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Don't be afraid to challenge!

posted by RIAFT | 2 months ago

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.

4 comments

Top answer

posted by RIAFT | A month ago
Re: Don't be afraid to challenge!

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.

posted by Jonnel | A month ago
Re: Don't be afraid to challenge!
Similar thing happened to me. I moved home and brought SP with me, they were pretty good in those days. The new house had had a different supplier so SP handled the changeover because apparently, when you change suppliers the new one always does...
I ended up having to pay the old supplier my usage for the first quarter as well as SP the same amount because SP didn't tell them the date I'd moved in.

SP managed to close my old account for the previous house tbough... did they close yours? You said 'both' your accounts are on your account page... is the old one marked 'closed' ?

posted by RIAFT | A month ago
Re: Don't be afraid to challenge!
Yes indeed, the old account has shown as 'closed' for a long time, despite them now claiming that I owe somewhere between £56 and £366 on it!

posted by sabre | A month ago
Re: Don't be afraid to challenge!

My question to the community is, has anyone had to request a change of account number from Scottish Power?  See my issue below as to why I am having to ask this.

Oh my goodness!  What is it with this company.  I am a dual fuel customer, so have a single account number for both fuel types.  A few months ago I received an email informing me I had closed my gas account, and they were sorry to see me go!  I called up.  Someone somewhere had made a serious error.  When I went through account security they had an entirely different name on the account.  Not even the landlord, but a completely random person.  The customer service operator tried to insist I had moved home and kept asking me if I had not called to close my account.  As if I was some kind of simpleton.  This was resolved, or so I thought. 

A few weeks ago the exact same thing happened, and again customer services asked me the same ridiculous questions.  They debited over £600 from my account, claiming it was my final bill, but as I had not provided a reading it was an estimation.  £600!!!  Who can afford to have that much money just vanish from their bank account!  The customer service representative was helpful, however, I never received my refund.  I am having to chase this up now.  And obviously I can't get through on the phone so I am having to do it online myself.  Because I guess I must work for Scottish power now, and do their job for them.

I want to leave, but guess what uswitch and go compare both have this as my best option!  I will pay more anywhere else I go.  GGRRRRRRR