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
Rachel Lightbird found this review useful
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.
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!
It's now mid-July and after many more promises, the last of which was a promised final bill and subsequent refund at the end of June. Nothing has happened. Is that a surprise? No!
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
So after reading all these reviews i am getting worried, my change over has gone very smoothly but just recieved an email saying my start date is 30th of november so why on earth is my first direct debit the 28th shouldnt my first one be the end of december once ive actually used some gas and electirc with them???? help iam confused and they dont seem to be answering me.
After this post i have recieved a lovely email saying they will deal with this matter by tomorrow and fet back to me wish i am very pleased about, other than my previous comment my change to the has gone smoothly do instead of 1 star i will at the minute improve my rating and see the outcome.
More waffle from this compant .They should be closed down. I have posted the reply and if you understand it then please let me know. I really thought that I was marginally above average inteligence but clearly not.
I W AS NOT THIS STRESSED AFTER 6 MONTHS CHEMOTHERAPY Here is the pathetic reply.
Firstly please accept my sincere apologies for the upset caused as a result of the problems that you have experienced with our service to date; we do strive to offer an exceptional service to all our customers and we are extremely disappointed when we do not achieve this.
I can confirm that in order to rectify the billing, we cancelled back to 1st November 2011 and re-billed for the period 1st November 2011 to 30th November 2011, which shows a balance of -£118.63 and a total credit of £990.01, this is for the bills credited back.
The bill dated 18th November 2012 is for the period from 1st December 2011 to 15th March 2012 which shows amount due £112.49 and billed amount is £1102.50.
The final bill amount of £112.49 is to firm meter readings, the Electricity is smart meter reading taken remotely and the Gas are the meter readings provided by you which has brought your consumption up to date.
Once again, please accept my sincere apologies for the unnecessary inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Service team on 0845 215 5000, the lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am - 8.00pm and 9.00am – 1pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, please respond to this email.
As always we're here to help
If we can help with anything else, please email us Paid final bill of £203.23 then another final bill of 27.01 after being totally traumatised by this company.After 8 months of moving house they have sent me another bill for £112.49. Spent 45 mins holding on for some service.Then argued it was correct .Asked if he could get a manager to contact me and he refused.....I HAVE NEVER HAD ONE CORRECT BILL SINCE I JOINED THIS COMPANY AND COULD'NT CHANGE SUPPLIER TILL IT WAS SORTED. My tenant has had the same problems and she is pulling her hair out also ......
DO NOT JOIN THIS COMPANY NO MATTER WHAT THEY PROMISE YOU
Well more demands for £112, No one has bothered to call me.They email me. Just called them again. How can one bill be £1100 and final bill be £27.00 then demands months later £112.00. I had accumulated a duel fuel discount but lost that as I moved house. make sense of that;;;; Think I probably need watchdog or ofgem to sort this as it's making me ill. I will not be bullied into paying I dont owe it and a year on they are hounding me.
There trading motto is Smarter services for life. What a joke !!! this will probably see me off before my illness....
Back on my case sending credit letters now !!!! They refunded me £360.54 in March now they are chasing me again. I'm back on chemotherapy and it doesn't give me as much grief as FIRST UTILTY.
INSENSITIVE INCOMPETENT IDOTS
This is the most shocking company we have ever used! Where do I begin?
Smart meter not working properly, not reading the gas correctly told not to pay anything until this is sorted so we waited and waited then once sorted they demanded over £1000 straight away!
Payment plans never set up correctly.
No one listens.
Prices increasing every other month.
Bills still saying estimated what about the so called smart meter?
Email after email asking for a call back.
Attempting to take money from our bank account with no notification at all surely this is theft?
Over all stay away from this company at all costs! I have even involved a company director and he didn't even want to know!
Over £35.00 compensation after all the time, phone calls and email sent about this company what a joke!
I have now reported them to the energy ombudsman they want shutting down!
I moved over two weeks ago and have been trying to contact First Utility ever since - firstly it was to take my account to my new address, but not now!!
To be fair I have been with them for a couple of years and everything had gone well and I have even recommended them to friends and family - but I have never had the necessity to call them before!
I tried to give my new details via my account log in - I completed their form but heard nothing. a week later I managed to get through after holding 15 minutes on my third try to be told my form had not been received, but that they have a department that deals with that and they would put me through! I then waited on hold for another 20 minutes when the message said we are very busy please try later and then cut me off. I then tried several more times to ring getting the message our systems are down please try later.
A day later I managed to get through again - again I was told that they have a department that deals with that and they would put me through! I explained that happened before and I held for ages and got cut off - no no that won't happen again and I can't help you - what do you think happened? I spent the whole of my lunch break holding for 59 minutes before I had to put the phone down.
I have now sent an email - via their system but am not holding my breath for contact.
Their service is non-existant. I know that no company is perfect, but really !!
I wish I had read these reviews before I switched as I'm experiencing the same problems as most of the reviewers here. I registered to fu in May this year to Isave fixed v2 and had problems right from the start. I never received requests for meter readings and for weeks I could not sign into my account. I have phoned them twice and on both occasions was on hold for over twenty minutes before I spoke to anyone. I should be getting monthly bills based on readings sent by me and they seem to be estimating every couple of month. The only readings they have from me are the initial ones I phoned to them, and I was very angry when I phoned and asked them to please email me each month when my bill is due, to submit a reading. I received my first bill on the 9th oct. and on the 12th Nov. when I had no email asking for a reading and no new bill I emailed them asking why,and two days later an estimated bill appeared in my account. I emailed them today and left my home number for someone to please contact me and let me know whats going on, but I wont hold my breath, as my first email was ignored I am expecting more of the same. As I said at the beginning...I WISH I HAD READ THE REVIEWS
Delays in setting up my online account to submit meter readings, resulting in a wildly overpriced 'Estimated' Bill being sent to me for September 2012 (couldn't submit meter readings due to online account not being set up).
Online account finally set up, submit meter readings on 27/10/2012 (period 1/10/2012 - 27/10/2012), however First Utility take it upon themselves to add an additional 'Estimated' amount for the period of 27/10/2012 - 31/10/2012.
In light of wildly overpriced 'Estimate' Bill sent to me for September 2012, I called First Utility on 6/10/2012 to pay full amount by Visa debit card in order to clear account in full and move provider (£233.18, is this a reasonable gas and electricity usage for a 3 bedroom semi detached house ? No, of course it isn't), payment debited from my Bank account on 8/10/2012 - payment STILL not applied to my First Utility account as of today (18/11/2012 - yep, that's right, my payment has been lost by First Utility for around 6 weeks).
Numerous telephone calls made to resolve issue, numerous emails sent to resolve issue, complaint sent to resolve issue.....
STILL NO RESPONSE, MY PAYMENT IS STILL LOST IN FIRST UTILITIES SYSTEM (SOMEWHERE).
Please, please, please, do yourself a favour - don't bother with First Utility
All energy companies seem to have a bit of a poor reputation amongst the general public, but First Utility is the worst of a bad bunch.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY
I was NOT advised re monthly additional charge
Took over 1 month to get a reply from them regarding additional charges
They have taken double payments from me
I only stayed to get the duel fuel discount which they have now advised in the last month of the deal i am not eligable for even though i contacted them last month to check on this and was advised i would recieve the payment after November.
The customer service is shocking and from whats happening to me they will try every way to not give you the deal you signed up for by trying to say you have not stayed to the contract terms
NOT EVEN FULLY WITH FIRST UTILITY YET BUT AFTER A WEEK OF TRYING TO CONTACT THEM IM HEADING BACK TO MY PREVIOUS SUPPLIER. SENT AN EMAIL TO THEM ON MONDAY, GOT A AUTOMATED REPLY AND HEARD NOTHING SINCE. TRIED TO CALL ON MONDAY WITH NO JOY. TRIED AGAIN TODAY AND AGAIN NO JOY. READ THE REVIEWS ON THIS SITE AND LOW AND BEHOLD THEY ANSWERED FIRST TIME WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO JOIN. I THEN GOT TRANSFERED BOTH TIMES AND CUT OFF. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OBVIOUSLY LOW ON THEIR COMPANY VALUES.
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