Repayment plan set-up - but taken full amount in one hit.

in Energy
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JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
50 Posts
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
I had a debt with EDF because the usage was way beyond the estimate. It was about £1200 initially, it's now down to about £620. I spoke with them in November to reduce my repayments due to being made redundant, we agreed I would pay my ongoing bill plus £20 per month for 12 months whilst I got back on my feet with a new job etc...
They've randomly amended my direct debit and have taken the full £620 this month. I didn't agree to this, so where do I stand legally if they don't refund me. Doesn't the consumer have to agree explicitly to a direct debit amount?
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  • edited 26 February at 3:54PM
    HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
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    edited 26 February at 3:54PM
    I had a debt with EDF because the usage was way beyond the estimate. It was about £1200 initially, it's now down to about £620. I spoke with them in November to reduce my repayments due to being made redundant, we agreed I would pay my ongoing bill plus £20 per month for 12 months whilst I got back on my feet with a new job etc...
    They've randomly amended my direct debit and have taken the full £620 this month. I didn't agree to this, so where do I stand legally if they don't refund me. Doesn't the consumer have to agree explicitly to a direct debit amount?
    And what did they say when you actually contacted them?

    Why were you not supplying actual monthly readings rather than relying on estimates?

    You agreed  to the DD. They can vary it as per the T&Cs of your contract.
    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
    50 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hasbeen said:
    I had a debt with EDF because the usage was way beyond the estimate. It was about £1200 initially, it's now down to about £620. I spoke with them in November to reduce my repayments due to being made redundant, we agreed I would pay my ongoing bill plus £20 per month for 12 months whilst I got back on my feet with a new job etc...
    They've randomly amended my direct debit and have taken the full £620 this month. I didn't agree to this, so where do I stand legally if they don't refund me. Doesn't the consumer have to agree explicitly to a direct debit amount?
    And what did they say when you actually contacted them?
    Absolute waffle imo:
    "I can see that the due on the installment plan that was on the account had come to an end, which you had paid for. However, I can see that the amount deducted was for the due amount that was not included on the installment plan."
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  • JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
    50 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hasbeen said:
    I had a debt with EDF because the usage was way beyond the estimate. It was about £1200 initially, it's now down to about £620. I spoke with them in November to reduce my repayments due to being made redundant, we agreed I would pay my ongoing bill plus £20 per month for 12 months whilst I got back on my feet with a new job etc...
    They've randomly amended my direct debit and have taken the full £620 this month. I didn't agree to this, so where do I stand legally if they don't refund me. Doesn't the consumer have to agree explicitly to a direct debit amount?
    Why were you not supplying actual monthly readings rather than relying on estimates?

    You agreed  to the DD. They can vary it as per the T&Cs of your contract.
    They only asked for meter readings after 6 or 12 months, so I was only doing what they asked. When it came to it, it was massively different, which is understandable and normal. A rate varying based on current usage is one thing, taking a previous debt in one lump sum, when I've agreed a repayment plan, is surely another thing?
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  • edited 26 February at 4:09PM
    Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    edited 26 February at 4:09PM
    If you were on a fixed DD of £X per month and had agreed to pay £X+20 per month for the next 12 months then that arrangement should have continued, at least until the next DD review (when it could have been varied to £Y+20 if your consumption pattern had changed again).
    If they intended to take more than the planned £X+20 they should have informed you in advance, usually 10 days.  If they took £620 without warning you, contact your bank to get a full and immediate refund under the DD Guarantee, but don't cancel the DD.  Then contact EDF, remind them of your agreement, explain what happened and ask them to reinstate the DD at £X+20 (or agree a different amount).
    But in future do ensure that you send monthly readings and check that they are keeping up with your actual usage.
  • edited 26 February at 4:11PM
    JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 26 February at 4:11PM
    Gerry1 said:
    If you were on a fixed DD of £X per month and had agreed to pay £X+20 per month for the next 12 months then that arrangement should have continued, at least until the next DD review (when it could have been varied to £Y+20 if your consumption pattern had changed again).
    If they intended to take more than the planned £X+20 they should have informed you in advance, usually 10 days.  If they took £620 without warning you, contact your bank to get a full and immediate refund under the DD Guarantee, but don't cancel the DD.  Then contact EDF, remind them of your agreement, explain what happened and ask them to reinstate the DD at £X+20 (or agree a different amount).
    But in future do ensure that you send monthly readings and check that they are keeping up with your actual usage.
    You've got it, that's the exact scenario.
    That's good advice, thank you Gerry.
    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
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  • edited 26 February at 4:20PM
    Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    edited 26 February at 4:20PM
    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
    Absolutely !
    Even if you have smart meters, you still need to check that they haven't gone dumb (yes, aren't smart meters wonderful) and that your DD is sufficient; don't forget that the DD is only a fixed top-up going in to a kitty.  That kitty may or may not turn out to be sufficient to keep up with the bills, it's never an All You Can Eat tariff.
    In the meantime you probably can't switch, but do make sure you're on the cheapest available EDF tariffs.
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
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    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
    Yes people do, in fact I sometimes do it more frequently than monthly.
  • JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
    50 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Gerry1 said:
    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
    Absolutely !
    Even if you have smart meters, you still need to check that they haven't gone dumb (yes, aren't smart meters wonderful) and that your DD is sufficient; don't forget that the DD is only a fixed top-up going in to a kitty.  That kitty may or may not turn out to be sufficient to keep up with the bills, it's never an All You Can Eat tariff.
    In the meantime you probably can't switch, but do make sure you're on the cheapest available EDF tariffs.
    haha all you can eat tariff. If only eh! 
    I always seem to have a deficit, so this does exemplify the importance of sending regular readings, I just assumed everyone did the same as me. I also always pay the difference, albeit this time the amount was massive, so I wanted to set up a repayment plan. 
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  • HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
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    Gerry1 said:
    If you were on a fixed DD of £X per month and had agreed to pay £X+20 per month for the next 12 months then that arrangement should have continued, at least until the next DD review (when it could have been varied to £Y+20 if your consumption pattern had changed again).
    If they intended to take more than the planned £X+20 they should have informed you in advance, usually 10 days.  If they took £620 without warning you, contact your bank to get a full and immediate refund under the DD Guarantee, but don't cancel the DD.  Then contact EDF, remind them of your agreement, explain what happened and ask them to reinstate the DD at £X+20 (or agree a different amount).
    But in future do ensure that you send monthly readings and check that they are keeping up with your actual usage.

    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
    It is your choice. But it is advisable and normal to give monthly readings to ensure you do not get estimate bills. Do not wait until you are asked or you might find yourself in debt to perhaps the tune of  £1200 ?  :s
    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • JonStubberfieldJonStubberfield Forumite
    50 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hasbeen said:
    Gerry1 said:
    If you were on a fixed DD of £X per month and had agreed to pay £X+20 per month for the next 12 months then that arrangement should have continued, at least until the next DD review (when it could have been varied to £Y+20 if your consumption pattern had changed again).
    If they intended to take more than the planned £X+20 they should have informed you in advance, usually 10 days.  If they took £620 without warning you, contact your bank to get a full and immediate refund under the DD Guarantee, but don't cancel the DD.  Then contact EDF, remind them of your agreement, explain what happened and ask them to reinstate the DD at £X+20 (or agree a different amount).
    But in future do ensure that you send monthly readings and check that they are keeping up with your actual usage.

    Do people really give monthly meter readings? Blimey. I shall start doing this then.
    It is your choice. But it is advisable and normal to give monthly readings to ensure you do not get estimate bills. Do not wait until you are asked or you might find yourself in debt to perhaps the tune of  £1200 ?  :s
    Lesson learned. Still don't think it excuses them taking that £620 in one go. Seems very underhanded, particularly as I've been communicative with them. 
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