E.On sent £2,300 bill er­ro­neously

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I re­ceived two bills from E.On, dated three weeks apart. They both re­ferred to the two-room flat my mother oc­cu­pied in war­den-at­tended

ac­com­mo­da­tion up un­til

and it would take five days for Pru­den­tial to process and then three days for the pay­ment to clear.

We com­pleted the form with a copy of our pass­ports and a bank state­ment and sent it off at once. Nearly two weeks later, a mes­sage was left say­ing the pho­tos of the pass­ports had not been in­cluded. Surely we should have been told this sooner. By now we would miss the dead­line for clear­ing the credit card.

Three days ago, we sent an­other form on­line and spoke to some­one and were again told it would take five days to go on to the sys­tem. DA, WEST MID­LANDS

There had been an attempted bur­glary at your home. You had been away she went into a care home in Jan­uary 2014.

The flat had stor­age heaters on a type of “Econ­omy 7” tar­iff. The sin­gle me­ter gave three dif­fer­ent read­ings when you pressed a but­ton to read it in full. My mother al­ways paid ev­ery bill promptly and the com­pany read the me­ter of­ten and/or

for two days and part of the garage roof had been bro­ken and you could see foot marks on the garage wall and a large trough full of soil and flow­ers had been moved. You al­ready had an alarm and were due to go on hol­i­day. Now you needed to have CCTV in­stalled at the front and back of the house. This unan­tic­i­pated ex­pense largely ac­counted for the credit card bill.

You wanted to use the pro­ceeds of your Pru­dence Bond to pay it.

On the day you wrote to me, you had had to wait an ex­ces­sive amount of time when you called Pru­den­tial.

You felt you were ob­structed from speak­ing with a su­per­vi­sor dur­ing your call and Pru­den­tial failed to call you back about my mother gave it read­ings.

In fact, I re­call speak­ing to the firm my­self and giv­ing read­ings on one oc­ca­sion. The flat was un­oc­cu­pied be­tween Jan­uary and June 2014, when it was sold.

I then pro­vided E.On with fi­nal read­ings for all three tar­iffs and gave it my ad­dress as the point of con­tact. As

your com­plaint.

Then Pru­den­tial ad­vised that your pass­ports had not been suc­cess­fully scanned with your with­drawal re­quest. By now you were con­cerned that the pass­port de­tails you had up­loaded to Pru­den­tial were lost.

De­spite the prom­ises to move things along, it was an­other 13 days after you wrote to me and eight days after I had con­tacted Pru­den­tial be­fore the money ar­rived in your ac­count. This be­ing 36 days after you had made the ini­tial re­quest.

By then, you had ex­ceeded your credit limit and pay­ment was over­due.

Pru­den­tial admitted that when it re­ceived four copies of your bank state­ments it should have con­tacted you to ad­vise that it had

You held power of at­tor­ney for your mother, giv­ing you per­mis­sion to han­dle her fi­nan­cial af­fairs.

This au­tumn, not hav­ing had any com­mu­ni­ca­tion from E.On for well over four years, a bill from the provider ar­rived for £2,275.17 with an or­der to “please pay now”. The bill was in­com­pre­hen­si­ble.

The only mercy was that by now your mother, aged 95, had de­men­tia and knew noth­ing about it. Her personal sav­ings had nearly run out with care home fees.

You tried con­tact­ing E.On and were met with the usual pre-recorded spiel that it was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­usu­ally high call vol­umes at present and your call was im­por­tant to it.

So you wrote a let­ter and sent it by “signed for” post. You had no re­ply to

not re­ceived the pass­port de­tails. It claims, force­fully, that none of your data has been lost dur­ing this process.

The with­drawal has been made us­ing the most ben­e­fi­cial fund prices, so there was no loss in that re­spect.

It cal­cu­lated the in­ter­est due for the pe­riod of the de­lay on the ba­sis of the Bank of Eng­land base rate plus one per­cent­age point, this be­ing £1.14. It added a fur­ther £100 for the in­con­ve­nience.

It said that, con­cern­ing the late credit card pay­ment, it can pay up to £25 for costs in­curred with­out you sub­mit­ting ev­i­dence. You were asked to send a copy of the state­ment show­ing the in­ter­est ac­tu­ally charged that what­so­ever, al­though after I spoke to E.On it ac­knowl­edged that it had in­deed re­ceived it.

The se­cond bill came three weeks later and was for £14.06. After I spoke to E.On about both bills, it admitted that your mother was ac­tu­ally 45p in credit.

You quite rightly want to high­light this be­cause, as you say: “The first bill would have fright­ened a large ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion half to death.”

I ap­proached E.On and it came back say­ing the large bill had been sent in er­ror. It said: “This mat­ter has been fully re­solved and no money is owing. We are truly sorry for any con­cern this mat­ter has caused.”

You re­port that, two hours after I ap­proached E.On about this, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from its direc­tor’s of­fice called of­fer­ing ex­treme apolo­gies and £30 to buy your mother some flow­ers.

Sadly, your mother passed away shortly after that and you de­cided to give the money to a char­ity that your mother did vol­un­tary work for.

You are keen to have this story aired so that hope­fully it may help to in­voke bet­ter ser­vice for oth­ers.

be­cause of the de­lay. You had told me the in­ter­est was around £190, but when the state­ments came one was for the pe­riod be­fore you ap­proached Pru­den­tial.

You are be­ing re­im­bursed £67.59 in­ter­est and the £12 de­fault fee in­curred as a re­sult of Pru­den­tial not pay­ing out in time. Pru­den­tial also paid a fur­ther £200 for good­will.

Un­usu­ally, you sent both me and my help­ful con­tact at Pru­den­tial thank-you cards.

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