EDF Automated Overcharge

We pay a fairly decent amount for our energy as we are a family of four, mainly working from home, lots of computers, etc, and an electric car that my husband uses for work.  We got a fairly good deal, after shopping around, and are actually on a special electric car tarriff and paying £166 per month (for electric & gas), but are £200 in credit in the run up to winter.

We received an email this morning from EDF saying that, following a review of our account and meter readings (which are automated), they're increasing our MONTHLY payments to £705!!!!!

Needless to say, I freaked a bit, went to their website, double checked bills, etc, and then tried to contact them via the webchat however, after a whole bunch of to and fro, they refused to talk to me, because, although I normally put my name down on utilities (because I'm the one organising them etc), this time I put my husbands name on, because there is the possibility we have to prove ownership of an electric car (although they've not asked for any).

Anyway .. finally got through to them, and after some time they confirmed it was a "technical error" .. although still persuaded me to up my direct debit payments to cover increased winter costs.  They said that at the next review in May, if my account was more than £40 in credit, we would receive a refund.

I pushed further on the "technical error" and they could not say what had caused it, only that it was done automatically by the computer system.  So my concern now is that, as they don't know what caused it, and because it's automated, even though I was promised it won't happen again, I can't see why it won't.  I understand it probably won't to us .. because that 6 monthly review date has now passed - but anyone else going through a review might want to double check their payments.

Comments

  • emmajones1976
    emmajones1976 Posts: 1,345
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    edited 6 November 2021 at 2:04PM
    I would be concerned as an outsider that they spoke to you despite you not being named on the account, thats some DPA breach.  I assume when you say "finally got through to them"  and "i pushed further on the issue" you mean your husband did?
  • Stumpy
    Stumpy Posts: 1,109
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    I would be concerned as an outsider that they spoke to you despite you not being named on the account, thats some DPA breach.  I assume when you say "finally got through to them"  and "i pushed further on the issue" you mean your husband did?

    I understand the idea of not speaking to the account holder when its something that would have a detrimental impact on the account from the account holders point of view.  I don't really understand why, regardless of who I was, they couldn't at least look at it - even without telling me anything specific, and saying "we'll send an update to the account holder".

    However, notwithstanding that, as I realise it's probably not something they can differentiate between, and is really a different argument, the person I first spoke to said that I would need to close the chat box down, and then start another one, using his name.  Which again, I understand, is not really within the spirit of the rules.  But in my case - it is, to all intents and purposes, "my" account - I've set it up, I administer it, we pay for it from a joint account - and my husband was sat next to me.  He's just not very good with computers :P

    But again .. who I was and who was the account holder wasn't really the point of my original post - more a warning to others to be aware of what exactly they're paying.

    If you want to take away from my post the fact that I "illegally" challenged "my husbands" energy account company for wanting to overcharge him, then that's your perogative ;-)
  • Well it would certainly concern me that a Big 6 energy company is blatantly breaking the Data Protection Act on the phone but if it was you pretending to be your husband on webchat the 2nd time, thats fair enough.
  • Stumpy
    Stumpy Posts: 1,109
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    Well it would certainly concern me that a Big 6 energy company is blatantly breaking the Data Protection Act on the phone but if it was you pretending to be your husband on webchat the 2nd time, thats fair enough.

    I suspect they'd have realised it wasn't my husband, on the phone :P  Anyway, if we'd been on the phone, I would have been able to pass the phone to him, he would have given permission to them to speak to me, then I would have spoken to them anyway. 

    It has always annoyed me - not only because I do the majority of the admin in the house, but also when we've had to deal with companies on behalf of elderly parents - that some companies simply don't seem to have the ability to have TWO account holders.  Even our joint bank account, where we have joint current and credit cards - I am not able to access our JOINT credit card statements.  Yet I can access the joint bank account?  All very odd. 

    I do get the feeling that you think I'm in the wrong here for trying to ensure we don't pay an exhorbitant amount for our energy bills.  Perhaps I should have made my husband do it?
  • No not at all, I was just curious as to how you spoke to them the second time, but you have clarified it was webchat again so thats fair enough. I shall not divert this thread further.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,651
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    It would think anybody would notice an increase from £166 to £705 and query it, unless they were aware they had increased their usage dramatically.
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,571
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    Stumpy said:
    Even our joint bank account, where we have joint current and credit cards - I am not able to access our JOINT credit card statements.  Yet I can access the joint bank account?  All very odd. 
    Maybe something to do with the bank account being joint and the credit card being his with you only being an additional card holder, there are no joint credit cards in the UK.

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,651
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    My husband was an additional card holder on my credit card and either of us could access the statements.

    If we phoned with a query they would only speak to me , as the card holder.
  • I don’t think complaining about GDPR is going to cut the mustard with ofgem or the information commissioner. 

    We had this issue with Ovo paying 80 a month with 300 credit then they estimated we could end up In debt so wanted 300 plus a month I complained and it went down to 20 which didn’t even cover the standing charge. We are with octopus for home and business got 250 incentives home still on 300. 
    3 bed semi electric car. Washing machine dishwasher and car all car between 0030 and 0430 at 5p kWh. On octopus go. Avoid agile 

    check your contract and see when you can leave. Pm for my code to get £50 credit. 
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