Ongoing problems with change from prepayment meter

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
9 replies 877 views
catkinscatkins Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
When me and OH moved to the house we are in it had prepayment meters. We never got round to getting them changed and quite liked not getting a big bill.


Anyway 10 years on and getting fed up with having to keep going to the shops to top up the card we decided to change. This was done with no problems in January.


We got our first monthly bill but it was only for electric. I checked online and the gas was still showing as a prepayment meter. Got on to the company and they said they would look into it.


To cut a long story short, it has still not been sorted. They can't find out who exactly changed the meter even though it was the same guy for both meters! They asked for the serial number which we sent but they said it was wrong. We then sent photos and they are trying to sort it out through them but have said it will probably take 28 days.


Despite numerous phone calls, online chats and email correspondence this has taken 5 months and looks as though it will take at least another 1.


I am now concerned that we are going to get a huge bill. With the prepayment meter our gas was between £70 and £120 a month. Considering how cold this year has been until recently, we have had our heating on for roughly an hour in the morning and two hours in the evening up until the last 5 or so weeks.


I did state after about 2 months that I would not be paying a huge bill but where do we actually stand? Can we ask for a discount or to pay over a period of time?


Any help would be appreciated
The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie

Replies

  • Who are the company? If you haven't already, sent a letter headed complaint. They then have 8 weeks to resolve it to your satisfaction, at which point you can go to the ombudsman.

    You won't get a discount (well, you may if it rumbles on over a year but we're nowhere near there yet). You will get a bill at some point for what you've used, just as everyone does. I can't answer how you'll pay it, that's down to you, but surely you have the extra money that you were previously using on the PPM?
  • Bark01Bark01 Forumite
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    If its the suppliers fault you can ask for a reduction in the bill as a good will payment, but don't expect anything massive (~5%?).

    You should be able to set up a payment plan with your supplier it'll generally be your total debt payable over 12 months.

    When your supplier bills you for the past period make sure to argue that you should be billed on the basis that you would have signed up for the cheapest tariff available at the time the bill starts. The supplier will probably start you billing you at their standard (premium) rate.
  • catkinscatkins Forumite
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    It's definitely not our fault.


    We were told that after a month they would look at our consumption and put us on the cheapest tariff. Then they said they couldn't do that as we did not have both gas and electric on ordinary (non prepayment) meters.


    We were putting money away for the bill but my husband has been unable to work for the last 6 weeks due to a serious health problem and, at the moment, we are not sure when he will be able to return to work. He is self employed so we are getting nothing - not entitled to benefits either.


    I really do not see that we should have to pay a massive bill of at least £600 when it has not been our fault.


    I really wish we had never bothered to change meters as it has only caused problems and now I am worried about paying the bill when it eventually comes
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
  • edited 1 July 2015 at 9:31AM
    WillPSWillPS Forumite
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    edited 1 July 2015 at 9:31AM
    Given the meter will have started at 0, can't you work out what you've used and what it will cost pretty easily? Then put that in an easy access savings account.

    If there's a shortfall, work on that at your own speed while the Energy Company gets their ducks in a row.


    For what it's worth, I've not been billed *anything* since I moved to Npower for gas 3 years ago. I've got a bit put aside but when enevitably they send me a massive bill there will be no way that:
    a) I'll be paying anything like the full amount and,
    b) I'll be paying it in one go.

    I made an agreement with them, I checked with both the losing supplier that they had handed over supply, I checked with Npower that they had taken over supply, I saw that the Direct Debit had been set up (it was, although Npower never took any money and it's since lapsed). This is the energy company's problem - not mine.

    My understanding is that energy companies have to accept reasonable proposals to settle energy debts (and remember, you're not in debt until the bill has been sent and you've passed the 'please pay by' date on it).
  • WillPS wrote: »
    My understanding is that energy companies have to accept reasonable proposals to settle energy debts (and remember, you're not in debt until the bill has been sent and you've passed the 'please pay by' date on it).


    Your understanding is wrong. You are expected to pay what you are legally obliged to pay. For most, that is only the last 12 months of usage.
  • edited 1 July 2015 at 12:02PM
    WillPSWillPS Forumite
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    edited 1 July 2015 at 12:02PM
    Your understanding is wrong. You are expected to pay what you are legally obliged to pay. For most, that is only the last 12 months of usage.
    So I'll have had 2+ years of free usage? Happy days.

    I cannot see an energy company rejecting a request to pay in installments under these circumstances.

    Citizens Advice says this:
    If you can't pay

    Suppliers should offer you a payment plan that allows you to repay any debt over the same length of time that it has built up. For example, if you have not had a bill from your supplier for three years, you should be able to spread the repayments over three years.
  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
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    Surely the organisation who changed the meter must have arrived in a signed van with an engineer having branded uniform and left branded paperwork??
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    catkins wrote: »

    I really do not see that we should have to pay a massive bill of at least £600 when it has not been our fault.


    I really wish we had never bothered to change meters as it has only caused problems and now I am worried about paying the bill when it eventually comes

    If you cant pay the eventual bill when it arrives, you wouldn't have had the money to use the energy you have done.

    just imagine if you hadn't changed, when your husband got sick, what would have happened?
  • catkinscatkins Forumite
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    Surely the organisation who changed the meter must have arrived in a signed van with an engineer having branded uniform and left branded paperwork??



    I didn't see the van the engineer arrived in and can't remember what he wore. I think the company use engineers other than their own though. No, we got no paperwork whatsoever
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
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