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Symbio Energy feedback

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  • Reed_Richards
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    I got an extra 34p on top of the original refund because they got the VAT calculation wrong.
    Reed
  • razord
    razord Posts: 566 Forumite
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    Had a random email out of the blue a couple of days ago from Symbio Credit Control saying I owed them £30. I don't. I left them in 2020 and had a final bill all cleared. They were late with that final bill, so had to apply a £30 credit to it which I did have to fight for, but last February when I escalated it to the ombudsman, they finally sorted it and sent me a revised final bill showing £0.

    Now, a year later, out of the blue, they've told me I have to pay £30 by 14th Feb or it'll go to the collection agency. I emailed back to credit control to point this out, but they haven't replied yet...
  • tg99
    tg99 Posts: 1,215 Forumite
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    ivanleo said:
    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.
    I also calculated what my bill should have been using the standing charges and unit rates for my tariff and Symbio’s billing system was correct for my bill (albeit the number of kwh used on their bill requires amending due to wrong final meter read). I didn’t have any tariff changes for the approx 8 months I was with them so was just one v simple calculation.
  • ivanleo
    ivanleo Posts: 194 Forumite
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    tg99 said:
    I also calculated what my bill should have been using the standing charges and unit rates for my tariff and Symbio’s billing system was correct for my bill (albeit the number of kwh used on their bill requires amending due to wrong final meter read). I didn’t have any tariff changes for the approx 8 months I was with them so was just one v simple calculation.
    Maybe something to do with the frequent tariff switched. I suspect that when they give credit for last month's overestimation, they use the current month's tariff, but obviously last month's over-estimate was calculated based on last month's tariff.
  • tg99
    tg99 Posts: 1,215 Forumite
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    ivanleo said:
    tg99 said:
    I also calculated what my bill should have been using the standing charges and unit rates for my tariff and Symbio’s billing system was correct for my bill (albeit the number of kwh used on their bill requires amending due to wrong final meter read). I didn’t have any tariff changes for the approx 8 months I was with them so was just one v simple calculation.
    Maybe something to do with the frequent tariff switched. I suspect that when they give credit for last month's overestimation, they use the current month's tariff, but obviously last month's over-estimate was calculated based on last month's tariff.
    Yep would make sense.
  • PennineAcute
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    I have to say, when I received my final SYmbio bill, my credit was spot on with my spreadsheet.  For the adminsitration team, no matter how many price changes there have been, the maths should not be beyond them.  If it is, I fear they are in the wrong job.
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,739 Forumite
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    ivanleo said:
    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.
    Thanks. The original complaint (ombudsman) was in July.
    they issued a final bill 12/10, then got correct reading on 14/10 and went out of business on 15/10 - unlucky timing
    I’ve been emailing Symbio & administrator for months on end.
    will try eon next.
    l’ve contacted the ombudsman as symbio failed to implement the resolution properly but I’m not sure whether they have any power over failed companies any more.

    I was under the impression consumers were meant to be protected.
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,378 Forumite
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    lisyloo said:

    l’ve contacted the ombudsman as symbio failed to implement the resolution properly but I’m not sure whether they have any power over failed companies any more.

    I was under the impression consumers were meant to be protected.
    Ofgem do not have any power over failed suppliers once they revoke their supply license unfortunately.
    In the past Ofgem have requested that Administrators respect the terms that the supplier was formerly obliged to follow, but a request is as strong as it can get, and since the Administrators are obliged to recover whatever they can for the creditors, there is usually a basic incompatibility between their obligations and Ofgem's requests.
    The consumer balances are protected, and the continued supply is assured, but beyond that, no, there is no further protection for consumers when their supplier fails.

  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,378 Forumite
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    ivanleo said:
    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.
    You can certainly try and yes, E.ON may decide that it is easier to resolve it than argue about it, but they are not obliged to deal with complaints against the failed supplier other than matters that are still on-going, like a faulty meter for example, not previous billing errors.
    They do have a responsibility for agreeing the meter readings though which can help in some cases.
    So yes, do raise a complaint if you want, and do keep us updated as it progresses and there is still considerable uncertainty about how the Ombudsman will view different complaints so each case adds to our knowledge...

  • ivanleo
    ivanleo Posts: 194 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    You can certainly try and yes, E.ON may decide that it is easier to resolve it than argue about it, but they are not obliged to deal with complaints against the failed supplier other than matters that are still on-going, like a faulty meter for example, not previous billing errors.
    They do have a responsibility for agreeing the meter readings though which can help in some cases.
    So yes, do raise a complaint if you want, and do keep us updated as it progresses and there is still considerable uncertainty about how the Ombudsman will view different complaints so each case adds to our knowledge...

    I'm not sure that's correct, otherwise someone with thousands of pounds of credit could lose out due to incorrect bills. I read OfGem's policy of protecting credit balances to mean that the actual credit balance as per the supply contract, rather than whatever random numbers the failed supplier's billings system happens to throw out.

    lisyloo how long did you stay with EON?
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