MSE News: Ofgem orders Scottish Power to shape up or stop selling

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  • edited 16 November 2014 at 2:20PM
    andrew-bandrew-b Forumite
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    edited 16 November 2014 at 2:20PM
    redux wrote: »
    I absolutely disagree.

    Irrespective of some customers having problems, the price comparisons should be available.

    For one thing at least, if Scottish Power was removed from the comparisons, it would be impossible to see how much could be saved by switching away from them.

    For this house on their latest tariff, that saving could be £1 or £3, but I assume it's more for other people on older tariffs.

    If you must leave, first switch to a newer Scottish Power tariff, with no exit penalty. Switch anyway, whether you will leave or not, as their Jan 2016 fix is amongst the cheapest tariffs available, so at least you'll be saving money while you make up your mind.

    Good point about comparing but it should come with a health warning or not make it available for an online switch! I just think that they should sort out their existing customers issues out before taking on more and it seems Ofgem are thinking towards that anyway if they don't get their act together. As i've learnt by experience there is more to an energy company than just the price. I have very little money to be paying any more than i need to but i would rather pay a bit more for better service than be constantly battling with them to sort out whatever problem they next create on my account.

    For me there is an added complication because i can't leave scottish power until i 've received my warm home discount which might not be paid out until end of march (last year i got in mid january though). As part of the "broader group" for warm home discount it's unlikely i would get the £140 wherever i move to now.

    One other thing that does annoy me with warm home discount is that scottish power don't take it into account in setting direct debits. Instead i have to wait until they credit it to my account then ask for it to be credited back. At moment i'm paying £82 a month when from my own accurate calculations i should be paying £69 a month. Though this is probably not unique to scottish power.

    Switching to their latest fixed product which has no exit fee would save me about £30 a year so at most it would save me £10 for the next 3-4months that i'm stuck with them...however based on past performance i have zero faith in them getting that right so i'd rather leave well alone and then leave after i get WHD back! That way i'll have hopefully got most of my credit back before i've switched!
  • reduxredux Forumite
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    I'm a bit surprised, as I thought that January tariff might save more than that. The standing charges have significantly reduced..

    As for the direct debit charge, the very recent tariff change has seen it reduced here more than expected compared to earlier this year, and that's after a change last month which caused a skipped payment. That may be foreseeing discount or allowing for the current credit balance, I don't know.

    But either way customers can manage the direct debit online or make additional payments at their discretion, so why not reduce yours if you see fit.
  • I've been with Scottish Power for a few years. I always manage to get through to their Customer Services people OK.

    I did build up a credit, but I see you can now go onto their system and reduce your DD online, which I have done.

    I've also got their fixed price deal which has no exit charge.

    Anyway, just thought I would post to balance up some of the other stuff on this thread. Maybe I have just been lucky!
  • andrew-bandrew-b Forumite
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    I did reduce my direct debit to £75...anything below that i have to make an additional payment so like i say they don't take into account that i'll be £140 in credit when warm home discount is paid out! I realise not everyone will qualify every year for WHD - i do though. Though it doesn't tell you an additional payment is required until you get through to the next screen. And for some reason the bank account listed as direct debit reverted back to my closed bank account so goodness knows what will happen when next payment is due - though i have an email confirming it will be taken from the correct account i've no idea how much! I suspect they will try to take the amount from the closed bank account and then when they don't receive payment automatically switch the whole account to standard energy and backdate it for a year like they've done once to me already!

    I have usually managed to get issues resolved with them but it's never done in one phone call and always seems to require follow up calls before they manage to get anything right. On average you seem to have to wait at least 30-60 mins...though last monday i phoned just after 9am and got through straight away and nearly fell off my chair in shock so it does happen sometimes!

    It was after i switched product in october 2013 all the problems began and seems to all relate to modifications to their systems..which is why i'm reluctant to switch product again with them!

    Basically the second you have any sort of issues is when you find out scottish power's true colours. They never apologise to me for any of the issues they have created either.
  • Alex444Alex444 Forumite
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    Time OFGEM sorted the whole industry out, First Utility must have based their business plan on Scottish Power.
  • Hopefully this will make them do something, a year in December since my corrupt account issue began, all they tell me is my account is corrupt. Whoever rolled this new system out was a right disaster and should no longer have a job.
  • I have been a customer of Scottish Power for 10 years.I have tried since last year to get them to set a direct debit for our electricity that they cancelled,they told me we didn't exist...YET i had an account number.So despite me phoning then they still did not sort our bill out.I then get a text in September this year to say our bill was ready....complete with account number!I phoned them and was told we owed £714.67,i told them i couldn't afford that.Contacted Citizens Advice they took details and advised me of the "back billing code",i emailed Scottish Power and left it for 3weeks still no reply phoned them they had not received email!Came home from work day to find a letter saying if didn,t pay would get a warrant to enter our house i was upset,phoned CAB they escalated my claim.Account on hold while investigate,eventually in October got email off directors support offering 10%discount on our account told them not accepting it,as was their fault i had not received bill.Eventually they agreed their fault and would write it off,however still waiting for them to clear account and can't set up a direct debit!!!!
  • In 5 years at 4 different properties I have rented I have had an identical issue with their pre pay meters.

    They charge you twice due to a computer glitch, as in the money comes off daily from the meter but when I moved I got final bills from them that were to the pence identical to standing charges on the units(and each 4 times) and each time I rang up I was told I was incorrect and the meters didnt take the charge, it was automatically taken from your weekly top up i.e top up £10 one week and its a £2 standing charge and your meter balance would only increase by £8 which is totally incorrect.

    Never got any solution to it just debt collectors each time which are rude and tell me I have to pay and their evidence is just a printout saying "final balance owed X"
  • noodle_doodlenoodle_doodle Forumite
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    As the crowd said to the ref, scottish power "don't know what they're doing"

    After the looooong winter of a couple of years ago and a newborn in the house our quarterly bill was £600 :-) which was going to mean we owed £200 after the credit in our account was used up. Rather than accept they'd get it back slowly over the summer, ScottishPower immediately jacked up our monthly payment to £150 and it took us a year to get them to hammer it back down to £100, even though by then we were £200 in credit after the next winter (the warm one).

    And just yesterday they've sent me a cheque out the blue for a "credit balance refund" for the credit I've got in the account, about £400, just before winter starts, and god knows whether it's going to be a cold one or not :-) . They'll be crying for it all back come March!
  • I have an ongoing complaint with SP. They changed my electricity meter on 12th September this year, but despite numerous calls and e-mails, my old meter is still showing as active on my account so I am unable to input any readings from my new meter. Although they have finally billed me from the final readings on my old meter (it takes anything up to 5 weeks from submitting readings to actually being billed) , the latest is that they have now entered estimated readings for the old meter which no longer exists and the tariff I was on has expired. They don't answer e-mails, call waiting times are anything up to an hour or calls just cut off, their online Call Back request system is always booked up for at least a week ahead and when you do get through to someone they promise to sort things out and keep you updated but, you never hear from them again. I have now registered my complaint with the Ombudsman and have also written to the SP Chief Exec, BBC Watchdog and the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey. I suspect that the MSE switch offer to SP will end up as a disaster.
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