Phantom bill from Scottish Power
I received an estimated bill at my address in an apartment block from Scottish Power for £4,052. On the bill itself there was no addressee, just “owner/occupier”. The bill is backdated to May 2013.
To start with, I have never held an electricity account with Scottish Power, although an account has been created in my name. I do get gas from Scottish Power. More importantly the meter serial number and reading on the bill don’t correspond to my actual meter, which is outside my property.
I have contacted Scottish Power regarding this. It checked the database and confirmed that the meter number on the bill was for another property. As a single
occupant I am very energy efficient. The estimate is considerably more than what I would normally use.
This is causing me considerable distress and I seem to be going around in circles. I have been constantly on the phone to Scottish Power to resolve the situation. Now it’s getting to the point where I am receiving threatening phone calls and letters from debt collection agencies. DW, WEST MIDLANDS
You inherited the property from your mother 10 years ago. Even in her time there had been problems with this and it had been a worry towards the end of her life.
You were giving Scottish Power readings and it was sending you mystifying bills and not giving the answers you needed. You were not getting bills from any other supplier.
After I contacted Scottish Power it arranged for a customer liaison officer to
visit the property to check the meter details it had on record. It confirmed, not for the first time, that they were indeed related to another property.
Your true electricity supplier is also correcting its records and billing you. This will be for the 12-year period during which this has now been going on. How it could be so long-standing is a mystery to me.
You hope the regulator’s “backbilling” rules will
apply. These new Ofgem rules are explained on its website: “Put simply, a supplier can’t seek additional payment for unbilled energy used more than 12 months prior to the error being detected and a corrected bill being issued.”
This is provided that the consumer has not behaved obstructively or unreasonably to prevent the supplier from billing accurately. For more see ofgem.gov.uk. Such
arrangements existed previously, but they were part of a voluntary code that not all companies subscribed to. Now it is mandatory. Scottish Power has offered a goodwill payment of £100.