Like a number of other people, it appears, I received a phone call from 0344 543 9007 this morning telling me that I owed £366 on an account I closed in August 2017. I had received no previous communication about this outstanding balance. At first I was highly sceptical about the authenticity of the call, but eventually established it was genuine, even though the caller asked me for a lot of information they should already have had,
I managed to find Scottish Power's webhelp facility and have just spent two hours speaking to a customer service assistant online. The assistant told me that Scottish Power's records showed that I had never notified them of my final meter readings when I relocated from my previous address to my current address, and that all my bills had been based on estimated readings. He also advised that Scottish Power's records indicated that there had been no ACTUAL meter readings submitted since September 2016. As a result, the actual usage had apparently exceeded the estimated usage to the tune of £366. The assistant maintained they had no record of me notifying Scottish Power of my change of address in August 2017.
In fact, when I did move address in August 2017 I had REMAINED a Scottish Power customer so I had a new account set up at the new property. Both accounts are visible when I look online, so Scottish Power obviously DO have my new address.
I asked the assistant why I hadn't been informed of the outstanding balance on my old account until 15 months after I moved home in August 2017. He said that the preferred method of communication was post, and as they did not have my new address, mail had gone to my old address. In fact, I had arranged for mail to be redirected for 6 months, so they had clearly not attempted to write to me.
Moreover, at the end of August 2017 I had received a statement from Scottish Power sent to my NEW address and referring to my old account. This statement said that the last ACTUAL readings taken from my gas and electricity meters had been on 19 August 2017 and that the account balance at 22 August 2017 was £56.98 in debit.
I pointed this out to the assistant, and he eventually said that he would make the necessary corrections and confirmed that my outstanding balance was £56.98 and not £366. I took a copy of the screen during the webchat as I cannot be confident that my modified final account will reflect what I was told by the assistant.
In short, Scottish Power's records - in my case at least - were woefully inaccurate, so if you believe they have made a mistake, challenge them. Having just done so, I'm hoping I've just saved over £300.
Well, surprise surprise, I just got a bill with a totally different amount on it... £66.84 this time. I'm sure they just make this stuff up! The balance of £56.98 which I was told was the outstanding sum, I actually paid in December 2017! Having moved out of the property in August 2017, why I still owe anything I haven't the faintest idea.