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MSE News: Fury as Iresa hikes direct debits

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
19 replies 2.9K views
MSE_AndrewMSE_Andrew MSE Staff
132 Posts
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MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Customers of the small energy supplier Iresa have vented their anger over unexpected increases to their monthly direct debits...
Read the full story:
'Fury as Iresa suddenly hikes direct debits'
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Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
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  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    I hope that if anybody within the Citizens Advice organisation reads this excellent article they will now push the case for a Consumer Energy Advocate as they are doing for communications. The present relationship between the supplier; Ofgem; The Energy Ombudsman and the energy consumer is broken - and it has been for sometime. It takes far too long to get simple issues and complaints resolved.
  • edited 31 January 2018 at 9:46PM
    johnpr98johnpr98 Forumite
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    edited 31 January 2018 at 9:46PM
    Thank you for highlighting this issue, I was technically put in debit due to a slightly late Direct Debit payment.

    I have now worked out my usage prediction on the Iresa Method billing:

    Iresa bill you after your 'Customer own read' (25th of the month for an example) and again at the end of the calendar month pro rata on your own read figure.
    I was predicted £8 in debit when I actually had £12 Credit, Iresa failed to reply when I questioned the circa 50% DD increase and they took it anyway, albeit 2 days late, if the original and unchanged DD had gone through on time I would have been £18.98 in credit after been billed, then £10.01 in Credit after the second billing at the end of the month, I accept that my usage was slightly over my DD average for December. However at the end of my contract I wouldn't have at any time been less that £11.98 in Credit, I repeat Credit, at the end of my contract I predict that Iwould have been £27.73 in Credit.
    Due to the one off DD payment increase, (Iresa agreed to drop the DD back to normal for February) and if all goes according to my planned usage, my Credit will not drop below £24.05, I also predict that my final Credit will be £41.77.
    Is this fair?
    I accept this example is only one of their customers scenarios, however if multiplied across the customer base, it will have had the affect of improving cash flow for Iresa. My figures are exact but are meant to give a detailed ball park figure of the impact of their increase.

    I suspect other customers have been hit far harder than me from what I've read.

    Just seen this and it's worrying
    https://utilityweek.co.uk/iresa-imposes-sudden-price-hikes/
    It will not have passed under the consumer radar that both GB Energy Supply and Future Energy both hiked their direct debits shortly before closure !!!8211; there is concern this may be a warning sign that another small supplier is in trouble.
    .
  • The_Green_HornetThe_Green_Hornet Forumite
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    MSE_Andrew wrote: »
    MSE News: Fury as Iresa hikes direct debits

    Fury?

    I very much doubt that customers have had an outburst of violent or uncontrolled anger at their direct debits going up, so why the hyperbole?
  • edited 31 January 2018 at 10:41PM
    SystemSystem Forumite
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    edited 31 January 2018 at 10:41PM
  • robin58robin58 Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Why do I think this company is in financial difficulty?
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!! ;)
  • edited 1 February 2018 at 12:58AM
    footyguyfootyguy Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    edited 1 February 2018 at 12:58AM
    MSE_Andrew wrote: »
    Customers of the small energy supplier Iresa have vented their anger over unexpected increases to their monthly direct debits...
    Read the full story:
    'Fury as Iresa suddenly hikes direct debits'
    OfficialStamp.gif
    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply.

    I am a custromer of Iresa.

    I do not have a clue what you are on about. Please don't trust everything you read online. Please do not then make a news story damning a supplier based on such postings. Please do your journalistic research first. I had hoped of much better from MSE.

    The truth is that whilst the supplier did change my direct debit, and tried to collect a one off payment, it was very claer why.

    A billing error was the cause, and once I contacted the supplier, they agreed he error, made acorrection, deleted the one-off payment (due because accounts are not permitted to go into debt) and reverted the monthly direct debit back to what it was.

    If you read the feedback thread on Iresa, you will see I posted about this at the time.
    It's not entirely clear what calculations have led to the change.
    It's clear to me. I explained it in the Iresa feedback thread.
    You can call Iresa on 0115 727 0982
    As a moneysaving site, why did you not do even the slightest research, and post the suppliers freephone number, so consumers are not even burdoned by the cost of the call. :huh:
  • BoxmanBoxman Forumite
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    footyguy wrote: »
    I am a custromer of Iresa.


    As a moneysaving site, why did you not do even the slightest research, and post the suppliers freephone number, so consumers are not even burdoned by the cost of the call. :huh:



    They are burdened by the ridiculous, excessive waiting times to get through to anyone by phone though!


    They are also burdened by the fact that the supplier doesn't take any notice of any tickets raised or relevant e-mails in regard to genuine complaints either.
  • grumpycrabgrumpycrab Forumite
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    I blame Ofgem. Startup energy suppliers should be able to demonstrate a working (and scalable) billing system; and a working (and scalable) customer service provision. Iresa had -and still has- neither after trying for 18 months.
    If you put your general location in your Profile, somebody here may be able to come and help you.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Boxman wrote: »
    They are burdened by the ridiculous, excessive waiting times to get through to anyone by phone though!


    They are also burdened by the fact that the supplier doesn't take any notice of any tickets raised or relevant e-mails in regard to genuine complaints either.

    So no improvement then from their problems in 2017?

    Quote: Iresa in the news - April 2017:

    Iresa shut its doors to new customers after Ofgem became aware that current customers were struggling to get in contact with the supplier when they had any queries or complaints. Ofgem informed Iresa they would need to resolve the problem and explain how it would be easy for customers to contact them in the future. Iresa has now reopened its doors to new customers.

    Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/other-energy-companies-reviews/iresa - Which?

    Unquote

    Sadly, from my exchanges with Ofgem, it has no interest whatsoever in carrying out any due diligence checks on the business models of new suppliers. Ofgem confirmed to me in writing that the award of a Supply Licence should not be taken to mean that people running energy supply businesses were 'fit and proper persons'. Caveat Emptor.
  • Certainly my experience, after switching supplier 14 times, is that the service provided by Iresa has been unacceptable to me, non-compliant with industry and regulatory standards and the worst to date of all suppliers.

    There was possibly an argument for staying with them, despite the shortcomings, on the basis that they were the cheapest, but that is no longer the case for many customers when the present contracts expire.

    Having worked in the industry, I certainly agree with the previous comment that customers are not well served (or protected) by the present disjoint between the Ombudsman, Consumers Association,Citizens Advice and Ofgem. This is an issue where Martin could really get some traction and support for change.

    I'm switching away from Iresa at present as I believe its best for us.
This discussion has been closed.