not billed for electricity for over a year due to error

hi all,

due to an error by my electricity service provider, no bills were generated and no money
was taken by direct debit for over a year.

do i have any rights, if im not charged within a certain time that i dont need to pay?

Or would there be any other rights that i may have, to avoid having to pay over a years worth of electricity that i thought i was already paying all along?

thank you

Comments

  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,807
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    Of course you have to pay for it, you used it didn't you.


    What made you think you were already paying for it....Surely you were checking your bank statements.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    Back billing code may apply here (not enough detail given), if so they can only back bill you for one year. Otherwise they have 6 years to bill you.
    How could you 'think' you were paying, if no DD was taken and no bills were received for you to verify against the DD you thought you were paying?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    edited 13 July 2015 at 1:41PM
    Welcome to the forum.


    This is actually the forum for water bills - not electricity.


    However from your post it appears you have been told about the Code for accurate billing, which has a 12 month back-billing provision.


    This back-billing provision means that if the company are at fault and you haven't received a valid bill for over 12 months*, then you will only be charged for the last 12 months. e.g. if you haven't received a bill for 18 months then the first 6 month's charges for that period will be waived.


    There are several conditions to be met for this to apply. However an important provision of the billing code is that you must have taken steps to ensure that the company had the details to bill you correctly. For instance did you really not notice that there was no DD for the company on your bank account?


    If you post further details, people will be able to advise further, but it is important to remember that the code is not designed to enable people to escape payment of legitimate bills, and as stated above under any situation you pay for the last 12 months consumption.


    * The company only have to prove they sent a bill, not that you received it.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,568
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    What is the problem?


    If the DD hasn't been paid then the money should be sitting in the bank ready to pay the bill.

    The fact you haven't checked your own bank account or looked at your energy accounts is no reason for you to get free energy.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • If you are a dual fuel direct-debit paying customer, as we were with EDF, you will find the back billing code is a nonsense.

    I'll explain! We were gas and electricity customers, paying by direct debit, and when we came to switch to Ecotricity we received a shock bill for over £1k. On investigation we discovered that we had not been billed for electricity for 28 months. (We acknowledge our stupidity in this but life is busy and when you are happily paying by a direct debit that goes up and down, I think we may be forgiven!)

    To cut a very long story short, we qualified for the back billing code but still find ourselves paying nearly as much as the original bill. Our annual electricity consumption is around £550. I failed to understanding EDF's accounting methods in calculating what they say we owe them and have found the Ombudsman less than helpful. This has been ongoing for over a year

    Finally we went to Exeter for a face to face meeting with EDF but got nowhere. EDF's argument is (I think) that we WERE paying for the past 28 months - just not enough..... We have been referred to a debt collection agency and being held to ransom by risk to our credit record. We will have to pay - it has never been a question of can't pay - but I want to continue to fight on a matter of principle.

    Any ideas?

    Val
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,807
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    Its unlikely the OP will be back here, if you want any advice you would be better startng a thread of your own.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Val--ry wrote: »
    If you are a dual fuel direct-debit paying customer, as we were with EDF, you will find the back billing code is a nonsense.

    I'll explain! We were gas and electricity customers, paying by direct debit, and when we came to switch to Ecotricity we received a shock bill for over £1k. On investigation we discovered that we had not been billed for electricity for 28 months. (We acknowledge our stupidity in this but life is busy and when you are happily paying by a direct debit that goes up and down, I think we may be forgiven!)

    To cut a very long story short, we qualified for the back billing code but still find ourselves paying nearly as much as the original bill. Our annual electricity consumption is around £550. I failed to understanding EDF's accounting methods in calculating what they say we owe them and have found the Ombudsman less than helpful. This has been ongoing for over a year

    Finally we went to Exeter for a face to face meeting with EDF but got nowhere. EDF's argument is (I think) that we WERE paying for the past 28 months - just not enough..... We have been referred to a debt collection agency and being held to ransom by risk to our credit record. We will have to pay - it has never been a question of can't pay - but I want to continue to fight on a matter of principle.

    Any ideas?

    Val


    Welcome to the forum.


    What do you think should have happened? and why?
  • Laurensalive
    Laurensalive Posts: 267 Forumite
    I would make sure you have an official complaint in to your energy provider. Then complain to the energy ombudsman. I had an issue with back billing last year, They helped me resolve this issue.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    edited 30 July 2015 at 5:55AM
    So in 28 months you didn't read any of your bills-which would clearly have shown that you were not being charged for electricity? Nor did you verify any of your meter readings against actual bills?
    However if the back billing code was applied and therefore it was agreed that you would be billed for 12 months usage, the only dispute can be over your actual usage in those 12 months-which presumably has arisen because there are no meter readings submitted by you around a year ago? The norm is these circumstances is to use estimated readings based on ongoing consumption-which, since you say the dispute has been running for over a year, will now be available to you.
    Once this kWh figure has been agreed, it is very simple to calculate the amount owed, so I am at a loss to see how your estimate is 100% less than EDF's?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    edited 29 July 2015 at 9:29AM
    Val--ry wrote: »
    EDF's argument is (I think) that we WERE paying for the past 28 months - just not enough..... We have been referred to a debt collection agency and being held to ransom by risk to our credit record. We will have to pay - it has never been a question of can't pay - but I want to continue to fight on a matter of principle.

    Any ideas?

    Val
    It seems that you feel you should have got more compensation from EDF?

    Possibly your confusion is based on the fact that you were not billed for electricity for 28 months and you believe that under the 12 month back-billing code you should have got back the money paid for the first 16 months of that period?

    That would be the position if you had paid nothing during the 28 months - assuming EDF were at fault. However that doesn't apply if you have been paying money over that 28 months

    http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/publication.html?task=file.download&id=5220
    If there are billing problems, you should pay a reasonable estimate of your usage with the understanding that once an accurate bill is produced, suppliers will use your payments or credits to go towards any extra charges or allowances.
    So if your combined gas and electricity bill for that 28 months came to £2,800 and you had been paying £100 a month, you would not be entitled to any compensation even if EDF were at fault for not raising an electricity bill for 28 months.

    If you had paid in, say, £2,400 over that 28 months for gas and electricity, you would only get written off the proportion of the £400 shortfall that relates to the first 16 months of the electricity bill.
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