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  • FIRST POST
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 17th Apr 18, 7:50 PM
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    jkcool
    Direct debit amount change not notified - ScottishPower
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 18, 7:50 PM
    Direct debit amount change not notified - ScottishPower 17th Apr 18 at 7:50 PM
    Hi All,

    I have an electricity account with Scottish Power and was paying £66 using direct debit. In mid March 2018,someone came down and took the meter readings. Because of some reason ( yet to find out) the usage was way too high. They have revised the direct debit amount to £141. I have no problem in that. But I did not get an email or a text message to notify the change in direct debit amount. I got to know only when I casually checked my bank account. I was shocked, it was more than double my usual amount and luckily I had balance to prevent it from going overdraft.

    I called them up to let them know I did not receive any notifications. Instead of apologising, the customer care agent told me that I am required to check my online account once every month. What ? She kept arguing that it is my mistake.

    I just checked my rights under The Direct Debit Guarantee and it says I need to be notified.

    Am I right ? Shall I go ahead an complaint directly to ScottishPower?
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 17th Apr 18, 7:59 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 3,514 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 7:59 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 7:59 PM
    Hi All,

    I have an electricity account with Scottish Power and was paying £66 using direct debit. In mid March 2018,someone came down and took the meter readings. Because of some reason ( yet to find out) the usage was way too high. They have revised the direct debit amount to £141. I have no problem in that. But I did not get an email or a text message to notify the change in direct debit amount. I got to know only when I casually checked my bank account. I was shocked, it was more than double my usual amount and luckily I had balance to prevent it from going overdraft.

    I called them up to let them know I did not receive any notifications. Instead of apologising, the customer care agent told me that I am required to check my online account once every month. What ? She kept arguing that it is my mistake.

    I just checked my rights under The Direct Debit Guarantee and it says I need to be notified.

    Am I right ? Shall I go ahead an complaint directly to ScottishPower?
    Originally posted by jkcool
    Yes, but check your e-mail spam filter first.

    From the Ofgem website:

    Information on why your direct debit needs changing and by how much

    If your payments need to change, your supplier must explain why. If they need to be increased you will also be notified at least 10 days in advance. However, if you donít understand why your payments are increasing donít be afraid to contact your supplier and ask for an explanation.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 17th Apr 18, 8:11 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    jkcool
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:11 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:11 PM
    I checked my emails thoroughly. In Jan, when they changed my direct debit amount they sent me an email. But this time no emails. It could be a technical glitch but I was nearly saved with an excess 30 quid I had.

    Thank you for the reply.
    • Flt. Lt. Biggles
    • By Flt. Lt. Biggles 18th Apr 18, 10:46 AM
    • 76 Posts
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    Flt. Lt. Biggles
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:46 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:46 AM
    ...

    I just checked my rights under The Direct Debit Guarantee and it says I need to be notified.

    Am I right ?
    Originally posted by jkcool
    I'm sure you are

    Shall I go ahead an complaint directly to ScottishPower?
    Originally posted by jkcool
    What does The Direct Debit Guarantee say to do?
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 18th Apr 18, 10:51 AM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 27,088 Thanks
    thriftylass
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:51 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:51 AM
    I called them up to let them know I did not receive any notifications. Instead of apologising, the customer care agent told me that I am required to check my online account once every month. What ? She kept arguing that it is my mistake.
    Originally posted by jkcool
    I guess if you don't receive paper bills etc that is the equivalent of it now. If you have an online only account I would expect that you check it regularly including the notifications posted on it.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 18th Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    • 19 Posts
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    jkcool
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    I guess if you don't receive paper bills etc that is the equivalent of it now. If you have an online only account I would expect that you check it regularly including the notifications posted on it.
    Originally posted by thriftylass
    OK. But when direct debit amount is changing then they should inform me. They cannot completely wash the hands off because I opted out for paper bills.

    This is what Direct debit guarantee says
    • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request
    • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 18th Apr 18, 11:05 AM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 27,088 Thanks
    thriftylass
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 18, 11:05 AM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 18, 11:05 AM
    OK. But when direct debit amount is changing then they should inform me. They cannot completely wash the hands off because I opted out for paper bills.

    This is what Direct debit guarantee says
    Originally posted by jkcool
    But they did notify you, on your online account. The direct debit guarantee doesn't specify how you get notified. You could've checked your account after realising that your usage was so much higher when the read was taken. My electricity account has a notification/account activity section where all changes are announced etc. As I do actual reading every month I see these.

    It's like saying because you don't get paper bank statements the bank is responsible for payments that come out and you hadn't noticed.

    (was your previous usage based on actual reading, just out of interest, as you said you don't know why the usage was higher)
    Last edited by thriftylass; 18-04-2018 at 11:13 AM.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 18th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • 19 Posts
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    jkcool
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    When I report it they will adjust direct debit amount and I usually get an email in 2 days saying my direct debit is changing. But this time, no email was sent. I had no clue. They sent some agency to do meter reading. I did not know about it until I checked by bank account.

    Notifying me is letting me know. I don't think checking online account is a way of "notifying me". Anyways I am not happy with the current arrangement. I will ask them to make changes so that customer will be notified via email/Text when direct debit amount changes.

    Increase in usage is probably due to the extra cheap heaters used during Jan-March for all the cold weather.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 23rd Apr 18, 10:33 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jkcool
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 18, 10:33 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 18, 10:33 AM
    Updates. ..

    I sent an email to them explaining the issue. Their reply was not clear. They did not address the issue properly. So I called them back again. They acknowledged that no email/post was sent when the direct debit amount is changed. But they insisted that 'The Direct Debit Guarantee' does not mandate to send emails. They have notified via the online account. And that is it. I have asked them to send me a confirmation saying that no email was sent to notify me when direct debit amount was changed. They said they will do that and close the complaint. So email was not sent, 100% sure and confirmed.

    I am not happy with the way notification system works with Scottish Power. I firmly believe that customers should be notified ( pushed to them) via email or text when the direct debit amount changes. I don't think that people who sign up for online accounts logs in and check their usage /changes in DD amount every week. People sign up because you don't want to have utility bills printed off. The discount scottish power offered for signing up was around £5 when you spend around £1,000 an year. They also advertise it is "Green". I can't really find the online account T&Cs to see what's there in the fine print.

    Not sure what I can do to make Scottish Power change the way they notify customers in the future. Can I make a complaint to Of Energy ?

    Please let me know your thoughts. Don't know if Martin agrees with me on this
    Last edited by jkcool; 23-04-2018 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typo
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 23rd Apr 18, 12:09 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 3,514 Thanks
    Hengus
    Updates. ..

    I sent an email to them explaining the issue. Their reply was not clear. They did not address the issue properly. So I called them back again. They acknowledged that no email/post was sent when the direct debit amount is changed. But they insisted that 'The Direct Debit Guarantee' does not mandate to send emails. They have notified via the online account. And that is it. I have asked them to send me a confirmation saying that no email was sent to notify me when direct debit amount was changed. They said they will do that and close the complaint. So email was not sent, 100% sure and confirmed.

    I am not happy with the way notification system works with Scottish Power. I firmly believe that customers should be notified ( pushed to them) via email or text when the direct debit amount changes. I don't think that people who sign up for online accounts logs in and check their usage /changes in DD amount every week. People sign up because you don't want to have utility bills printed off. The discount scottish power offered for signing up was around £5 when you spend around £1,000 an year. They also advertise it is "Green". I can't really find the online account T&Cs to see what's there in the fine print.

    Not sure what I can do to make Scottish Power change the way they notify customers in the future. Can I make a complaint to Of Energy ?

    Please let me know your thoughts. Don't know if Martin agrees with me on this
    Originally posted by jkcool
    You can raise the matter with Ofgem at:

    Consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk

    Then wait 10 days to get a holding reply which will usually state that they do not look into individual complaints. Whether it will do any good depends on how many other SP customers are unhappy about online notifications of DD changes.

    At the end of the day, apart from feeling aggrieved, does it really matter? You could have DDs set at a £1 or £100 and it will not change what you actually pay for the energy used. This is based on tariff and actual usage.

    I think that Martin may be a bit busy at the moment trying to win his fight with Facebook.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 23rd Apr 18, 12:13 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    jkcool
    It doesn't matter. But it helps to plan my budget properly. Especially when struggling to find a deposit for a house ( working in the South of England).
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 23rd Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 3,514 Thanks
    Hengus
    It doesn't matter. But it helps to plan my budget properly. Especially when struggling to find a deposit for a house ( working in the South of England).
    Originally posted by jkcool
    Fair point but my advice is !!!8216;do it yourself!!!8217;. I have a 99p app called Meters that I input meter readings into once per month. It tells me how much I owe; how much usage compares to previous years etc. No DD shocks here. If usage goes up, then I just put a little extra money to one side.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 23rd Apr 18, 12:32 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    jkcool
    Will do. Thank you !!
    • Geodark
    • By Geodark 23rd Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    • 789 Posts
    • 517 Thanks
    Geodark
    Scottish Power show any changes to DDs on the bills they generate. Do not check your bills online?
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 23rd Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jkcool
    Scottish Power show any changes to DDs on the bills they generate. Do not check your bills online?
    Originally posted by Geodark
    I had no clue that someone came down and took my meter readings. Otherwise they generates bills in December and June. More over I reported meter readings in Jan. So I wasn't expecting a new bil.

    No email was sent telling me that a new bil was generated. The only way to know is to check every month.
  • Scottish Power
    Updates. ..

    I sent an email to them explaining the issue. Their reply was not clear. They did not address the issue properly. So I called them back again. They acknowledged that no email/post was sent when the direct debit amount is changed. But they insisted that 'The Direct Debit Guarantee' does not mandate to send emails. They have notified via the online account. And that is it. I have asked them to send me a confirmation saying that no email was sent to notify me when direct debit amount was changed. They said they will do that and close the complaint. So email was not sent, 100% sure and confirmed.

    I am not happy with the way notification system works with Scottish Power. I firmly believe that customers should be notified ( pushed to them) via email or text when the direct debit amount changes. I don't think that people who sign up for online accounts logs in and check their usage /changes in DD amount every week. People sign up because you don't want to have utility bills printed off. The discount scottish power offered for signing up was around £5 when you spend around £1,000 an year. They also advertise it is "Green". I can't really find the online account T&Cs to see what's there in the fine print.

    Not sure what I can do to make Scottish Power change the way they notify customers in the future. Can I make a complaint to Of Energy ?

    Please let me know your thoughts. Don't know if Martin agrees with me on this
    Originally posted by jkcool
    Hi jkcool

    Firstly I would like to apologies for the issues you have encounter with you direct debt and also with how this has been handled.

    If you could possibly email me at Social@scottishpower.com with the following information,
    your MSE handle in the subject heading
    your full address
    your name and telephone number
    and some details of the issues you have encountered
    I can look to get this escalated for you and pass on some feedback in regards to the current process.

    Kind Regards
    Danielle
    ďOfficial Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Scottish Power. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 23rd Apr 18, 3:03 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jkcool
    Hi jkcool

    Firstly I would like to apologies for the issues you have encounter with you direct debt and also with how this has been handled.

    If you could possibly email me at Social@scottishpower.com with the following information,
    your MSE handle in the subject heading
    your full address
    your name and telephone number
    and some details of the issues you have encountered
    I can look to get this escalated for you and pass on some feedback in regards to the current process.

    Kind Regards
    Danielle
    Originally posted by Scottish Power
    Just did as you said. Hoping to get a different response. This would be my 4th interaction with Scottish Power.
    • jkcool
    • By jkcool 27th Apr 18, 7:00 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jkcool
    Hi jkcool

    Firstly I would like to apologies for the issues you have encounter with you direct debt and also with how this has been handled.

    If you could possibly email me at Social@scottishpower.com with the following information,
    your MSE handle in the subject heading
    your full address
    your name and telephone number
    and some details of the issues you have encountered
    I can look to get this escalated for you and pass on some feedback in regards to the current process.

    Kind Regards
    Danielle
    Originally posted by Scottish Power
    Hi Danielle,

    Any updates on this ?
  • Scottish Power
    Hi Danielle,

    Any updates on this ?
    Originally posted by jkcool
    Hi jkcool

    I'm sorry I haven't been in contact until now. I have been on holiday this week and I am just back in the office this morning. I will pick up your email now and have a response by Monday.

    Kind Regards
    Danielle
    ďOfficial Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Scottish Power. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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