Forced onto pre-pay mode with no prior communication

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There is a fair amount of unusual context here so I apologise for the long read!

I purchased a flat in Scotland in March 2019 which has no gas supply, electric only.  The developer made a number of mistakes on the electricity meter paperwork submitted to Scottish Power (duplicate entries with incorrect serial numbers and incorrect plot numbers) which meant that I could not take ownership of the electricity account when I moved in.  I petitioned the developer (in writing, via my solicitor) repeatedly over the first 18 months to try and sort the mess out but they were not forthcoming of any assistance.  I also contacted Scottish Power frequently and they tried on several occasions to process the account handover on their system(s) but it proved impossible.  Eventually I was told they could not assist me until the meter accounts were corrected.  At the time I was reassured that Scottish Power understood I was not at fault for the situation.

I'm an NHS worker with some front-line aspects to my job, so when the pandemic hit I had other priorities to deal with and the electricity account quickly left my mind.  I did record meter readings periodically (approx once per 6 months) but I did not contact, or receive contact from, Scottish Power between September 2020 and August 2022 inclusive.  Then, in early September 2022, my electricity supply cut off without warning.

When I contacted Scottish Power (several days of trying to reach very busy call centres that kept cutting out!), I was told that:
a) the meter account had now been corrected and the erroneous duplicate entries removed
b) correspondence had been sent about the meter but to an incorrect address - a different flat within the building, who never passed anything to me.
c) as they had not had a response they had forced the meter over to pre-pay mode in late August, so the loss of power was the £30 credit expiring
d) in order to switch back to a credit account I had to provide proof of ownership (letter headed paper from solicitor confirming details)
e) even after providing this evidence I have to remain on pre-pay mode for a fortnight while they review the account and decide on past debts etc

I am looking for some advice on my rights regarding this situation and whether any of the processes Scottish Power are using can be challenged (e.g. the mandatory 14 day holding period) given that this situation was not of my making and they forced this upon me without prior communication.  I am really concerned I am going to be given a massive bill and will have obviously lost the opportunity to lock in a fixed deal ahead of the October price hikes (or ahead of the price hikes earlier in 2022!) through no fault of my own.  I've also been paying higher pre-pay rates for the last few weeks, and they have *still* not sent me out a proper card/barcode for making payments - I'm having to use a copy of the barcode number I scribbled down!

Thanks in advance for any help given.









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