MSE News: New proposals to protect customers from ‘catch-up’ bills

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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MSE_AndrewMSE_Andrew MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Energy suppliers won't be able to claw back cash from energy used more than 12 months ago under new proposals...
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'New proposals to protect customers from ‘catch-up’ bills'
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  • liviboyliviboy Forumite
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    Why can't people just pay for the energy used? It's not exactly difficult to take and send meter readings! That would avoid back billing! End of the day the energy has to be paid for...rather those that used it than me paying extra to cover the shortfall!
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    I agree that if you've used it then you should pay for it however that said the energy companies should get their houses in order and ensure that billing should be accurate and on time. Catch up bills from over a year ago is unacceptable.

    Unfortunately it's the rest of us that pick up the cost of this inefficiency and those who are too idle to put a bit of effort into reading their meters and checking their bills expect to get away with not paying.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Some people will ignore requests to read their meter, and then try and prevent meter readers gaining access to their meters.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    Some people will ignore requests to read their meter, and then try and prevent meter readers gaining access to their meters.

    If that is the case, and the consumer hasn't bothered to send in a meter reading, then I hope that the energy supplier is off the hook when a large catch-up bill hits the door mat.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Hengus wrote: »
    If that is the case, and the consumer hasn't bothered to send in a meter reading, then I hope that the energy supplier is off the hook when a large catch-up bill hits the door mat.

    Absolutely correct.

    However we live in a climate where the energy companies are blamed for everything, and [FONT=&quot]delinquent customers must not be penalised.

    Today's proposal about delinquent credit card customers escaping interest charges is a typical example. [/FONT]
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    This one an unatural death, it just faded away
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • welshmoneyloverwelshmoneylover Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    Some people will ignore requests to read their meter, and then try and prevent meter readers gaining access to their meters.

    Unfortunately this is quite a common practice :(
    Be happy, it's the greatest wealth :)
  • edited 5 April 2017 at 1:53PM
    tgroom57tgroom57 Forumite
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    edited 5 April 2017 at 1:53PM
    This shouldn't arise where the company has free access to the meter.
    The company should read the meter themselves at least once a year, they should be accurate in determining which are the day / night readings. If the meter reader can't be trusted to collect the correct readings then I think its unreasonable to expect an untrained customer to read the meter, especially the newer meters with blinking displays. The display on mine is positioned right at the top of the cover so that the top part of the digit is almost hidden, it would be easy for a customer to mistake a 7 for a 1.

    Also where Martin says above -
    Billed you incorrectly by mixing up meter readings – and failing to act once you've notified it about the error.

    Again you are expecting the customer to report an error with the company's equipment, or potentially allowing the company to wriggle out of its commitment by saying the customer should know if its equipment is 'off'.

    This should read-
    Billed you incorrectly by mixing up meter readings – whether or not you've notified it about the error.

    The companies might take more notice if there was a penalty for mixing up the meter readings say £100 compensation to the customer, but I don't see that happening.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    tgroom57 wrote: »
    This shouldn't arise where the company has free access to the meter.

    How do you define 'free access to the meter'?

    We are talking here about the minority who will not allow the meter reader access to the meter.

    There have been several meter readers over the years who have repeatedly posted that they have not been able to gain access to read the meters.

    Some of these will be because they are bypassing the meter. However there was a thread started by a lady who absolutely refused to let a man into her house on the grounds she felt insecure with a stranger in the house and that she was perfectly capable of reading the meter herself. Strangely, IMO, several agreed with her stance.

    Just to make the point absolutely clear, I am talking about the small minority who will try to take advantage of the new code.
  • tgroom57tgroom57 Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    How do you define 'free access to the meter'?

    We are talking here about the minority who will not allow the meter reader access to the meter.

    One example of free i.e.unhindered access to the meter is if its outside the property. Companies can and do mangle the billing after they have their own reading.
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