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  • FIRST POST
    • orangesnaps
    • By orangesnaps 15th Nov 18, 4:40 PM
    • 59Posts
    • 50Thanks
    orangesnaps
    Outfox The Market Direct Debit changes
    • #1
    • 15th Nov 18, 4:40 PM
    Outfox The Market Direct Debit changes 15th Nov 18 at 4:40 PM
    MoneySavingExpert.com Insert December 2018:

    You might like to read our latest news story:

    Outfox the Market customers vent fury over energy bill hikes

    Back to the original post...

    We switched from Eon to OTM on late May of this year. Our monthly debit is £100.21, we are currently £370+ in credit. Our monthly bill is £50-70 & that's with the meter reading (no estimates). I've just got an email that they are hiking our DD to £140.29 without any way to decline it. I don't agree with it. Once the bill for this month comes which will be about the same usage from last month, we will be in credit for £400+. How much more do they want?

    We can't switch without avoiding the exit fee as we are in a fixed tariff with them.
    From our experience with Eon, they gave the customer the option to lower the direct debit to a certain point.
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 17-12-2018 at 2:02 PM.
Page 63
    • Steve456
    • By Steve456 9th Jan 19, 5:12 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Steve456
    Readers of this thread may be interested in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast today, which featured an item about Outfox The Market, together with an interview:


    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001yg5
    Originally posted by markipad



    To save searching the whole programme, it starts at 15 minutes in.
    • darroch
    • By darroch 9th Jan 19, 7:24 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    darroch
    Has anyone received a DD of an amount they werenít expecting?

    I received two emails of the proposed winter DD. The revised email on the 22nd November stated that it would be £53.80. Normal payments have been £38.43. On Monday they took out £85.89. As you can imagine Iím pretty annoyed!

    Have phoned them and they said to email the complaint. Have done so but just decided to switch to Bulb energy as not impressed with their service.
    • jaybeetoo
    • By jaybeetoo 10th Jan 19, 11:57 AM
    • 724 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    jaybeetoo
    If they haven’t taken the amount they said they would then invoke the DD guarantee with your bank.
    • jaybeetoo
    • By jaybeetoo 10th Jan 19, 12:01 PM
    • 724 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    jaybeetoo
    I left OTM at the end of November. I just got my final bill and have sent them a final payment (which was less than £5), as I cancelled my DD when I left to stop them taking any more money.
    • RS2OOO
    • By RS2OOO 10th Jan 19, 6:02 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    RS2OOO
    Out of interest is it an OFGEM contractual requirement for energy firms to respond to complaints within 8 Weeks or is this just a guideline, or is it just something someone has made up?

    My first formal written complaint to Outfox the Market was 8 weeks ago today.

    My 2nd formal complaint will be 8 Weeks on Saturday.

    Received no response or acknowledgement to either.

    I received a response to a further complaint sent on 3rd December but that was only to say I would receive a formal response within 10 working days. That was 2 Weeks ago and I've received nothing further.

    Despite all this I have switched now and don't have the time to chase the complaints. Whether OTM know I've switched yet is too early to say - They are still billing me despite the switch and the fact I cancelled the DD.
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 10th Jan 19, 6:36 PM
    • 848 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    wavelets
    Out of interest is it an OFGEM contractual requirement for energy firms to respond to complaints within 8 Weeks or is this just a guideline, or is it just something someone has made up?...
    Originally posted by RS2OOO
    There is no requirement as such for a supplier to respond within 8 weeks.

    The Energy Ombudsman service allows up to 8 weeks for a supplier to resolve themselves any complaint you raise against them, and so therefore will not assist before the 8 weeks are up (unless you have a deadlock letter, etc)

    Similarly, there is no obligation that a complainant goes immediately to the ombudsman at the 8 week point, but complainants should be aware of the time limit that applies by which point they should have informed the ombudsman if they wish to utilise them.

    If the Energy Ombudsman does become involved, they may deem it a shortfall in customer service that the supplier did not even respond, let alone resolve the complaint, within 8 weeks.

    My first formal written complaint to Outfox the Market was 8 weeks ago today.

    My 2nd formal complaint will be 8 Weeks on Saturday.

    Received no response or acknowledgement to either.

    I received a response to a further complaint sent on 3rd December but that was only to say I would receive a formal response within 10 working days. That was 2 Weeks ago and I've received nothing further.
    Originally posted by RS2OOO
    It would depend on the issues involved, but I would normally expect the ombudsman service will want to have this all rolled into one complaint made up of several parts by the time it reaches them.
    Otherwise they too may fob you off as a serial complainer.

    Probably best to make sure you've raised all the issues you plan to, then wait 8 weeks from the last one you made, before you consider escatating to the EO (if you decide to take that route)

    If you have no response or acknowledgement, there is a risk the supplier will deny ever receiving the complaint.

    My advice would be to put your complaint in writing, and send it via a service that allows you to prove they have received it. e.g. Royal Mail signed for.
    The 8 week clock will need to start again from the point you have proof it was received.
    Maybe that would also be a good opportunity to put all the issues you wish to complain about into one complaint?
    Last edited by wavelets; 10-01-2019 at 6:49 PM.
    • darroch
    • By darroch 10th Jan 19, 11:24 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    darroch
    If they havenít taken the amount they said they would then invoke the DD guarantee with your bank.
    Originally posted by jaybeetoo
    Thanks, will do.

    Can I cancel my direct debit with them and not suffer any credit impact? I did this with British Gas and it left a credit mark!
    • Topiary
    • By Topiary 11th Jan 19, 12:30 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Topiary
    Readers of this thread may be interested in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast today, which featured an item about Outfox The Market, together with an interview:


    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001yg5
    Originally posted by markipad
    Only able to listen too this by registering with the bbc (not keen to register for my own reasons)
    Can anyone who has listened kindly summarise the broadcast/ interview
    • jk0
    • By jk0 11th Jan 19, 1:19 PM
    • 2,669 Posts
    • 25,896 Thanks
    jk0
    Only able to listen too this by registering with the bbc (not keen to register for my own reasons)
    Can anyone who has listened kindly summarise the broadcast/ interview
    Originally posted by Topiary

    You did not miss anything. Mr Bastian put the best PR spin on his mess that he could. BBC never asked about the 50% price rise.
    • RS2OOO
    • By RS2OOO 11th Jan 19, 9:43 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    RS2OOO
    Very informative and helpful answer wavelets, Thank you.
    • bubieyehyeh
    • By bubieyehyeh 12th Jan 19, 5:24 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    bubieyehyeh
    He did say they intend to bring back the winter/summer DD rates and the memberships fees when they've worked out how. No one asked about imposing the changes with 10 days notice, or the prices rises, and not taking into account if people were already in credit.
    • craig1123
    • By craig1123 12th Jan 19, 9:54 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    craig1123
    Futher changes coming

    "Unfortunately I do not have further information in regards to this at the moment as the accounts will be reviewed all our customers will be informed further on the 15.01.2019 in regards to the new amount based on the account!"
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 12th Jan 19, 10:48 AM
    • 4,244 Posts
    • 1,174 Thanks
    Anthorn
    He did say they intend to bring back the winter/summer DD rates and the memberships fees when they've worked out how. No one asked about imposing the changes with 10 days notice, or the prices rises, and not taking into account if people were already in credit.
    Originally posted by bubieyehyeh
    I didn't hear that: What I did hear was in reference to membership fees where he said that some customers had wrong consumption figures and therefore the wrong membership fee and that contributed to the wrong direct debit. That carried the implication that accounts and consumption will be examined so that the correct consumption, membership fees and direct debits can be applied to accounts. Further, he confirmed that existing customers will return to equal monthly Direct Debits throughout the year. What we already know from the previous announcement is that "existing customers" are those who joined up to 21 November 2018: That also carried the implication that those who joined after 21 November will have to pay the summer/winter variable direct debits because they have agreed to it when they joined.
    • Vortigern
    • By Vortigern 12th Jan 19, 1:01 PM
    • 2,645 Posts
    • 1,818 Thanks
    Vortigern
    My switch has been plain sailing so far, with little interaction between me and them.

    Maybe I was lucky with the dates of meter readings, bills and direct debits, relative to my switch date.

    I am in credit by about £170, I've advised them by email that I intended to cancel the DD (no acknowledgment from them.)

    I have cancelled the DD via online banking, and received an automatic "You've cancelled your DD" message from OTM. They have not made any attempt to re-instate the DD, but I'm monitoring my bank account daily.

    My OTM meter reading date, statement date and DD date fall within the next few days. I don't intend to give them any further meter reads.

    It's too early to complain about the lack of a final bill. They have something like 6-8 weeks to do this.
    Originally posted by Vortigern
    An update on the above.

    They haven't yet tried to revive the DD, but they have tried to collect on the cancelled DD at the inflated January rate. That collection was returned unpaid by my bank.

    They haven't asked for meter readings or produced a new statement.
    • VoucherMan
    • By VoucherMan 12th Jan 19, 1:27 PM
    • 2,546 Posts
    • 5,035 Thanks
    VoucherMan
    He did say they intend to bring back the winter/summer DD rates and the memberships fees when they've worked out how.
    Originally posted by bubieyehyeh

    I think the problem is a big how. They weren't basing it on usage, but on estimated usage, using industry supplied figures. Probably not an issue for most, but for people such as myself, who have been placed in a higher membership band due to higher historical usage, and new builds with no usage history, the current system will remain contentious.
    Before anyone says that OFTM have done away with membership fees, that doesn't apply to everyone. Some of us are still billed using them.


    I don't see how such a system can work effectively unless monthly figures are collected automatically. (maybe once everyone has a smart meter)
    Until such time as everyone has their monthly readings submitted independently, the system is too open to abuse, by both sides. There would be little to stop customers submitting lower usage figures to keep them in a lower band. They could then 'up the reading' on a later month when actual usage had been lower.
    By the same reasoning, there's nothing in my opinion to stop the supplier over estimating a customer's usage just to keep them in a higher price band. Something I suspect OFTM may be doing. This is based mostly on the fact that since I joined, their 'estimate' of my usage has generally been more than 20% higher than actual usage. This includes monthly estimates where I may use 6kWh daily, averaged over the month, but for the two days from me supplying a reading to them producing a bill, they increase their estimate to 8kWh per day.
    Even then the system will only be fair if they start basing the fees on actual usage. If they can still use estimates, they can still overcharge.
    • mercia9201
    • By mercia9201 13th Jan 19, 12:22 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mercia9201
    Has anyone who has switched received acknowledgement from Outfox? I switched to Bristol and they report that they've been supplying me since approx the 24th December (no objection from Outfox, online account working, first meter reading received, etc). I've heard nothing at all from Outfox and there's nothing on the hub. Is this level of radio silence normal? Everyone else I've switched from sent me an email or letter to say they'd be making arrangements to close my account down.

    And Anthorn, you can rofl on my behalf all you like...as a very low user, they put my annual energy costs up by 40% when they brought in the standing charge, so I'm saving a lot of money by switching. No regrets here!
    • techno12
    • By techno12 13th Jan 19, 6:10 AM
    • 630 Posts
    • 254 Thanks
    techno12
    Nope, I've heard nothing from Outfox confirming that I've left since I switched away (completed on 5th Jan).

    I did email them after I'd reversed the direct debit, and got a reply the next day...

    "Your new supplier will send us your readings once you have switched away. On the way, the readings go through the electricity and gas industries to be validated. Your old supplier can take up to 8 weeks to produce their final bill, if you haven’t received it after this time, please get in touch. Once the final bill has been produced we will then refund any credit on the account."

    A little strange, as Outfox are the 'old supplier', and I've already switched away.

    I also received 2 automated mails asking about the direct debit reversal and cancellation (I didn't cancel it with the bank, just set a direct debit indemnity on January's payment as I've left and thus I'm being billed twice, both by Outfox and my new supplier).

    No idea what's going on!
    Last edited by techno12; 13-01-2019 at 6:14 AM.
    • megafern
    • By megafern 13th Jan 19, 9:58 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    megafern
    In response to the critiscism levelled at people, and I am one, who left OFTM immediatley, I personally do not give any service provider a second chance if they abuse my loyalty. e.g massive insurance renewal hikes, Direct Debit ncreases etc. I do not challenge them or belittle myself by trying to negotiate. I simply leave. Incidently, Bristol Energy are cheaper for me than OFTM. Furthermore, I left OFTM on 4th Dec with a 36p debt. 2 weeks later they took an increased DD of over £90. I am still waiting for it to be returned. I would like to see the Luddites defence of that sharp practice.
    Last edited by megafern; 13-01-2019 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Additional info
    • Steve456
    • By Steve456 13th Jan 19, 12:27 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Steve456
    In response to the critiscism levelled at people, and I am one, who left OFTM immediatley, I personally do not give any service provider a second chance if they abuse my loyalty. e.g massive insurance renewal hikes, Direct Debit ncreases etc. I do not challenge them or belittle myself by trying to negotiate. I simply leave. Incidently, Bristol Energy are cheaper for me than OFTM. Furthermore, I left OFTM on 4th Dec with a 36p debt. 2 weeks later they took an increased DD of over £90. I am still waiting for it to be returned. I would like to see the Luddites defence of that sharp practice.
    Originally posted by megafern

    I cannot understand why you have not reversed the payment.



    That is exactly what happened to me (except it was nearer £200 when I owe perhaps £10 to £20) and I reversed it so that I am, firstly, in control of the situation and, secondly, OFTM don't have my cash to prop themselves up.



    I suspect that, if you do not do this, you will be waiting for a couple of months for a refund.
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 13th Jan 19, 12:36 PM
    • 848 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    wavelets
    In response to the critiscism levelled at people, and I am one, who left OFTM immediatley, I personally do not give any service provider a second chance if they abuse my loyalty. e.g massive insurance renewal hikes, Direct Debit ncreases etc. I do not challenge them or belittle myself by trying to negotiate. I simply leave. Incidently, Bristol Energy are cheaper for me than OFTM. Furthermore, I left OFTM on 4th Dec with a 36p debt. 2 weeks later they took an increased DD of over £90. I am still waiting for it to be returned. I would like to see the Luddites defence of that sharp practice.
    Originally posted by megafern
    I'm not sure I'm a luddite - I think you may have mispoken there

    If you have a final bill showimg you owe 36p, then it will also include the £90 credit.

    If you've not yet received a final bill, then the supplier hasn't yet worked out your final balance.
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