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Spark Energy - Massive Bill for 1 bed flat

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Lewis_VoceLewis_Voce Forumite
8 posts
Hi all,

Hope this post is in the right area.

To cut a long story short (because I imagine anyone with advice will ask questions I can answer), Spark Energy were our Electricity suppliers at our last rented 1 bed flat (moved out in August). During this 2 year tenancy it took them a year to set us up an account with them, and then when they finally did that, we were told "don't worry about the last year, let's just set up a direct debit for £20 a month" - which we did and made every payment from that point.

Since moving out and providing move out readings we have now been given a 3 grand final bill, which just seems ridiculously high.
Massive grey area being a lack of clarity over opening meter readings (we did not have any to provide as landlord had key to cupboard that meter was in).

Surely we can argue that a) this is not fair usage, and b) that we have always acted on Sparks instructions and that they have not provided an adequate service in terms of setting up account and sending bills (move out bill is first we received in 2 years).

Any advice?

Thanks

Replies

  • thriftylassthriftylass Forumite
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    Is that 3 grand for the 2 years? Depending on your usage it might be right. We spend £1400 a year (although for a 3 bed). Also did you not query the rediculously low direct debit? How did you think you paid for the first year's arears? Did you provide regular meter readings? It doesn't matter if the bill is rediclulously high. Have you used the energy? Is the final bill based on actual readings. Did you leave it up to the landlord to provide the opening reading?
    NST
    SFD -/- spends £-/-
    Exercise -/-
    :j:j:jDebt - all 0% 0 to go from 5290 :j:j:j as of 12/19
    DFD 12/2019 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 92300 (11/19) OP 1910
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Other than providing readings when you moved out did you ever give Spark any readings ?

    How was the flat heated ?

    You must have known that £20 was a ridiculous figure.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    Would have been better to have posted in the main Energy forum.
  • edited 4 October 2019 at 11:06AM
    dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    edited 4 October 2019 at 11:06AM
    Final Bill first bill in 2 years ! ?

    This is where the 'Backing Billing' rules come into play.
    If a supplier fails to issue bills for a year or more, they can only bill for the 12 months prior to the date that they did manage to bill, thus they have to write off any consumption charges prior to that date.


    However, this is Spark - Richard Turpin rides again and the OP has a fight on their hands - Even if they agree to Back billing, if a 2 year bill of £3,000 is halved, it's still £1,500, which is a helluva lot for a 1 bed flat.


    Best WRITE a letter to Spark and send it by Royal Mail, headed Complaint

    Set out the claim for back-billing and ask for their evidence of the Start Reading for the final years use that ended with your tenancy and meter read
  • thriftylassthriftylass Forumite
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    dogshome wrote: »
    Final Bill first bill in 2 years ! ?

    This is where the 'Backing Billing' rules come into play.
    If a supplier fails to issue bills for a year or more, they can only bill for the 12 months prior to the date that they did manage to bill, thus they have to write off any consumption charges prior to that date.


    However, this is Spark - Richard Turpin rides again and the OP has a fight on their hands - Even if they agree to Back billing, if a 2 year bill of £3,000 is halved, it's still £1,500, which is a helluva lot for a 1 bed flat.


    Best WRITE a letter to Spark and send it by Royal Mail, headed Complaint

    Set out the claim for back-billing and ask for their evidence of the Start Reading for the final years use that ended with your tenancy and meter read

    But what about the OP just paying the rediculous amount of £20 a month and not making sure that a proper opening reading was given.

    Yes £1500 is a lot but possible depending on how the place is heated, used all day or not.
    NST
    SFD -/- spends £-/-
    Exercise -/-
    :j:j:jDebt - all 0% 0 to go from 5290 :j:j:j as of 12/19
    DFD 12/2019 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 92300 (11/19) OP 1910
  • thriftylassthriftylass Forumite
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    Lewis_Voce wrote: »
    Hi all,

    (move out bill is first we received in 2 years).

    Any advice?

    Thanks

    Is this the first bill you received or the first paper bill you received? Did you check your online account at any time?
    NST
    SFD -/- spends £-/-
    Exercise -/-
    :j:j:jDebt - all 0% 0 to go from 5290 :j:j:j as of 12/19
    DFD 12/2019 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 92300 (11/19) OP 1910
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for the advice.

    To answer a few questions.
    1) yes first bill we ever received was the move out bill.
    2) we never received an online bill as Spark never sent us our online login details.
    3)we agreed to £20 a month as it was advised by spark and our previous flat was £15 a month (which left a £60 balance to pay when we moved out).
    4) we were more than happy to pay for first year, but rather than send us a bill at that point, spark told us "forget the usage so far".

    I have logged a complaint to spark, itemising out certain bits of info I still do not feel satisfied have been answered by them, such as opening meter reading, reason for advice of £20 per month and to forget first year, and why it took so long for us to receive any correspondence.

    Will keep you all posted
  • mkaylah9mkaylah9 Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    How did you get on with this in the end? We pay about £800 a year for a 1 bed - there are 2 of us and we don't have any gas just electric. Also with Spark.
  • edited 16 April at 5:15PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 16 April at 5:15PM
    Why does anyone stay with Spark? I'm sure there are cheaper deals out there or is it just laziness that stops you changing.

    I've just done a comparison - I pay 11.5p/kwh with Symbio, Spark is 17.4p/kwh, for my 7200 a year that would cost me an extra 5.9x7200 = £426.80. My standing charge is 15p/day, psk was around 25p.day = 10/365 = £36.5 so why would I want to pay an extra £46 a year (approx £40 a month).
    Get on with doing something about their ridiculous charges, change suppliers and save yourself a fortune
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    Why does anyone stay with Spark? I'm sure there are cheaper deals out there or is it just laziness.
    The letting or estate agent probably told them that staying with Spark is a condition of the contract, and the sky will fall in and they will end up homeless if they break it, but somehow forgot to mention what a useful revenue earner Spark is...
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