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  • FIRST POST
    • Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    • By Itsalwayssunnysomewhere 17th Jun 19, 12:28 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    Unhappy with ombudsman's decision
    • #1
    • 17th Jun 19, 12:28 PM
    Unhappy with ombudsman's decision 17th Jun 19 at 12:28 PM
    Iíve recently had the energy ombudsman uphold my case and has made a decision on an issue I have with my current energy supplier. Great, I thought, three years of sheer hell has finally come to an end.
    However, I am not entirely happy with their decision in its entirety.
    As concisely as possible, my fixed tariff was ending and after four years of being with my current supplier, I was wanting to change to a far better tariff than what was on offer if Iíd stayed.
    During this period and for reasons no one can explain, the electricity meter type was incorrectly showing as a prepayment meter on the National Database. In 30 years Iíve never had a prepayment meter so there was absolutely no reason why it should been changed to this.

    After hours on the phone and countless emails, it took my supplier some two and a half years to get this changed, and in the meantime my account was placed on the standard tariff. I didnít want to lock myself into a fixed tariff as everything that was on offer from my current supplier was expensive (thatís why I wanted to move in the first place), and I had no reason to think (at the time) this would be a long, drawn out, torturous process.
    To add insult to injury, my supplier was charging me the cash/debit card rates on their standard tariff Ė an even higher rate than their Ďnormalí standard tariff, even though for the last four years Iíd been paying by DD.
    As such, I have been refusing to pay these over inflated, unfair bills as I donít see why I should be financially disadvantaged due to a problem I didnít create. Every time the supplier rebilled my account, they kept rebilling it to an expensive tariff and Iím back to square one.

    In comes the ombudsman, who has upheld my compliant, but they are suggesting the account is rebilled to a tariff, which I regard as still too high.
    Iíve 30 years of experience dealing with energy suppliers so I know what are good and bad tariffs, and I always have a benchmark amount I am prepared to pay. The supplier I was trying to switch to had a tariff around this benchmark amount, and despite me wanting my current supplier to rebill the account to an amount comparable with the 'new' suppliers tariff, the ombudsman has decided that the account should be rebilled to a tariff (spanning two out of the three years) which, for the electricity, is 3p pkwh higher than what I would normally go for. This amounts to an extra £500 the ombudsman wants me to pay over and above what I would have been paying if I could have switched supplier.

    Iíve read online that if I appeal the decision, this Ďofferí is cancelled and any further decision could be worse than this, but I canít see how they rationally think rebilling to this amount is fair when I am completely innocent in all of this and the energy supplier has been dragging their heels for three years, only to find itís actually benefitted them by doing such a thing.
    What incentive do energy suppliers have when the ombudsman upholds the customers complaint, but simultaneously sides with the energy supplier by suggesting the customer pays more than what they should or want to pay?
    So, my question is, how successful are appeals with the ombudsman, and what happens if youíre not happy with their final decision? My instinct is to involve the media, and, as Iíve seen so many times before, someone finally sees a bit of common sense whenever thereís a whiff of bad publicity looming.
Page 1
    • Biscuit Tin
    • By Biscuit Tin 17th Jun 19, 4:20 PM
    • 321 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    Biscuit Tin
    • #2
    • 17th Jun 19, 4:20 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Jun 19, 4:20 PM
    Iíve recently had the energy ombudsman uphold my case and has made a decision on an issue I have with my current energy supplier. Great, I thought, three years of sheer hell has finally come to an end.
    However, I am not entirely happy with their decision in its entirety.
    As concisely as possible, my fixed tariff was ending and after four years of being with my current supplier, I was wanting to change to a far better tariff than what was on offer if Iíd stayed.
    During this period and for reasons no one can explain, the electricity meter type was incorrectly showing as a prepayment meter on the National Database. In 30 years Iíve never had a prepayment meter so there was absolutely no reason why it should been changed to this.

    After hours on the phone and countless emails, it took my supplier some two and a half years to get this changed, and in the meantime my account was placed on the standard tariff. I didnít want to lock myself into a fixed tariff as everything that was on offer from my current supplier was expensive (thatís why I wanted to move in the first place), and I had no reason to think (at the time) this would be a long, drawn out, torturous process.
    To add insult to injury, my supplier was charging me the cash/debit card rates on their standard tariff Ė an even higher rate than their Ďnormalí standard tariff, even though for the last four years Iíd been paying by DD.
    As such, I have been refusing to pay these over inflated, unfair bills as I donít see why I should be financially disadvantaged due to a problem I didnít create. Every time the supplier rebilled my account, they kept rebilling it to an expensive tariff and Iím back to square one.

    In comes the ombudsman, who has upheld my compliant, but they are suggesting the account is rebilled to a tariff, which I regard as still too high.
    Iíve 30 years of experience dealing with energy suppliers so I know what are good and bad tariffs, and I always have a benchmark amount I am prepared to pay. The supplier I was trying to switch to had a tariff around this benchmark amount, and despite me wanting my current supplier to rebill the account to an amount comparable with the 'new' suppliers tariff, the ombudsman has decided that the account should be rebilled to a tariff (spanning two out of the three years) which, for the electricity, is 3p pkwh higher than what I would normally go for. This amounts to an extra £500 the ombudsman wants me to pay over and above what I would have been paying if I could have switched supplier.

    Iíve read online that if I appeal the decision, this Ďofferí is cancelled and any further decision could be worse than this, but I canít see how they rationally think rebilling to this amount is fair when I am completely innocent in all of this and the energy supplier has been dragging their heels for three years, only to find itís actually benefitted them by doing such a thing.
    What incentive do energy suppliers have when the ombudsman upholds the customers complaint, but simultaneously sides with the energy supplier by suggesting the customer pays more than what they should or want to pay?
    So, my question is, how successful are appeals with the ombudsman, and what happens if youíre not happy with their final decision? My instinct is to involve the media, and, as Iíve seen so many times before, someone finally sees a bit of common sense whenever thereís a whiff of bad publicity looming.
    Originally posted by Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    There are no appeals against the ombudsman's decision.

    First the case handler will propose a resolution.
    If you feel the case handeler has not reviewed the matter correctly, you can ask for teh matter to be reviewed at a higher level (the ombudsman) givinbg whatever extra evidence you may have that may persuade the ombudsman to revise the proposed resolution.

    A finla resolution is then proposed (which may or may not differ from the original). Asking for the matter to be reviewed will not take the original proposed resolution 'off the table' but could result in a slight amendment to it, hopefully in your favour, but it could go either way.

    Then if you still do not agree with the final resolution, you don't have to agree it.

    If you don't agree it, that will be the end as far as the ombudsman is concerned. It's up to you to devide what to do next. e.g. pursue the matter in court

    (Expect the court to be informed, if you don't disclose it yourself, of the resolution as proposed by the ombudsman and refused by you)
    • mrsorganised
    • By mrsorganised 18th Jun 19, 9:42 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mrsorganised
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:42 AM
    Ombudsman
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:42 AM
    At one time the Ombudsmanís findings were good when found in your favour it had real clout. But I think they lack lustre these days. If you look online at reviews of ombudsmen they too are receiving record complaints!
    Companies donít like you to go to them though as itís a mark against their credibility and can get down graded .
    If youíve got more evidence they will look again, try looking at the energy suppliers ď ďPoliciesĒ to see if theirs any breaches of contract, that goes a long way in a complaint
    Good luck 😉
    • Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    • By Itsalwayssunnysomewhere 18th Jun 19, 9:44 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:44 AM
    Helpful info
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:44 AM
    Hi Biscuit tin,
    Thanks for that comprehensive response. Really appreciate it.
    I'm not one to just give up, especially when it involves this amount of money. It's also about the principle as well. As they say you have to pick your battles and I wouldn't spend a disproportionate amount of time on something I would achieve very little from.
    But as I've already spent over three years on this, I'm on the home stretch now and it's only one more response I have to give, so I'll push on and keep my fingers crossed.

    Thanks
    • Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    • By Itsalwayssunnysomewhere 18th Jun 19, 10:08 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Itsalwayssunnysomewhere
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:08 AM
    Great advice
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:08 AM
    Thanks Mrs organised for your response.
    My heart sank when you explained about ombudsmen themselves having complaints! What hope does any of us have if that's the case?
    When I read their response it felt like a real contradiction, as whilst they couldn't argue that I haven't been treated very well in all of this, at the same time their suggested resolution was pretty dire considering how long this has been going on for.
    My gut instinct after reading it was I've kind of 'won' but it doesn't really feel like it. Bit like winning the main prize on the lottery then finding you have to share it with hundreds of others.
    Does make me wonder if the ombudsman really is independent.
    Your advice to look at the energy suppliers policies is a good one. I was wondering what additional/new evidence can I provide to further this, as this is what you have to provide if you want to appeal.
    I'm sure I can find something, although the fact I have ten years of bills from other suppliers (including the one I'm complaining about) showing the rates I normally go for would prove there is no way I would pay the rate the ombudsman is suggesting I accept. Having a further piece of evidence from their T's and C's will add that second layer of having a case against this decision. Thanks again.
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 18th Jun 19, 12:28 PM
    • 12,769 Posts
    • 5,749 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 12:28 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 12:28 PM
    Any Ombudsman will always have complaints .
    Majority from those that believe they are 100% right even if they are wrong .
    Not saying you are right or wrong as OP was not something i understood .
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