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posted by Davc | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
Very good advice from Starypotter, sadly a lot of people never read bills or send in readings and then suddenly realise their bad situation. Energy is one of the most expensive things we buy and it is as important as bank accounts and so should not be ignored.

posted by gerryc | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
take it to the press, investigative journalists would love this!!!!!,

posted by gerryc | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
my d/d debit has increased £61 to £85 without my knowledge, they should give 10 days notification of any increase, this shower seems to be a law unto themselves,

posted by Jonnel | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.

@gerryc Before you query the lack of DD notification with them, just check your online account (if you have one). There's a messages option for online accounts on there - not community messages mind you, Account Messages... the messages account no-one ever looks at... SP like to slip DD increase notifications in there.

posted by Starrypotter | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.

Actually Gerry C. I sent my situation to many press outlets and did not get one single response.

My reality was that I could afford the situation i was in and I was fortunate enough to have the capacity to create the spreadsheets and analyse the data to fight my cause. On top of that, my job allowed me to be able to be on the phone for sometimes an hour or more at a time .  Regardless, i can admit that it was probably the most single frustrating  situation I have ever been in. There is no doubt in my mind that there would be many many people who would not have the capacity to fight this system. Due to my financial position I did not have the real serious stress that would have come with it. , After christmas they wiped my account twice but it was only my current account and I was not destitute like so many others perhaps would be. I have no doubt in my mind that there must be instances where a situation like this could have grave consequences for some people. I hope I am wrong but can you imagine. In January and February they took over 1000 from me from a faulty meter. How many bread line families could cope with this...........

I contacted the press and they did not reply not to mention "The One Show" for example. There must be 1000's of people being wrongly charged with no capacity or understanding of what to do. In some instances it is brutally fraudulant and downright thievery. Perhaps when i leave my current project I will take the time to try again.  You can see from this thread there are plenty of people in similar situations. If i or we all can help a few then at least we have done something.........

 

posted by Davc | 5 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.

@Starrypotter Hi

I read over this thread from the beginning, you have really been through the mill and its nice of you to be helping others. SP have good people but absorbing the recent customers from EE and the Smart process have overwhelmed them. I would like to know more about the management, there seems to be little direction or quality control and faults are allowed to drift on for weeks. The web pages are not well monitored and too often links are not appropriate or do not work at all. It is like a black box problem, you probe one area and it works, but the next one does not, what goes on in there? At the moment there seems to be a payment problem, and the Apps for Pads and Phones have never worked reliably, and the telephone system is a nightmare. SP would really benefit by taking time to read the community comments, and to focus on the problems highlighted here.
In their defence I suggest they get a lot of calls from customers who do not understand meters and accounts and who do not read bills. So when a real problem like yours comes up the first reaction is to ignore it as nonsense. But too often they are not good at problems. Like simple accounting issues, is the billing department completely separate to customer services? and IT completely separate again? and complaint tracking is chaotic with each call being treated as new, it is indeed a black box. Let's hope that somebody reads these comments, Eilidh and Gordon used to be good but seem to have moved on now, maybe one day they will ask us contributors to Glasgow for a cream tea?

posted by Starrypotter | 4 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.

Thanks Dave, your points are very valid. Actually, not so long ago SP updated their systems. In all honesty this must be an incomprehensible task. I remember reading there were many many problems and in particular, perhaps conveniently, loss of data from the past. In my opinion there was a real disconnect between customer service and the "system" per se.  During my time the automation kicked in every 60 days. so if for example payments were frozen by customer services this would be over run by the update once the automaton kicked in lol....It meant you could not trust anyone because they could not stop the system. The only one that ever did was the PA to the director. As i highlighted previously everything that she said would happen,, did.  Their customer service was actually disgraceful in some instances. Different people telling me different things. Not to mention incomplete notes on my case file. Quite often i would quote them and they said that i was not correct and this was not mentioned in their notes. Their tune changed when I offered to send them a transcript of the conversations lol. I even had one who refused to allow me to record. Fair enough it was her right however I dont get an option when they record me and tbh what can that possibly only mean. I mean she was already getting recorded by her company so the only reason could possible be that what she may say perhaps could not be altogether true...Ok I am being subjective here but what other assumption can be made.....

When it came to the replacement meter one person saying it was clearly faulty and they would replace and the next saying i was not reading it correctly. They changed the plan some 4 or 5 times over the course of a month and i could rarely get the designated complaint handler due to their shift system. On the day of the meter change the guy coming to our house did not know what he was there for. He actually asked us if he was testing the meter or changing. It was shocking service to say the least.

My saving grace is that today i can celibrate my departure from them. Literally at the same time they settled my claim my boiller started making funny noises. Rattling and banging whereby one of my plumber mates said it was on its way out. Diaphram gone in the pressure vessel etc etc.....Due to also having boiler cover i thought it was prudent to wait until it finally gave up the ghost or SP refused to repair due to not being economical. This is now the case and I have since received a check for another good few quid towards a new boiler so its energy company shopping we go....My plight was far less than many because of my own situation. There must be too many people positively distraught at the circumstance they find themselves in. It is imperative that they give regular meter updates. That is the best advice anyone can give. Make sure that their energy is not running away with their hard earned cash without them knowing it.

Its a truly horrible situation to be in so any help i can give I will. It is a train that cannot be stopped in my opinion......not by anyone.

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posted by vphoenix | 3 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
We just had the same problem. From montly DD of £74 agreed, now they take £166! The bill for 3 months -only!!!-is apparently almost as the annual bill we payed before switching over from the previous suplyer! So they charged me £960 or so for 3 months!!! I can not even think straight now, spent over 3 .5 hours chatting to them today!

posted by musiccrescendo | 2 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
I set up one dd to come out for my gas only of £22.50 a month on the 1st of the month. Last month they took out £95 on 24th then £22.50 on the 1st as agreed and now another £95 today!!!! I just got paid my child benifit which i was using to buy food which i now cannot do as scorish power took my money unlawfully...
TWICE!!!! First time they returned the cash after i complained. Told them i just want the gas coming out on the first for £22.50 and i will pay electric quarterly. They appologised and told me..
No promised me it wouldnt happen again and its happened again Smiley Sad what right do they have?

posted by Jonnel | 2 months ago
Re: Direct debit failure and sheer incompetence or consideration for their customer.
@musiccrescendo You're not alone in not understanding what you're getting in to when you agree to pay (any firm) by direct debit. Lots of people think a direct debit is simply an agreement to pay a 'fixed amount to a certain firm on a fixed day for a certain period of time' but it's not. A direct debit actually means you telling your bank 'it's okay to pay a certain firm money from my account when they ask you to, without you checking with me first.'

All the firm has to do to stay legal is give you 10 days notice that they're changing something about the arrangement, like the date, the amount or the account they're putting your money into after they've taken it.

That's probably your best bet for your complaint - check your online account to see if they've messaged you to say they're changing the amount from £22.50 to £117.50 and if they havn't they have to give you your £95 back again.

Then cancel the direct debit, save your £22.50 up each month in your own bank and pay for both fuels quarterly so it can't happen again. Though a quarterly payment tariff is usually a bit dearer than a DD tariff, for just that reason.