Monday, 22 September 2014

Timeline of my EDF Energy an Ombudsman Services problem

I got a letter from EDF in April. 'We recently noticed an error in your final account'. They then sent me a cheque for £238.47.
So, despite the Ombudsman and EDF saying  their maths was correct and I had to accept their ruling, the maths was not correct.
They are both hopeless.
But, to give EDF their due, I would have expected them to have pocketed the £238.47. They didn't, they did send it to me (and the cheque cashed). So... thank you  EDF.

----------------------------------------- My 4 Year Problem With EDF: ----------------------

So, what does seem to be the case is that some Investigators:
- work from home
- on short term contracts - if they are leaving work within a day
- seem to be made to leave if they get sympathetic with complaint
- or get the choice to ignore complaint and force through a remedy that is false
- and then have nothing more to do with that complaint
- this is enforced by the remedy implementation team
- and so far seems to be backed up by head office

ie is the Energy Ombudsman, that is supposed to protect the public, actually protecting the Energy companies - who, of course, pay for it?

The following  makes more sense if you  start at the bottom and work back up. I will try to start uploading  documents and recordings soon.

The Ombudsman is there to get you  to accept what the energy company say. You  need major proof of wrong  doing  before they even begin to really look at it. Even then you  have to keep complaining. If you  ever accept a resolution that is the end of your complaint.

NB: Getting  an FOIA to see and hear what has been recorded in conversations between you  and the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman and the Energy company see these instructions 'Access to your information' It only costs a £10. It was worth it to find out that when the Ombudsman officers said that there was no mention of an increase of goodwill payments to £100 in my notes - that there was actually a note saying  just that.
You  can also do this from the Energy company too - i didn't.

I never did get to find out why 2 officers 'no longer worked for the Ombudsman' the day after they understood why there was a problem with my bill.

Energy Companies - (like any big company) will do and say anything and the ombudsman will not question them.

2015 March Thursday 12th
I had written to EDF to ask how they reached a figure of £679.06. I got a reply today. The idea seems to be that as this was a problem with my electricity billing the Billing  Code does not apply to Gas billing. So, and this is where i dont really understand at all, they are looking  at  my gas bill from 2011 and bill me for it. Excepting  i paid for all my gas with an uninterrupted standing  order from the month i began to August 2013?? So i guess EDF have shifted money from my gas payments to cover my electricity payments that they can't chase me for and are billing  me for my gas usage again. At a guess. Something  like that. Who knows. The ombudsman certainly don't.

So, after a year i have managed to reduce the bill from £900+ to £679. Which does include a 'goodwill payment' of i think £125 - i wonder where that comes from. So in all EDF  have only reduced the bill by £100 or so. Still it was worth it

2015 February Friday 25th Get my first letter from EDF chasing £679.06.
Write to EDF to see i fi can get them to explain how they reach this amount. I know the answer i think. The ombudsman told me they thought EDF could not claim my credit as theirs for electricity outside of the 1 year deadline. EDF must have told them to get stuffed. Or rather as the recording betwwen the Ombudsman and EDF show - when the Ombudsman asks: So this letter of the 1st of march that says mr Fraser owes £240 - EDF replies 'thats a mistake, ignore it' then he asks about the £518 credit i had in my account (and took a screen shot at the time as i knew EDF could not be trusted) again they said - thats a mistake. Of course the Ombudsman just accepts this and moves on.

After all the Ombudsman just wants a resolution, not necessarily the right resolution.

2015 February Wednesday 25th Go a letter from the Ombudsman in reply to my letter email asking why the figure was £679.06!. The ombudsman replied: becasue it is.

2015 February Monday 12th Got a letter today from EDF: 'Your current balance based on meter readings on 16 January 2015 is £679.06'
but i got a bill on 20 Jan 2015 with metere readings up to 16 jan:
That showed the £918 they have been trying  to get out of me for the last year
plus usage of £487 .97

i paid the £487.97 on 24 Jan.

So where does this 'Your current balance based on meter readings on 16 January 2015 is £679.06' come from?
For a year chased me for £918.49. 

But remedy said i had £460.78 credit +£125 goodwill = £332.71. 

So why do EDF want £679.06!

2015 February Monday 9th
Get a letter from EDF: We're taking action
We've tried to get in touch several times about an outstanding energy bill of £729.06' Where do these numbers come from?
Anyway phoned EDF and they said these letters shouldnt be going out as there is a lock on the account (interestingly she also said she had a different account number for me - i wonder what thats about?) and that she would put a lock on the locked account and no more letters would be going out.
She also told me to ignore the letter. Its a year since this process began - or 4 years since it went wrong - when i, stupidly, moved to EDF.
Tell you what - lets put them in charge of some nuclear power stations.

2015 February Monday 2nd
Ombudsman send 2 letters - gist being  EDF have 28 days (again) to comply with latest remedy. Oh the excitment - will they wont they?

2015 January Saturday 31st
Letter from arrives: 'We're taking action We've tried to get in touch several times about an outstanding energy bill of £241.09'
Of course i have not had a bill for £241.09 fro EDF.
I phone EDF to ask if this is the final bill - the £918 minus my credit minus £125. Edf say they have no idea what the letter is about and cant see the letter anyway.
Interestingly it is £1.01 more than the original letter of 1st March 2014 when they said i owed £240.08 PLUS the infamous Future Charges of £750 or so that the Ombudsman kept trying to persuade me i had to pay.

2015 January Saturday 24th
Bill from arrived on Saturday for £1200+! They are still adding the £918 the say they have reduced to £450+! wow. I Pay the £487. and write to Ombudsman asking whats going on - thought EDF had accepted the decision...

2015 January Friday 23rd
Had an electricity reading  round recently and today get a phone call fro EDf chasing  a bill of £487. As not actually had bill yet asked them to post it. EDF said they would.

2015 January Wednesday 21st
Letter from Ombudsman saying (i think a it is written in a very roundabout way) that EDF are not allowed to claim that the  Credit  in my account during  2013 can not be nicked by EDF to pay off bills they failed to bill me for. And that EDF are going  to give me £125.

2015 January Friday 9th
Email from Ombudsman - Independent Assessor: 'My role involves considering only unresolved service complaints about Ombudsman Services. As you have accepted the outcome of Ombudsman Services' internal service complaints process, I am unable to conduct a review of your complaint.'
So, it seems that the Ombudsman no longer has to look into whether it was wrong about the way it treated my case. Which is nice for them.
Of course they did not mention that when they were telling  me i had to accept the resolution.

2014 December Friday 19th
Got a reply: 'I am aware that EDF Energy and the ombudsman are in discussions about the application of the Code for Accurate Billing to ensure it is applied correctly.'
Which would seem to imply that the Ombudsman are actually forcing  an energy company do to something!
As i am writing  this on the 9 jan 2015 you  can see that whatever is happening  is not happening  fast.

2014 December Thrusday 18th
The Ombudsman gave EDF 28 days to produce a final bill ( again) and asked me to tell them if EDF failed to do this. Well, EDF have not sen me a final bill. And i have told the Ombudsman. Will the Ombudsman finally do somthing  about EDF? Or will they be forgiven as ever??

2014 November Wednesday 19th
Having  asked for an idea of how much the final bill woud be i got this:
'Ombudsman Services is unable to confirm your current outstanding balance as this will include
energy consumption from February 2014 to date. EDF Energy will confirm this when it
implements the remedy we have required of it.
You now need to confirm if you are willing to accept our final decision or not. Please advise us of
this within 28 days.'

So i wrote back:
'ok, i understand
i suppose i cannot agree to this until i see what EDF decide to bill me and if they are able to explain it in a way that makes sense and seems right?'

to which the Ombudsman replied:
'The final decision explains how EDF Energy should correct your account. The company is able
to bill your account correctly from February 2014.
Our role is to ensure the company applies the Code for Accurate Bills for your energy
consumption prior to February 2014. Our final decision explains how EDF Energy should do this.
Ombudsman Services is unable to confirm your current outstanding balance as this will include
energy consumption from February 2014 to date. EDF Energy will confirm this when it
implements the remedy we have required of it.
You now need to confirm if you are willing to accept our final decision or not. Please advise us of
this within 28 days.'

so i guess i have to accept this. so i wrote back:
'so, as this complaint was always about the bill i have to accept the remedy for this bill even though i have no idea how much it will be for?

does this mean that for all the information, bills and readings the Ombudsman has been unable to come up with a figure itself?
And that it is up to EDF to produce a bill - which it has done many times in the last 10 months and each one has been different?

I apologise if this sounds bitter. I am sure you are doing your best. Only yesterday there was an Ombudsman inspector on radio 6 saying how much she enjoyed her job protecting the public from big companies.

Fine. I agree to this mystery remedy.

Fingers crossed'

2014 November Tuesday 18th
Got a letter from Ombudsman (it may say that edf were wrong about the bill but i am not sure):

Dear Mr Fraser
Your complaint about EDF Energy
You accepted the report issued following the investigation of your complaint. EDF Energy
requested a review of the report. I am sorry not to let you have my decision sooner.
EDF Energy has sent me details of your charges up to 18 July 2014 and believe that there is
confusion about the current outstanding balance because our report only dealt with charge up to
17 January 2014.
Your complaint is about how the company handled your account prior to 17 January 2014 and
whether it correctly applied the Code for Accurate Billing (the Code) after it corrected the billing
issue. The conclusions and remedy explained in our report confirmed that EDF Energy should
demonstrate that it applied the Code correctly. I consider it our report was correct to deal with
charges up to this date.
I consider the company needs to take further action to demonstrate it has correctly applied the
Code. The only energy charges that EDF Energy is able to require from you are your
consumption charges from 7 February 2013. After taking into consideration your payments and
credits applied to your account the company should disregard charges prior to February 2013.
As explained in our report, EDF Energy confirms that your electricity consumption up to
February 2013 was £960.70. Although you had made payments of £500 towards your electricity
consumption by this date, the company applied these payments to your gas account. It refunded
you £228, which left the gas account in credit by £269.28.
Our report explained that EDF Energy should consider this credit as payment toward your
electricity consumption. The difference between your consumption and payments up to 7
February 2013 is £691.42 (£960.70 - £269.28). Under the principle of the Code, EDF Energy
should disregard the underpayment of £691.42. The company confirms that when it originally
corrected your account it applied a credit of £460.78, in line with the principles of the Code. I
consider this to be an incorrect application of the Code. EDF Energy should apply another credit
of £230.64 to correct your account.
EDF Energy should demonstrate your energy charges and payments from 17 January 2014 to
demonstrate what your total outstanding balance is.
After reviewing the complaint, I have decided that the further information submitted does warrant
a slight change to the recommendations. These changes do not affect the overall remedy but doclarify how EDF Energy should correct your energy account.
The final decision requires EDF Energy to:
  • apologise for the errors and customer service shortfalls it demonstrated;
  • confirm that it now has the correct details for the meter in your property;
  • assist you to set up your energy account online so that you can manage it online;
  • confirm that it has disregarded charges prior to 8 February 2013, in line with the Code of Practice for Accurate bills.The company confirms that the charges for your electricity consumption, prior to this date were £960.70. You made payments of £269.28 towards your electricity consumption up to 8 February 2013, therefore the company should disregard charges of £691.42;
  • provide an accurate statement of account that demonstrates the charges, credits and payment;
  • confirm the outstanding balance;
  • offer a payment plan if this is required; and
  • confirm that it has applied a goodwill award of £125 to reflect the delay in dealing with this dispute and the shortfalls in service.
I shall write to EDF Energy to inform it of the final decision.
The final decision is now binding on EDF Energy, which must provide the remedy to you within
28 days from the date of this letter.

2014 October Thursday 23rd
Got an email today from the Ombudsman saying  my complaint about the complaint has been passed on to the MD. So, expect more waffle from him.

Also got a letter from EDF saying  the outstanding  bill is now £728 instead of £990 for 2013. which is an improvement i suppose. Still no explanation how they reach this amount - and how they get to ignore my payments of £800, my credit of £500,  - having  listened to the recordings now between EDF and the Ombudsman it goes like this:' so, that letter of the 1st March where you  say he only owes £240...'
EDF:' oh thats wrong ignore that'
Ombudsman: 'and his credit of £520?'
EDF: ' oh thats wrong, ignore that.'
Ombudsman: 'and his payments of £800...'
EDF: 'well, we forgot to bill him in 2011 so we want that money to pay off that debt so lets forget those payments..'
or words to that effect.
so much for the ombudsman standing  up  for the public.

2014 October Thursday 16th
Having been told, some time ago, that the Ombudsman would review my complaint procedure with reference to:
  1. me not having  agreed the remedy (and supplied recordings)
  2. the faked remedy not including  the original complaint about the bill
  3. about Investigating  officers who become sympathetic one day have left the next
  4. about how i was told that i would get £100 knocked off the bill by the original officer and how later officers saying  there was no note of this (but now i have a copy of the notes i can plainly see it written in the notes!)
  5. other stuff
the officer sent a letter back today saying: 'I have reviewed your complaint and can see that in June 2014 you accepted a remedy proposed
by the investigating officer.....I would like to offer you £40 as a
gesture of goodwill to acknowledge your inconvenience and the frustration we caused you.'
Which to my mind doesn't really answer anything.
But i suppose they were never going  to.

2014 October Tuesday 14th
I decide to agree to remedy on the condition that that is the end of it:

Dear Ms Isherwood

thank you for your email yesterday and for your help re EDF.

I will agree on one condition and that is: I get a guarantee that this is the end of it, that EDF do not make any attempt to bill me for any more historic energy usage and that they will let me leave them without any additional charges other than my actual usage since the last bill of September 2014.

So, the final maths is this:
£1575.36 energy usage in 2013
£810 payments by me
=£765.36 that i owe
-£125 goodwill payment
Total: £640.36

These figures start on the 6th Feb 2013 and thus do not include my payment on 1 feb 2013 of £116 (even though this whole thing is supposed to be from 17 January 2013, i guess EDF want to hide something), nor does it include my EDF stated credit of £518 as of August 2013, nor does it include the reduction of £460.78 under the billing code for the period 9th May 2011 to 7th Feb 2013 as stated in the EDF letter of the 1st March 2014.

Aside from that there are a few points i would like to make:

1. That following our first conversation yesterday when you said you had spent the last three days reviewing my case and had decided that i owed EDF £196 that it took only a few minutes in conversation with EDF for you to come back and say i owed £750. I wonder what they said and how they said it.

2. There is still no mention of the legality of a failure to provide 'full and accurate billing' for 3 years. That EDF can take my money without ever billing me during that time and that when they did it was for the wrong meter number. (and i don't think 'close enough' as one Investigating officer put it really has merit).

3. That the ombudsman asked me to get a letter from EDF at the outset of my complaint and that letter, of the 1st March 2014, said: 'Energy Charges totalling £240.08 for the period between 8th Feb 2013 and 17th January 2014 is therefore payable.' followed by 'Future Energy charges after 17th january 2014 are also payable and the current balance of your account is £996.00'. Why, as i have paid all Future charges / bills since January 2014 can EDF not be held to the £240.08 amount?

4. In both remedy letters the Ombudsman have mentioned that i am lucky to not be billed for my electricity usage from 2011-2012. EDF cancelled my direct debit for electricity in March 2011, not me. EDF said i had moved house (just for electricity - they still billed me for Gas) not me, The EDF system could not cope with my meter number - none of these things are to do with me - it is entirely down to EDFs incompetence, something that i have tried to set right for 3 years - and even now they still have not fixed.

But i guess whats really being said here is that the ombudsman is privatised and part paid for by EDF and as such these are all unenforceable codes and that EDF could easily demand more or everything and there is nothing the Ombudsman can do. As such thank you for getting £300 knocked off the bill. Its something at least.

Anyway, i hope i will hear from the Ombudsman about its internal review of how they dealt with my complaint - or how the outsourcing worked.

So, i hope you can at least guarantee to me that i will not have any more bills, demands or threats from EDF. If you can do that then i will sign this.

tom fraser
what are the chances of EDF actually stopping?

2014 October Monday 14th
Ombudsman phones in the morning - new inspector says she reviewed case over the weekend and she reckons i owe £196.
Sadly she then phones EDF and sure enough they 'persuade' her its more - back up  to £640.
Then i get sent a remedy i have to sign.

2014 October Friday 10th
Ombudsman phones - got a new investigator. Will review and answer on monday - but i'm not hopeful. Interestingly she said that the Ombudsman had outsourced Investigating  but had now stopped that. Though she then said she was working from home - so not so sure.

2014 October Thursday 9th
Get a Final Reminder dated 3rd October saying  that i owe £996 for Gas. All this time they have said it was for electricty nad now they change it to gas!!

2014 October Wednesday 8th
Post to EDF Facebook page about the bizare billing - get a message back saking  for account details and that they would look into it.

2014 October Monday 6th
Get an email from my MP!! They are going  to write to the Scottish Energy Minister! I wonder...

2014 October Saturday 4th
Get a reply from EDF about my bill for £447:
'Contract Account Number: 671 001 090 927
Thank you for your email dated 24 September 2014.
I can confirm that the balance on your electricity and gas account is £996.00 and include your energy charges to 18 July 2014.
The bill dated 2 September 2014 shows the correct electricity meter serial number of P8776939987.
 I would like to advise you that on 2 July 2014 the advisor L*** C******* from the Executive Liaison team has sent you a letter together with the statement for your electricity and gas account. I have attached the letter and the latest bill for your information only.
I can confirm that the communication on your accounts is set up via post.
I would also like to advise you that your electricity and gas account is currently on our Standard (Variable) tariff. Our Standard (Variable) tariff may not be the cheapest product available to you and you can compare our fixed price tariffs online at, or alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me for a personal quote.
Please let me know if you are unable to clear the balance in full and I will set up an instalment plan for you.
I hope my email addressed you concerns,should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me via return email. You can also call the Complaints Resolution Team on our free phone number phone0800 904 7450*. Lines are open between 08.00 and 17.00, Monday to Friday.
 Yours sincerely'

As you  can see  - no mention of the bill for £447??No explanation of what the £996 is for or why the EF letter of 1st March said it was for 'Future Charges'. So write back asking  much the same - again.

2014 October Wednesday 1Get phone call from  Ombudsman!!!! Taken 2 months. Someone from the complaints department speaks to me about my complaint and says that:
  1. They will look into my Complaint about the EDF Bill
  2. They will look into my complaint about how the Ombudsman handled my complaint - and the 'serious' suggestion that it was rigged
So, they said it will take 10 days. The question now is: is the Complaints department a department that looks into complaints or is it a department that looks into how to get rid of complaints - like when the hospital dropped my baby like a wet teabag - they said it was all done according  to procedure. Sadly i had just stopped filming  the birth as it was too horrible. So i wonder how this will be handled.

2014 October Tuesdayday 30Leave message on  Ombudsman's Twitter and Facebook accounts. Both ask for my complaint reference number.

2014 September Monday 29
Get email letter from Ombudsman - say they received a letter on 26th September. Dont say what letter... suppose its my complaint about Ombudsman of 19th, sent recorded delivery. 

2014 September Monday 29
No one from Ombudsman has phoned back still.
Tweeted Ombudsman services - but it looks like its been moved (dont really understand Twitter).

Phone Ombudsman - i am told that they got my complaint dated 13th Septemeber (though hadn't bothered to tell me that). I am also told that my Investigating  Officeer will, again be told to phone me, that his Manager will phone me and that her manager will make sure this happens. Also that my complaint has gone to the Investigating  Officer - so the same person who i am complaining about is going  to investigate the complaint!

2014 September Thursday 25
Email reply from EDF: '
Re: Account Number: 671 001 090 927
Thank you for your email dated 24 September 2014.
I apologise for the inconvenience caused to you for the bill. I would like to inform you that I have checked that account status and found the respective team have worked on the same issue. I have forwarded the case to the respective team to look into the matter. You will be contacted as soon as
I wonder if anything  will come of this?

Got Bill for £447 in post today from EDF - it says its for for 59 days from 7 feb 2011 (an estimated reading - so no idea!) to 6 april 2011(reading! how did they get a reading  considering i had no electricity account by then, and they haven't mentioned this reading  before?). AND what about the Billing  Code that states tha they cannot bill for electricty usage  of more than a year ago if i have tried my best to pay  - and i did, i had a Direct Debit set up  with them - but they lost it and have have phoned them many many many times to sort this out.

2014 September Wednesday 24
Email EDF: 'hi
i got an email dated Fri 19 Sep 2014 saying i owe £447.14.
Despite what the ombudsman has said i cannot log into my account.
I have no idea what this is for.
Is it for electricty dating back to 2011 as following the Back Billing code you cannot bill me for electricty usage that far back.
I have paid all my electricity bills between Jan 2013 - August 2013 and feb 2014 to the present day. Which leaves, according to your letter of the first of march £240 outstanding.
So what is this amount for?
Also you have not fixed my meter (meter number 8776939987) so is this bill actually for this meter number?'

Obviously not had a call from the Ombudsman today.

Did get a big envelope back from OFGEM ('making  a positive difference for energy consumers') today with my complaint i sent to them and the Boss Nolan with a note saying 'Please note that while we do not deal with individual complaints about energy companies, and are not involved in the Ombudsman's internal complaints process, we do have a wider market monitoring role so we have kept your complaint on file.'

Which i take to mean: 'we can't be bothered to read through this complaint so we don't really know what it is about but, just in case you  make enough fuss later, we will keep a copy.'

AND - emailed an MSP today - i wonder if i will get a reply?

2014 September Tuesday 23
Phone Ombudsman - get nice person who says they will get the Investigating Officer (Mr Y., the one who switched remedies to one i did not agree to) to phone me in 24 hrs. I wonder if he will?

2014 September Monday 22
Phone Ombudsman - get told to back tomorrow as  their new system cannot cope with my reference number.

2014 September Friday 26th
I get a bill for £445 - suspiciously like half of outstanding bill - but cannot login to see what its for
Get a new password sent - but it does not arrive
Phone Ombudsman - get cut off as put through.
BUT! get a phonecall today from Ofgem saying i cannot complain to them (even though website says i can) - i must go back to the Ombudsman and complain to them???

2014 September friday 19th
I write to Ombudsman Energy to complain about the ombudsman  with all letters and recordings.

2014 September friday 13th
I write to Ofgem to complain about the ombudsman and Boss Nolan.

2014 August 26th
After Further complaint the Remedy Implementation Team uphold ruling saying that the agreed remedy (which i never agreed to) is fine.
No mention of bill
No mention that my meter is still not sorted
No mention that i cant even login to online account - so even false remedy is not implemented

2014 August 13th
Final Decision arrives from Ombudsman saying Agreed Remedy is finished but remedy does not include the BILL!
Also says that if i want to complain about the Bill i have to start a new complaint!
Also includes a letter to me from EDF dated 2nd July (!) saying they are pleased with the Ombudsman's Final Decision (!) how did they know so early?

2014 July - august
Statement from EDF arrives of all bills and payments - it states the £990 amount is for electricity from 2011 to feb 2014
I email Investigator four times over next month pointing this out - no reply
i phone Investigator many times and leave messages - no reply

Ombudsman services say they will complain to the Manager of the investigator for not replying. No Reply

2014 June - 26th
Investigator does not mention Future Charge again but says its about the entire bill from 2011 - we discuss payments made over that period.
Investigator tries talk about Remedy - we agree to discuss again once we see what EDF thinks i have paid.

2014 June - next day
Investigator 'no longer works for ombudsman'
Get next Investigator - they say i owe £990
Finally get Investigator to understand that 'Future Charges' makes no sense as i have paid electricity bill since Feb 2014 - so what is future charges
Investigator agrees that it is odd and will phone back

2014 June - next day *** from now on recording all Ombudsman conversations***
Investigator 'no longer works for ombudsman'!!
Get next Investigator - they say i owe £990
Finally get Investigator to understand that 'Future Charges' makes no sense as i have paid electricity bill since Feb 2014 - so what is future charges?
Investigator agrees that it is odd and will phone back
But first we go through a Remedy - which i agree sounds right - about sorting the Bill.

2014 June
Finally start to speak to Ombudsman about case after they look into it - they say i owe £990. Exchange emails.
Finally get Investigator to understand that 'Future Charges' makes no sense as i have paid electricity bill since Feb 2014 - so what is future charges?
Investigator agrees that it is odd and will phone back

2014 April
Get electricity and gas bills. I pay - but only what i have used since Feb - ie pay for gas and electricity but not the £990

2014 MArch
I get a letter from EDF saying i owe £240 for 2013 (which makes sense, i paid by DD £400 and bill is roughly £640 during  2013) but that i owe £730 for 'Future Charges' (!!!)

2014 Feb
Get huge bill ( a few bills but settles down to £990) for electricity! Going back to 2011. I pay gas but not electricity.
I complain to EDF
I complain to Consumer Helpline about bill Ref 140021
I complain to Ombudsman

2013 August
Have £550 in credit so person at EDF tells me to stop my direct debit - i ask about what happens if i get a big bill - they reply that there is a rule called the Billing Code and they can only bill me for the last year - as long as i have made an effort to pay - which i have.
2012 March
Finally get electricity back with EDF - they start taking Direct debits for  electricity again.
But no bills for electricity and  i cant put readings online as have no electricity account in EDF system - but i can still put gas readings in.

2011 mar
EDF loses my electricity account - no longer have an electricity account online - still have gas. They keep taking money for gas but stopped direct debit for electricity.
During many conversations with EDF it turned out that;
1. they thought i had moved house (!)
2. actually it was my meter number - it is one number too long for their system:
My Meter Number: 8776939987
EDF think Meter Number: 878739987

2011 feb
I moved to EDF and began paying by direct debit for both electricity and gas

Saturday, 28 June 2014

My problems with EDF Energy & the energy Ombudsman Services

This has been going  on a long time but i thought i would write it down as it makes no sense to me and i hope this will help me understand what is going  on and maybe help others with a similar problem.

I moved my energy supply to EDF energy sometime in February 2011 and i made my first payments to them in  March. Initially EDF wanted the payments made in pairs each month, one for gas and one for electricity and online i had 2 account numbers in  my EDF control Panel , again one for gas and one for electricity. I paid by Direct Debit.

Here are the payments i made between March 2011 and August 2013 when a person at EDF advised me to cancel my direct debits.

1 Mar 2011£51
3 Mar 2011£51£102
1 Apr 2011£51 £51£102
3 May 2011£51£51
1 Jun 2011£51£51
1 Jul 2011£51£51
1 Aug 2011£51£51
1 Sep 2011£51£51
3 Oct 2011£74£74
1 Nov 2011£74£74
1 Dec 2011£74£74
3 Jan 2012£74£74
1 Feb 2012£74£74
1 Mar 2012£66£66
2 Apr 2012£66£66
1 May 2012£66£50£116
1 Jun 2012£66£50£116
2 Jul 2012£66£50£116
1 Aug 2012£66£50£116
3 Sep 2012£76*£50£126
1 Oct 2012£76*£50£126
1 Nov 2012£76*£50£126
3 Dec 2012£76*£50£126
2 Jan 2013£76*£50£126
1 Feb 2013£76*£50£126
11 Feb 2013+£228.00+£228.00
Bill 6th Feb: Your gas statement: £269.28 cr Because you pay by Direct Debit you do not need to do anything. We'll refund 228.00 to you on 11 Feb 13'
1 Mar 2013£76*£50£126
2 Apr 2013£76*£50£126
2 May 2013£76*£50£126
3 Jun 2013£76*£50£126
1 Jul 2013£103**£50£153
1 Aug 2013£103**£50£153

* I am guessing the split is £50 for electricity and £76 for gas as the previous October 2011 they were taking £74 for Gas.

** As of Bill date: 27 May 2013:  'Based on your latest meter readings and our current prices, we now predict that your current monthly payment of £126.00 will be too little to cover your balance. We are changing your Direct Debit amount to £153.00, starting on 1 Jul 13 to help avoid any build-up of debt by the end of your billing period.'
This is despite a growing Credit, that even in 27 May 2013 Bill was £179.89 in credit. By Bill date: 29 Jul 2013 it had reached £527.39 in credit.

So, what is the problem here?
The problem is that i have never, until February of this year, had a bill for my electricity!

The Electricity account was removed from my online account after April 2011. Since then meter readers have come to the house and taken meter readings, i have tried to put in  meter readings into my online account and i have phoned EDF many, many, many times over the years to get this sorted. But nothing  happened.

From April 2011 to April 2012 EDF say i left EDF. Even though they kept taking  money for Gas (though this month  i was told by the Ombudsman that EDF had said that i had only paid them £2100 in total. So i guess that they also managed to lose the payments i made in 2011-2012 as well. This is why i had to send the Ombudsman a copy of all my statements to prove that i had paid EDF this much as, though the Ombudsman believes everything  EDF say, they never believe anything  i say) .

When i finally persuaded EDF that i had not moved house, in May 2012, they started taking  money for electricity again by Direct Debit . Though still without any bills or meter readings.

Wrong Meter Number
On chasing  EDF about this they then said that the problem was my meter number - that it was too long for their system.
P8776939987 - My meter number 
P878739987 - The meter number EDF bills me for.

1. Are EDF even allowed to take money from me without billing  me?

2. Are EDF allowed to take money from me when they have the wrong meter number?

When i ask The Ombudsman they say: 'But its only 1 number out'.

Waiting for the BIG BILL
In Bill Date 14 Aug 2013 i was £518.34 in credit. It was at this point that the person i was speaking  to at EDF advised me to stop my Direct Debits.

Until that point i had paid all my bills via Direct Debit and been sent the bills:
16/08/2011 – billed £305.45
31/01/2012 - billed £301.76
23/02/2012 – billed £128.03
26/07/2012 – billed £346.90
06/02/2013 – billed £536.79
27/05/2013 – billed £467.39
29/07/2013 – billed £84.50
14/08/2013 – billed £9.05 (£518.34 in credit)
Total: £2179.87

So i have paid them £2089 for Gas, they refunded me £228 for some reason, leaving £1861. So i underpaid £318.87. I had paid £902 for my electricity so they took money from that amount £902-318.87 = £583.13.

So why, by 14 August 2013, was i not in credit £583.13?

Arrival of  the BIG BILL
Throughout 2011, 2012 and 2013 i phoned EDF to try and get my billing  sorted. Regularly i would be told that someone would be 'phoning  me back. No one ever did. But i asked often whether i would be sent an enormous bill and i was always told that that would never happen.

Until of course, it happened. In January 2014 i managed to give EDF a reading  over the phone of 96900.

My next bill, Bill date: 7 Feb 2014, said:
31 July 2013 - 20 January 2014 Last time you had a credit of £44.00 

What had happened to my credit of £583.13 £518.34??

It then went on:
09 May 2011 - 20 January 2014 (988 days)
Your charges for this period : £1,500.78
Your new account balance: £1,456.78 (ie minus my credit of £44).

But according  to the Billing  Code i am not allowed to be billed for energy used more than a year ago - so no bills for electricity used before 20 jan 2013. So why the bill for the full amount?

It then laid out my estimated electricity usage:
starting  from 09 May 11 estimated 85707
09 May 11 - 09 Nov 11 = 1850 kWh ie 6 months @ 308kw per month
10 Nov 11 - 31 Mar 12 = 1937 kWh ie 6 months @ 387kw per month
01 Apr 12 - 06 Dec 12 = 2620 kWh ie 8 months @ 327kw per month
07 Dec 12 - 30 Dec 13 = 4528 kWh ie 13 months @ 348kw per month
31 Dec 13 - 17 Jan 14 = 258 kWh ie 6 months @ 129kw per 2 weeks

Do they even have a reading to start with, any proof that 85707 is even the right number at the beginning?

So for Electricity:
Total electricity charges for this period £1,518.26
and Gas: 31 Jul 13 - 20 Jan 14 = £478.47
Total: 1996.73
But: We cancelled your charges (excluding VAT) from 31 July 2013 - 20 January 2014 = £451.75 credit

Total: 1544.98 but with various discounts (dual fuel, direct debit etc) = £1,500.78

I phoned up  and questioned this whole bill and got another bill: 10 Feb 2014:

Last time you owed 9 May 2011 - 20 January 2014 = £1,456.78
You paid us £0.00
Your charges for this period £460.78 in credit
Your new account balance £996.00

This bill then went on:

We cancelled your charges (excluding VAT) from 9 May 2011 - 20 January 2014 = £1,881.06 credit
Goodwill Payment = £438.84 credit
Total recent account activity = £2,319.90 credit

Which pretty well makes no sense. When i phone EDF, as i do a lot. They say the same thing: It makes sense and you  owe us £996.

I have since had bills for Gas and Electrict usage which i have paid immediately. But all bills after this mention that i owe £996 which i do not pay. So i pay all amounts over £996.

I complained to the Ombudsman who says i must get a letter from EDF. A full and final letter. Which i get eventually. This lays out what i owe as follows:

Full and Final Letter from EDF 1 March 2014
  • The bill under review relates to the period 9 May 2011 to 17 Jan 2014
  • The total energy charge including  vat at 5% was £1500.78
  • You  have made payments totalling  £800 up to17 Jan 2014
  • This leaves a balance of £700.78
  • Under our Billing  Code a reduction of £460.78 relating  to the period 9May 2011 to  7 Feb 2014 has been applied
  • Energy charges totalling £240.08 for the period 8 Feb 2013 to 17 Jan 2014 is therefore payable
  • Future energy charges after 17 Jan 2014 are also payable and the current balance is £996.
So, point one:
  1. If they cant bill me prior to 17 Jan 2013 (ie the year before they noticed ) then why are they talking  about 9 May 2011 to 17 Jan 2014?
  2. Are they allowed to keep the money i paid them that they have never billed me for AND bill to the wrong meter number?
  3. Why can't they just come up  with a bill for 17 Jan 2013 to 17 Jan 2014?
BUT MOST OF ALL: FUTURE ENERGY CHARGES of (£996-£240.08)  = £755.92 for the period 17 Jan 2014 to 1 March 2014?? 

So i try t raise these points with the Ombudsman. many times. Finally, In june i get someone to actually agree that the Future charges make no sense as i have paid all my bills  for energy usage  - i just haven't paid the £996. The Lady at the ombudsman says she will look into at phone me back.

I phone up  the next day - the lady has left!

I get another ombudsman - i get him to question the future charges.

The next day he has left.

The next day i get another omdbudsman to question the future charges.

The next day he says that the future charges are not future charges but past charges. He says EDF say that i only paid them £2100 since 2011.

I then produce all my bank statements showing  that i paid in £2991. i also discover that they refunded me £228.

The ombudsman then says he will speak to EDF.

EDF then say that its not future charges or a lack of payment but something  else...

I am to be sent a new letter.

Right up until the 10 June 2014 i have been getting  letters from EDF threatening  me with Bailiffs. Supposedly they have finally stopped doing  that but we will wait and see.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

New Story: The Battle of Lauder or How I beat the English

The Battle of Lauder or How I beat the English is a short story about a mother who selflessly and singlehandedly beats back an invasion of British tanks as they roll up Lauder High Street following Scottish Independence.
 i will add links. Oh no, here's one: Smashwords.
I will try and add a link to amazon when i reaches there - if i remember.
This and all my ther stories are now free on smashwords - though not amazon..

There is a tought of writing  2 moe of these - from shereen's and macca's points of view.

but i'm lazy and busy so probably not.

i do have another story almost ready to go. i hope 'In a Yellow Datsun Sunny' will be next.