MSE News: Npower to pay £1m after customer complaints soar



  • markbernstein
    markbernstein Forumite Posts: 29 Forumite
    Thought I throw in this bit af advice, as I'm probably not the only one who left them quite a while ago and suddenly received a "final bill" now.

    I switched my energy supplier in spring 2012. The outstanding amount from the last bill I got from nPower was settled by direct debit in November last year. Recently I got a "final bill" (well, two, one for gas and one for electicity) for around £60.

    After a bit of googling I found there's an industry agreement ("Code of Practice for Accurate Bills Back Billing for Domestic Customers"), to which nPower has signed up. It "imposes limitations on the circumstances where customers can be billed for previously unbilled energy that is more than 12 months old", that is, customers should not be billed later than 12 months after the date the fuel was used unless the customer was somehow unresponsive or is in some other way to blame for the delay.

    When I pointed this out to them, they agreed to cancel the bills "as a gesture of goodwill" (grrrr!!!) but the way I see it, they should not send out these bills in the first place.

    So, if you get a bill for a consumption period that is more than a year in the past (and you were not uncooperative): protest, don' pay.
  • missussim
    missussim Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
    Id like to think I was part of the movement that got npower £1 million fined by the Energy Ombudsman, as complaints had soared. I complained about their failing to collect my DDs on time following a switchover which then rolled over a huge debt they wanted me to repay and took out a large DD not agreed in advance which I then recalled but with the Ombudsman's intervention I will now pay only what I can afford to clear the debt, saying that I was paying £60 a month for dual fuel, but some smart alec phone operator somehow got me to cancel that standing order and change it to £85 per month DD as he said energy prices had risen and if I didnt pay a bit more than £60 a month, Id never repay the debt, now how in the blazes did he do that??? !!! :eek:
  • missussim
    missussim Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
    Hi everyone, I dont expect a positive reply, but wondered whether my account with npower and the debt can be switched to a cheaper supplier who will provide me with cheaper fuel than npower and repay npower the debt separately according to my ability to pay?:)
  • missussim wrote: »
    Hi everyone, I dont expect a positive reply, but wondered whether my account with npower and the debt can be switched to a cheaper supplier who will provide me with cheaper fuel than npower and repay npower the debt separately according to my ability to pay?:)

    No, you can't switch while in debt. You can go on to npowers cheapest DD tariff, which is competitive.

    From your previous post you said the debt accrued because npower failed to take the money from your bank. Surely it is therefore still in your bank to pay the debt, and you can move to who you like?
  • angiedavies
    angiedavies Forumite Posts: 10
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have just telephoned this fund as I am severely physically disabled (wheelchair user outside) with spinal probs including damaged nerves causing severe daily sciatica, arthritis, Ihave had a lumbar spinal fusion, have a scoliosis, bone spurs and a bulging disc in my neck and severe diverticular disease. I am 55 years old and live alone on contributory ESA and income related ESA. Sometimes my foot drops and/or I have chnaged sensation in my legs/foot and have had several falls.
    My carpet had to be taken up 5 years ago because of falls. Since then I have lived with bare floorboards in a 1930's house. The heat loss is sapping all my disability money through heating and a day does not go by when I am not cold during the winter. I telephoned the energy advice line a while ago and they said (apart from replacing the floor) I should have it insulated underneath. Apparently the DWP grants have been passed over to the local council (Wiltshire) and when i phoned them they said they only help people now who have come out of hospital or prison!

    The lady who answered my call at the Npower charitable fund said she hadn't heard of insulating under the floor despite me telling her that was the advice of the energy helpline, so they cannot help me with this.

    I can't claim for a new boiler as I borrowed money 8 years ago and spent £2,300 to renew mine after the local council/warm front worker said I would not be able to claim any insulating, or council tax rebate as I didn't have any children despite that I was living on £92 a week! A month later when this was all passed I was told that I could have got help with the boiler but it couldn't be done in retrospect.
    There always seems to me to be some way they can't help, and it's never what it seems.:doh:
  • adrienne1
    adrienne1 Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    plunt wrote: »
    im curious to know if this effects new customers as I signed up to move over to them mid September and still they havent done anything!

    We too decided to change from EDF to npower in August, and we still havent yet made a payment by direct debit. I was so concerned I rang them and they took a payment over the 'phone.

    Also I got an email saying they had added 'my son Mr. ..... ......
    to my account. I dont have a son of that name. Now waiting for compensation for this appalling mistake.

    Get in touch with the CEO and you will then at least have someone to address by email. Will return to EDF ASAP.
  • 71cooldude
    71cooldude Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    As have many others on this forum, I've had problems with NPower since July. I received an email informing me that, at my request (????????), my DD had been cancelled and my final bill was on its way! I telephoned immediately and was told that I'd apparently requested that my supply be switched to another supplier in February - this was now July and my DD had up until then been collected and NPower were still reading my meter! I advised them I'd not requested a switch and after four phone calls from myself, I'm still waiting for this issue to be resolved. NPower advise me that their computer system is showing that they are not supplying our dual fuel and whilst it's nice not having to pay for the supply, I know it's going to hit me at some point! They will not accept any further payments as we basically do not exist on their system???
    Frustrating is not the word!
  • undercover_peon
    undercover_peon Forumite Posts: 90 Forumite
    "Frustrating is not the word"

    I think some other f word is justified.

    It sounds like you have been erroneously transferred to another supplier. The other supplier can and should arrange to transfer the supply back as if it never left. Npower can initiate this too, the problem is it takes 6-8 weeks (IMO effort would be better focussed here rather than quicker switching ).

    Do we know who the other supplier is? If you get an advisor who has been there a few years they should have access to ECOES to check. It might be better to get the supplier who made the error to put it right given NPower is having massive problems with their billing system.

    Please tell me you didn't go through a new contract with NPower. If so this is totally wrong and WILL result in a bill from the other supplier.
  • Misty7
    Misty7 Forumite Posts: 22 Forumite
    I left npower 12 months ago after a very frustrating 9 months of problems. The customer service back then was appalling, I can't imagine how it could have got any worse. I eventually contacted the Ombudsman, who were also very slow, but things did get sorted and I got compensation. I wouldn't go back to them for any price.
  • snoman
    snoman Forumite Posts: 44 Forumite
    plunt wrote: »
    im curious to know if this effects new customers as I signed up to move over to them mid September and still they havent done anything!
    And I thought I'd been waiting for ages, having signed up mid October for gas only and still waiting for completion which was promised for November. Why don't they want my money? At the same time, I signed up for elec with EDF and their transfer has been smooth and efficient, as also has been Atlantic with prompt refund of my overpayment. I have tried to contact nPower to find out what's happening, but they are "currently experiencing a high volume of calls" - what a surprise. I resisted switching for many years, fearing the problems which I am now encountering. However, if and when nPower get organised, I should achieve significant savings on my currently excessive gas bill. Here's hoping!
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