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.