Scottish Power has sent us a bill for gas used on a prepay meter | Energy bills


In July 2020 I moved into a rental property which had Scottish Power (SP) prepayment meters for both electricity and gas.

After several fruitless attempts to arrange for a credit meter to be fitted, I lost patience and, in June 2021, transferred the account to British Gas. A month later, SP sent me a bill for £647 for the gas account.

As it was a prepay account, it was obviously a mistake but SP refused to accept it.

I complained but was ignored, so I escalated the complaint and was, again, ignored. I finally contacted the Energy Ombudsman. SP proposed a remedy to the ombudsman: it would apply the missing payments to my account, close the account, send me a final statement of £0 along with a written apology explaining what went wrong, and £140 in compensation. I accepted this and SP was given 28 days to implement the resolution.

It hasn’t happened and I am at my wits’ end. I simply cannot get SP to resolve this and the ombudsman is laughably toothless, refusing to take any sort of stand despite the clear lack of cooperation.

EL, by email

This is an edited version of a very long letter detailing your very poor treatment by SP and the inability of the ombudsman to get the company to resolve a problem that should have been easy to fix. As my Observer colleague Anna Tims has often highlighted, the company’s billing operation can be a disaster zone for consumers.

In 2016 it was fined £18m by the regulator for failing to provide even the basic level of service. If our postbag and Trustpilot ratings are representative, Ofgem needs to look at the company again.

I asked SP about your case and it has finally resolved the matter. It has apologised and blamed an error within the national gas meter database resulting in your payments going to another supplier.

You are still incredulous that something so simple could take so long, but are happy to have finally had it put right.

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