Scot­tish Power keeps billing me

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

My wife and I have lived in our home since it was built in 1991. It was fit­ted with two elec­tric­ity me­ters.

In 2015 we switched to Scot­tish Power. I made sure to tell the com­pany that we had two me­ters.

Af­ter three months, Scot­tish Power re­quested a fur­ther me­ter read­ing and only then did it be­come ap­par­ent that it could not han­dle the two-me­ter sit­u­a­tion. It in­formed me it would have to close the ac­count and the sup­ply should go back to my orig­i­nal sup­plier which, it ad­vised, would bill me for the three months’ use of elec­tric­ity. It said that I would owe Scot­tish Power noth­ing in what it de­fined as an “er­ro­neous trans­fer”.

It has billed me though and, de­spite my best ef­forts to re­solve it, this prob­lem with Scot­tish Power has been go­ing on ever since. PH, LANCS

You had two me­ters, one of which was for the heat­ing. That one recorded a pre­served heat­ing tar­iff you had with the pre­vi­ous provider, which Scot­tish Power could not sup­port.

There was another hic­cup when ini­tially it did not carry out the trans­fer back prop­erly. Un­easy that Scot­tish Power might not re­turn the money you had al­ready paid, you ar­ranged for your bank to or­gan­ise a re­fund un­der the Di­rect Debit Guar­an­tee.

Then you re­ceived many emails and printed bills from Scot­tish Power for the three months you had been with it. You called the com­pany, telling it why you owed noth­ing.

How­ever, the bills kept com­ing. This year you were be­ing asked for £508.

When you rang you were told the ac­count was read­ing as zero and there would be no more bills.

Then there was a bill for £21.02 fol­lowed by a let­ter en­clos­ing what was de­scribed as a re­fund cheque for the same sum.

Just af­ter you wrote to me there was an email re­quest­ing £21.02 again.

This brought the num­ber of de­mand­ing emails you had re­ceived since you had been as­sured the mat­ter was re­solved to five.

By now you were wor­ry­ing that this might af­fect your credit rat­ing.

Scot­tish Power told me the lat­est mix-up was down to hu­man er­ror.

The agent in­volved had in­tended to clear the bal­ance but un­for­tu­nately sent you the credit that was sup­posed to be ap­plied to the ac­count to do this. Scot­tish Power says it does not want the other money back, and has paid you £25 for good­will.

On Sept 1, Ofgem in­tro­duced a new li­cence con­di­tion that re­quires all elec­tric­ity sup­pli­ers to sup­port all types of mul­ti­rate me­ters. Th­ese are known as re­stricted me­ters, which is the type you had.

Sup­pli­ers must now make all their sin­gle-rate elec­tric­ity tar­iffs avail­able to cus­tomers with re­stricted me­ters, with­out them hav­ing to re­place their me­ter or in­cur any costs as­so­ci­ated with keep­ing their ex­ist­ing me­ter.

This change came in too late for you.

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