I left the UK last year, and informed First Utility of this. I sent a final meter reading shortly afterwards, and also provided my new contact details so the final bill could be sent and the account settled. However, I have still not received a correct final bill from First Utility.
My monthly bills were on average £65 and never exceeded £100, but First Utility attempted to debit £1700 as a final payment even though I was up to date on my bills, had never missed a direct debit and had always paid in full and on time.
The situation has become so bad that I have had to close my UK bank account, even though I intended to keep it open as I travel to the UK frequently. I also have major concerns about how this may have impacted my credit rating.
The last straw was yesterday when I received a letter from First Utility to my new Irish address stating that they would send baliffs to to install a pay-as-you-go meter, and to extract payment for the erroneous bill. As I presume they did not intend to send baliffs to my new residence outside of the UK, I had to contact my previous landlord to advise him and the current tenant of the situation, who would have had to deal with this despite having nothing to do with the account.
I joined First Utility possibly over a year ago .. I joined by taking the duel service and what I ended up with was only electric .. I complained many times and tried to phone them ....well after waiting an eternity I asked for a ring back ..that was possibly over 7 months and still waiting ...I have also emailed a few times and only had 1/2 responses saying they would do something about it ..that was Nov/Dec
As before I said I was not sure of the date as to when I joined. I have now left them and joined edf ... I also feel that even if I have left before my years contact I have not broken it and should not be penalised as I am suppose to be on duel fuel ....
From the looks of my last account I am £400 in credit .. I wonder how long it is before I get my money back into my account ...
Just be wary of these things before joining as their communications is TERRIBLE which is a great pity as it could have been something worth while staying for ..
Therefore I can only give them a 2 star
I jad intial problems with First Utility not answering my emails. After my 3rd complaint email, i eventually got a response. My main complaint had been the date for taking the money from my account. After some discussion and phone calls back FROM First Utility, this was sorted out. Still not the exact date I want but close enough.
Since then, my bills have been spot on. My readings are always exactly what i say and im in credit but not by loads. They sent me one email saying they were going to increase my payment for 1 month but also gave me the option of opting out which I did as I knew how much energy I had used and I would be okay.
Only reason not getting 5 stars is due to the initial problem
.I was informed on my February 13 statement that I was due a dual fuel discount payment within 28 days by cheque. This amount having not been received by May I spoke by phone to a David on the 9th May who apologised and said he had arranged for an urgent BACS payment to be with me within 7 days. Again nothing was received and on the 20th May I again called First Utillity and spoke to Shona who again apologised , told me that the payment had been cleared by a supervisor called Indy. She said she would email accounts department and call me back the next day . No contact was received the next day and hence I called back today 22nd May and spoke to a Mark. This gentleman was most unhelpful and basically told me that Shona would get back to me when she had received an answer from accounts dept. , he would not give any idea when this would be. This situation is most unacceptable, the money in question ( some £140 + ) is due to me and I believe that I have been most patient in this matter, furthermore my account as it stands is in excess of £400 in credit , since I made a payment to cater for future bad weather. Since the above I have sent an email highlighting the problem along with 4 "on line" chats all without success. Currently another representative is again investigating...lots of promises witout any action!!!
I consider that I am a good customer who is being treated in a shabby manner by this company
1 . Is this answer from the complaint department?
2. You wrote in this answer from the 16th May "I apologise that we have estimated your usage to calculate your bills. Unfortunately, these estimated readings aren't shown, only the amount used is stated on the bills." YOU HAVE NOT UNDERSTOOD MY COMPLAINT AGAIN.
I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FACT THE READINGS ARE ESTIMATED. I AM COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FACT THE ESTIMATED READINGS ARE NOT WRITTEN ON MY BILLS. I AM COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS FOR A YEAR NOW, SINCE MY FIRST BILL WITH YOU BUT NO STAFF SEAMS TO GET IT, EVEN SOME OF YOU TELL ME IT IS WRITTEN.
I am not asking for my bill to be exact I am asking to know how you have calculated the usage for each month. The usage being the reading from this month (estimated or not - minus the reading for last month. I repeat my question for the 10th time: Why are the readings not written on the bill.
I have been told 3 times that the readings where written. If the reading is showing could you please print it and highlight in a bright colour the readings and send it back to me. Even if the usage is estimated it should be based on Estimated readings and I should be allowed to know what are the reading you have estimated to make up my bill. I am asking those questions since my First Bill with First Utility one
year ago and don't get a suitable answer.
3. You wrote in this answer: "In order for us to amend this, please email us your readings and we will manually log these. We can then perform the estimated usage reversal where we will credit any amount over paid for based on the estimated usage."
When you ask me to provide you with yet another meter reading it seams to me that you are trying to find ways to lose even more time and not answer the question. But despite the fact you NEVER answer my question, I answer yours.
On 28th April my electricity read: 12763 KWH on 17th May my Electricity reads 12831KWH on 23rd May my Electricity reading is 12860
On 28th April my Gas reading was 1254 (not able to enter online) (I emailed Customer services and <private data removed>) and today it is 1279 (still not possible to enter online after sending you 3 emails about this).
4. Now please could you answer the other questions:
complaint: Case number 00381022 - ref:_00DD0lhTh._500D0MQpC3 Why am I not getting answers?
5. On the 15th May was the anniversary of my move to First Utility and First Utility is not fulfilling the promises they made when I joined, I still have not received a smart meeter. Can you give me a date please?
6. On 21st Feb 2013 <private data removed> from Consumer Affairs had written "As we have provided you with a level of service below that which I would have wanted you to receive, I would also like to offer you a £50 goodwill gesture to compensate you for some of the inconvenience we have caused. This will reach you via BACS payment within 7 to 10 working days" Noting received yet on 23rd May.
7. <private data removed> had also promised that I will receive the Full Duel Fuel Discount on both gas and electric from 15 May 2012 could you please make sure the promises above are fulfilled.
Could you please pass those questions to Complaints department before I contact Ofgem or whoever is in charge. , Account Number - 482670, Postcode - HG1 4TE
In 2012 august to october i had 3months with fu big mistake my bill where way out would notexcept my readings i then started getting other peoples bills i left fu in oct 2012 i throught that was the end of it i should b so lucky may 2013 i am now been bombarded with texts saying i owe fu money i rung fu up they say my
Account is clear i have had 2nasty voice mails on my phone saying fu are coming to cut me off each time i ring fu i am on the phone at least 20mins to b told i dont owe theres never a sorry or they look in to it or even a manager to speak to i have now 18th may started to get other peoples bill again i have sent them 2 emails which they have yet to answer
This company is a nightmare rude unhelpfull they are cowboys
I remember looking at this page and thinking, "Oh no this company looks terrible". However, after looking at other reviews on companies such as Npower, Scottish Power etc. etc. they ALL seem to get really bad reviews! Therefore, I believe that on the whole, the only reviews you will read from customers are ones that are negative... (Who thinks you know what I've had no problems for 12 months so I think I will write a positive review!). Either way I decided to go with First Utility and what happened? My bills went down, I take more notice of my energy bills and haven't had any problems. The reason I haven't given a 5 is because I can't commetn on customer service as i haven't needed to contact them. However, I get regular updates via email and the webpage is very interactive. They told me that one month my bill had to be £10 more because I was using more energy (fair enough it was a particularly cold and wet winter) but they sent me 2 emails warning me and gave me the otption of disputing it etc. Therefore, in summary, you get cheaper bills, a lot of self-management via the web and (for me) no hassle in swapping over. The only thing that is difficult to get used to though is uploading your readings. Even though you get reminders, it's difficult to remember to go and write them down and then go back to your computer to upload them but I guess I just need to get used to that!
First Utility -should not be allowed to trade!
Failure to set up Direct Debit, threatening letters with regard to debt collectors, kept on hold for upto 40 minutes trying to contact Customer Services, severe lack of communication between depts internally, profound lack of Customer Service, inadequate answers given, failure to call back,, demanding texts, letters, emails even when I am awaiting an answer & my account clearly says do not contact customer until answers provided to a query, THEN once all monies paid via debit card prior to my transfer AWAY from FU (due to their failure to set up DDebit) I get an email asking for all monies to be paid!!!???!!! Finally I am now emailed again saying that I owe £2.05!!! Unbelievable
WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!! Very very stressful.
DO NOT RECOMMEND AT ALL!!!!!!!
THIS COMPANY IS DISGRACEFUL IN THE WAY IT TREATS ITS CUSTOMERS I HAVE ONLY BEEN WITH THEM FOR 5 MONTHS AND THEY ARE THREATENING ME WITH A DEBT AGENCY THEY HAVE NOT SET UP MY DIRECT DEBIT I HAVE ASKED THEM ON AVERAGE 3 TIMES A WEEK OVER THE LAST 5 MONTHS IT IS THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER DONE SWITCHING TO FIRSTDIRECT I HAVE PAID WITH MY CARD OVER THE PHONE EACH MONTH BUT THEY STILL GET IT WRONG.
THANK GOD I WILL BE AWAY FROM THEM IN A FEW WEEKS.
This is the complaint I have just sent in to First Utility. Stay well away from them.
I am disgusted with the lack of customer service from your company. Despite having been on supply for less than 6 weeks, I have made more phone calls to you than I did to Scottish Power the entire 9 years I was on supply with them. You have taken money from my account despite reassuring me that you wouldn't, you have failed to call me as agreed by 2 managers, you are apparently incapable of setting up a DD for an agreed amount on a fixed day. I will be posting this message on every forum I can find and complaining to the omsbudsman. You really should be renamed Worst Utility and if I can stop one potential customer enduring the horrendous experience I have had, then I will take some comfort from that.
I wouldnt recommend this company. First Utility never transferred my accounts from the old supplier, yet still charged me for a whole new bill with them. I then got bills from my old electricity and gas suppliers. Obviously I complained and cancelled my direct debit with First Utility. First Utility didn;t cancel my direct debit though, so it went out for four months. I then tried to get a refund, they claimed they had transferred the account from the old electricity supplier, i contacted the old electricity supplier, and they said never heard of the transfer. This is now a year later, they are still not refunding me the whole amount. As for compensation? Frustrated. The cheapness of their offers, has cost a lot.
UPDATE, finally I got my full refund + some compensation. Brilliant, you might think but wait, no, a bill arrives today for an overdue energy account of £276.74, energy accounts that never existed, even a year and a half ago, when I did try to join first utility, with all the associated trauma that went with it, UNBELIEVABLE
Its cheap but no mention of customer service! The keep using estimated readings and NOT mine!! Spent a life time on phone and lap top trying to contact FU. I have a fixed deal till March 2014 GOD HELP ME x
So many contacts and emails with First Utility - I just could not go through it all. Nightmare.
They offer no customer service. Constantly over estimating and over charging my bills. You provide meter reading, ignore them, and then over estimate it further.
They ignore your readings - asking for another reading.
Customer service via email - waste of time, they ignore what you say.
I tried to move to another supplier and they blocked my move!
Because I had not paid their over estimated bill!
I have just paid a bill and probably lost a load of money along the way -
I just to get away from these lot.
(Be careful using money comparison sites.)
Much better to go for someone who can offer some kind of customer service.
Someone who will provide honest bills.
Rachel Lightbird found this review useful
I moved into my new build property on the 27th October 2011. It is now the 22nd March 2013 & First Utility have not yet been able to provide me with any bills for my gas & electric with the exception of an initial bill which was incorrect.
I have rung them up & provided them with meter readings on a reasonably regular basis (in spite of having SMART meters).
In December 2012 they randomly extracted over £200 from my account without any notice or production of a bill. This was subsequently refunded to my account in January 2013 with no acknowledgement of the financial difficulties this had caused me.
I have requested details of my tariff and have calculated what I believe I owe them so if I can do this then why cant they???
It also seems impossible for them to acknowledge any written communication & the 'contact us' on the web site is very hit & miss, on one occassion it took over 3 months to even get an automated acknowledgement.
Overall a very poor experience for a first time home owner & I definitely wouldnt recommend using First Utility. I am now looking at transferring my services elsewhere.
After signing up with FU in June 2012 (the name says it all really - should have realised) I still haven't received my FIRST bill even though it's now 8th March 2013. The excuse is that they're having a slight computer problem and the bills aren't being created (which is a lie). From month to month, nobody can give any idea when the "slight problem" will be sorted out, so whether this will be before or after my contract ends - who knows? I'm now nearly £1000 in credit as they "can't" generate a bill, yet still expect me to read the meters monthly. They will charge me £60 to end the contract early (the same one that they're not fulfilling).
I've tried a) phoning - which is a waste of anyone's life - b) emailing where you get an automated reply that someone will look into it (but doesn't) or c) tweeting where someone will then send you another fob-off email where you have to wait another month, to no avail. Month after month, the exact same result.
I've just been offered £20 shut-up fee but no promise of a resolution so refused and now contacting OFGEM. The customer service department is totally useless with nobody of any responsibility - they certainly don't deserve to be in a job and the Chairman needs a rocket up his backside as a wake up call. If MINUS 5 stars were available, they'd get that - it definitely shouldn't even be one star.
I so wish I knew about Trustpilot before signing up with this company - it's really not fair that they can be allowed to operate in such a shoddy manner and get away with it. BE WARNED - STAY AWAY FROM FIRST UTILITY - their attitude to customer service is F U !
UPDATE - Finally received my first bill last night so I have gone from nearly £1000 in credit yesterday to now owing them nearly £200 and within 12 hours of receiving this new balance (which I waited 10 months for) they phoned me to demand immediate payment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One can only imagine my reply, but needless to say it ended with a "no" !
She didn't even start off with an apology - beyond useless company to deal with. Can't wait for contract to end - yes you're most probably right - a likely scam.
appalling incompetent untrained staff!!! I moved house on 5th oct 2012 and it took until the middle of feb 2013 to receive all the money they owed me as I was in credit when I moved, after many expensive phone calls and being on hold for a ridiculous amount of time I was almost reduced to tears of frustration after they credited the wrong account and said I couldnt have my money until they found out where the money had gone, if I wasnt so stubborn I would have given up, but why should they keep my money, please please dont use them I just wish I had seen this site earlier..
This is without doubt the worst provider I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with, they are incompetent beyond imagination, so much of my time and money wasted on them, do not get lured by their bundle deals, the amount of time you will have to waste on them will not repay you of any minor savings you may make
FROM DAY ONE FIRST UTILITY HAVE BEEN A NIGHTMARE, METER GOES BUST, AND THEY BILL ME TRIPLE THE AMOUNT, I CANT PAY, I SHOULDNT PAY THAT AS I HAVE NOT INCURRED THIS. THEN THEY WANT FULL PAYMENT. I GET OMBUDSMAN INVOLVED AND DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE BEST BIT.
THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE OMBUDSMAN, THEY STILL DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.
CONTACT FIRST UTILITY OMG. PHONE, LETTERS, EMAIL
THE COMPANY DOES NOT EXIST
THEN SECRETLY THEY TRY DEBITING YOUR ACCOUNT FOR FULL BALANCE AND THEN THE BANK CHARGES YOU
I AINT HAVING THAT.
THE AMOUNT OF HASSLE AND STRESSED THEY'VE CAUSED ME IS UNBELIEVABLE.
I AM VERY HAPPY TO SIGN A PETITION FOR THERE CLOSURE.
I AM NOT AN ANGRY PERSON, BUT THE TREATMENT FROM THIS COMPANY IS DEVASTATING.
LOOK ELSWHERE PEOPLE
I left a property over 2 months ago that First Utility supplied for Gas and Electricity. I am still waiting for my final bill to be recalculated and receiving threatening letters if I don't pay their incorrect bill!
Their 'customer services' are less than useless.
Pay more if you have to, just avoid First Utility at all costs!!
I called a week ago to ask where my loyalty cheque was (after waiting 35 days ) response was its on the desk waitingto be posted -may be another week- on complaining was informed youre lucky to get a cheque not all companies offer a dual fuel discount !!!!!!! sorry but thatwas the reason i chose this company, Cheque still notarrived after 36 days called again at my expense - no one in accounts and there has been a problem with some cheques - you may have to wait another 10 days !!!!!!! this is unnaceptanle disgraceful management and I feel that you no longer deserve my custom - I made a commitment toyou topay in full - on time for dual fuel - wheres your commitment to me ????? NOT GOOD ENOUGH
JUST READ DUE TO UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND RESPONSE TO EMAILS COULD TAKE 6 DAYS AH AH AH UNPRECEDENTED COMPLAINTS MORE LIKE
update no promised call backs and not surprisingly STILL NO CHEQUES!!!!
WISH ID LOOKED ON HERE BEFORE I SIGNED UP - AVOID AT ALL CVOST
Silversue found this review useful
moved to them 2 months ago, did my research and looked like id save £90 a qtr.
Great.....that was until they DONT tell you that you will get a fee charged PER MONTH for Direct Debit!? WTF. - they dont charge that much..
LIES ALL LIES>
I will be paying £60 to get the hell away from these cowboys.
Silversue found this review useful
No. Their tariffs are like spaghetti. One hand gives the other one takes. The power business is one great marketing/sales scam.
First - you'd get 5* from me if your tariffs were simple. I don't want to have to create a spreadsheet to know whether I'm getting a good deal - I have other things to do.
However, they are no worse than the other operators in this space and I've got no other grumbles.
It all started when I joined FU in April 2012,I contracted into their iSave v9.2 tariff which is a duel fuel tariff however they failed to switch the gas over from my previous provider and were only billing me for the electricity.The problems started here with the electricity as I had two meters (1 for night rate and the other for day rate) unfortunately they did not have the facility on their website for accepting two meter readings so I was unable to input my electricity readings so they continually estimated my usage (overestimated I may add).Then they eventually switched my gas over and I now had both my gas and electricity switched to them however I still could not input my electricity meter readings and despite numerous e-mails (which on average took at least 7 days for them to respond to) they continued to estimate.Eventually they conceded that there had been a problem with the setup of my account so they did what they called a "credit and re-bill" on my account which means they closed my account and opened a new account and sent me a 'revised' bill for £964 which I immediately disputed as what they had done was they added up all my usage since joining them and that was the amount they billed me for however they failed to take into account (despite my telling them) the payments I had been making by direct debit to them since I joined them.They then set up a new direct debit with my bank (without my knowledge) and took the £964 from my account,luckily we noticed the debit on the day that they took it and had it 'reversed' by my bank-so there are a number of issues here:-
1.Are they legally allowed to open a new direct debit account with my bank WITHOUT MY APPROVAL?
2.Can they legally take an excessive amount out of my account DESPITE my telling them that their billing was incorrect?
3.How are they allowed to conduct their business in a manner that 'ensures' that the customer is the one to be 'out of pocket' by 'overestimating' the readings or if any problems arise with the account or billing?
Whilst I'm not one to 'put pen to paper' over such issues I think that I had a duty to make other 'potential' customers aware of their service and to 'think twice' before joining them.
Rachel Lightbird found this review useful
I was informed by FU that my gas and electricity accounts had been transferred from British Gas to FU on October 31st 2012. I subsequently found that my gas account had not been transferred, and despite numerous telephone calls and emails, with many promises, I find that my gas account has still not been transferred and I am therefore paying both companies for the same product. I wish I had never encountered FU and I certainly would caution others to avoid the company like the plague!
Rachel Lightbird found this review useful
Moved in to my new propery on 29/06/12 and was told my supplier was first utility. The fun started when i tried to call them in August to get my account up and running but when the customer service rep couldnt find my details he proceeded to say that no one could help me as it was a bank holiday. i then called back again in September and was then took through an application? Why i hear you ask would you need to go through an application when the company already supply me?, Anyhow, i completed the application (or so i thought) and was told that my account was up and running and i would receive a bill at the end of October. Well October came and went with no sign of a bill so back on the phone again to find out what happen only to be told that my account wasnt actually up and running! my application was then completed and i gave an email address so i could receive my bills, i then received a text on 03/12/12 to say my bill was due but guess what? So, back on the phone again and was told that my bill had been sent out but they would send it again, so again i waited a couple of days and no bill so called back again and was told the email address i had given was incorrect. (more about that later). i then received a call from a gentleman who then took another email address and sent me a bill for the period 29/06/12-31/10/12, obviously i was unable to pay this all at once so arranged a repayment plan and was told that my next bill would be due 27th December and that would be everything sorted, how wrong they were! I received a phone call yesterday (14/01/13) to say that my account was in arrears as i had not paid my last 2 bills that were issued on 11/12/12 and 11/01/12. When i asked were they were sent to i was told to the email address that THEY told me was incorrect even though i had gave another one. (turns out whoever took my email address initially coudnt spell hence the reason i never received them). The gentleman who called me then sent me an email to say that all i had to pay was Decembers bill and add on thoe money for the repayment plan i had in place. Now it turns out that the bill for December its actuall roughly the same as the bill i received for the period 29/06/12-31/10/12 so what they are saying is i have used 4 months of gas/electricity in the space of a month! I have now sent another email of complaint and just waiting for a reply. All in All this is a disgrace of company, if they cant get a simple thing right like setting up an account then what chance have you got? i advise anyone to stay well clear of this company! I have already been in touch with Ofgem about them and im in the process of sending a complaint to the ombudsman services regarding this sorry excuse of a company.
So thought i would give a wee update. After receiving a phone call from this company after the last shambles i was told to submit meter readings so my gas bill would not be estimated so i submitted meter readings on 17/01, 28/01 (this is the date i was told to provide my reading so my bill would not be estimated) and 05/02 but for some reason I have yet again received an estimated bill. So again I have had to get in touch with them and have been told a dispute will be raised. Once again this shows what a shambolic company first utility are.
Final comment on this "company". Once again i have received estimated bills for the past 2 months even though i have submitted meter readings. telephoned there customer services and asked why my bills are estimated the reply was "i dont know" i then went through the meter readings i have provided and would you believe it, there are some they don't even have a record of (i do though) and there was one that they had input incorrectly so instead of amending it they just sent out an estimated bill. Also just been told that there are no records of me telephoneing on certain days and no record of any emails i have sent! (again i have the proof). I have now reported this "company" to the ombusman to let them deal with it. im also in the process of sending a letter to Ian Mccaig who is there ceo to let him know exactly how i feel. SO i will repeat what i have already said, STAY CLEAR OF THIS SORRY EXCUSE OF A COMPANY!
I have only been with First Utility since June 2012, and the experience has not been a happy one by any means. I went with First due to their pricing and the fact that i could submit my readings each moth via my online account.
Initially, it was a reasonable service, although even when i did sumbit a reading, First Utility seemed to prefer estimating my readings, something that they did to great excess. At the end of November 2012, i submitted my usual readings for both Gas and Electricity, and the bill i got was shocking!! I submitted an electric reading which equated to a usage of 347 units, First Utility billed me for using 6347 units, 6000 more than i had actually used, which was invoiced at £662.00 After a 20min MOBILE telephone conversation with customer services, i was informed that my account would be put on hold, until the problem was rectified, and NO money would be taken via my direct debit agreement, although the advisor could not garrantee this payment would not be taken. My next course of action was to cancel the direct debit with my bank, although i did make a payment on the due date, based on what i thought to be the amount due, with the units used.
Since that payment, i have had numerous letters, asking for the remainder of the invoice to be paid, even though this was an invoicing error on the part of First Utility.
I once again had to make a costly mobile telephone call to Credit Control, to inform them of the situation, only to be told that the customer service agent hadnt put my account on hold properly, so that was why i was still receiving letters.
I have lost count of the number of emails i have sent regarding this matter, and nothing seems to be getting sorted.
On the 5th Jan, i received yet another letter from First Utility, informing me that after they have FAILED to contact me regarding the outstanding amount, if i dont pay within 7 days, my case will be handed over to their debt recovery agent, and they will gain access to my property in order to fit a pre-payment meter!!
This matter seems to be ongoing, as they fail to be able to perform a simple task in customer service, that being COMMUNICATION between departments!!
I even sent a further email to credit control yesterday, expressing my surprise that they have ANY customers left, due to the bad reports on forums such as these.
So the lesson learned? A Utility company that seems to be the cheapest, will send you to an early grave in stress alone!!!
AVOID these clowns!!
Just as a footnote to this sorry tale: My latest ESTIMATED bill from First Utility shows me that they have estimated my gas usage 100 units over what i have actually used...Another email i think!!
Just an update on my previous experience.
Things have got no better in my dealings with First Utility. I have lost all confidence in their ability to handle my account, and payments made to it.
I requested a detailed statement of account showing my invoices, payments made, and how they were allocated, and lets not forget, the £20.00 compensation payment as a result of my last entry on TrustPilot, it took them 6 weeks to provide that information, which doesnt show any compensation payment allocation, then they quickly followed it up with a notice of their intention to get a court order, enter my property, and fit a pre-payment meter!! As i see it, that would actually be a good idea, as at least i wouldnt be getting wildly over estimated invoices for my supposed usage!!
So they still continue to over estimate my usage, i'm sure they think i have a household of 10 people with a high usage, instead of a single male in a 2 bedroom house.3
I am really tired and frustrated with the lack of service i am getting from First Utilty, my Special offer on energy prices ends later this year, so i am seriously thinking of going elsewhere.
If you are reading this, take this as a warning, however cheap the prices maybe DONT DO IT!!!
Joined in May 2012 and set up a direct debit. Did not gain access to an online account or bill until October. Not happy at the delay of 5 months to even see a copy of a bill - the company could not even inform of amount owed until this was sorted. Bill was paid however and account was still in credit. Moved house on 9th November and spent £9.11 on 2 calls to customer services and the Moving Team to update records. They were requested to settle up the final bill to 9th November from the credit on the account and then transfer the remaining funds back into bank account. Emails now say that the company does not hold any updated information including meter readings given on day of move. Have given all information yet again and still have been sent a bill up to 30th November. After reading all these poor customer service reviews, feel worried now that will be billed incorrectly for new owner's fuel usage from 9th to 30th November and worryingly after that period??!. Hope they sort this out and finish this account on a positive note and a new review can then be posted.
Marie Law found this review useful
Woeful, appalling, lying, inept. Avoid at all costs. Using these idiots will cost you undue money, time and stress. I’ve been trying for 2 months to close my account and have been asking for my final bill to be sent to me. on numerous occasions I have been promised that the account has been closed and the bill is on its way - just been told that the account is still open, I am still being charged and the wrong bill has been sent to the wrong address.
Over the period of time that I have been with them they have wrongly referred me to debt collectors (their mistake they finally admitted) for an amount that I did not owe them.
Trying to sort anything out with them results in at least 30 minutes on hold - I plan to have this cost reimbursed from my final bill if and when this finally arrives. I have wasted hours and hours of my life on hold waiting to rectify yet another one of their errors.
This has been a stressful and distressing experience and I would urge you to avoid them at all costs. They should be shut down.
I have never experienced such miserable customer service from a company in my life.
Problems started the moment I opened my account and have persisted throughout.
They set the date of my DD for the end of the month, 28th, which I immedeiately advised was unsuitable and requested that they change to the begining of the month so I could guarantee funds would be available. They advised this was impossible and switched me to paying by cheque (same date) instead. I advised that this was also unsuitable as: I don't have a cheque book, I'd have the extra hassle of posting out the cheque and the date was still unsuitable. They wouldn't budge so I was forced back into paying the DD on the date I didn't want.
In July they mysteriously stopped taking my DDs, unfortunately I did not notice for a few months but having presumed they would have spent the money in my account. When I did realise and contacted them I was advised they would take it the following month. This has been going on for 5 months now and despite make wasting many hours emailing them and calling them they are now threatening me with legal action as they have allowed the amount to increase to over £500!
They admitted to me in email and over the phone that they have had issues with their direct debits and that none of this is my fault. I arranged a payment plan with one of their managers-also securing a discount of £30 and a refund of £8 for them trying to take the full amount on the 14th of November when the funds weren't available and very surprising as they'd insisted numerous times that they could only take DDs on the 28th of the month.
Despite me making this arrangement they have continued to mail and text me requesting the full amount and have now threatened court action to retrieve the money and have outlined the extra charges I can expect to pay should this go to court. On receipt of this letter I immediately called them and advised of the plan agreed with the manager and requested I speak to a manager. No one was available and I was told I'd be called back within 48 hours.
The call never came, I called them back to find they're closed on Saturdays, so I mailed them again and I am awaiting a reply.
They are without any doubt the most disorganised and inept company I have ever dealt with and I would strongly advise anyone looking to switch to them not to, I cannot think of any positive thing to say about them other than the ONE member of staff who did try and help me: Chris McAteer-though his efforts seem to have been screwed up by them anyway.
I'm off to waste another £10 calling them and hope I can resolve this before I take them to court for the stress they are causing.
Edit: still on hold 23mins
AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After six months no bil suddenly I recieved a big bill. I paied I recevied an email saying that my balance has cleared. after a month a recieved another letter saying please make an imediate payment of £139. I talked to them and they made me to pay this amount too. they opened 3 different account so they just caculate all and send me the bill.after I cleard this amount too and now I have recieved another letter saying please make payment of 30.71 imediately All I am saying is a big headach company Please pass to all your friends and family to never make a mistake to switch to first utility
If I could I would rate them under 0 star because they dont even deserve a star
when we changed to fu everything was fine e-mailed readings every month fine then we changed to not very smart meters we started getting random bills then none it got to the stage that we didnt have a bill for 5 months after many many long phone calls f u wouldnt take any readings of us so we could pay our bill they couldnt even tell us how much we owed then we had a bill for over £1000 to be paid immediatly then that bill was incorrect and we didnt owe anything strange as we had been using gas and electric eventually they changed the transmitters things started to improve then we had a bill for £750 we set up a payment plan with them since then we have paid regularly but every month get a letter from either commercial credit services or face 2 face telling us of legal proceedings when you phone up if you can get through they tell you to ignore the letters as this is standard practice i have now cleared the debt which f u caused in the first place and still getting letters from f2f to pay up lol still looking on the bright side i won,t be with them much longer WORST company i have ever dealt with
were do i star,t we moved in to our brand new property on the 28/09/12 and since that date i have been trying to get a direct debit set up for our gas and electricity,after what feels like a million phone calls (which never get answered you just get put on hold for over half an hour) and numerous emails to set up our account i then finaly recieve a bill on 28/11/12 saying we owe nothing for the electricity (erm impposible i think!!) and wait for it ...£429.05 for the gas!!!! we hardley use any gas at all maybe an hour a day if that,if anything we use more electric!! so after sending more emails sending our metre readings for the 4th time i receive an acknowledgement email only to be told that it will take 6 days for them to reply!!
i forgot to say that on our bill we recieved on the 28/11/12 we had to pay the £429.05 by 1/12/12 !! giving us only 3 days to pay......ARGHHHH!!
First utility you should be ashamed of youselves this is causing unnecessary distress to us (a newly married couple) in our first home.
I could write an essay on this company but I've wasted so much time with them already I'll try to keep it brief.
I had a long standing complaint with this company going back 18 months - essentially they coudn't/woudn''t issue me with an electricity bill. In the end I went to the Ombudsman and finally I got a letter of apology, but only after the Ombudsman was involved. Otherwise I ma certain I would never have received a reply. 18 months with no reply is beyond discourteous, it is rude.
However, even now I have some issues but First Utility have decided to close my case so not sure what to do now. Back to Ofgen I suppose.
Maybe I was unlucky but I don't think so. I must have sent 20 emails to this company and NEVER received a reply other than a computer generated reply. After the Ombudsman got involved I was in correspondence with a real person but they took nearly 2 weeks to reply , citing that I was in a queue. I think this shows either the company is terribly understaffed or more likely they have an awful lot of complaints to deal with.
Customer Services on the phone is a joke. 20 mins is a minimum wait time. I have given up a number of times after 45 mins.
Of course there are some nice people who work there but they are largely ineffectual and unable to resolve issues. The excuse of "it's the system" is often used. When I say the system is designed by people and is not some kind of random event they have no response.
If anyone in head management reads this review hang your heads in shame, then get your systems and processes to work. As things currently stand you absolutely do not deserve to supply gas and electricity.
Anyone thinking of switching suppliers, please think very carefully before you sign up with FU, they are not worth the hassle, anger, frustration and time for a a potential saving.
Oh, 2 years on I still don't have my promised Smart metre.
I'm writing this to see just how many other people this has happened to.
I've switched away from First Utility and found that I was in Credit a couple of Hundred pounds. So of course phoned up shortly after to get my money back and was told I couldn't claim the money until they had received the reading from the new supplier. Even though I Knew the reading would be the same as the final reading I had already given to them I waited a week and rang again.
My call was answered finally (it's true what they say to get through generally takes at least 20 mins) by a gentleman who when I asked for my money back told me instantly that he would get it sent out to me. But you know when you just know someone is lying, like I could tell he had a grin on his face when he was telling me "He would get it sent out". And surprise surprise I phone up 3 weeks later and the girl tells me there is no record of any correspondence on my account since April ! So now the forms have to be filled in and sent to their finance dept and it will take another month so I won't see my money until January. I just wonder how much of this is down to a lazy employee or company strategy to keep earning interest on our money as now it will be 3 months before I get my money back.
I know they all do it but if you have a similar experience please share.
If 10,000 people switch away and are owed an average of £200 that's £ 2million !
I've been with the company for a couple of years. Had issues in the early stages where my direct debit kept getting cancelled. I restored it, it took money for a month or 2 and then cancelled again. I spoke to an adviser (after a 20 minute call wait) and they said they didn;t know why, and I could pay monthly over the phone instead. This was ok, if time consuming (always a fair wait). I thought of leaving, but was on a duel fuel loyalty bounus if I stayed 2 years. Recently they set up online payment which helped - although I usually had to try 3 or 4 times as there was always an error message. After 2 years - no loyalty payment - the reason was that I wasn't on Direct Debit (which they told me not to use) - one standard email response, but nothing since. I now cannot pay the bill online - the error message that came up crops up every time now - tried for 30 minutes at a time with 3 different cards....Tried calling - 30 minute call wait before I had to hang up - tried 4 times over a week. I have now emailed them - please let me pay!! I cannot pay DD as you cancel them, I cannot call you as I cannot afford to wait hours (with 4 kids to look after), I cannot pay on line...My email was sent 5 days ago - and still no reply - although I am expecting a letter for none-payment any day now...
No loyalty bonus (with no personal reason why), no way to pay the bill, no way of seemingly contacting them, and repeated appalling service. As soon as this bill is settled, I will be looking for another provider. My bills jump from £70 in the summer, to nearly £300 in winter - I only live in a bungalow!! They also asked me if I wanted a smart meter fitting - gave me a date, which I booked off work - and no one turned up - again, no response to any email...
Honestly, I never complain about anything, and only found this place to vent as I was seeing if there anythign I could do to pay my bill!!!
Well, what can I say? I read through most of the comments here but I decided to give 'First Utility', the benefit of the doubt. Having worked in the industry, I felt that if I did have any issues, I'd know exactly what to ask and say to resolve them, I mean, how bad can they be? (feels like Jeremy Clarkson)
Electric switched over on 20th Nov as expected, gas due to come over on 30th Nov, very little feedback as to how the switch was progressing so had to contact them to find out what was going on, fun begins, to much to go into, suffice to say, they couldn't be less interested. On explaining just how long I had been on hold, was told they were very busy with new customers signing up (ok) and that I was holding up the line, too now (What!?!?) Was interested that I was one of those new customers, just told me, if I didn't like it, I could have always chosen someone else, said they were a small company and it wasn't fair to compare them to the big six.
There is so much more to this conversation but this was only the beginning.
Last night, my worried better half tells me that First Utility has already drawn the first payment, just six days after taking the electric and haven't even taken the gas yet.
Can't get hold of customer care so found another complaints number. got through to [Name] on (so-called) complaints
When I mention the DD going out, was told it was because I was a new customer and they all went out on the 23rd. When I pointed out that I'd asked for the DD to be set for 1st of the month, now told, can't do that and we'd never say that to any customer, we don't have that facility, pretty much told me I was lying.
It seems, they only give you a choice of a few fixed dates to choose from, rather different from what I was advised much earlier in the switch before they took first supply.
Just like their customer service line, [Name] couldn't be less interested, just kept telling me that if I wanted to complain, would have to call the normal number (that nobody can get through to)
Several times, she just went completely quiet, refused to even talk, I wasn't abusive, a little short possibly. I felt as if she was just sitting there, quietly yawning to herself as she faces yet another complaint she couldn't handle.
I'm really worried now, not just for me but because I recommended a friend who I'd help switch many years back to Atlantic as I did, and for the most part, we were both happy. He's not worried right now, not too bothered about the DD going out so early but I'm worried this is just the start and he's a really good friend and I know that friendships can be broken through things like this. I did warn him about the reviews I read but felt it was worth giving them a chance, I feel this may turn out to be one of the most costly mistakes I've ever made, not just financially.
Please, please, listen to EVERY one off these comments and ask, could you handle it if things went wrong, thought with my experience, I could, just couldn't possibly foreseen the completely lack of customer care on the part of this sham.
Feel physically sick :(
What a waste of space this company is.I rang the with my readings as i was moving,all seemed fine. 3 weeks after moving i get a bill for the old address not a final bill and they took direct debit of that address to, so now im 198 pound in credit minus my final bill.
I rang them 2 hours later i get to talk with someone who says that i need to talk to the moving department 45 minutes later i get cut off. W.T.F is wrong with them,now i receive a letter this morning saying i cancelled my dd of course i have idiots,i dont live there anymore!!!
Anne robinson BBC Watch dog i think looking at these reviews..
I was fooled by someone at the door offering me fixed monthly Direct Debit of £90 per month, I questioned him multiple times as my previous supplier was charging me £150 per month, wish I stayed there now, and I was assured that based on my consumption from my previous it would be fixed £90 and on whatever day of the month I wanted so like a fool I signed up.
The first bill comes in and they try and take money from my account on a day that I did NOT agree to, basically 2days before payday, called them to say can't do that and was told they cannot change the date so i cancelled the DD and payed online 2 days after the date in question, carried on like this for 2months and then get a letter saying because i am in arrears of £250+ it has now been passed to some collection agency. WTF this is the first I knew I was in arrears as payments have been online every month, calling them is a waste of time, that is assuming you can be arsed to stay on hold to there stupid phone system telling you how important your call is for 40+mins and when I finally get through I am being told that the £90 is not enough, although it was fine when i started????
I then offer a payment of £120 per month to cover usage and to sort out this arrears only to be told that will not even cover usage and that to cover usage and clear arrears i have to pay a minimum of £177 per month. WTF????????
This is now almost double the amount originally agreed and almost £30 more than previous supplier.
Nobody seems to care and i cannot get out of this place until all resolved so we are stuck with this shower of shit for now but as soon as I can i am jumping ship
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