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freddyford 13-07-19 06:57 AM

Ombudsman and Electricity suppliers
Now this is completely off the grid but I am wondering if any Members have experience of dealing with the Ombudsman and Utilita.
Last year as we are encouraged to do I changed electricity supplier to Our Power, I did not go for the cheapest. This February I received an Email from OfGem to say Our Power had gone into liquidation and we were transferred to Utilita who were to collect any outstanding Our Power amounts.
We live in a Bungalow with electric heating and so we have two tariffs. Somehow Our Power had transposed our night usage to the day rate of charges and day usage to night charges. We use about 60/40 ie 60% off peak and 40% normal. At the moment I am faced with a difference between what I actually owe and what they say I do of some £140.

Enter the Ombudsman, who I thought was impartial. July 12 was the due date for a decision. Only to find that Utilita have been given more time to access the figures. I received the meter readings in question from Utilita on the 14th June AFTER the closing date for submissions. Utilita have refused to answer any correspondence. Phone calls were either blocked or not answered. I have supplied the Ombudsman with previous companies and present companies meter readings which ALL support my submission that the readings have been transposed. Utilita who have ignored everything and the Ombudsman also appears to have ignored all. I sent the meter readings supplied by Utilita to the Ombudsman AFTER the closure date as soon as I received them from Utilita. Asking that they might be considered although after the closure date. Yesterday, the Ombudsman required a 'photograph' of the meter. Although we tried it is impossible as it is digital and you have the literally get down on ones knees to read it as the slot covers the top of the reading. So Guys any thoughts?:(According to the CAB Utilta should not have sent me final letters when the matter is being investigated, seemingly my bringing this to the notice of the Ombudsman has fallen on stoney ground.
I apologise to the Administrator if I am too far off the spirit of the Forum but it will make a change.

colinJYD 14-07-19 01:55 AM

Your OK on the subject, as this is just idle chat.

There is always problems changing power provider in the UK, and although they say it is a very smooth transition nowadays, it never is, and sometimes you end up losing out, and you always end up with a month where you are paying both providers (your old one and your new one) and have to claw back the difference from the old provider.

I found my old provider deliberately closed my account instantly and I could no longer access it on-line, so took me ages to get back the £120 they owned me that I thought was in credit. Eventually three months later after many phone calls, I got a check for £25 and not £120 as they said for some reason I owned them more for gas, grrrh!. and I had no way to dis-agree as they cut access to my closed account, and had to accept their word for it. So I got done as usual, and puts off doing anymore changing provider for a while. I think most of us get done changing provider, and is never smooth.

OK, your situation...

Not sure why they want a photo of your meter, unless they want to know its night storage type (old term..white meter)
Just supply them with the make and type of the meter and any photo you managed to take, or even a picture of one off the internet. Its the type they want to know , not the readings (display), as they will be different by now,

I would insist they got the figures backwards ie, night storage figures and day time figures swapped over, and you are now landed with extra payment, At the end of the day you might lose out, like I did, but good luck.

I would move away from your new provider, if there is still hassle, and go for another power provider.

By law if a power company goes into liquidation another provider is allocated, and takes it over, but under their cost terms, so could be dearer or cheaper. You can then decide to move to another provider if you wish.

PS...i moved to Octopus to get away from the big 5 power companies due to this years 7% increase by them.
I moved away from Scottish Power PLC due to the big increase. Bulb is also a better cheaper provider as well, according to my Sister.

freddyford 14-07-19 12:18 PM

Thanks for your input. I was with Our Power, they went broke and I was put with Utilita. Sorry if I offend but any energy firm that gives out freebies like football tickets. I am suspicious off. Utilita quoted 3 different prices and once suggested they would honour what I was paying. As soon as I could I changed to another company. Octopus certainly has its attractions but only came to light after I had just changed. So I have to consider the penalty. Until I get this sorry mess out of the way, I don't want to consider changing again. The photos required were to prove I was not lying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have just completed a letter to the Ombudsman in which I pointed out that had they compared the old companies final reading before I moved with Our Powers transposing their figures ( both readings done on the same day) it could be seen at a glance where the fault lie. Unfortunately the meter readings from Our Power only arrived on the 14th June AFTER the Ombudsmans closing date for evidence. I have suggested that this is no coincidence as Our Power ceased to exist on Feb 1. I sent the meter readings off immediately to the Ombudsman with a request that even though they were after the closing date they were the evidence that showed where the problem lie.
This has not been done BUT they have given Utilita more time to come up with something. This I have asked how come I can't they can.
It also beggars belief that according to the CAB Utilita have broken several rules but nothing mentioned by the Ombudsman. I have to my dismay found that the Ombudsman is part of a company and not indepedant. It gets 1 star on Trust Pilot and Martin Lewis of Money Supermarket does not rate the service at all. It does seem large companies can just roll over the consumer.

colinJYD 14-07-19 10:05 PM

Octopus, is slightly cheaper than the big five.
Other benefits, get a friend who is in octopus to recommend you to join, you get £50, he gets £50.
They do not use smart meter readings (I refused one due to the nasty EMF fields, and in the UK we can refuse them by law) Instead we get asked for email readings every month. You then get the 'big spin of the wheel' game LOL, a gimmick, and can win prizes of £1 off your bill, right up to £500 off you bill. I have won nothing yet. Typical.

Bulb, prices have came down slightly and better than the big 5 , my Sister now pays at a lower rate than last year. most unusual.
I may consider moving to them, depending on seeing my winter bills with Octopus first.

freddyford 17-07-19 07:18 AM

Well after some quite stressful weeks, this am I have been informed that the Ombudsman has found in my favour. Great BUT they have forgotten the problem is in two parts. I wonder is it going to be a repeat of getting this far to get the rest sorted?

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