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Billing mistake leaves me £632 in debt

TEARS rolled down Tim Kearney’s cheek when he realized EDF had mistakenly taken £442 from his bank account. . . the second time.

The error kept him from buying food and pushed him into an unresolvable overdraft.

A payment error leaves Gill Mewett in debt when she believes she has credit

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A payment error leaves Gill Mewett in debt when she believes she has credit

Last year, the 48-year-old self-employed decorator failed her bills as she struggled to find enough money to buy and sell.

He has struck a deal with the energy giant to pay what he owes in less than £11 a month on his monthly bill.

But EDF received the full £442 in December. After Tim’s contact, EDF Cash back within 24 hours.

But it happened again last month, leaving him with an overdraft and no cash for essentials.

Tim said: “I have no money to support myself. I had to borrow money from my parents to pay the rent, meals and bills. They are 81 years old and cannot afford it.”

He contacted EDF to make a claim and after seven days he received a refund of £364 – still £78 short.

When The Sun contacted EDF, it promptly refunded Tim, apologizing and offering to pay his overdraft costs.

‘Now let’s give the kids a bath’

An EDF spokesman said: “We have also offered Mr Kearney a good faith payment and have been able to establish a reasonable payment plan for the outstanding balance.”

He was one of thousands of people forced to complain to energy suppliers.

Annual bills are set to grow £693 on average to £1,971 in April when the new price cap starts.

The government has committed to helping households with a credit of £200 in October to be repaid in £40 in installments from April 2023.

Households in council tax range A to D will also receive a £150 discount.

Price isn’t the only thing up.

Complaints to energy inspectors are also on the rise – up 31% year-on-year, according to data analyzed by The Sun.

More than 20 suppliers went bankrupt in the past year, leading to 2.7 million customers having to switch to other providers.

Many of those people have faced payment problems.

A payment error leaves Gill Mewett in debt when she believes she has credit.

The stay-at-home mom has been diligently recording her meter readings with Avro Energy. When Avro went bankrupt, she was sent a final report in September 2021 showing she had received £220.

The 51-year-old man living in Wiltshire has been moved to Octopus Energy along with 580,000 other customers and set up smart meters.

Gill was then sent a series of bills within two weeks by the new supplier, with varying amounts, claiming she owed £973.

It wasn’t until The Sun contacted Octopus that it admitted this was a mistake.

The company claims that it relied on meter readings submitted by Avro – and that Avro’s final invoice to Gill was incorrect.

In total, Gill currently owes £632 – which includes the debt she has to pay and her energy usage between September and January of this year.

“When I had a lot of credit, I thought, ‘Fab, I still have to pay what we use,’” she said. Now we are working on how we can cut costs. We didn’t use a tumble dryer and the kids had a timer for how long they could shower.

“If I had known sooner, I could have made the adjustments I’m making to my energy bill and would have given more consideration to the bills before last Christmas.” .”

‘The meter shows I used £41,300 electricity’

Octopus told The Sun that the error was on Avro’s “wrong payment”.

An Octopus spokesman added: “We are working with Gill to allow her to pay this debt over time and establish a reasonable direct debit for her to do so.”

As well as billing mistakes, energy customers have experienced smartwatch issues.

SSE customer Adrian Vanheems, 72, woke up one morning last month to find his smart meter showed he owed £41,000 just for five hours of energy use.

Adrian's meter shows he owes more than £41k

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Adrian’s meter shows he owes more than £41k
The bug remains unresolved, causing Adrian to wear a smartwatch that he can't use and can't track his energy costs

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The bug remains unresolved, causing Adrian to wear a smartwatch that he can’t use and can’t track his energy costs

Adrian said: “I went into the kitchen to make tea and was greeted with a reading on my smartwatch.

“I seem to have used £41,300 on electricity between midnight and 5:30am in my small townhouse.

“It was a great inconvenience. There’s no point in having a smartwatch if it doesn’t offer the right amount. “

Adrian, who is retired and lives in Reading, will not be charged for the offence. But the SSE only assured him of this after The Sun intervened.

The energy company claimed they were initially unable to check his account because he was switching to Ovo Energy.

The bug remains unresolved, leaving Adrian unable to use his smart meter and unable to track his energy costs.

An SSE spokesperson said: “We regret this error and can reassure Mr Vanheem that the issue will only affect the display, not the actual gauges or gauges. . He will not receive a bill for the amount on the screen. ”

Common problems with invoices

YOUR BILLS VERY HIGH. It’s hard to tell if you’re being billed incorrectly or it’s simply a price spike. If your bill spikes suddenly, you should check with your supplier. Take a look at your consumption and see if it increases.

Avoid estimated bills at all costs. Give your supplier meter readings every month and take pictures as proof.
Providers can only bill you for the previous 12 months if the fault was their fault.

YOU IS OWED CREDIT. We receive a lot of mail from consumers who were transferred to a new provider after they went bankrupt. Many people are waiting for credit from these failed companies.

Gillian Cooper, of Citizens Advice, says: “If your provider fails and you switch to a new provider, it is the responsibility of the new provider to protect your credit.

“However, it is a complicated process, so it can take several weeks for a refund.

“Your supplier should keep you updated on how things are progressing and when you will receive your new bill.

“If you are having trouble paying, talk to them about the support they can provide.”

YOUR SMART WATCH IS BY BEING. If your smartwatch is not working properly, your supplier should investigate and replace the meter if required.

In the meantime, you should continue to measure your meter in the usual way to monitor your usage.

Vendors should strive to get proper meter readings at least once a year.

IF YOU CAN’T SOLVE IT. .. If you are not satisfied with what your energy company says, or it does not solve your problem, you can report the company to the Energy Ombudsman.

You must have complained to your supplier and given the company 8 weeks to resolve the issue.

The ombudsman will then review your case and decide if you should be compensated.

You must refer your case to ombudsman within 12 months of the provider notifying you of their decision.

Energy expert Tashema Jackson, of energyhelpline. com, says: “There is nothing more frustrating than being incorrectly charged for anything. But in a time of high bills and high energy usage, it is especially frustrating for suppliers to get your energy bill wrong.

“They should take steps to address it promptly. If you feel things are taking too long, make a formal complaint. Then, if that is not resolved to your liking, you will be able to take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman. “

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/17541594/billing-blunder-left-me-in-debt/ Billing mistake leaves me £632 in debt

JACLYN DIAZ

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