MSE News: Npower to pay £70m in refunds after billing blunder

edited 1 October 2010 at 1:48AM in Energy
174 replies 21.4K views
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  • hgm wrote: »
    Have you any evidence from Consumer Focus on any agreed method of calculating the repayment? Because nPower said it had been agreed to use the yearly method with the negative amounts. I don't think nPower will take much notice if I just say "DirectDebacle says it should be calculated a different way".

    No I don't think npower would agree with me either. The point is do you agree with npower?

    This is how npower state they are going to calculate payments, my bold type:


    We’ve taken the maximum possible number of higher-priced units a customer could have been charged following the changes made in 2007. We’ve compared this with 4,572 units per year using 12 month periods around this time based on the anniversary of the date they first joined npower. The payment amount is based on any excess higher-priced units, multiplied by the difference between the rate for the higher and lower priced units applicable at the time. We’ve taken the additional step of including VAT and a sum in lieu of interest in this payment.

    To me that means using a 12 month period(s) they calculate the total amount of P.B. units charged and if it comes to more than 4572 they are re-paid as explained.

    They do not now appear to be comparing a 12 month period (a year) to 4572 but comparing individual months of a 12 month period with the months of a charging profile that wasn't used to calculate your bills and would not in itself exceed 4572.

    Decide for yourself if you think they have re-calculated your bills correctly or not. If not, then challenge them.

    I wouldn't take too much notice of what an npower rep tells you was or was not agreed with Consumer Focus without checking it with Consumer Focus.
  • hgmhgm Forumite
    62 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    We’ve taken the maximum possible number of higher-priced units a customer could have been charged following the changes made in 2007. We’ve compared this with 4,572 units per year using 12 month periods around this time based on the anniversary of the date they first joined npower. The payment amount is based on any excess higher-priced units, multiplied by the difference between the rate for the higher and lower priced units applicable at the time. We’ve taken the additional step of including VAT and a sum in lieu of interest in this payment.
    I agree that they don't appear to be doing the calculations as they have stated. I will quote that back at them when I reply to their forthcoming explanation.
  • Advised to repost here.

    I wonder if someone could give me their thoughts on my situation. My anniversary with Npower is late Nov, and I've received a payback of just under £40.

    My understanding is this is due to primary rate units I was charged in excess of the annual maximum permitted. However, when I look at my bills (or rather the spreadsheet I keep of the pertinent details), I don't think I've had excess units billed - but I may not fully grasp which date range I should be looking at.

    Bills:
    28npower20072008.th.jpg

    What am I missing?
  • has anybody recieved their money yet? i am due £36.00 which i would like before xmas lol.
    mum to two beautiful children:T
  • edited 22 November 2010 at 3:01PM
    sofa-spudsofa-spud Forumite
    82 Posts
    edited 22 November 2010 at 3:01PM
    Advised to repost here.

    I wonder if someone could give me their thoughts on my situation. My anniversary with Npower is late Nov, and I've received a payback of just under £40.

    My understanding is this is due to primary rate units I was charged in excess of the annual maximum permitted. However, when I look at my bills (or rather the spreadsheet I keep of the pertinent details), I don't think I've had excess units billed - but I may not fully grasp which date range I should be looking at.

    Bills:
    28npower20072008.th.jpg

    What am I missing?
    Your right, they havent actually overcharged you...:think:

    For you the relevant year would be Nov 06 to Nov 07.

    Looking at your info & plugging the figures into a spreadsheet,
    They should have charged you no more than 1798 pri units in your first bill, in the remaining bills you used less than they could have charged at the pri rate.

    It seems they have taken the maximum units they could have charged you at the pri rate (for 29/11/06 to 28/11/07 it is 5980), compared it to the max they could have charged if they had operated the flat scheme(381 pri/month). this produces a possible overcharge of 1408.

    Somehow they are translating this into £40 (you dont give the exact amounts so it's conjecture how they did):think:

    Should add that I assume from your spreadsheet that you joined them in Nov 06, if you joined earlier then there might be an overcharge in previous year(s) as well (if you used much gas:)), and that these figures are from something that is still a 'work in progress'
  • Thanks very much for that analysis - you are correct that I joined in Nov 2006 (so wouldn't have been affected by overcharging earlier).

    Sounds as though I wasn't overcharged at all then? The amount is around £39.75 but I appreciate without an exact figure reversing the maths is hard.

    Perhaps nonsense, but I do note that the price difference in rates from 02/08 (after the period you mentioned) is 2.748p which multiplied by 1408 is £38.69 which is perhaps somewhere near if interest is added. But that's probably not it.
  • hgmhgm Forumite
    62 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Thanks very much for that analysis - you are correct that I joined in Nov 2006 (so wouldn't have been affected by overcharging earlier).

    Sounds as though I wasn't overcharged at all then? The amount is around £39.75 but I appreciate without an exact figure reversing the maths is hard.

    Perhaps nonsense, but I do note that the price difference in rates from 02/08 (after the period you mentioned) is 2.748p which multiplied by 1408 is £38.69 which is perhaps somewhere near if interest is added. But that's probably not it.

    It's even more of a lottery then if someone who hasn't been overcharged gets a refund and someone who has paid for more than 4572 gets money deducted.
  • hgmhgm Forumite
    62 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    We’ve taken the maximum possible number of higher-priced units a customer could have been charged following the changes made in 2007. We’ve compared this with 4,572 units per year using 12 month periods around this time based on the anniversary of the date they first joined npower. The payment amount is based on any excess higher-priced units, multiplied by the difference between the rate for the higher and lower priced units applicable at the time. We’ve taken the additional step of including VAT and a sum in lieu of interest in this payment.
    Adding to my last post it rather looks as if your comment in bold is a literal staement. It doesn't actually matter how many units were charged but only how many could have been charged. Presumably they are not looking at peoples' bills at all - only the dates.
  • Thanks very much for that analysis - you are correct that I joined in Nov 2006 (so wouldn't have been affected by overcharging earlier).

    Sounds as though I wasn't overcharged at all then? The amount is around £39.75 but I appreciate without an exact figure reversing the maths is hard.

    Perhaps nonsense, but I do note that the price difference in rates from 02/08 (after the period you mentioned) is 2.748p which multiplied by 1408 is £38.69 which is perhaps somewhere near if interest is added. But that's probably not it.

    I think you neeed to clarify your billing info in the spreadsheet. I assume the date is the billing date, the amount being the charges since the previous bill?
    i.e. for 16/8/08 you have apparently used 0 gas since 5/5/08?? I know it was summer, but do you not have showers or baths then...;)

    Frankly, I am at a loss to explain it, hopefully DD will be along soon with some good idea's:o
  • Thanks very much for that analysis - you are correct that I joined in Nov 2006 (so wouldn't have been affected by overcharging earlier).

    Sounds as though I wasn't overcharged at all then? The amount is around £39.75 but I appreciate without an exact figure reversing the maths is hard.

    Perhaps nonsense, but I do note that the price difference in rates from 02/08 (after the period you mentioned) is 2.748p which multiplied by 1408 is £38.69 which is perhaps somewhere near if interest is added. But that's probably not it.

    I am running out of ideas too so I ignored npowers statement on how they say they are calculating bills and used a start date of 26/2/07.

    This gives a maximum possible P.B. of 6795, excess units 2223.

    Multiply this by the price differential 3.369 - 2.047 and I get £35.39 or £39.65 incl. VAT & int.

    Only way this can be resolved is if npower say exactly how they are performing these calculations.
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