Utility Warehouse liable for mistake?

2»

Comments

  • JSHarris
    JSHarris Posts: 374 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 15 December 2023 at 10:50AM
    JSHarris said:
    Swipe said:
    This is why keeping your own spreadsheet with the current unit rate & standing charge and frequent readings is useful, even if you have a smart meter. I have a log of my usage and seasonal temperatures going back a good number of years which I often look back on to see how my current usage compares.

    Absolutely this, keeping a spreadsheet up to date is without a doubt worth the time and effort.  I started doing this when we were forcibly transferred to Octopus, when Iresa went bust.  Octopus massively overcharged us, as there was some problem with the data transfer from Iresa.
    To try and prove that our usage wasn't anywhere near as high as being claimed I started taking photos of the meters every week and putting the readings in a spreadsheet.  Even then I had meter readers claiming I was lying and trying to defraud the company.  Turned out the meter readers were reading someone else's meters, not mine.  The photos I took proved this, eventually the meter reader did the same and it was obvious it was a different house.
    I've carried on maintaining the spreadsheet every week (but I no longer go OTT with photos!).  Now I have it set up it takes less than a minute to read the meter and update the spreadsheet.  The historical data is very informative, especially when plotted, nothing quite like having a picture illustrating how our usage changes from month to month.

    Edited to add data from my spreadsheet that tracks monthly cost from the tariff rates and meter readings over the past couple of years:




    Do you have a smart meter? These reports come free with various apps/web sites, and could save you your 1 minute each day :)

    No, I did have one for a few months but they couldn't get it to work, despite changing it and replacing the communications unit, etc.  There's no mobile signal here and we're too far away from any neighbour that can get a signal for the mesh system to work.  The meter was taken out and replaced with an E7 one.  I've been told that this lack of signal problem is common in rural areas, the chap that fitted our E7 meter reckoned that he was swapping our dozens of non-working smart meters every week due to this problem.
    As it turns out, that's not a bad compromise, as with the battery storage system and solar system I can still optimise grid power so that it's almost all at the cheap rate.  The data from the meter now feeds into Home Assistant (from the dumb meter) so all I do is periodically pull the meter readings from there and pop them into my spreadsheet.
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,084 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    JSHarris said:
    Swipe said:
    This is why keeping your own spreadsheet with the current unit rate & standing charge and frequent readings is useful, even if you have a smart meter. I have a log of my usage and seasonal temperatures going back a good number of years which I often look back on to see how my current usage compares.

    Absolutely this, keeping a spreadsheet up to date is without a doubt worth the time and effort.  I started doing this when we were forcibly transferred to Octopus, when Iresa went bust.  Octopus massively overcharged us, as there was some problem with the data transfer from Iresa.
    To try and prove that our usage wasn't anywhere near as high as being claimed I started taking photos of the meters every week and putting the readings in a spreadsheet.  Even then I had meter readers claiming I was lying and trying to defraud the company.  Turned out the meter readers were reading someone else's meters, not mine.  The photos I took proved this, eventually the meter reader did the same and it was obvious it was a different house.
    I've carried on maintaining the spreadsheet every week (but I no longer go OTT with photos!).  Now I have it set up it takes less than a minute to read the meter and update the spreadsheet.  The historical data is very informative, especially when plotted, nothing quite like having a picture illustrating how our usage changes from month to month.

    Edited to add data from my spreadsheet that tracks monthly cost from the tariff rates and meter readings over the past couple of years:




    Do you have a smart meter? These reports come free with various apps/web sites, and could save you your 1 minute each day :)
    I also use various sites and apps but they come and go, whereas a spreadsheet will always be there forever.
  • Swipe said:
    JSHarris said:
    Swipe said:
    This is why keeping your own spreadsheet with the current unit rate & standing charge and frequent readings is useful, even if you have a smart meter. I have a log of my usage and seasonal temperatures going back a good number of years which I often look back on to see how my current usage compares.

    Absolutely this, keeping a spreadsheet up to date is without a doubt worth the time and effort.  I started doing this when we were forcibly transferred to Octopus, when Iresa went bust.  Octopus massively overcharged us, as there was some problem with the data transfer from Iresa.
    To try and prove that our usage wasn't anywhere near as high as being claimed I started taking photos of the meters every week and putting the readings in a spreadsheet.  Even then I had meter readers claiming I was lying and trying to defraud the company.  Turned out the meter readers were reading someone else's meters, not mine.  The photos I took proved this, eventually the meter reader did the same and it was obvious it was a different house.
    I've carried on maintaining the spreadsheet every week (but I no longer go OTT with photos!).  Now I have it set up it takes less than a minute to read the meter and update the spreadsheet.  The historical data is very informative, especially when plotted, nothing quite like having a picture illustrating how our usage changes from month to month.

    Edited to add data from my spreadsheet that tracks monthly cost from the tariff rates and meter readings over the past couple of years:




    Do you have a smart meter? These reports come free with various apps/web sites, and could save you your 1 minute each day :)
    I also use various sites and apps but they come and go, whereas a spreadsheet will always be there forever.

    Very true, my spreadsheet is now about five years old, since the time Iresa went bust, and few apps survive that long.  Anyone watching the Covid inquiry will have noted that "lost What's Apps" have been a prominent feature, due to various witnesses having updated their phones.
  • Hi!
    Thank you for your replies.
    I have water filled radiators with water filled tank.
    The estimate they gave was based on the previous years use and this was at a time when the flat was empty.
    My argument is that if they had applied my second reading a month after the opening reading then ( as now) I would have seen the usage/cost stated on the bill and at that point questioned my usage. Looked at why for the month it was that high, then looked to see why.
    As it turns out the heating was set to default which is fine, but unbeknownst to me the heating of the tank mirrors that.
    So, I worked out that the tank was heating for 240 a month when I would have only needed 60 hours per month. This as you can imagine would cost quite a lot! And is the cause of the huge bill.

    Not applying the reading ( mainly the first one) I gave them until 7 months later took the ability away of me seeing this and enabling me to investigate and make necessary adjustments so that going forward my usage was greatly reduced and so was the cost.
    I would have also been on an adjusted correct tariff going forward from end of January.

    UW have two complaints departments.
    The first is general with the second being escalated.

    I spoke to them yesterday and on Monday it is being escalated and the UW employee agrees that it is UW failure of not applying the readings at the time(s) they were given.
    Also, he admitted that there looked to be a technical issues as on his readings sheet, none of the readings were showing. But as I read them out and he start to input the dated each one then stared to show.
    So there looks to have been a technical error at UW end.
    He did advise me to contact ofgem but I said I will go through the complaints process with UW first to hear there results and what they plan to do, or no do.

    I'm not disputing the fact this I've used the energy (approx 12800kw) I'm disputing the fact that I would not have used that much IF they had applied my readings when given as this would have shown in my billing.
    Not applying them ( or the first month) when offered and just sending me bills stating low usage took the ability away from me to looking into this away.

    Regarding smart meter. Yes I will have one fitted but I submitted readings to know what I'm using. I will have one fitted soon)

    ( Excuse any grammar or spelling mistakes as I'm responding via phone and not desktop ( preferred))

    Kind Regards....John.
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,238 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 16 December 2023 at 4:48PM
    JB2268 said:
    I'm not disputing the fact this I've used the energy (approx 12800kw) I'm disputing the fact that I would not have used that much IF they had applied my readings when given as this would have shown in my billing.
    Not applying them ( or the first month) when offered and just sending me bills stating low usage took the ability away from me to looking into this away.


    I doubt you are going to get very for with the Ombudsman (you can't take individual complaints to Ofgem).
    The standard is that your supplier must make sure you receive an accurate bill at least once in every 12 months, so little to none of your consumption is going to fall outside the last 12 months depending on exactly when they first provided a correct bill.
    Given you were providing meter readings you were not prevented from noticing that your bills were not using those readings, nor were you prevented from noticing your actual use as you had the meter readings...
    A token gesture for their poor administration of your account will be in order, but in the realms of £50-75 in all probability.



  • JSHarris
    JSHarris Posts: 374 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 16 December 2023 at 5:49PM
    Without wishing to seem in any way rude, what exactly is different between buying energy and buying any other consumable? 
    It seems reasonable to expect a customer to keep some sort of track on how much energy they are using, and hence the size of the bill they are racking up, especially when they are taking their own meter readings and submitting them regularly (in your first post you wrote "I faithfully submit meter readings to UW online").
    It seems reasonable for a supplier to expect that any customer that is capable of taking their own meter readings to be able to at least roughly estimate their bill, as every supplier is required to provide tariff information, which includes the price per unit.  I accept that there is a bit of arithmetic to do to get the cost between each meter reading (subtract the previous reading from the current reading and multiply by the unit price, then multiply the number of days between readings and multiply that number with the standing charge), but would have thought that this would be within the capability of anyone that is able to take readings and submit them regularly.
    As @MWT has rightly written, suppliers are only required to provide a bill once every 12 months.  There's no obligation on them to provide one monthly, quarterly or whatever, although many do.  The expectation is that most customers will be able to estimate how much their bill is likely to be if they are reading their own meter.
    If you weren't able to read the meter, and hadn't been able to submit regular readings, then there might be an argument that UW had a duty to help you understand how much energy you were using, so you could better budget for the next bill.  In your case this doesn't seem to apply, so I doubt that you're going to get any thing other than perhaps the sort of token gesture that @MWT has mentioned.


  • JB2268
    JB2268 Posts: 4 Newbie
    First Post

    Update.
    Ok so it’s been while replying to your comments but thought id wait for the outcome.

    I understand some of the replies but many are incorrect.

    After long and may phone calls i was happy the offer made by UW in view of the mistakes they has made.
    This has reduced by overall bill way way past any 'gesture' response payments some people have mentioned.

    400ixl
    Thank you for your reply but you were way of the mark on this one.

    Swipe
    Yes, agree and something that’s in place thank you.

    JSHarris
    More people do not know how to use excel than do, but for those who do i agree. Visual image of data is better than looking at figures.

    MWT
    To clear your first point up and a question i specifically asked (you can't take individual complaints to Ofgem).
    I’m have advised that you can. By Citizens advise and UW.
    The rest of your statement is in correct and poor administration the 'their' account resulted in a figure far and above what you have stated.
    Thank you.

    JSHarris
    Without wishing to seem in any way rude, but there are quite a few assumptions here.
    All i can say about your response (apart from one or two minor points) is that if you had aimed an arrow at the North pole, you would have hit the South Pole.


    So, to end.
    UW have admitted errors their end and i and happy with the offer they have made.
    This means that there is no need for me to take this further to Ofgem as an individual complaint, which you can do.

    I urge anyone else who has issues and believe they have been unfairly treated to not take advise on here as a basis for what will happen. No matter how convincing it may sound.
    Take snippets and points either for your future use of planning or questions to ask when speaking to the representatives.

     

    Kind Regards…..



  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,452 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Name Dropper
    JB2268 said:

    MWT
    To clear your first point up and a question i specifically asked (you can't take individual complaints to Ofgem).
    I’m have advised that you can. By Citizens advise and UW.

    ...This means that there is no need for me to take this further to Ofgem as an individual complaint, which you can do.

    Glad to hear you have had a positive outcome... but just to repeat what's been said earlier in the thread: I think you are mistaking Ofgem (the industry regulator) and the Energy Ombudsman (the consumer complaints service/statutory redress scheme). 

    If you don't believe us, that's fine - but Ofgem's website says individual complaints about an energy suppliers should be directed to the ombudsman: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/making-complaint-about-your-energy-supplier-or-network-operator 

    And their guidance clarifies that Ofgem will investigate and act on complaints relating to regulatory and legislative failing - but only when the complaints are raised by "a designated consumer body" (aka the Ombudsman) or another energy supplier, or similar... as below, Ofgem does not deal with individual disputes. 


    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2012/06/enforcement-guidelines-2012.pdf
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 564 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 15 January at 7:38PM
    JSHarris said:
    Without wishing to seem in any way rude, what exactly is different between buying energy and buying any other consumable? 
    It seems reasonable to expect a customer to keep some sort of track on how much energy they are using, and hence the size of the bill they are racking up, especially when they are taking their own meter readings and submitting them regularly (in your first post you wrote "I faithfully submit meter readings to UW online").
    It seems reasonable for a supplier to expect that any customer that is capable of taking their own meter readings to be able to at least roughly estimate their bill, as every supplier is required to provide tariff information, which includes the price per unit.  I accept that there is a bit of arithmetic to do to get the cost between each meter reading (subtract the previous reading from the current reading and multiply by the unit price, then multiply the number of days between readings and multiply that number with the standing charge), but would have thought that this would be within the capability of anyone that is able to take readings and submit them regularly.
    As @MWT has rightly written, suppliers are only required to provide a bill once every 12 months.  There's no obligation on them to provide one monthly, quarterly or whatever, although many do.  The expectation is that most customers will be able to estimate how much their bill is likely to be if they are reading their own meter.
    If you weren't able to read the meter, and hadn't been able to submit regular readings, then there might be an argument that UW had a duty to help you understand how much energy you were using, so you could better budget for the next bill.  In your case this doesn't seem to apply, so I doubt that you're going to get any thing other than perhaps the sort of token gesture that @MWT has mentioned.


    Isn't it a license condition that they must use readings for billing, if given?

    Dunno if this is outdated or not now, though. 
    What do your bills say OP? Are your readings on there or no?
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.1K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards