'Atlantic Energy: Ofgem too slow to fight the backdated price rise' blog discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • I worked for another energy supplier for several years until a couple of years ago, and I can say they would absolutely, definitely not cut you off in these circumstances - indeed I really don't think they could even if they wanted to.

    Send the letter and change supplier!
  • FreddieMFreddieM Forumite
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    I am one of Atlantic's customers and I am pretty annoyed at receiving the same letter.
    I was concerned about the clock ticking and how much notice I have to give them.
    If we are going to turn down this contract andwe have to respond to the increase letter within 15 days. As I see it I have to do it any time in November because the letters they send out are actually not dated other (in this case) than the month the letter is sent i.e these letters were dated October 2008

    That's the private sector I suppose
    If youcan lie down at night knowing in your heart that you just made someone’s day just a little bit better,you know you had a good day!!
  • magyarmagyar Forumite
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    I worked for another energy supplier for several years until a couple of years ago, and I can say they would absolutely, definitely not cut you off in these circumstances - indeed I really don't think they could even if they wanted to.

    Agreed. There is no chance on earth they will cut someone off. They might technically be legally allowed to, but the negative PR would not be worth it.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
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    Could this 'This is a change of contract which I don't accept' concept be applied to CPS telephone calls providers like Sky who have suddenly started ignoring the use of the 1280 prefix by its customers?
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • magyarmagyar Forumite
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    Heinz wrote: »
    Could this 'This is a change of contract which I don't accept' concept be applied to CPS telephone calls providers like Sky who have suddenly started ignoring the use of the 1280 prefix by its customers?

    To be clear, it's a condition of the energy supply contract that you can change providers like this. In general you can only change the terms of contract as allowed within the contract itself.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
  • From Atlantic's leaflet "IMPORTANT PRICE INCREASE INFORMATION FROM 25 AUGUST 2008" :-

    Atlantic's own conditions give 10 working days from receiving the price increase details to tell them you are leaving, and 15 working days (starting with the day you give the first notification) in which to receive notice of your transfer to a new supplier.

    Provided that you comply with that time scale, the price increase will not be applied.

    I have used energyhelpline to switch and this is what they say:-

    What will happen next:
    1. You now have a 7 working day cooling off period during which you can contact your new supplier or us to cancel your switch if you change your mind.
    2. Within a few weeks your new supplier will send you a welcome pack including information about them and your new tariff.
    3. Your switch will take place in about 5-6 weeks. You will be sent the date by your new supplier about 3 weeks from now. On the switch date you should take a meter reading and inform your new supplier of this.
    4. Your old supplier will be informed of this meter reading and draw up your final bill.
    5. If you have a direct debit with your old supplier they should only take what they are due after the switch date however to ensure you do not get over billed you can cancel this direct debit after your switch date and pay them by cheque or another method you have full control over.

    This seems to me to be too slow a timetable, so although on the phone Atlantic said I need do nothing in this regard, I am going to send them my own notification ANYWAY

    Rob
  • It sounds like people are simply ringing up saying there has been a change of contract and are therefore not prepared to pay and consequently are being told that the pay rise will not be backdated and will start from the day of the call. Has this become Atlantic's policy?
  • Those **** at Atlantic left it 2 months before telling me they had hoiked my Gas (up 30%?) and Elect (up 27%?).
    Somehow I suspect they won't ever be telling me they put their prices DOWN a couple of months previously!!

    BUT - BEFORE YOU SWITCH AWAY - you probably get a 'One month rebate': I think this comes if you pay by Direct Debit. Once per year you get a refund equal to one month's Direct Debit payment.

    Mine comes in November. I have confirmed that I will still get the rebate if I wait until 1st Dec to apply to change provider. So - MAKE SURE YOU GET THE TIMING RIGHT!

    Also:
    1) Think about INCREASING your Direct Debit - to cover the increased price AND perhaps getting an increased rebate before you switch!

    2) Do your homework and apply to switch via a 'Cashback' website (eg Wepromiseto, Quidco, Topcashback) - see elsewhere on moneysaving expert.
  • LongTermLurkerLongTermLurker Forumite
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    Although I think it's wrong to backdate the increase, as it affects people's ability to budget, we all knew the price rises were coming so in that respect I don't mind paying the increased rate from August - paying by direct debit means that I won't get hit until year end anyway, and yes, that could come as a shock.

    My concern was how they were going to know how many units I'd used before and after the cutover date. I was told this would be done pro-rata, and as the time between my last reading and the increase was longer than the time from the increase to receiving the letter, I would pay more at the old rate - taking this a step further, the old rate was over summer, when I used less gas, so if they pro-rata it based on days I will be paying old rate on some of September's gas.

    Remember also that all providers put up their rates pretty much together; Atlantic were the first to drop their rates last time and have been the last to raise them now. I like Atlantic. Customer Service is good and I'm happy to wait a few months and see what happens. I don't see the point in changing at every price rise and changing back when someone drops their rate.
    You've never seen me, but I've been here all along - watching and learning...:cool:
  • ErconwaldErconwald Forumite
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    Like many customers, I've been more than satisfied with them as a supplier but was angry about retrospective charging so looked into changing using a couple of the compare sites. (It was interesting to note that I received two different responses so how reliable are these?).
    However, I phoned A E&G and got through immediately to a very polite Customer Service representative. I pointed out that if I was to give them notice that I was about to change my supplier they would have to keep the last three month's payments as they were and they would lose me as a customer so why not do just that and I'll stay with them. He spoke to his manager and they agreed to do this. He also analysed my nightly electricity consumption and worked out that I would prob save £3 to £4 a month by NOT using my Energy Saving white meter and has arranged for my meter to be changed without charge. As a result, I'm sticking for a while.
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