Billing error and now suddenly I owe Octopus £800

I was switched from Bulb to Octopus a few months back. I was paying £115 per month in my small flat, which seemed about right. Two months ago I noticed that my Octopus account had a credit of about £500, which they refunded.

Last week I noticed I was building up more credit. I asked for another refund and I thought they should reduce my monthly payments (I don't use much).

Of course the whole time I was providing meter readings. Bulb had attempted a smart meter installation previously but didn't manage to make it work so I left it.

Octopus has now got in touch saying my bills were wrong, and they hadn't been recording my usage properly. So I owe them £800.

They're proposing to increase my monthly payment by £60 to recoup over time, and they're giving me £60 in compensation. 

I've no problem paying my bill, but to me £60 seems not enough compensation? Particularly since I've been assiduously sending meter readings? I'm a bit in shock.

Would be grateful if anyone had advice.
Mortgage in July 2023: £84206
Mortgage in February 2024: £76880
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Comments

  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,390
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    Have you worked put your usage based on your meter readings you have been submitting?

    If not sit down and work it out against the costs of your Standing Charge and units. That will tell you if you have paid too much or too little
  • mathilde
    mathilde Posts: 36
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    edited 10 November 2023 at 6:21PM
    The figures do make sense, now that I have a detailed bill.

    I suppose I'm at fault for not obtaining more detailed statements earlier but to be honest I thought I was just using a bit less than I was paying. That's what they told me anyway!  I have been with Octopus since the takeover in Feb 2023 and I figured I'd get and end-of-year statement.

    I've asked them whether they'd consider writing off more of the debt. What a crap thing to get on a Friday evening. 
    Mortgage in July 2023: £84206
    Mortgage in February 2024: £76880
  • I don't want to come across like I don't want to pay my bills. But surely a key part of their job is keeping accurate records? How much do I have to chase?
    Mortgage in July 2023: £84206
    Mortgage in February 2024: £76880
  • To be honest it is every customers responsibility to have an idea of their energy usage and costs especially when drawing down refunds of credit.

    There does seem to be some daily from the one sided view we have above so the best you may be able to get is a goodwill gesture added to your account 
    "I can lead you to the money saving well but cannot make you drink from it"

    As mum always said "don't respond to imbeciles just ignore them" wise words mum 
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,615
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    mathilde said:
    I've no problem paying my bill, but to me £60 seems not enough compensation?
    £60 seems quite reasonable on the face of it. They didn't have to offer you anything.
    You're not out of pocket and they're letting you catch up with your arrears over a period of 8 months.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
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  • Yes, they should keep accurate records - but so should you (by checking your bill each month and checking they're using the readings provided). 

    If you thought the amount you were paying was about right for your flat, then didn't you wonder how you'd built up such a large credit in such a short time? 

    The norm when there's a debt on the account would be to give you time to pay - so if you can afford an extra £60 a month, that seems reasonable - if you can't then you could argue you need more time and maybe get it reduced to £30 a month (2 years), with the understanding you would need to stay with them until the debt was repaid. 

    Another thing to check is that they're not going to report this as a debt to the credit reference agencies - so it won't impact on you getting other financial products. 

    RE compensation... £60 seems reasonable for me. It's about the average award of a claim to the ombudsman and you have essentially suffered no actual loss, and it doesn't sound like resolving the issue took a long time or required any chasing from you (so no special award for the distress and inconvenience).

    You could try a formal complaint and escalation, but it's a hassle for little chance of any significant increase in offering.  
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Thanks I'll ask them whether they'll report the debt. I'm not really worried about my credit since I've already got a mortgage, but still a good point.

    You're right I should have asked for a monthy/quarterly statement but then again I already have a job. Two jobs. So I'm still going to be salty at them. 

    I did question the fact that my credit kept building up! I've been raising that to them since August. 
    Mortgage in July 2023: £84206
    Mortgage in February 2024: £76880
  • mathilde said:
    Thanks I'll ask them whether they'll report the debt. I'm not really worried about my credit since I've already got a mortgage, but still a good point.
    Still worth doing - as it can effect remortgaging down the line (unlikely if it's a relatively small amount and a one off, but still better not having it there :))
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • A debt won't be reported unless you cancel your DD or refuse their proposal and even then I am not sure Octopus do that as their first step.
    "I can lead you to the money saving well but cannot make you drink from it"

    As mum always said "don't respond to imbeciles just ignore them" wise words mum 
  • masonic
    masonic Posts: 22,793
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    Octopus can report negative balances to TransUnion, although I don't recall mine ever showing anything other than £0 (but I usually have a credit balance). Having a negative balance wouldn't be a problem in and of itself.
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