I have no mains gas and I used to get my electricity from a company called Symbio, before they went bust in October 2021. I was then transferred to Eon Next. My unit price went from around 10p per KWh to 20p per KWh overnight. I wasn’t billed until 28th November 2022, which was around 14 months after my account was transferred. Ofgem do not allow energy companies to back bill customers over 12 months, and the statement that I received from Eon Next reflected this, but they had included standing charges over 12 months. Additionally, on 1st April 2022, Eon Next had increased their unit price from 20.1p per KWh to 28.11p per KWh and an estimate of my usage had been recorded as 171 units BELOW my actual usage, this was on 1st April 2022. I had entered a meter reading on 31st March 2022, so, it was odd that Eon Next had chosen to ignore that reading and provide an estimate that had no bearing in reality. My statement showed clearly that Eon Next had charged me 171 units LESS at 20.1p per KWh, but had then charged me 171 units MORE at 28.11p. This meant that the company billed more than they were actually entitled to. To me, this appeared to be fraudulent accounting, but, then again, I’m not an accountant.
I complained of course and was met with the repeated response that the statement was “correct”. After a couple of weeks of this I requested a deadlock letter which was provided a couple of weeks later. I opened my case with The Ombudsman five weeks after starting an official complaint with Eon Next. The Ombudsman service proved to be very good. I was provided with a personal phone number which I could use to contact the investigator. I was required to provide evidence, which in my case was a statement of the facts and the statements of account I had received from Eon Next. I also provided the email correspondence that I had had with Eon Next representatives. I made a point in all my dealings with Eon Next, to only use email, that way I had a record of all contact with the company. I had also made my complaint known to my local MP, so I kept her in the loop too.
Once my evidence had been submitted online, Eon Next had fourteen days to provide their evidence. They took the whole fourteen days and submitted a statement that the account was correct, as well as copies of the bills and statements of account. Once all evidence was in, The Ombudsman could conduct an investigation. This only took a few days and the investigator rang me to discuss the decision before publishing. It was upheld that Eon Next had charged for standing charges they weren’t entitled to and the investigator said that was all she could find. I queried the estimate of 171 units below my average usage that Eon Next had provided, and showed the investigator that Eon Next had pulled a fast one which enriched the company. After a couple of minutes, the penny dropped and the investigator upheld my complaint on this point too. Further to the opening statement of account, Eon Next had provided a further statement for the period from the end of the last statement to the present day. This relied on figures from the first statement and so the final balance was wrong. I asked the investigator to require Eon Next to provide a statement from 22nd November 2022 to the present day, that being 30th January 2023. The investigator agreed to do this.
The decision was published and Eon Next then had fourteen days to respond. They didn’t bother to do that, so I had to wait fourteen days before the decision became binding. Eon Next now have until 13th march 2023 to provide an accurate statement from 22nd November 2022 to 30th January 2023. I am skeptical that this energy company will be able to provide such a statement. They have proved to be totally incompetent since the day I was transferred to them. They are also required to pay me £75 compensation, and, if they do not comply with The Ombudsman decision fully, I am allowed to go back to The Ombudsman to complain. My case with The Ombudsman will not be closed until I am satisfied, which is a comfort to me. I would highly recommend The Ombudsman service, you need a little patience, but it seems to be effective.
My Ombudsman decision…
In conclusion, had E-On Next billed you sooner, this issue may not have occurred, and you may not have needed to bring this to the Energy Ombudsman.
I will require E-On Next as per the back billing process to remove 56 days of standing charges at 27.591p/day plus the 5% vat, for 3 October 2022 to 28 November 2022 with the credit being added to your energy account.
I will require E-On Next to amend their meter reading on 1 April 2022 to 75867 and rebill you from 3 October 2021, taking back billing into account at the correct price of 20.21p/kWh
I will require E-On Next to rebill you from 1 April 2022 of 75867 up to 30 January 2023 of 77496 using the correct prices for this period, noting all credits made by the consumer and government scheme.
I will require E-On Next to reverse any late fee charges and remove any debt markers that may have been added to your credit file relating to this dispute.
I will require E-On Next to provide you with a written apology for the inconvenience this issue has caused you.
Value £: 75.00Comment:
I will require E-On Next to pay you £75.00 as a goodwill gesture for the shortfalls in service.