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Any thoughts ?

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Any thoughts ?

Old 11th Jan 2022, 11:41
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Any thoughts ?

I have just received a letter from our energy supplier - it starts -
"Dear Customer,
It is our job to help you keep your account in good shape,and make sure you don't build up too much credit, or debit, on your account balance."
It then continues by informing me that my account is in debit by an amount which is OVER EIGHT times my present monthly direct debit. !!
The financial implications, while painful, are bearable (just), but would I be justified in thinking that the company's "job" has been a little lacking ?
It is notable that the accompanying account detail is all based on estimated values
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 12:07
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
I have just received a letter from our energy supplier - it starts -
"Dear Customer,
It is our job to help you keep your account in good shape,and make sure you don't build up too much credit, or debit, on your account balance."
It then continues by informing me that my account is in debit by an amount which is OVER EIGHT times my present monthly direct debit. !!
The financial implications, while painful, are bearable (just), but would I be justified in thinking that the company's "job" has been a little lacking ?
It is notable that the accompanying account detail is all based on estimated values
Ah, silly you, you have failed in your duty by not doing their job for them by reading your meter on their behalf. Buggered that one up myself!
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 12:12
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I suppose they will blame covid for not having to bear the expense of inspectors and you being dilatory in accepting their generous offer of a smart meter.
No point doing much without a real up to date reading. You can compare that with their latest estimate to see if there is a real issue.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 12:42
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Presumably they have been asking you for regular readings and if so, then they should have brought the discrepancy of payments to your attention. Also, could be wrong, but, I'm sure there's a statutory obligation to have your supply. and hence accurate readings, taken by inspectors not simply to get an accurate reading, but to check you aren't fiddling or by passing the supply.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 12:50
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TLD and Mr O - thank you.
Yes, I have consistently ignored their kind offers of a smart meter, so I am, obviously, at fault. They have, in their deep and abiding interest in my welfare, suggested that the best solution would be for me to hand over the multi thousand discrepancy, but I feel that may not be in MY best interests. I sense a 'Mr Disgruntled of Norfolk' persona creeping up on me !
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:02
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It rather depends on the account you have. I frequently swap providers so my old style smart meter was useless to them. Every provider would send me a monthly email saying that were going to take my direct debit in a few days time and inviting me to submit a meter reading, otherwise they would estimate it. I would log on to my account, put in the meter reading and check my account at the same time, A day or so later I would get an email giving me a revised balance. Recently my supplier stopped the meter reading element of their DD email but I still sent them a meter reading anyway. Then I noticed their estimate and my readings were very close. Shortly after I got an email telling me they had found my smart meter - cunning devils. Now I can log on at any time to find the state of my account.

My view is, if you were in electronic communication with your supplier and did not keep them up to date with your consumption and monitor your account, well that was a bit silly, You could just as easily have been over paying as under, If you were doing it the quill and parchment method, you should have been getting a bill with your estimated consumption which you could have checked against the meter so still a bit silly, If you are on a smart meter then they have a degree of responsibility in that they should have suggested you change your DD before you got into so much debt.

If paying it all off in one go is an issue for you, talk to the company giving them the poor old pensioner spiel and the perhaps they may be amenable to a monthly recovery
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
TLD and Mr O - thank you.
Yes, I have consistently ignored their kind offers of a smart meter, so I am, obviously, at fault. They have, in their deep and abiding interest in my welfare, suggested that the best solution would be for me to hand over the multi thousand discrepancy, but I feel that may not be in MY best interests. I sense a 'Mr Disgruntled of Norfolk' persona creeping up on me !
I too have consistently refused my supplier's generous offer of a smart meter for two reasons. First I am yet to be convinced that they are interchangeable between suppliers; second that for as long as I am physically able just how much hardship is it for me to toddle to garage to read the gas meter, and around the side of the house to take an electricity reading then put both on to Ovo's excellent easy to use website.

Of course if someone is no longer physically able to read a meter then the onus must be on the supplier to get their backsides around to the customer's property and read the meter on a minimum quarterly basis if requested.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:12
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
I too have consistently refused my supplier's generous offer of a smart meter for two reasons. First I am yet to be convinced that they are interchangeable between suppliers; second that for as long as I am physically able just how much hardship is it for me to toddle to garage to read the gas meter, and around the side of the house to take an electricity reading then put both on to Ovo's excellent easy to use website.

Of course if someone is no longer physically able to read a meter then the onus must be on the supplier to get their backsides around to the customer's property and read the meter on a minimum quarterly basis if requested.
As you will see I tried that game for myself. I had a smart meter and then promptly swapped providers which turned it back into a dumb meter with the bonus that I could still reader using the nifty little box that came with it, thereby saving myself a trip to the meter box. Now, somehow and several suppliers later, the cunning bar stewards have found the box, presumably via its unique identifier.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:16
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This may be helpful
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com...meter-annually
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:17
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You probably want to sort this out ASAP before the rates go up.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:21
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Originally Posted by under_exposed View Post
You probably want to sort this out ASAP before the rates go up.
Unlikely, it is a debt charged at the rate prevailing at the time, but it may affect a credit rating and future relations and offers from the company.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 13:44
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We had not had a meter reader for quite a while - the last estimate was higher than we had actually used but as winter was coming we just left it as was.
Cue the most recent Bill - estimate still over the top so my OH read the meter and sent in the readings online - of course the readings were lower than the estimate - we had a visit from a meter reader within a couple of days
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 14:16
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We were changed from Avro to Octopus when the former went bust. Although our new costs are about 30% higher Octopus have kept the Avro direct debit the same. Avro used to ask for a meter reading at the end of each month and, initially, Octopus did the same but they haven't done so this month. I am just about to send them one anyway, this thread has reminded me, so I am expecting that the credit I had with Avro will be wiped out and my debt will be rapidly increasing unless they create a new direct debit.
I too see no point in a smart meter. It only gives the suppplier more control if they need it one day.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 14:33
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Originally Posted by pulse1 View Post
We were changed from Avro to Octopus when the former went bust. Although our new costs are about 30% higher Octopus have kept the Avro direct debit the same. Avro used to ask for a meter reading at the end of each month and, initially, Octopus did the same but they haven't done so this month. I am just about to send them one anyway, this thread has reminded me, so I am expecting that the credit I had with Avro will be wiped out and my debt will be rapidly increasing unless they create a new direct debit.
I too see no point in a smart meter. It only gives the suppplier more control if they need it one day.
As an Octopus customer, you can monitor the balance of your account on line and adjust your DD or make a one off payment. Or at least, I can on my tariff.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 14:46
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I'm old fashioned; when/if I get an estimated quarterly reading, I read it myself then use the telephone, yes telephone to pass them my corrected reading.
Funnily enough they never get my reading wrong except on one quarter last year where they wrote to me saying I was in arrears.
I gleefully pointed out the bill had been paid by me, over the counter, at the Post Office and I had a printed receipt for it.(Remember receipts?)
Co-incidentally I've just written cheques (remember them?) out for my latest bills which I will be paying tomorrow.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 15:01
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Devil Meter Readings

I am with OVO Energy, I have a smart meter for the Electric supply but an old Cu Ft gas meter. They tried to fit a modern smart gas meter but its out of signal range to the electric mtr and therefore cannot submit its data. So Every month on the required day as requested I submit the gas meter reading. Then when I check my bill they always used an estimated reading of 5/6 CU/FT more, that equates to about 180 KWHrs and I am always over charged, so the day after I submit a second mtr reading but they never correct it. I have lost count of the phone calls / e mails. I am in credit and get a credit interest payment on the balance, but its always down as they have over charged me.
However it will work out when I dump them at the end of the contract. Its been suggested to me to miss read the meter and submit a lower reading, but I would never do that.
***
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 16:20
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Being a boring ex-Engineer I routinely record my Gas and Leccy usage on a spreadsheet - mainly to convince the Missus and step-kids (when they are visiting) that extra layers of clothing and turning lights off (yes, light switches are 2-way devices!) is the way ahead especially if the slope of the graph starts to nose-dive. Oh, yes, I'm sat here in my coat as I type by the light of a flickering candle - a bonus device as it provides both light AND heat from one flame!!!!!! But it means I can ensure real readings are used.

Did have fun with youngest step-daughter when she went to Uni many years ago. After a few months the first leccy bill came in which was Megga and so there was a tearful S-D on the phone to Mum. Having discovered it was an estimated Bill, a gleeful S-D went off to read the meter. I guess you can see where this is heading.....! I could clearly hear the wailing during the second phone call from the gloomy recess of my office upstairs! Seems that, from then on, she became a modern version of the SS when monitoring what the other Students got up to re use of the drier, oven, etc, etc!

And another S-D left home taking her Laptop with her. A few months later BT Internet rang with the usual "Can we do you a new deal, Sir". We were quite happy so the call was about to end when the guy said "Erm, Sir, I don't quite know how to put this, but, erm, has something changed in your home?". Curious, I asked him why he was concerned. "Well, Sir, it's just your usage has plummeted by over 80% since about July so, erm, I just thought I'd ask.....". I thought for a second ... then clicked! "No, no real change apart from just had a S-D leave home around then! Must have been her and her movies/streaming/gaming!". The BT bod was most relieved. "Oh, thank goodness it's just that! We thought it might have been a death in the family!" I did have fun with that one next time S-D visited!!!

Chevvron and I are clearly of the same mind - never trust the bu££ers! Sorry not much help! Cheers, H 'n' H
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 16:42
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Give them an accurate meter reading. You never know, they may actually owe you money.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 16:44
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I am an Avro to Octopus customer. and auto transfer went smoothly. DD now taken by Octopus

The moneysavingexpert.com Martin Lewis says "Do nothing" - so I await developments.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 16:45
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Ninthace, Many thanks for that info. I have now increased my DD.
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