Money Moral Dilemma: What should my partner do with her suspiciously big £6,000 energy credit?

in Energy
29 replies 30.8K views
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

 My partner was asked by her energy provider for meter readings, and after supplying them was told she was £6,000 in credit. While she expected a credit, she thinks it's too high, and while she's queried it twice with the provider, both times she's been told it's accurate. Should she avoid spending it in case she's eventually asked to repay it?

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  • edited 31 August at 5:51PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 31 August at 5:51PM
    Put it in an interest bearing account and sit and wait till they ask for it back. 

    And in the meantime, check her own bills with the meter readings she provided at the start and during the contract and do the sums herself. Then compare with their readings and figures to see who has put the decimal in the wrong place. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • edited 31 August at 7:18PM
    tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    edited 31 August at 7:18PM
    There is no moral dilemma about it at all, it's just some basic maths that will determine whether:

    a) The supplier has made a mistake and therefore to accept the money as a refund would be theft. 

    b) The credit is correct and soon to be ex-partner needs some serious lessons in managing money if £6,000's worth of overpayments has gone totally unnoticed over presumably a long period of time - eg 5 years @ £100 a month. And also clearly not swapping energy suppliers and regularly checking they are on the best deal which is a cardinal sin in the MSE world.

    Either way I wouldn't be able to accept the refund unless I was confident that it was 100% correct and therefore I could do as I please with the money.

    YNAB enthusiast and extreme coupon-er.
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  • MocummingsMocummings Forumite
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    If your partner has proof that the company have said that the credit amount is correct then it will be the company's fault if they change their mind. Just get them to send a confirmation email then spend, spend, spend. 
  • marylou2121marylou2121 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Photogenic First Post Combo Breaker
    In case this seems far fetched, someone I know did run up a £5,000 credit.  They moved house and didn't cancel at the old address ... the energy company kept taking the payments without any meter readings!
  • brewerdavebrewerdave Forumite
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    With some of our totally incompetent Utility Cos. ,the £6k credit will be a £7k debit by Thursday!!
  • edited 31 August at 10:57PM
    sclaresclare Forumite
    45 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 31 August at 10:57PM
    I suggest that she asks for someone to come out and check her meter first. Some older meters are tricky to read, so if the company is going by her own reading I'd be a bit nervous.
    I'm pretty certain that if there's a mistake, they'll claim it's in her reading of the meter (whether it is or not). And she won't be able to prove otherwise, so she should get them to check it.
  • LouispastramiLouispastrami Forumite
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    I'd get proof of the actual amount in writing , ask for a cheque and buy cryptocurrency. Celsius is a good bet.
  • FarfetchFarfetch Forumite
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    I'd get proof of the actual amount in writing , ask for a cheque and buy cryptocurrency. Celsius is a good bet.

    And what happens when they eventually realised a mistake has been made, ask for the money back and whatever nonsense crypto you are doing a pump and dump on has collapsed and is worthless?

    He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

    -Harold Wilson

  • REJPREJP Forumite
    257 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Ask for a meter reader to come and read the meter.  While waiting follow others advice and put the money in to an account which pays the best interest rate.
    My elderly neighbour had a similar problem though not such a large credit.   He has Economy 7 electricity account and normal hours account.  He sent the figures for Economy 7 for his standard rate account and vice versa.  He was asked for the return of the amount credited when he had the meter read by the company.
    Finally, don't rely on telephoning the supplier to report the credit, write to them and keep a copy of the correspondence.  That means you can prove you made efforts to get the matter resolved.
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