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Bulb energy ignoring Ombudsman

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We had our 2 rate electricity meter changed in January 2022 and Bulb got the readings mixed up (transposed). I got an ombudsman decision in September that they had to correct the bill but Bulb have ignored it. It went to the ombudsman's remedy resolution team (if that's what they're called) a few months ago but Bulb have continued to just ignore it. I've had a complaint in with Bulb since the spring but they don't take any action. When I phone they just say they'll escalate it, and still nothing happens. 

Bulb have overcharged us and so have no incentive to remedy the situation. Is there anything I can do to take this further? It's taken up so much time and energy over the past year, and I haven't had an accurate bill since then. 
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  • [Deleted User]
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    The Energy Ombudsman does not have statutory powers to enforce its Decisions. All you can do is take the supplier to The Small Claims Court. You can use The Energy Ombudsman’s Decision in support of your claim.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    Have you pursued this since the migration to Octopus? You may find that the new ownership will break the logjam.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Galileo_Figaro
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    macman said:
    Have you pursued this since the migration to Octopus? You may find that the new ownership will break the logjam.
    I have tried, but so far Bulb still seem to exist embedded in Octopus, so in practice there's still the same process of Octopus making requests to the Bulb team and Bulb not responding. Hopefully Bulb will disappear in the end and that might finally end the issue! 
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,372 Forumite
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    macman said:
    Have you pursued this since the migration to Octopus? You may find that the new ownership will break the logjam.
    As yet the migration has not happened, until it does, the accounts are being managed by the same team as before, but now paid by Octopus.

  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    macman said:
    Have you pursued this since the migration to Octopus? You may find that the new ownership will break the logjam.
    As yet the migration has not happened, until it does, the accounts are being managed by the same team as before, but now paid by Octopus.

    Thanks, I understand that they have only migrated 20,000 customers so far, so it could be a while. 
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Petriix
    Petriix Posts: 2,125 Forumite
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    Have you actually paid the bill? If you are apparently in debt to them then it might be easier to ignore the demands for payment and sort it out with Octopus later. Ultimately the Ombudsman's decision would be quite favourable in court, should it get that far.
  • Galileo_Figaro
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    Petriix said:
    Have you actually paid the bill? If you are apparently in debt to them then it might be easier to ignore the demands for payment and sort it out with Octopus later. Ultimately the Ombudsman's decision would be quite favourable in court, should it get that far.
    Partially - enough that they owe me a good few hundred, but there's an outstanding £70 they're chasing me for. That's helpful to know about court, I don't suppose you know if it's standard procedure to take me to court for none-payment of a small amount,  saving me the court fees? I've had a bad experience with the small claims court before so I'm a bit wary of paying court fees if they can't/don't enforce their ruling. 
  • barbellchart
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    I've had exactly the same problem with Bulb/Octopus. Bulb conflated R1 (peak rate) and full usage readings and overcharged me by over 3,300KwH (approx £1,000). The Ombudsman Service found in my favour but it's now 5 days past the deadline and Octopus have not issued a new bill. Neither Octopus nor Bulb are responding to emails from me or from the Ombudsman.

    It astonishes me that this is possible... it's completely legal for an energy company to steal money from you and just hold onto it. It's taken months to get to this stage. Months of high inflation during which the value of that money is rapidly diminishing. 

    Reading around, it's obvious that Bulb were habitually overcharging customers, both by overestimating usage and by conflating R1 and full usage readings. They were totally adamant that they hadn't overcharged me... I wonder how many people have swallowed that lie and have simply paid up and not complained? They were so convincing, it was only when I plotted out all the meter readings in a chart that it became absolutely obvious that they'd conflated the two sets of readings. I can't help thinking there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people out there who've been overcharged by significant sums of money.

    I've tried an FOI request but the Ombudsman apparently isn't subject to the FOI Act... how on earth do you get Ofgem to look into something like this? People died of hypothermia last winter because of energy costs... this could literally be killing people.

    Anyone have any idea how you get MSE or Citizens Advice to look into something like this? I can't help thinking this is affecting at least hundreds of people. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 6 June 2023 at 3:07PM
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    I've had exactly the same problem with Bulb/Octopus. Bulb conflated R1 (peak rate) and full usage readings and overcharged me by over 3,300KwH (approx £1,000). The Ombudsman Service found in my favour but it's now 5 days past the deadline and Octopus have not issued a new bill. Neither Octopus nor Bulb are responding to emails from me or from the Ombudsman.

    It astonishes me that this is possible... it's completely legal for an energy company to steal money from you and just hold onto it. It's taken months to get to this stage. Months of high inflation during which the value of that money is rapidly diminishing. 

    Reading around, it's obvious that Bulb were habitually overcharging customers, both by overestimating usage and by conflating R1 and full usage readings. They were totally adamant that they hadn't overcharged me... I wonder how many people have swallowed that lie and have simply paid up and not complained? They were so convincing, it was only when I plotted out all the meter readings in a chart that it became absolutely obvious that they'd conflated the two sets of readings. I can't help thinking there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people out there who've been overcharged by significant sums of money.

    I've tried an FOI request but the Ombudsman apparently isn't subject to the FOI Act... how on earth do you get Ofgem to look into something like this? People died of hypothermia last winter because of energy costs... this could literally be killing people.

    Anyone have any idea how you get MSE or Citizens Advice to look into something like this? I can't help thinking this is affecting at least hundreds of people. 
    A couple of points. The Energy Ombudsman  (EOS) is a private company so FOI does not apply. EOS, unlike the FCA, does not have any statutory enforcement powers over energy suppliers. You can however take the supplier to Court and use the EOS Decision in support of your case. 

    Smart meter registers are indeed an area where both the consumer and supplier can get confused. Any reading shown on the IHD is the sum of all the registers that have been in use since the meter was first installed.

    You can report your situation to consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk    Ofgem will not investigate your complaint but it will pass your information on to its investigations unit.

  • Galileo_Figaro
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    I've had exactly the same problem with Bulb/Octopus. Bulb conflated R1 (peak rate) and full usage readings and overcharged me by over 3,300KwH (approx £1,000). The Ombudsman Service found in my favour but it's now 5 days past the deadline and Octopus have not issued a new bill. Neither Octopus nor Bulb are responding to emails from me or from the Ombudsman.

    It astonishes me that this is possible... it's completely legal for an energy company to steal money from you and just hold onto it. It's taken months to get to this stage. Months of high inflation during which the value of that money is rapidly diminishing. 

    Reading around, it's obvious that Bulb were habitually overcharging customers, both by overestimating usage and by conflating R1 and full usage readings. They were totally adamant that they hadn't overcharged me... I wonder how many people have swallowed that lie and have simply paid up and not complained? They were so convincing, it was only when I plotted out all the meter readings in a chart that it became absolutely obvious that they'd conflated the two sets of readings. I can't help thinking there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people out there who've been overcharged by significant sums of money.

    I've tried an FOI request but the Ombudsman apparently isn't subject to the FOI Act... how on earth do you get Ofgem to look into something like this? People died of hypothermia last winter because of energy costs... this could literally be killing people.

    Anyone have any idea how you get MSE or Citizens Advice to look into something like this? I can't help thinking this is affecting at least hundreds of people. 
    Sorry you're dealing with that too. Nine months later Bulb are still ignoring this - I guess they have no incentive as the Ombudsman have no power and it loses them money. Looks like court is the only option. 
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