4-6 weeks - an unacceptable time period to wait for an energy refund on a closed account?

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I am appalled by OutFox the Market.  I'm cutting a long story short, but they have been billing me for an address which I vacated nearly two years ago. 
Initially, I didn't do anything with the direct debit as I thought they would cancel it from their end.  It was only when the other half (who checks our joint account far more than I do) asked why OFTM was still debiting money.
I sent them an email with a dated photo of the meter on the date the billing should have stopped, and also provided the council tax bill for the property I had moved to clearly demonstrating I wasn't living in the property they were still billing me for.
They replied the following day saying they will close the account and nonchalantly said it would take 4-6 weeks just to get the final bill.  It will then take a further ten working days ie two more weeks, to get the refund. So a total of two months. We're not talking pennies here.  The refund will be in the region of £1500!
This is outrageous. Is it seriously going to take them 6 weeks to issue a final bill when just in a few clicks, a computer system can generate new bills almost instantly. 
I'm not making this up, as when I've called up to give readings to an energy supplier in the past, they tell me there and then what I owe after they've submitted the latest reading I've just given them.
Am I being unreasonable to expect to receive a significant refund in less than two months? I've looked on the OFGEM website and it says it can take 6 weeks from a switch to generate a final bill.  But I didn't switch, I moved house! 
I bet if it was the other way round, and I owed them a significant sum of money, what's the betting that the final bill would be generated a lot quicker than 6 weeks!

Comments

  • razord
    razord Posts: 566 Forumite
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    edited 17 March 2023 at 9:17PM
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    I am appalled by OutFox the Market.  I'm cutting a long story short, but they have been billing me for an address which I vacated nearly two years ago. 
    Initially, I didn't do anything with the direct debit as I thought they would cancel it from their end.  It was only when the other half (who checks our joint account far more than I do) asked why OFTM was still debiting money.
    I sent them an email with a dated photo of the meter on the date the billing should have stopped, and also provided the council tax bill for the property I had moved to clearly demonstrating I wasn't living in the property they were still billing me for.
    They replied the following day saying they will close the account and nonchalantly said it would take 4-6 weeks just to get the final bill.  It will then take a further ten working days ie two more weeks, to get the refund. So a total of two months. We're not talking pennies here.  The refund will be in the region of £1500!
    This is outrageous. Is it seriously going to take them 6 weeks to issue a final bill when just in a few clicks, a computer system can generate new bills almost instantly. 
    I'm not making this up, as when I've called up to give readings to an energy supplier in the past, they tell me there and then what I owe after they've submitted the latest reading I've just given them.
    Am I being unreasonable to expect to receive a significant refund in less than two months? I've looked on the OFGEM website and it says it can take 6 weeks from a switch to generate a final bill.  But I didn't switch, I moved house! 
    I bet if it was the other way round, and I owed them a significant sum of money, what's the betting that the final bill would be generated a lot quicker than 6 weeks!

    Closing an electricity account requires third party involvement. They will need to confirm that closing read with the data collector, and confirm the industry agreed on it, and the next bill used that as an opening read.

    That process takes a few weeks.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,522 Forumite
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    Initially, I didn't do anything with the direct debit as I thought they would cancel it from their end.
    Just to clarify here, did you inform them you were moving out and to close your account?
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,114 Forumite
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    Initially, I didn't do anything with the direct debit as I thought they would cancel it from their end.
    Just to clarify here, did you inform them you were moving out and to close your account?
    I'm pretty sure there would be no need for a final bill if they had.  :*
  • [Deleted User]
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    When a consumer moves out, the supplier normally acts in good faith; it will accept the offered reading and it will raise a Final Bill within the 6 week period.

    That said, if new evidence comes to light which suggests the billed reading was incorrect then section 27.18 kicks in. 

    There are no standards set for the repayment of any credit balance. It has been posted here in the past that suppliers have an escalating approvals process: that is, the greater the amount to be refunded,  the higher up the executive chain the refund approval process goes. No doubt, senior managers will want to see clear evidence that a £1500 refund is warranted.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077 Forumite
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    edited 18 March 2023 at 3:49PM
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    Hi.
    it wasn't up to your 'other half' (horrible term), to notice after 2 years, were you unable to check yourself?
  • TheElectricCow
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    If you’ve managed to pay them £1500 without noticing until now, I think it probably stands to reason that there is no desperate need to have that money returned immediately. 

    You may find it beneficial accept this as a learning experience rather than a point of frustration, as that’s not likely to help the situation in any way. Perhaps it would be a good idea for you and your partner to discuss  ways of keeping a closer watch on your finances in future, which will avoid the issue of having to wait for a refund entirely and may help you discover any other similar problems.

    There are processes and checks in place to ensure the correct balance is refunded and the energy companies have a reasonable timeframe to complete those checks and send the money back to you. They might take the full 6 weeks or they may issue a final bill much sooner, there’s not likely to be much you can do to speed up the process.
    Moo…
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