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Author Topic: Electricity Bills - Again!  (Read 8253 times)

Capt Podge

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Electricity Bills - Again!
« on: November 15, 2014, 12:07:36 AM »

Hi All,
 
The purpose of this thread is just to say "CHECK YOUR BILLS". :police:
 
Some of you may recall a similar thread from last year in which I intimated my determination to closely monitor my usage of electricity.
 
On checking my latest electric bill I discovered a discrepancy whereby they have billed me an extra 19.19p.
Having gathered all the necessary information I phoned my supplier to query this and sure enough, they have overcharged me.
As a result of this I was told that the discrepancy was the result of a "computer error" and that the money would be taken off my next bill as "a goodwill gesture" %% .
 
Anyway the point I'm making is "don't accept the bills at face value".
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 12:37:34 PM »

LOL you should try living here in Spain where it is some kind of national contest for suppliers of anything to overcharge. Point it out to them and they make seem they are doing you a favour to correct it and give you your money back.

But I did have this in August with NPower in the UK. They decided that I wasn't paying enough on my direct debit to take into account my winter useage, so they upped my payments from 70 amonth to 130 :o Even though the enclosed bill showed we had already for the year paid 111 more than the power supplied %%
 
On querying it they refused to budge on their projected figures, saying that any overpayment would be refunded in January %% yeah right overcharge me and make interest off my back and its all legal, I don't pay a bill and I am in court for it, what is the world coming to?

inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 01:09:58 PM »

Brian
Just change supplier. They all love new customers; it's the old ones whom they regard as unwary and thus deserved of their contemptuous little scams. Mentioning the word OFGEM seems to make them sit up and listen, too. My DD went up from 90 to 130. Their 'estimated use' figure for the subsequent twelve months was less than the credit balance on my account at that time i.e. I'd already paid for more than a year's worth in advance. I was able to persuade them not only to cancel that increase but to reduce my monthly payment to 45 until my use of electricity had actually caught up with my payments. I even receive an annual "loyalty" payment these days but I'd change supplier tomorrow if I found them being underhand again.
Could be worse. After the usual paper-shower of ever-increasing threats my friend was on the verge of being taken to court by Scottish Power for repeated failure to pay his electricity bill. He even had the date and details of which court to attend. The problem was that he had been unable to persuade them that he had never bought energy from them (at any address), and neither had the previous owner of his house. Why would he? His wife is Treasury Officer for SWEB Energy! Much to John's disappointment at being denied his day in court they backed off at the 11th hour.
Nil carborundum.
DM

(Still no-one has come close to my being charged 12.01 for a 25p battery - that's an overcharge of approx 4600%).
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carlmt

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 02:40:07 PM »

I flatly refuse to enter into DD arrangements with energy suppliers.
I much prefer to read my meter every 27th day of the month and pay the corresponding bill on or around the 5th of the following month. With it all being on-line and paperless, I only pay for what I have used and nothing more. And doing it this way, I have more control over how much energy we actually use by monitoring it monthly.
 
 

inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 02:47:54 PM »

I was about to ask if that isn't more expensive, but given that the ratbags took over a grand off me that I didn't yet owe them then it's a moot point! I guess the very best way is to check your DDs every month and watch the buggers like a hawk.
DM
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U-33

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 03:14:19 PM »

I had a similar situation earlier in the year, had a visit from a meter reading person asking to read my gas meter. I told him I don't have gas here, he told me I did. I said I didn't, and asked him to close the door behind him.


A week or so later I received a gas bill...which I totally ignored.


Fortnight or so later I received a letter saying ''you may have forgotten to pay your gas bill...etc''. Again, I totally ignored it, filed it with the previous bill under B1N.


Next came a letter in red ink saying Final Demand...pay up or else. Again, it was filed under B1N.


Little while later came a court summons for non payment of my gas bill...this time I called them and explained that none of our flats in my block, or any of the other four blocks in the road, have gas fitted to them. Obviously they didn't believe me, 'cos they sent a very officious little man round to check...he was here for a good couple of hours searching my flat and the grounds for a gas pipe. Needless to say, he didn't find one. He went off muttering to himself, and I heard no more. Until a month or so back when I received...yep, you guessed it...a gas bill.

It makes you wonder, it really does.


Rich





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Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 06:16:36 PM »

Brings to mind many years ago a guy I used to know. His house was connected to water but not sewerage, he had a septic tank. His water bill was itemised and of course he always went to the local office to pay because he refused point blank to pay the sewage charge. Eventually it did end up in court and the judge found in his favour asking the water company to explain how they could warrant charging him for a service they did not provide! All his costs and an amount for his time etc were awarded against the water company.

Of course his next bill arrived with the sewage charge on and so it started again  :}

grendel

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 06:38:52 PM »

I used to work for the an energy company, they gave me a 'staff discount' and then sold the part of the company I worked for - ok still getting the discount - the new company had staff cuts - and axed my department - yes still getting my staff discount - they set my DD to a ridiculous amount - I stopped the DD, and set up a standing order - took a while to find the right account to set it up with, this pays most of the costs, and every quarter I get my bill, and pay any remainder, only once did they send a letter demanding more, it was when they sent out the bill 2 days before the standing order was paid, was told I owed them 130 - when I checked my account on line - it was just 10 I owed. they dont like this as my account is rarely much in credit, so they dont make anything from my money they hold. (and I still get the staff discount)
Grendel
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 06:53:20 PM »

They love to blame their computers but basically it is down to sheer incompetence. There are a lot of stupid people out there and many of them are employed - unfortunately.

Colin
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U-33

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 07:02:03 PM »

Just pray that they don't breed...


Rich
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Bob K

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 07:26:03 PM »

(Still no-one has come close to my being charged 12.01 for a 25p battery - that's an overcharge of approx 4600%).

At that percentage it must have been through a Pay Day Loan Company.

PS:  Changing energy provider can be very expensive.  When I switched gas provider I found out that I was 280 in credit with them, they having conned me to loan them money in advance by "over-estimating".  They pocketed the balance when I switched.

They still call regularly to ask if I'd like to switch back. I bring up the 280 they still owe me and they keep promising to check into it, but never do.

Nowadays I check the readings regularly and if they try the usual loan bump-up I get on to them to reduce the monthly bill based on the actual usage.  After all, the meters are outside the house, not my fault if they can't be bothered to read them.
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sparkey

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2014, 07:40:09 PM »

 :-)) they owed me 384 when I switched and were slow to pay me back, so I threatened them with small claims court the money was in my account after 3 days,I have used small claims court in the past to get my money back on a new washing machine that broke down 11 times in 5 months,it was more out of order than working,machine cost 350 got back 675 with costs and expenses as I did not want it repaired again,try the scc well worth it,Ray :-))     
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inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2014, 07:46:23 PM »

Bob
There was something on the TV very recently about this trick. If I were you I'd contact Citizens Advice who seem to be the first port of call for most of these complaints. BTW the battery was fitted by a Toyota dealer - INCHCAPE - to my SPARE key! I took it back for a refund, made a bit of a noise at the counter and got my money back pronto. I don't suppose other dealers are any more honest. What a grubby little island this is turning into.
Dave M
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2014, 07:59:57 PM »

Actually my main dealer and car servicer gives a pretty honest deal but many don't.

Essentially, you have to assume that any financial service, insurance or utility supplier is basically out to screw you if you give them the opportunity and if you have to have the service then you must be prepared to fight your corner.

They will NEVER have customer interests at heart, only theirs. It didn't always used to be like that but it certainly is now.

Colin
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Capt Podge

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2014, 09:36:40 PM »

A BIG THANK YOU to all for your input :-))
 
I have been with the same electricity supplier (npower and their predecessor Northern Electric) for over 28 years now and have never, ever, fallen for the Direct Debit routine.
 
I pay my bills quarterly, by cheque, and insist on paying for 91 days supply (per quarter) only.
(Note: One of the quarters must be for 92 days to account for the total of 365 days)
I also always insist on the 92 day quarter being in the summer months.
 
A meter reader attended on 29th Oct 14 asking for access to my meter. I told him he was too early as the quarter still had 13 days to run. He then stipulated that he needed access to check that all was well with the installation.
 
OK - I told him he could have access but that he must not record the actual reading as this would put my billing out of sequence. He agreed and made a show of checking the cupboard, torch in hand, then informed me that all was well.
 
Lo and behold - on the 8th Nov I received a bill for 77 days worth of supply >>:-(
 
Back I go on the phone to my supplier to complain.
The end result of this is that the bill has been cancelled and I will receive an updated one with my 91 day reading as the criteria for the billing.
 
Incidentally, the meter person was not an employee of my supplier (although he was wearing their logo) and actually works for an agency - good old SWMBO spotted him in his van on her way up the street.
 
....let's see what happens next time an agency tries to gain entry to my property <*<
....they won't get in without a warrant, that's for sure :police:  (lying little so and so)
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
NB Ref the overcharge - I would love to be able to find out just how many households have been ripped off by that strange bandit known as "computer error" - Yea, right >:-o
 
 
 
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dougal99

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2014, 09:45:26 PM »

I pay by DD and read my own meter. The discount outweighs any loss of interest on the money I pay. I also keep a record of my use and use that to ensure my monthly outgoings match my annual consumption. Simples.




However, BGas will never ever have my custom again. Left them years ago after they tried to increase my DD when I was already in credit. I think they use the 'and one for the pot' algorithm when estimating.  <*< [size=78%] [/size]
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Capt Podge

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2014, 09:49:58 PM »

Nice one dougal99,
 
Likewise I check my meter at the same time every day and record the results on an Excel spreadsheet - this has the added bonus of monitoring our daily consumption AND it gives me a full record when queries arise :-))
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ixion

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2014, 09:53:41 PM »

British Gas must be the most incompetent company I have ever dealt with. I have spent hours lately on the phone due to their cock-ups which they always blame on updating their computer system. One day I came home to 10 letters from British Gas all with one sheet in each which was either a credit note or revised bill all different dating back to April 2013. I rang them for a explanation and the 10 letters were telling me my account was in credit by 1p.

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Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2014, 10:18:30 PM »

 This is what we are having to deal with currently in Spain. On July23rd we went to our local office of Santander and asked to close one branch account  90 kilometres away and open a new one there. No problem done in an hour except it wasn't.
 
 Since then the old account  has gone into the red due to bank charges levied against it, because  the old branch refused to close the account! Then Madrid clearing transferred 700 into this old account even though the money transfer agency we use sent it to the correct new account number. Then they took out all the overdue charges they said we owed- still refusing to close the old account.
 
 Now  with many other hassles of transferring direct debits and actually getting them paid along the last few months. We called in at the bank to make sure the money all 700 was transferred from the old account to the new one-  they agreed we had paid the charges from the new account, so them taking it from the old account meant we had paid twice and theygrudgingly agreed to reimburse them.
 
 Then the branch manager was blocked from accessing the old account, he rang our old branch to be told that now the account was closed, with our 700 still in it  they had no way of accessing it either!!!! He rang Madrid and it seems that when he opened our new account they lost the faxed paperwork to confirm it was a non resident account! So now we have a new account we and the branch staff can't access, we have an old account in Torrevieja that is closed and can't be accessed to get our 700 and Madrid sat on their arses demanding more paperwork be signed and faxed through. ARGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
 
 To be fair the manager is most apologetic and says it will sort itself out given time, but he's said this every two weeks for the last couple of months.

Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2014, 10:28:59 PM »

By the way the list of bank charges in Spain is quite ridiculous and makes UK banking a dream to behold!

We have a joint account- we get charged each quarter for having that account 10- each! So 80 a year just to have the account.

We both are charged 14 a year for a debit card- 28 a year, this has been charged every year since 2006, the cards expired in 2009, no new cards have ever been issued, but that doesn't stop them charging for them!

Each time we transfer an amount from the UK into the Spanish bank we are charged a handling fee of 24 It is cheaper to buy tourist money in the UK and then hand euro's over the counter at the bank!

Then for each direct debit taken from the account racks up another 3 administration charge.

Yep, UK banks have a lot to learn on ripping off their customers!

grendel

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2014, 08:35:12 AM »

with energy suppliers you should be able to set up a security password for them yo use for any visitors to your house, so that you know that meter readers etc are legit.
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Nordsee

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2014, 11:01:08 AM »

I had a similar situation earlier in the year, had a visit from a meter reading person asking to read my gas meter. I told him I don't have gas here, he told me I did. I said I didn't, and asked him to close the door behind him.


A week or so later I received a gas bill...which I totally ignored.


Fortnight or so later I received a letter saying ''you may have forgotten to pay your gas bill...etc''. Again, I totally ignored it, filed it with the previous bill under B1N.


Next came a letter in red ink saying Final Demand...pay up or else. Again, it was filed under B1N.


Little while later came a court summons for non payment of my gas bill...this time I called them and explained that none of our flats in my block, or any of the other four blocks in the road, have gas fitted to them. Obviously they didn't believe me, 'cos they sent a very officious little man round to check...he was here for a good couple of hours searching my flat and the grounds for a gas pipe. Needless to say, he didn't find one. He went off muttering to himself, and I heard no more. Until a month or so back when I received...yep, you guessed it...a gas bill.

It makes you wonder, it really does.


Rich
I had a similar experience years ago with Southern Electricity, when we lived in England. We had a seperate power supply to the Garage and Workshop, which was never used and the Connection was severed. One day we got the Meter Reader there to read the Garage meter, result, 0 Power used, I got a Bill for 0 Pounds 0 Shillings 0pence. This too went all the way to court, which of course threw it out. I thought that was the end of the matter, but several years later when I applied for a Credit Card it was rejected as I had a County Court Debt case in my name.That took ages to get sorted!
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U-33

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2014, 11:08:02 AM »

Dear, oh dear...it's frightening. I know they blame 'computer error', but somewhere along the line there is a so called 'human' who presses the keys to input the information.
Where do they find these key pressers, I wonder? My parrot could have done better!


Rich
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inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2014, 11:25:19 AM »

There seems to be an absence of the same commodity in all of these stories - common sense. The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job. God help us all if the rest get hold of any responsibility. Make that a grubby and stupid little island..............the lunatics are taking over the asylum.
DM
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Netleyned

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2014, 11:38:23 AM »

We have G4S reading our meter >>:-(
After the Olympics  mess they shouldn't be allowed to read
Kids comics let alone things with numbers on them
That's if they can read <:(

Ned
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