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Symbio Energy feedback

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  • spot1034
    spot1034 Posts: 840 Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2021 at 2:22PM
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    My EON account is a complete mess.  It shows the balance transfer from Symbio (correct), my monthly payment (correct), then a big deduction on the 7th December.  But when I switch to the Bills tab it says there aren't any.
    The charge was made to my account on the same day I submitted a reading, as my smart meter was read by them once but they seem to have given up with it and were nagging for a manual reading.
    So it appears that they're happy to pick a number and deduct it from my balance without producing a bill to say how it's calculated.  This was now two weeks ago, their website can't be that slow.
    Symbio was plain sailing in comparison to this nonsense.  No smart meter readings, no bills and they take whatever money they fancy whenever they feel like it.
    You should get a bill which corresponds to the deductions - I had mine this morning, after the deductions had been shown on my account for weeks. In my case it was wrong as I had asked for my E7 meter to be charged at single rate - they had agreed to this several weeks ago but had not backdated it to the supply start date as they promised. I contacted them this morning via Facebook message service and it was all sorted to my satisfaction within half an hour.
  • Rodders53
    Rodders53 Posts: 2,288 Forumite
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    KenMavor said:
    Disagree!!
    It was, and is, painfully obvious that Symbio billing system was a complete and utter mess. 
    Aimed at me?

    Symbio was not a mess for me - just a bit eccentric.  I was happy enough with their calculations and estimated in advance billing system.

    E.on Next have not filled me with any confidence they are not even more eccentric so far. 

    To be frank they've had more than enough time to produce a proper itemised bill for my account, based on the data they have had from me and the meter readings they seem to have agreed with Symbio's administrators and the mysterious third party.  But nada... even the wrong tariff rate debit has 'disappeared' and only my DD credit remains.

    Unless they buck their ideas up I'll be looking elsewhere once all this energy price crisis subsides.
  • elucidate
    elucidate Posts: 129 Forumite
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    I left E.ON for Neon Reef. Anyone else in my situation got any comms/payment regarding credit? 
  • LessImpecunious
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    elucidate said:
    I left E.ON for Neon Reef. Anyone else in my situation got any comms/payment regarding credit? 

    Ditto; nothing yet..
  • jrio
    jrio Posts: 81 Forumite
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    elucidate said:
    I left E.ON for Neon Reef. Anyone else in my situation got any comms/payment regarding credit? 
    Yes, I received a final bill on 20th January - for usage 3/10 to 16/10 - which indicated I owed them 14p.  As their payment option won't take payments for less than £1, I suggested it was easier to write it off, but haven't yet received a reply.
  • ivanleo
    ivanleo Posts: 194 Forumite
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    lisyloo said:
    Regarding Symbio/eon next who did you complain to please?
    my closing reading with Symbio was incorrect (they’ve admitted that) but say they cannot now change bills as they are in administration. 

    Symbio's billing system was utterly insane and the figures it produces never reconcile with what you get if you just do unit price x units + standing charge x days. I built a reconciliation spreadsheet to work out what I actually owe them and although they've used the same meter readings (which I provided), they've somehow charged me an extra 30% over the time I was with them.

    If anyone is interested a copy of this spreadsheet is here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JgVkx2JicdJlkjOyUtXJHiWG3gnTwy8oTJLtz5GB_b0/edit?usp=sharing but obviously you'd need to populate your own tariff details, DD collections and meter reads if you want to use it. Also I never switched tariff mid-month so I haven't built it to handle that scenario.

    Anyway after no less than 14 emails back-and-forth to customer services, including the final one which said in giant bold letters

    "YOUR BILLING SYSTEM IS WRONG AND PRODUCES INCORRECT FIGURES!!!

    YOU NEED SOMEONE WITH SOME ACTUAL ACCOUNTING SKILLS TO UNDERSTAND THIS AND PROVIDE ME WITH A MEANINGFUL ANSWER!!!

    SENDING ME THE SAME WRONG FIGURES OVER AND OVER AGAIN IS NOT AN ANSWER!!!"

    the current state of play with Symbio is that they've sent me an email saying "With regards to your query, we have informed the concerned department with regards to the same and shall keep you updated and provide a resolution at the earliest."

    I copied E.ON and the symbio administrators into all this correspondence, but didn't really push E.ON because I knew they'd just say they'd not got any of my details as they were still "working with the administrators" to bring the data over.

    Now that E.ON have sent me a cheque in the post with a covering letter that includes my Symbio account number, they really can't use that excuse any more, so I've raised a complaint with E.ON, got a complaint reference and if they've not BACS'ed the money to me within 8 weeks I'll go to the ombudsman.

    Oddly for the other property, where the meter readings are wrong (they used their estimate rather than what I gave them), I got an email from Symbio customer services saying:

    "In response to your email, since we have seized trading and cannot raise a dispute with the meter reading and amend the bill, we request you to get in touch with the appointed administrators symbio@azets.co.uk

    I forwarded that to the administrators and one of their members of staff emailed back with:

    "Thank you for your email and your patience in this matter.

    Please can you provide a copy of the final bill along with a date stamped photo of the meter reading referred to."

    Obviously I knew at the time I switched to Symbio that the meter readings might be disputed so I took photos on my phone (which have the image time and date in the file properties). I emailed them back within 10 minutes with the information they requested and am waiting to see what they say. On that account Symbio seem to think I owe them £1.92 but they actually owe me £37.89, maybe the fact that they think I'm a debtor rather than a creditor makes them more inclined to deal with this account.
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,378 Forumite
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    edited 5 February 2022 at 4:52PM
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    ivanleo said:

    Now that E.ON have sent me a cheque in the post with a covering letter that includes my Symbio account number, they really can't use that excuse any more, so I've raised a complaint with E.ON, got a complaint reference and if they've not BACS'ed the money to me within 8 weeks I'll go to the ombudsman.

    Do keep us updated with your progress, but I would expect E.ON to say that they are simply passing on the credit advised to them by the Administrators, they can still reasonably claim to have no more detail than your Symbio account number and the balance owed. 
    Hope it works out for you though.
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,739 Forumite
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    So what is the process in general for consumers with unresolved issues?

    can you complain to companies in administration?
    if so the company? or the administrators?
    Can you use the ombudsman?
    ofgem?

    i understood we are protected but not sure how this works.
  • ivanleo
    ivanleo Posts: 194 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    Do keep us updated with your progress, but I would expect E.ON to say that they are simply passing on the credit advised to them by the Administrators, they can still reasonably claim to have no more detail than your Symbio account number and the balance owed. 
    Hope it works out for you though.
    They have the spreadsheet though, and I have the symbio bills confirming both the direct debit payments and the meter reads, and I took screenshots of everything from the Symbio customer portal as well. Even if EON have to go back and re-calculate my entire account history with Symbio, I'd still expect them to come up with the same number as me (maybe out by a couple of pence at most due to rounding).

    At the end of the day if the figure given by the administrators is demonstrably false (which it is), I don't see how or even why E.ON would argue over this. As long as they have an audit trail showing that the credit refunded is accurate, OfGem will allow them to add the figure to their Last Resort Supplier Payment.

    It would make a mockery of the OfGem promise to protect credit balances if the failed supplier could muck up their billing system, basically steal a load of money out of customer accounts and leave the customer out of pocket.
  • ivanleo
    ivanleo Posts: 194 Forumite
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    edited 5 February 2022 at 5:31PM
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    lisyloo said:
    So what is the process in general for consumers with unresolved issues?

    can you complain to companies in administration?
    if so the company? or the administrators?
    Can you use the ombudsman?
    ofgem?

    i understood we are protected but not sure how this works.
    It seems to depend on how far the administration has gone when you make the complaint. When Symbio first issued its final bills the email indicated that any issues should be raised with customerservices@symbioenergy.co.uk, but the response from that address now seems to be that they can no longer do anything. I imagine the administrator will have retained more staff initially and let quite a few go as the weeks have progressed so it seems they no longer have the capability to revise bills.

    I think that once you receive correspondence from EON you might as well raise any disputes with them, as a licenced supplier they are duty-bound to deal with it and attempt to resolve the issue and after 8 weeks you can go to the ombudsman if need be. The problem with complaining to EON prior to receiving any correspondence from them is that you're likely to get the "we're still waiting for details from the Symbio administrator please bear with us" stock reply, which I suspect the ombudsman would accept as reasonable.

    Based on my experience, if the issue you have is with your actual meter reads rather than the figures calculated by Symbio's billing system, write to customerservices@symbioenergy.co.uk to dispute the closing meter read, you should then get a reply similar to mine saying you need to contact symbio@azets.co.uk and you then write to that address and attach a copy of the response you received from customerservices@symbioenergy.co.uk

    You could try writing to symbio@azets.co.uk directly but when I tired this previously they redirected me to customerservices@symbioenergy.co.uk, but maybe the administration has progressed to the point where they're no longer doing that.

    The meter reading discrepancy in my case was many thousands of units (the property has been vacant for quite a while) so I'm not surprised they asked for a date-stamped photo, but if your meter reading is within a more normal range of the estimate they might not require that.

    Even if they issue a revised bill, I would still recommend you manually calculate your charges (using my spreadsheet or one of your own) as I suspect the issue with their billing system is affecting everyone, and a Symbio bill generated with the correct meter readings is no guarantee that the bill is accurate.
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