MSE News: Claim Npower billing blunder refunds

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MSE_GuyMSE_Guy MSE Staff
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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Hundreds of thousands of households who were victims of a massive gas charging error are still to reclaim £20 million ..."
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  • nikki1520nikki1520 Forumite
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    Does anyone know if you can see yourself if you were overcharged by looking at your old bills? As I've moved and I'm not on the list given as not affected,I thought it was worth a quick call to a free phone number, but have just phoned them to be told that no refund is due. Not that I'm suspicious or anything, but I would like to be able to check it for myself.

    Thanks
  • Thanks for the reminder.

    I just phoned the number and they say they have me as an electricity customer back then but have no record of supplying me gas. The direct debit on my bank statements say otherwise!

    Going to see if I've got any more paperwork at home before I start ranting at them.
  • Premier_2Premier_2 Forumite
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    busabus wrote: »
    Thanks for the reminder.

    I just phoned the number and they say they have me as an electricity customer back then but have no record of supplying me gas. The direct debit on my bank statements say otherwise!

    Going to see if I've got any more paperwork at home before I start ranting at them.

    Perhaps you'll be in for an even bigger rebate then if you were paying them for gas which they say they never supplied :beer:
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  • emmaBZemmaBZ Forumite
    760 Posts
    i have been with NPOWER for the past 7 yrs but i am on a prepayment meter does this include those of us on prepayment meters ?:p
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • Phoned Npower today thanks to weekly email - thought it might be a long shot as I was only in my previous property from Aug 2006 - May 2007 and having moved around a bit since then I am now back with Npower at my current address.

    Hey presto! £20 rebate is due.

    Took 5 mins to sort and check details using the 0800 975 7938 number, I wasn't put on hold (very unusual for Npower) and my letter is now in the post. Apparently even if you return to Npower at a new address they don't 'link / reactivate' your account, therefore they haven't managed to contact me.
  • Woo Hoo!

    I also contacted them today and I'm in for a refund of £18.02! Better in my mortgage account than their bank!

    Cheers!

    Sugar xxx
    "The journey of 1000 miles commenced with a single step"
  • N Power actually contacted me to tell me of the money owed. I simply had to take the letter to the Post Office to be validated:j and they gave me £23!!
  • N Power actually contacted me to tell me of the money owed. I simply had to take the letter to the Post Office to be validated:j and they gave me £23!!

    Pretty much the same for me but got £27.xx . I note on the lead-in page to this thread it speaks of much higher refunds than this on average. I would have thought that the cause of the billing error would have meant that the refunds were the same for everyone. i.e. same number of units overcharged by the same amount? Or did they vary the number of higher priced units for some reason?
    I've no problem with the principle of the early units being higher priced as I realise it is in lieu of a standing charge - the part of the bill that goes to maintaining the network. It just needs to be administered correctly.
  • davidgmmafandavidgmmafan Forumite
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    "I would have thought that the cause of the billing error would have meant that the refunds were the same for everyone. i.e. same number of units overcharged by the same amount? Or did they vary the number of higher priced units for some reason?"

    It is a bit complicated. As you quite rightly say standing charge or higher unit rate they're both to cover the fixed costs. The problem I understand is they started, then stopped, then started again with the gas sculpting. Basically you get 4572 Kwh at the higher rate. With gas sculpting this is weighted so more unit are allocated in Winter. So the stop start meant a lot of people were charged MORE than the 4572 Kwh in a one year period. I suspect NPower realised they had a pretty clear breach of contract which is why they are FINALLY compensating.

    Anyhow why the amounts differ? Well if someone had, for example, an empty propert thier usage could be zero or very close to it to the impact would've been minimal. If they use a lot then the no charged at the higher rate would be greater meaning they are due a higher refund.

    Hope this clarifies things. I realise this has been covered before, probably in much better than I have done, but thought it worth to give a little background to people who are just hearing about this now.
    Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport known to mankind and anyone who says it is 'a bar room brawl' has never trained in it and has no idea what they are talking about.
  • "I would have thought that the cause of the billing error would have meant that the refunds were the same for everyone. i.e. same number of units overcharged by the same amount? Or did they vary the number of higher priced units for some reason?"

    It is a bit complicated. As you quite rightly say standing charge or higher unit rate they're both to cover the fixed costs. The problem I understand is they started, then stopped, then started again with the gas sculpting. Basically you get 4572 Kwh at the higher rate. With gas sculpting this is weighted so more unit are allocated in Winter. So the stop start meant a lot of people were charged MORE than the 4572 Kwh in a one year period. I suspect NPower realised they had a pretty clear breach of contract which is why they are FINALLY compensating.

    Anyhow why the amounts differ? Well if someone had, for example, an empty propert thier usage could be zero or very close to it to the impact would've been minimal. If they use a lot then the no charged at the higher rate would be greater meaning they are due a higher refund.

    Hope this clarifies things. I realise this has been covered before, probably in much better than I have done, but thought it worth to give a little background to people who are just hearing about this now.

    As you rightly say, it can get a bit complex and I will just need to have a bit of trust in NPower that they have re-imbursed me correctly (I have no bills archived from 2007). Presumably, as they have been found out, they will have done things correctly now. I really did not have a clue that they may have overcharged me until I read some stuff on here quite a while back - and later in a newspaper. The paperwork came through the post not too long afterwards.
    Effectively, it just meant that myself and a young lad got see our local football team play for next to nothing as I put the money towards the tickets :) . A nice little bonus.
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