier's offer then what are your grounds for doing so, and what more do you want in the way of compensation? My guess is that you will not be happy until the entire bill is written off. I am afraid that this is not going to happen. Energy suppliers are not social services. Consumers, or their family members, need to inform suppliers about the need for additional support.

    Finally, I would again make the following point:

    Quote: Note also that if the consumer does not accept the EOís final decision they lose the right to any remedy offered.

    The EOís own advice is:

    The ombudsmanís final decision signifies the end of our process. The ombudsmanís final decision cannot be challenged and there is no right of appeal. It is the consumerís decision whether or not they want to accept the ombudsmanís final decision, we allow up to 28 days for a response. If the consumer accepts our final decision you have 28 days to carry out all of the actions. We will continue to work with you and the consumer to make sure that this happens. If the consumer decides not to accept our final decision they lose the right to the resolutions offered but can complain in another way, to the courts for example [emphasis added]. In this situation we have no further involvement in the complaint and the case is closed. Unquote

    Source: HoC's Briefings
    Last edited by Hengus; 15-02-2018 at 9:57 AM.
    • roachguard
    • By roachguard 15th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    roachguard
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    yes but the account
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    is not in my name and i've only just started living here the first thing they should do when they look at an account is to see how old the person is not to tell them to pay up
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 15th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 793 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #8
    • 15th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
    is not in my name and i've only just started living here the first thing they should do when they look at an account is to see how old the person is not to tell them to pay up
    Originally posted by roachguard
    Why? I hate agism in all forms. And favouring the old is agism. They should treat everyone the same and maybe ask if they have special needs (which may be due to be no exclusive to age).
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Feb 18, 5:15 PM
    • 5,195 Posts
    • 3,183 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #9
    • 15th Feb 18, 5:15 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Feb 18, 5:15 PM
    is not in my name and i've only just started living here the first thing they should do when they look at an account is to see how old the person is not to tell them to pay up
    Originally posted by roachguard
    When your parents first signed up with the supplier they will have been asked about any priority needs. A lot of us older people are either too proud/stupid to admit that we might need additional help by signing up to the Priority Services Register. We occasionally need a nudge from our children.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 15th Feb 18, 5:24 PM
    • 15,870 Posts
    • 40,049 Thanks
    elsien
    As you are not the person named on the account, there is no obligation for the company or ombudsman to talk to you without the account holder's written consent. You may have got away with pretending to be him on this occasion but there are likely to be other things that crop up where you really can't/shouldn't.

    Is your step dad's dementia too advanced for him to be able to do a power of attorney?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • roachguard
    • By roachguard 15th Feb 18, 7:12 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    roachguard
    yes
    he is too far gone he went very quickly from leading a prayer service as a lay preacher to thinking he's 5
    • roachguard
    • By roachguard 15th Feb 18, 7:18 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    roachguard
    Latest email
    i thought i would share part of the last email from my provider
    "Thank you for your email. Having reviewed the records, it appears that meter readings were taken between November 2016 and November 2017. It looks as though the meter readings were still incorrect and the system rejected them, which is why the bill was estimated during that period.

    As discussed when we spoke, because the meter readings shortly after the meter was exchanged, it was necessary to correct this information before the billing team could assess the account in relation to the back billing code of practice.

    Due to the corrections to the meter readings, I am unable to give you a breakdown of the usage year to year as the account needed to be billed correctly for the full period.

    I hope this answers your questions. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to let me know.

    If I could ask you to confirm what you feel would be a suitable resolution to your complaint."
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