I share a house with five friends and our energy bill is usually £ 129 per month.
But last June, our supplier Ovo sent us a bill for 1,000 1,000 in full.
We did not use more energy than usual – if we used less as the height of summer. I contacted Ovo and said it was a mistake.
But Ovo is stuck with the charge. Adding 1,000 to our monthly bill to spread the cost has taken them up to 7 167 a month.
Summer jolts: The housemates were shocked to be hit by nearly eight times their normal gas and electricity bills in June, when they were using little energy.
Now we’re leaving and Ovo says we still owe over £ 700, which must be paid before closing our account.
As the energy bill goes up a lot right now, we don’t really want to let it go – but I’m worried that because the bills have my name on them, if I don’t, they will be chased by debt collectors.
I want some help in fighting these power bullies. EC, South London
Helen Crane, it means, Answer: Electricity bills are skyrocketing and rising. Regulator Ofgem is raising its price cap again tomorrow, raising costs 54 percent or £ 693 more per year for the average family, who aren’t lucky enough to fix it.
The last thing anyone wants to do at the moment is pay with their noses for electricity and gas which they have not used.
Ovo The amount you charged was eight times your normal bill, which seems to be a clear mistake in mid-summer.
You’ve already spent a lot of energy trying to get rid of this confusing charge
Big Bill: From April 1, 22 million households will pay more for their energy bills as the price cap increases. Those with poor EPC energy efficiency ratings will be particularly vulnerable.
You told me that you have been emailing, texting and calling Ovo for nine months and until recently, it did nothing to help.
In your last contact with the company in February, you finally discovered that the £ 1,000 charge was spent by previous tenants of the property.
But even though you offered Ovo a lease agreement to prove the date you left, it tells you that the issue will not be sorted out until May.
Crane on the case
In our weekly column it means consumer expert Helen Crane tackles reader issues and sheds light on both good and bad companies.
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This is a problem because you and your family are going out in April. And anyway, why it takes three months to make a general correction of your balance is beyond me.
When you’re managing your home bills, you’re just worried that leaving without paying can put you in hot water. You may be chased by debt collectors and your credit rating may be damaged.
I spoke with Ovo to find out what was going on and why the bill was not being sorted out at the right time.
It said that due to a technical problem, the tenancy change was not recorded on its system – it assumed that previous tenants were still on the property, even though you informed them when you entered.
It cleared the 1,000 charge and created a new account with the correct move-in date and the correct balance. It paid you 100 100 to apologize for his mistake.
A spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the delay in resolving this issue. We can make sure that a new account is opened which reflects the correct balance. ‘
I’m glad Ovo saw the light and fixed it. It’s so embarrassing that it took so long and involved me to pick quickly.
Traumatic Process: Reader Russell’s property, which was rented to an osteopathy clinic, had its power supply cut off – and proved to be a struggle to resolve the issue.
Hit and Miss: This week’s naughty and beautiful list
Every week, I look at those who have fallen short in customer service and those who have gone above and beyond.
Miss: BES Utilities Reader Russell also lost his energy due to a transaction with a utility company.
He owns a commercial property in the Midlands, which he rents out to tenants for use as an osteopathy clinic.
In February, new tenants moved in and everything went well – until two weeks later the power was cut off by the BES utility provider, leaving the business unable to trade.
Russell felt he could not afford to hire his tenants after the lights went out and the clinic became unusable, so he lost hundreds of pounds a month.
He said: ‘We have provided all the information requested by BES and even offered to pay the reconnection fee, but those we talk to on the phone do not seem to have the ability to move things and now BES has stopped answering us. Email
An issue related to a November 2021 bill that previous tenants neglected to pay.
When Russell first diagnosed the problem in December, he immediately told BES that non-paying tenants were no longer in position.
He added: ‘We have completed the relevant documentation as requested by BES and are assured that new tenants will be able to take up the contract.
“We were asked to ignore further letters addressed to our previous tenants and the process of disconnection will be stopped.”
Turn off the light: The power supply of the clinic is cut off due to non-payment of previous tenant’s bill
But it did not happen. I contacted BES to find out what was happening and when the issue would be resolved.
A spokesman said: ‘Like all commercial fuel suppliers, in order to protect our customers from incurring the cost of changing the rental fraud, we have developed a clear policy that determines the information we need when verifying changes in liability.
‘It is available on our website and is provided whenever we are notified of a possible change in ownership or possession.
‘In this case, the previous tenant had accumulated a significant debt which increased due to non-payment.
‘When we are contacted [Russell] In December, we advised him to follow up and the information we needed to update our records; However, unfortunately we did not provide relevant evidence until the supply was cut off.
Although Russell thought he had provided all the information he needed, it seems he didn’t.
But that doesn’t excuse the painful customer service experience, which means it took a while to get to the bone of contention and the osteopathy business had to spend weeks trading.
BES has now reconnected the supply and paid Russell some money as a gesture of goodwill, although it has asked him not to disclose the amount to me.
Hopefully this means Russell can resume his rent collection and tenants can crack down on running their business.
The key to success: Timpson was helpful when our reader Joanne wanted to return a carved door sign that he had ordered, which was damaged.
Hit: Timpson Reader Joan writes to tell us about her good experience with the shoe repair, key cutting and engraving business, Timpson.
He said: ‘I ordered a slate door sign from Thompson and it was cut off when it arrived. I contacted them via an online contact form, explained the problem, and offered to send pictures of their loss.
‘I received an email the next day apologizing, saying a replacement sign would be ordered and sent in the next few days. They did not request proof of loss or return of damaged marks.
Looks like Timpson has found the key to keeping his customers happy, and we’re always glad to hear that a firm is rated instead of slated.
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