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npower fabricated meter reading. What now?

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npower fabricated meter reading. What now?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
10 replies 2.1K views
marblemarble Forumite
255 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I rent a property and it has a summerhouse in the garden. That summerhouse has its own electricity supply. I've had a long standing complaint with npower over the fact my meter hasn't been read in 5 years and they refuse to believe my customer readings (they reject them and go with their own inflated estimates).

I had a complaint open with the ombudsman and npower agreed to read my meter. They have now said that they've read the meter but, unless they broke into my property whilst I was out, that's impossible. The reading they claim to have taken is incorrect (by about 5000 units).

What can I do now? It's their incorrect/fabricated reading vs me. They say my bill is correct and they've read the meter correctly. I say they're wrong.

I need some independent third party to read my meter. Do such people exist? Can I hire someone? It's beginning to feel like fraud rather than a bill dispute.

Replies

  • espressoespresso Forumite
    16.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    Why have you put up with this situation for so long?

    Switch to a different supplier now!

    Presumably this summerhouse has low consumption, so a tariff with no standing charge would very likely be better?

    Start a switch today.
    :doh: Blue text on this forum usually signifies hyperlinks, so click on them!..:wall:
  • marblemarble Forumite
    255 posts
    I am on a tariff with no standing charge. In theory my bill should be about £10 a year. npower have just 'calculated' my bill at £450 for the last 9 months.

    I can switch but I still don't know how to resolve this situation with npower.
  • espressoespresso Forumite
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    Why stay with an incompetent supplier?

    Force the issue by switching now!
    :doh: Blue text on this forum usually signifies hyperlinks, so click on them!..:wall:
  • victor2victor2 Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Presumably, nPower could block a switch if they say you owe them ~£450.
    Is there any way to return to the ombudsman with evidence of your actual meter location/reading to show that nPower could not have read it, or does the ombudsman close the issue once they've made a decision?
    You might have to raise another official complaint with nPower and follow it up with the ombudsman again, after no satisfactory response...
  • edited 5 February 2015 at 12:37PM
    dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    edited 5 February 2015 at 12:37PM
    Your original complaint to the Ombudsman has now been closed - albeit with a phantom 'reading' by n'power - and n'power will rack up the pressure to be paid what they say you owe, which at guess from your figures is around £700 more than it should be.

    As n'power have refused to accept your previous 'Customer ' readings, you need to get a current photograph of the meter verified by an independant authority - Local counciller? - Parish councillor? - Vicar? - Neighbor with National Govt. or local Govt job?

    Armed with signed photo and written statement from referee, raise a new Complaint with n'power and go back to the Ombudsman if n'power have not sorted the problem with 56 days
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  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    If you are with Npower, they do not have a zero pence standing charge tariff, I suggest you check your tariff again

    You may have started out on no standing charge but Ofgem now insists a standing charge is required, this can be zero pence but AFAIK the only supplier with zero p is Equipower
  • edited 5 February 2015 at 4:28PM
    Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K posts
    edited 5 February 2015 at 4:28PM
    espresso wrote: »
    Why stay with an incompetent supplier?

    Force the issue by switching now!
    Which part of "npower is cheapest" do you not understand?

    For me npower is more than 40%* cheaper than Ebico. If the OP does use some electricity then they should stick it out with npower - tiresome in the [STRIKE]short[/STRIKE]medium term but will be more inexpensive once it is resolved.

    Edit: * ignore that. It's not electricity only that is 40% cheaper.
  • Farway wrote: »
    If you are with Npower, they do not have a zero pence standing charge tariff, I suggest you check your tariff again

    You may have started out on no standing charge but Ofgem now insists a standing charge is required, this can be zero pence but AFAIK the only supplier with zero p is Equipower
    Yes they do (in effect). They have electricity tariffs where the Direct Debit discount does reduce the standing charge to zero. And the price per kWh is cheaper than Ebico's. And that is for a long term fix, unlike Ebico's variable tariff. And it does not have an early leaving penalty.
  • OP, just stick it out with npower and start again the process of getting a proper read on record and receiving your credit back. Annoying as that may be.
  • (Unfortunately, though, it looks as this they are now abandoning this. Currently available fixes are no longer 0p per day on Direct Debit. First First Direct abandoned their £10 a year tariff and now npower have withdrawn from this sector. Once the fixes are up in 2017 leaps in price will be large. Thanks, Ofgem, good on you.)
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