Energy Supplier changing Meter Read History

bigg
bigg Posts: 654
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
Forumite
edited 6 February at 1:12PM in Energy

The supplier will remain unnamed.

I am still self-isolating, since the pandemic started, about 4 years ago. I have 2 other addresses which have been getting estimated readings. It was almost impossible to submit readings, due to my self-isolation but I forced myself to go out and I submitted readings last year in July. One of them was removed from the Meter Read List and the other remained but the bill was not adjusted.
I submitted readings last week and the same thing happened..

Also, within the last couple of days, a meter reader entry was added from 2022 which is fictitious. This bumps up the estimates, for one property.

I have written them a letter of complaint, as suggested by ofgem and could wait up to 8 weeks for a reply.

I want to change supplier for all 3 properties but I don’t trust them any longer and am worried that the meters will be tampered with, before or after I change, when they get them back. I'm concerned they will accuse me of submitting incorrect readings.

I have been retired for a few years and was looking forward to a quiet and peaceful time pursuing music which I live for.

I am prepared to go all the way to court, if necessary but would prefer to settle this easier. They obviously think I am by-passing the meters. I don’t have clue how to do that and it sounds a bit dangerous.

I recently received an email saying that a DD was going up from £10 to £600 pounds a month. That's ridiculous. So I cancelled it. It sounds like the Horizon scandal all over again. The big company tramples all over the little man, out of greed. 

Also, there is another dimension to this story. I was informed that the tariff would be higher, if I cancelled the DD. They have put the higher tariff on the DD property and left the lower tariff on the non-DD property. I have been communicating with their customer services and ask for the tariffs to be swapped. they have told me twice now, that it has been done but it's still the wrong way round. I don't understand what they are playing at.

Basically they are trying to con me out of £6-£7 thousand pounds.

Please can anyone suggest a solution to this and can I make sure the meters go to an independent inspector.

I really don’t know how to proceed.


«1

Comments

  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,296
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    bigg said:

    The supplier will remain unnamed.

    I am still self-isolating, since the pandemic started, about 4 years ago. I have 2 other addresses which have been getting estimated readings. It was almost impossible to submit readings, due to my self-isolation but I forced myself to go out and I submitted readings last year in July. One of them was removed from the Meter Read List and the other remained but the bill was not adjusted.
    I submitted readings last week and the same thing happened..

    Also, within the last couple of days, a meter reader entry was added from 2022 which is fictitious. This bumps up the estimates, for one property.

    I have written them a letter of complaint, as suggested by ofgem and could wait up to 8 weeks for a reply.

    I want to change supplier for all 3 properties but I don’t trust them any longer and am worried that the meters will be tampered with, before or after I change, when they get them back. I'm concerned they will accuse me of submitting incorrect readings.

    I have been retired for a few years and was looking forward to a quiet and peaceful time pursuing music which I live for.

    I am prepared to go all the way to court, if necessary but would prefer to settle this easier. They obviously think I am by-passing the meters. I don’t have clue how to do that and it sounds a bit dangerous.

    You have an issue with the lack of inaccurate billing, you need to submit meter readings and they may require pictures and possibly a meter reader to attend. I am not sure what you think going to court about will solve. The meters cannot be tampered with. 
    bigg said:

    I recently received an email saying that a DD was going up from £10 to £600 pounds a month. That's ridiculous. So I cancelled it. It sounds like the Horizon scandal all over again. The big company tramples all over the little man, out of greed. 

    Your monthly Direct Debit being £10 was obviously far too low, likely you have built up significant debt and the £600 is to correct that. It is not greed, is is nothing similar to Post Office Horizon.
    bigg said:

    Also, there is another dimension to this story. I was informed that the tariff would be higher, if I cancelled the DD. They have put the higher tariff on the DD property and left the lower tariff on the non-DD property. I have been communicating with their customer services and ask for the tariffs to be swapped. they have told me twice now, that it has been done but it's still the wrong way round. I don't understand what they are playing at.

    It is correct, Direct Debits are on a lower cost tariff than pay of receipt of bill, which you have moved yourself to by cancelling the Direct Debit. 
    bigg said:

    Basically they are trying to con me out of £6-£7 thousand pounds.

    Please can anyone suggest a solution to this and can I make sure the meters go to an independent inspector.

    I really don’t know how to proceed.

    They do not appear to be trying to "con" you, you appear to have issues with lack of reliable meter readings, accumulated debt and a lack of understanding of the tariff system.

    Submit meter readings online via your account, you will likely need to supply pictures as well to verify and may well have a meter reader attend. Once you have that the supplier can generate accurate bills and then they can see if back billing applies. You also need to understand that regardless of any historic debt you will have usage significantly higher than £10 pm, even the standing charges with zero usage would be more than that. 
  • You have a complaint and that is the correct process. 

    You seem to be able to keep emotion out of your facts so keep it to that just the facts and present readings with backup photos.
  • bigg
    bigg Posts: 654
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    edited 5 February at 3:40PM

    There is a lot more to this story. I have tried to keep it as short as possible.

    I always thought they were honourable and fair but they are changing online Meter Read History. It’s impossible to go into detail and I’m not trying to slag anybody off, that’s why I haven’t mentioned any names.

    The £6-£7 thousand is based on estimates and they are deleting my submitted readings and adding their own fictitious meter reading. I know it sounds unbelievable. I’m gob smacked. That’s where there are parallels with the Horizon Scandal.

    You need to read my post more carefully. They have mixed up the tariffs on the wrong properties. I am fully aware the tariff is higher without a DD. That’s the problem. They have got it the wrong way round and keep telling me it’s been changed but it hasn’t.

    The reason for the reduced DD to £10 is because I cancelled it a long time ago because of high estimates. It was agreed with customer services to pay a nominal amount until the meter had been read. It has not been possible to supply meter readings because I’m self-isolating. Try it sometime, it’s not fun.

    I have supplied pictures as well but they still haven’t adjusted the bills.

    I was looking for advice not being told I don’t know what I’m talking about. As I mentioned before, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not going into detail, just the main points. Over 150 emails have gone backwards and forwards.


  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,905
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    If you are struggling with getting out to read the meters which are at the properties you aren't resident at then it sounds like getting smart meters fitted would be a good plan, as assuming they connected OK and sent readings that would then mean you'd only need a very occasional visit just to double check that all is correct rather than needing to visit to take manual readings. 

    I agree with those saying that a £10 DD would not be anywhere near sufficient these days I'm afraid - even just the service charges alone are more than that per month, so without question this should have been increased some time back, and indeed if it has been at that level for a while you would expect to be in some level of arrears. 

    I take it the meter that had the reading added in 2022 has it's meter inside the property, not in a cabinet on the outside? 

    If the other two properties are both empty then it may be worth letting the supplier know that, as they will then understand better why the use is very low, perhaps? 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,663
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I assume these meters are inside and not accessible to them to read without being let in?

    Are these properties vacant? It doesn't sound like they are if the meter readings are producing bills into the thousands over that period.

    Do you have an agreed starting point? As in a date where you both agree that there is a correct meter reading for and has been billed up to? When as that?

    You then have a meter reading for July 2023 for which you have photo's to back it up? Is there no one who can go and take an up to date meter reading for you and take photo's whilst they are there?

    Please don't throw accusations like the Horizon scandal out there, it is nothing like that. People's lives were ruined as part of that with people being wrongly sent to prison.

    The only way you are going to resolve this is to get to facts that are accurate. Not going to be the easiest thing to do as you do not have regular readings which will be able to be aligned to the changing rates over the last few years (assuming you are on a standard rate and not fixed or a business rate).

    Can you post up your latest bills (redacting personal information) and your readings with the dates taken? May allow people to help some more.

    To be honest, you have to shoulder some of the responsibility here. Not providing regular readings (appreciate you are isolating) has probably caused a lot of the issue and meant it has snowballed and not been sorted earlier.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,194
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 5 February at 4:07PM
    I understand shielding very well.  I'm trying to understand your difficulties getting meter readings.  Are you able to drive to your properties?  How far away are they?

    Overwriting submitted readings sounds scandalous but it may not be - readings have to be validated by an independent third party so if the readings are way out of what would be expected, then the supplier may have no choice but to use different readings.  Have you supplied photos with the readings when you've submitted them?  Have you told them the properties are empty?

    I can understand your frustration but from what you've written the supplier's actions are also understandable - unless you've supplied photographic evidence of the meter readings.  Although adjusting the DD above £10 is in itself reasonable, as that wouldn't even cover the standing charges.

    [Apologies if I've asked questions you've already answered or missed something, I'm struggling to read the small text of your posts and zooming in doesn't help because then I have to scroll side to side which is even worse.]


    Edit: on the thought of standing charges, depending on which supplier it is (I wouldn't recommend this with British Gas, EDF or Scottish Power) it could be worth calculating the actual standing charges since the last tine your accounts were definitely and genuinely in credit, before they started billing based on estimates, and then check whether you have paid enough into the accounts since then to cover the standing charges.  And if not, make a payment for each so you have those covered.
    Well, even with those three suppliers it's definitely still worth doing the calculations, just maybe don't make a one-off payment as they don't have good reputations for handling anything outside the bills and regular payments.
  • bigg
    bigg Posts: 654
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite

    Thank you everyone for the replies, so far. I know I need to pay something but not the £6-£7 thousand they have estimated. As a very rough guess, I would say it’s £500-£1000. I’m happy to pay for what has been used. One property is empty, with just a low energy bulb on, to make it look lived in. The other property uses minute amounts of electricity. The property where I’m self isolating has bills of £300-£400 a month which I pay regularly. Unfortunately, they are all with the same supplier. I want to change suppliers but don’t know how to do it without paying their astronomical estimates. The bit that gives me sleepless nights is the fact that they are changing the Meter Read History. I know it sounds crazy. That’s how they get away with it.

    The parallel with the Horizon Scandal is the fact they are lying to me and falsifying the readings. That’s why I’m not mentioning any names and why I want to change suppliers. Probably 3 different ones next time. I feel like a criminal and all I’ve done is self-isolate for 4 years.


  • Qyburn
    Qyburn Posts: 2,092
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Remember the thread where the OP had estimated readings for a llong time, then when he submitted his much lower actual reading the supplier assumed the meter had gone round the clock. I wonder if something similar could be in play here. It sounds like actual readings have been few and far between for nearly four years now.
  • There was someone else recently who wanted to align an issue with energy to the horizon scandal.

    It is nothing alike and it won't likely get you much traction here where people are really advising how to sort it out.

    Exactly what are you meter readings for each property and the dates you took them (include all you have that you have taken)
  • Xbigman
    Xbigman Posts: 3,880
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite

    The parallel with the Horizon Scandal is the fact they are lying to me and falsifying the readings. That’s why I’m not mentioning any names and why I want to change suppliers. Probably 3 different ones next time. I feel like a criminal and all I’ve done is self-isolate for 4 years.



    No one is lying to you or falsifying readings. Because you failed to give meter readings for a long time and the suppliers computer system has put higher than actual usage estimates in place, the system is automatically rejecting your newer readings as too low. Its that simple. This is the only issue that matters. Things seem to have been complicated by the fact you have accounts at three different properties in your name which can confuse customer services. Pick one of the properties issues to sort out at a time and it should be resolved a lot easier. Leave the conspiracy theories and irrelevant comments behind.


    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards