Symbio Energy feedback

edited 4 February 2019 at 8:00PM in Energy
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  • edited 24 December 2021 at 11:21AM
    wittynamegoesherewittynamegoeshere Forumite
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    edited 24 December 2021 at 11:21AM
    Definitely no bill from Eon yet, now 17 days since they deducted a mysterious £400+ from my balance for my supposed usage after I submitted a reading for the smart meter that they previously got a reading from but seem to have lost contact with.
    But, not to worry, they've just notified me that they're about to take another £100 from my bank account to chuck into their pot and do what the heck they like with it.
    Eon are less competent than dodgy old Symbio.  Just another cowboy energy supplier.
  • edited 24 December 2021 at 1:49PM
    wittynamegoesherewittynamegoeshere Forumite
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    edited 24 December 2021 at 1:49PM
    Someone at Eon's been on the sherry.  Their email today...

    We’d just like to sleigh…

    “Deck the halls with boughs of hooooolly, fa la la la la la la la la, ‘Tis the season to be jooooolly, fa la la la la la la la la…”
    Sorry, can’t help it, we flipping love this time of year!
    We wish we could give you a hand with the wrapping and Brussels sprouts but, for now, we’ll have to make do with sending you sleigh-loads of feel-good energy.
    Wishing you the jolliest of holidays, from the bottom of our heart!
    The E.ON Next team

    I haven't received anything like this from the water or phone companies, the council tax office or any other company I deal with.  I know it's all meant to be fun, but I run a business and would definitely not have sent this to my customers.
    Not a clever time to be sending this sort of thing, just when 50% bill rises are being talked about on the news.
  • elucidateelucidate Forumite
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    I left E.ON for Neon Reef. Anyone else in my situation got any comms/payment regarding credit? 
  • LessImpecuniousLessImpecunious 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? 

    Ditto; nothing yet..
  • jriojrio 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.
  • ivanleoivanleo 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 [email protected]

    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.
  • edited 5 February at 4:52PM
    MWTMWT Forumite
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    edited 5 February at 4:52PM
    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.
  • lisyloolisyloo 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.
  • ivanleoivanleo 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.
  • edited 5 February at 5:31PM
    ivanleoivanleo Forumite
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    edited 5 February at 5:31PM
    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 [email protected], 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 [email protected] to dispute the closing meter read, you should then get a reply similar to mine saying you need to contact [email protected] and you then write to that address and attach a copy of the response you received from [email protected]

    You could try writing to [email protected] directly but when I tired this previously they redirected me to [email protected], 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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