First Utility are the worst company I have ever had dealings with. As the previous reviews state - they do not answer their phones, I have spent numerous hours on the phone trying to get through, I have sent several emails and had no repsonse and I have even sent a letter and had no reply. I cancelled my application with them within my cooling off period but they continued to go ahead and try to switch my energy and even though I have had confirmation from the supplier I am intending to switch to - First Utility have gone ahead and set up a DD on my account (which I have cancelled). I have now received a letter saying they are going to send me a bill for energy that they are not supplying.
I am so frustrated and angry I have contacted the BBC watchdog team.
All I can say is stay well clear - do not go anywhere near this company. Moneysupermarket and the other switch companies should remove them from their website.
Clare Finlay found this review useful
Don't waste your time with this company.
They never answer their phone unless you select the option saying you are thinking about joining them.(This option are unable to help with anything other than this) Any other option and you just sit in a que waiting for an operator.
They don't answer their emails either...Just an automated response.
Unless you have a lot a time on your hands that you would love to waste getting no-where... STAY WELL CLEAR OF FIRST UTILITY !!!
Recommend this company to all your worst enemies :)
Almost exactly the same problem as the last review. My gas reading was moving about one digit a week over the summer, i.e. using virtually no gas, but still being charged £30 a month! Also noticed that the "estimated readings" on my bill had no correlation to the readings on my account, both a combination of estimated and submitted, over the period of a year. For an automated system to fail to pick up your meter readings because the gas usage isn't high enough and therefore being charged a completely unrelated bill to your readings is outrageous. No wonder they were coming up cheapest on a comparison website.
still waiting for a corrected bill after 6 months. they tried to charge me for 1000 units more than what scotish power had told them when i luckily changed supplier.
good job i cancelled the direct debit. I just WISH they would take me to court.
Every time i ring or email i get the same answer ,they tell me to ignore the bill AND they have put a stop on any future bills or demanding letters. But i still get them.
Now i have received debt collectors letter and after i explained to them,they said how incompetent first utility are.
Anyway received an Email saying they would send out another bill, but even the readings on that email are wrong, SO i wont hold my breath.
PLEASE,PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT USE OR SWITCH TO THIS COMPANY, YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.
looking forward to the court case!!!
It seems as if the vast majority of people have the same experience with First Utility. I can not stress enough that you should not use them. We had to use them when we moved in to a new build flat in March 2011, and I can honestly say that since then we have to phone them about twice a month, which costs money every time as they do not have a freephone number and the minimum time on hold every call is about 15minutes. NOTHING which they have done since they started supplying us has been correct. And do not fall in to the trap of thinking that because you have spoken to someone on the phone and agreed something that this will be acted on or recorded in any way. And do not worry about emailing - they will not reply. I can not begin to list all of the issues we have had as there has been so many - it has caused endless stress over the last 18 months. There's always little problems with energy suppliers but this has been nothing but constant problems since we have been using them. You have been warned.
I switched to this company last month and due to the two winter frozen deal I thought this was too good to miss.. I wish I hadn't bothered. I have sent 3 e-mails in two weeks for a simple Question, "HOW MUCH WILL MY D/D WILL BE??? No answer.
I then phoned them 30 mins later they answered!!!! My D/D was set for the 23rd when I said the 28th??? Stay clear of this company they do not know what is going on and their customer service is rubbish. Pay that bit of extra for a good company!!!
On moving house in April, theses people would not provide energy to my new address. I had to switch to a new supplier.
FU eventually sent their final bill in June, showing a credit balance. I e-mailed them to enquire as to how this balance would be repaid. This went unanswered, and I sent may more e-mails, which all only received automatic replies.
I decided to phone them in August, and was told they would arrange an urgent request for refund. Nothing arrived.
Phoned again again in September, and wastoldthe cheque had been sent to my old address, but they would cancel that and send a new one.
So, 5 months after moving, I finally got my refund.
But it doesn't end there!
On 2nd October, I received an e-mail from CCS asking me to contact them about a personal matter that FU had written to me about. I replied asking who they are and what they wished to discuss, but received no reply.
I have since found out tha tCCS is a debt recovery firm!!!!!!!!!!!
On 6th October, I received a letter from FU stating that iI still owed them money.
On the sameday I sent a letter of complaint to FU Customer Services, CEO and CFO.
On 10th October I had a phone call from FU Collections, to discuss my outstanding debt!
You can probably imagine my reaction to this.
I have a letter from FU acknowledging my complaint, stating that it will be fully investigated,and they will then contact me.One month later and no further correspondence.
So, 7 months after moving house, I have had no end of grief from these people, and still have not had an explanation or an apology.
The worst customer service I have ever experienced from any company.
We joined F U at the beginning of 2012 due to the horrendous prices at Southern Electric and all was fine until we received the bill for our use in MAY which was £961.61 for electricity alone!!
So we rang customer services and they agreed with us that it was an unreasonable amount for a family of 4 to use in one month and to make an indemnity claim to recover the amount taken via Direct Debit and gave them the correct meter readings as they had been estimating our usage since we joined and the reading submitted online by us at the end of May was the first they had taken any notice of! We did this only to have the problem occur the very next month but with our next bill added on top which came to over £1000!!
Since then we have tried numerous times to sort this out with Customer Services and were advised the matter was sorted.
Then they sent us a letter/ email stating that the amount was still owed and would be transferred to a debt recovery company if they did not receive the amount. Eventually after we sent a reply letter we were contacted by someone ONE MONTH later and discussed the matter and were again assured it was sorted. We then received an email stating the same and our account would be credited within 28 days. Obviously this never happened and 2 weeks ago ANOTHER letter came stating that the amount was still owed, so we again wrote to them with the email attached and sent two inquiries via the website only receiving automatic replies via email which we are still waiting on replies for.
To conclude the matter is still not resolved nearly 6 months later, we have not received our bill for our gas & electricity use in October and are unsure where to go from here as ringing Customer Services again would only cost us more money!
The treatment from First Utility is disgusting and certainly not doing themselves any favours in our eyes and are now tentatively looking at changing to yet another energy supplier, if I had looked at the reviews on here before joining I would certainly thought twice.
Sort yourselves out First Utility!!!!!
Hi everyone I am back again, last posted November 2012.
At the time of writing this i am on hold to first utility ( having just been cut of by the sales department who promised to put me through to someone who would answer my call) ha what a joke.
First utility are beyond useless- I have now left them and they are still billing me- by the looks of all the comments on here I am not the only person this happens to.
I would like to take this matter further and I recon there are enough of us on here to take this to something like watch dog- if anyone else is interested here is the link https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/contact lets share our stories and see if we can publicly shame First Utility!!!
Come on guys i think our opinion needs to be heard!
I too changed to First Utility from Scottish Power, as they promised to be cheaper a year ago. All done via these energy comparison websites (who should monitor these energy company’s poor performance and not include them).
I have struggled to get hold of them on the phone, and when emailed I received a reply that had no acknowledgement or relevance to my complaint. Also they have no responded to my recent complaint requesting for my grievance to be escalated to management level to address.
I too have now changed back to Scottish Power with whom I am very satisfied.
The problem I have is that I am over £160 in credit with First Utility and contacted them asking them why they were still taking money from my account and their excuse was “an oversight” and they would credit me back what I was owed within 15 days. Well 15 days has passed and nothing! I did close my Direct Debit, as reading other complaints on here I was not going to risk letting First Utility continue to take anymore of my money. Like other companies who have owed money is normally sent by letter/cheque, which I would have expected First Utility to have done.
This company is making a lot of money unlawfully and causing a lot of stress and anxiety to a lot of people and seem to be getting away with it.
I feel I had to write and contribute my grievance on here, as I believe people need to be made aware that this company is not a company that should be trusted and it is incredible how they still have a licence to operate. If anyone out there is thinking of changing to them all I can say is DO so at your own peril.
I hope First Utility will have the decency to reply to my emails and refund me my money at their earliest opportunity. Some how I have a feeling this will not happen. No doubt like others who are owed money I will probably have to pursue via the appropriate legal Authorities.
I changed to First Utility from Scottish Power as they promised to be cheaper a year ago.
I have had endless problems with their site, struggled to get hold of them on the phone, and when emailed have received a reply some 4 weeks later, or not at all.
Due to these problems I have now changed back to Scottish Power with whom I am very satisfied.
The problem I have is that I am over £250 in credit with First Utility and contacted them asking when I would receive this back into my bank account. No response at all! I left the direct debit open so that they could return my money straight back to my account, and guess what? This month, having not been supplying my gas or electricity for a month now, they have taken another month's direct debit amount out of my account so that I am now in credit by £349!!!
Not surprisingly I have now closed the direct debit but have attempted to contact them with no success both by phone and email. I can't afford to pay for 2 different providers in the same month and this will now leave me in a difficult financial position, and I need my money back. My money is in their bank account earning interest when it should be in mine, which is tantamount to theft.
I will certainly be telling everyone I come into contact with to avoid these people like the plague and will always regret changing over to them in the first place.
If anyone out there is thinking of changing to them all I can say is DON'T.
If I do not get this problem resolved and my money back promptly I will be taking this matter further. This company should be banned from trading.
A bunch of '90s - style whizz kids turned up at my door last October (2011) telling me I could have a SMART meter if I switched to first-utility. My existing electricity meter is antiquated and difficult to read, so I jumped at the chance.
Things proceeded normally except that they 'had trouble' getting my electricity account going. I have faithfully submitted readings whenever prompted.
A couple of months ago they came up with a bill of over £300. It was based on readings I could never have on my meter - a five-digit reading starting with a 1, whereas mine have started with a 5 all this time.
I have phoned, I have e-mailed, I have written letters, all ignored. During one call they told me they had 'put the account on hold' but I have received increasingly threatening letters and now they say they will cut me off within a week and charge me an EXTRA £385 for the privilege. I've spent literally hours now on hold on their 0845 number which they said I must call immediately.
Today and yesterday there is no answer on the phones - have they gone bust???
I'm very keen to pay them what I owe and have switched to ecotricity (ethical, and excellent customer service). I've estimated the amount, since luckily I have the original reading.
I am threatened with no electricity and a bill of £700.
(Incidentally, there has been no sign of a 'SMART' meter.)
RUN FAST, RUN FAR!!!!!!
What can I say ?
Having complained on this site about the poor service, I got an immediate response from First Utility. They sorted eveything out, apologised for the lack of communication and offered me £50 for all the trouble they had caused me.
I can't praise them enough for sorting it so quickly.
Since joining first utility a few months ago having moved to a new property, I have had issues with my bill and meter readings for gas. I have now discovered that the meter than readings were being taken was not the correct one, and have been attempting to give them the correct details to correct the issue, having been sent wildly inflated bills and repeated reminders to submit readings - something I have cannot do because of the error. I have now been waiting for3 weeks for a response to my email, and have followed up each week with no response other than an automated message. This is appalling customer service in trying to fix something so straightforward. First Utility really need to address this!
i would like to make a complaint about the service that i have received from your company & your estimated bills & your inability to save information that i have shared with you. i especially want to make a complaint about a member of staff i spoke to last wk, [Name], who refused to call me back, refused to put me through to a manager, refused to allow me to make a complaint & refused to give me information as who else to complain to. he also told me that i havent been ringing you with actual meter readings & i didnt inform you that i was the landlord & that the property was empty, i was extremely upset & distressed after this phone call & i had to end the call as i was so stressed out!
i have had to give one star as i can give no lower!!! this site should have a minus star rating.
I cannot warn you all enough, if you are considering using First Utility DONT.
i am at the end of my tether with this company.... 6 months ago i changed supplier as i had the unfortunate situation of having no choice in supplier when i moved into my current rental property.
First Utility supplied me 55 days worth of Gas and 22 days of Electricity... after all this they presented me with a bill that made me choke.
in 55 days i had used 17450 units of Gas which equated to £682!!! reading was totally incorrect and 6 months later they are still struggling to send me a bill with the correct reading!! 7 times now i have given these reading to them and sent them a written complaint with the readings.
my total bill was £895.71
i am not paying this and have told them this, i will pay for what i have used, but First Utility fail to grasp this concept.
i am now waiting for yet another call back from a Team Leader, i have no confidence that this will be resolved, and so i look forward to seeing them in court!!! in fact a copy of my complaint will be sent to the BBC watchdog programme, i urge everyone that has had problems with First Utility to do the same.
this company cannot and should not have any right to provide a SERVICE as they are totally incapable of providing one.
We have been with FU for just over a year now, and TWICE in the past year, we have not only been accused of not paying our bill, but on several occasions have failed to even receive a bill. We received plenty of correspondence when they thought we hadn't paid our bill,when we rang them up about the latter, after confirming with the bank that it had been paid,they told us the money had been paid and they informed us that they never said we hadn't paid it,EVEN though we had been receiving letters from solicitors acting on their behalf claiming we hadn't paid it. We have now got another solicitors letter claiming that once again we have not paid them £210.90 when in actual fact we HAVE paid it and are in possession of receipts proving this, Will be ringing them on Monday and recording any calls we exchange. Its an absolute travesty and we are seriously considering switching providers.
I registered with FU as I read that they were offering the best deals for dual fuel supply. Initially easy to set up & seemed to be trouble free UNTIL I MOVED HOUSE!! I informed them of move date 27th August & was told to make a note of readings on the day but meanwhile they will take all change of address details and name of person taking over property. I informed them this is a tenancy and gave them the agents details. I asked for a transfer of my account to my new address but was told this is not possible & I will have to got through the registration process again (crazy) At this point I was approx £200 in credit on my account. I gave meter readings on move date and patiently waited for contact from FU.....nothing. So I rang to be told the guy I had previsouly spoken to miss informed me & I would need to give details of landlord, I told them I didn't know who my landlord was as the agents had always dealt with everything.The lady I spoke to was very rude & told me I wouldn't get a refund until the landlord paid the daily tariff since I moved out. I was told I would get a call back to update me of when I would get my final bill and then they would refund the monies owing. I heard nothing more so rang again days later to be cut off every time the call went over 27 minutes waiting time. Eventually I got through some days later & was told they had tried to ring me on my landline number, I said I left my mobile number as my landline hadn't been installed when I initially rang them. They quoted my old number at my previous address!!! Of course they didn't get a reply I had moved!!! I was told I would be transferred to the finance department but got cut off again. I called back on 3 occasions and each time the transfer to finance cut me off. I then emailed FU to be told they are really sorry and have the refund ready to process but I will have to wait up to 28 days for the cheque to be released. This information was sent to me on 5th October......naturally I am still waiting for the cheque to arrive 19 days later. I moved house 2 months ago!!!! I have cancelled my application for FU in my new house and since then have made a point of informing all my friends to pass on the sorry story so they don't make the mistake of trusting this company. They are happy to let my money sit in their bank account earning interest for them. My refund is for approx. £160 and I would prefer it in my account. I paid the suggested monthly figure in good faith to this company....it is a shame they couldn't afford me the same respect and promtly return my refund.
My duel fuel tariff with British Gas was due to finish in early May of 2012. I looked through all the online tariffs to find FU as the cheapest provider. I first read all the reviews about FU before I signed up. The reviews were somewhat mixed, so I thought, lets give them a try. They cant be that bad. What a big mistake!!!
I signed up for their i save duel fuel tariff which was an online exercise and very simple to complete!! Not the case!! What I thought had been a simple process on my side of the deal, turned out to be an absolute nightmare for me.
They transfered the electric over to themselves and did not transfer the gas, which left me with no fixed tariff with British Gas.
Dispite endless emails the problem is not resolved.
To date I am still on a Standard tariff (whilst I wait for FU to get their act together), which is double what I was paying with the original duel fuel tariff with BG.
Once and if these morons finally transfer the gas over to themselves I will have paid approximately £300.00+ to British Gas which is over and above what I am paying FU per month.
As we are now in October and the duel fuel should have commenced in May, I have very little faith in these people to actually get the job done.
Avoid FU at all costs fellow consumers.
I changed bank account in March and FU were given new details which they used to get monthly payments from April to July then - for some reason known only to FU- they reverted back to trying to take money from our old (unused, empty but still open) bank account. I was contacted to say we had not paid our bilI rang, in August, to explain that this was due to FU using old details. I was assured this would not happen again and 'new' account details were given again. I have since discovered that this has cost us £70 in bank charges as there are no funds in the old account. If not cleared further charges are likely to be incurred at the end of the month. I have contacted FU by e-mail about 12 times now and have had one response from Ricky and one from Julie about three weeks ago. Julie requested evidence of charges so I scanned a copy of the bank account to her - still no response. Absolutely no response since then except the computer generated ones saying ' Hi Mrs Crosbee we have recieved your e-mail etc etc. I find the use of teenager text speak to be very unhelpful, disrespectful and unprofessional. I have left my phone contact number but no call has come! I refeuse to pay their premium phone line costs to be put on hold for an hour like I was in August. The money for outstanding bills has been sitting in the new account since August but their systems do not compute for some reason!! Very frustrating and annoying!! Complete lack of appropriate human reponse from customer service - in fact non at all. I am leaving FU because of this debarcle - however I will be pursuing them refunding costs incuurred by their incompetence and making a complaint to the ombudsman. FIRST UTILITY IS A SHAMBLES - TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS ! THEY MAY LOOK CHEAP BUT THEY HAVE COST US MORE BECAUSE OF THEIR POOR SYSTEMS.
My initial online application kept getting rejected, I rang First Utility and they said they were having IT problems and to persevere which I did. I then rang after hearing nothing to be told multiple applications had resulted in no application and they would do it manualy. Further calls by me clarified that only electricity had been applied for and that no direct debit set up, resulting in delays to both. The major problem is that I cannot log in my online account, I am told this is because of multiple initial applications (their fault) and that their IT section will resolve, WEEKS later I still cannot log in and I have to call their 0845 number for ages and usually give up. Complaints to their customer services result in them not addressing the problem or complaint presented and I wish to God I hadn't changed from my existing provider as I still cannot log in to my online account.
I have been a customer for 1yr. I chose them because they offered a £75 cash back and I could use email as a means of contact. I don't use phones, I hate them, and have told FU this every time I have emailed them.
It all started when they chose a bad date for my direct debits (just before pay day) I had to cancel the direct debit just before Xmas and emailed to explain why asked for a new date for payments and then made a debit card payment online a few days later. No reply to the email. Since then I have sent emails complaining and the only one that got a response was when I sent an email at the end of February that said
"This email is sent as a reminder that as you have failed to respond to ALL previous enquiries that you have now entered in to a contract with me to pay £10 per day compensation until my outstanding issues have been resolved."
It didn't solve the problem but at least they replied and said I wouldn't get the cash back.
I still have not been able to set up a direct debit payment system and my last email sent in March inspite of being addressed to an individual 'Patricia Fothergill' with a reference number PCE-4469 was ignored as was the reminder sent in May.
As stated I have now been a customer for one year and my last bill informed me that I was not eligable for the £7 a month reduction for paying by direct debit. Of course I am not eligable because they have NEVER reinstated it inspite of receiving writen instructions to do so.
SO BEING RUDE AND IGNORING CUSTOMERS PAYS why change now.
Will I be looking for a better deal now that I can without penalty - What do you think!!
2 automated replies and a note on this site but it is Thursday evening and nothing of any substance has been received. I hope you are not trying to phone because as I have always said I DON'T USE THE PHONE and anyway I am at work when your complaints office is open.
Dear Consumer Affairs Team,
I have not had a resolution to my problem so do not comment on here making everyone think you resolve your customer complaints quickly.
This morning i missed your call because i was on the telephone to the ombudsman to whom i have made a complaint to about your appauling company and even worse customer service and the fact that you have made no effort of contacting me in the 8 weeks this complaint has been going on i sent an email on 10/9/12 that has yet to be replied to.
Just to make everyone aware i only got the phone call this morning because i have wrote a review on here that they have took notice of but the problem is still there RING ME BACK!!!! And i cannot believe that all i want from this shambles of a so called company is an account setting up in my name with my address so i can take my electricity to another company at present my meter apparently does not exist SORT IT OUT!!!!!!
Ella Le Gris found this review useful
The billing error (in my review below) has got even worse.
After switching our meter readings were ignored for several months and we were billed on estimates despite providing readings.
I noticed in September and it took me two months and more than 10 emails to get this sorted.
Yesterday we were finally billed according to our meter readings. Great.
This evening, the bill was issued again BASED ON AN ESTIMATE yet again!!!
This added £70 to the ACTUAL amount we'd used! Within 24 hours!
And to add insult to injury, the amounts due in my account don't match either of my bills!
Now I have two bills in my account for November with FOUR different amounts due, with the most recent being estimates DESPITE emailing since September to get the estimates removed.
To say this company is incompetent is an understatement!
I can't wait for my switch to complete and to be rid of this company.
PS. First Utility, before you reply, the customer service representative (SS) who emailed me to sort this didn't bother to give me her email address. She rings during work hours when I can't answer. I've tried to email her back but my emails are just going into the bottomless pit that is the First Utility helpdesk mailbox. I'll pay your November bill when you bill me based on the ACTUAL readings I give you last week. If you don't do this, Ofgem is my next stop.
FIRST UTILITY SHOULD BE MADE TO CLOSE OPERATIONS -COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME AND UNABLE TO GRASP EFFICIENT WORKING PROCEDURES.
First Utility is very good at signing up new customers, but has difficulty in refunding money. They are unable to accurately calculate how much is owed to me and this has been on going since beginning of August.
No matter how cheap they are, don't use them. I would rather add £50.00 to my monthly utility bill than have First Utility as my provider.
8/11/12*Update on previous review -had a call from the customer service team to discuss my account and was promised the correct refund along with a goodwill gesture. The goodwill gesture has never arrived and the cheque which First Utility sent to me [ for the incorrect amount] has now been received back from my bank with Payment Stopped stamped across it. I am now waiting for the next fairy tale from First Utility customer service.
If ever there was a company that deserves to go into administration First Utility should be first in queue.USELESS, USELESS company and one that should have an entire programme of BBC Watchdog dedicated to it.
I originally awarded 5 stars to First Utility for their cheap prices. Inevitably, it seems they have taken me for a mug ! They bills have risen inexorably and I have just been charged £130 dual fuel for December and I live in a modest semi in Nottingham !! I can only apologise for having given these cowboys the benefit of the doubt and having unwittingly misled people. Avoid at all costs
Called First Utility on the 3rd Sept and asked for a refund of my overpayment after I had transferred my supply to EDF (left because the prices were going up and the promised smart meter never materialised).
Was assured that I would receive my refund of £600 within 5 working days. Received nothing so called back on the 13th and then the 19th and then the 24th. Each time I was assured that the payment would go through within 5 days and on the last day that a senior manager would call me to discuss my complaint. Unsurprisingly I was never called and so called back on the 27th to be told it's not a 5 day wait, but a 3 week wait because of a backlog of so many people wanting refunds. All I want is my own money back, surely it shouldn't be this difficult.
In response to our earlier posting about the problems in transferring our gas supply, and First Utility's posted commitment that someone would be in touch to resolve our issues, today they just sent an email, the body of which said "I can confirm that this is with our Registration team who are working hard in order to get your Gas supply over to First Utility, we are experiencing difficulties, but hope to resolve this as soon as possible." Which is exactly what they've said on previous occasions. After more than three months, we are still being fobbed off with the same excuses. A customer oriented organisation would have said what the problem was, and when they expected to resolve it. They might also have assigned a senior trouble shooter to fix it. First Utility have done none of this. Despite all their assertions about being committed to high levels of customer service, you (Trustpilot's readers) can judge for yourselves whether this is in fact correct.
I'm honestly at my wits end with this company. I bought a new build apartment in June and the supplier was First Utility. I changed back to my original supplier therefore I was only with them a short while yet seem to be plagued by letters relating to an 'overdue' (estimated!) balance on my gas account. This balance is in fact false as I spoke to someone last night (after finally getting trough) who confirmed that they do have the correct meter readings - to which I owe for 19 units of gas and not the 300+ as per the estimate but couldn't explain why I'm still being harassed by their Credit Control Team. To top it off I came home today to find yet another letter from Credit Control threatening court proceedings!?! Seriously!?! The best part is - I actually emailed the Credit Control Team last week about this, surprise surprise that email was ignored too, yet they managed to send me another threatening letter just the other day..... Come on guys, sort yourselves out.
Let's be clear on one thing - I have no issues in paying for what I owe, none whatsoever. I just want a correct BILL without the constant harassment. I've honestly had enough, time to see my solicitor I think.
The only positive thing I have to say about this company is the staff (when you get to speak to them) are very polite and helpful, it seems to be more their system that's an utter disgrace.
Carla Linley found this review useful
I decided to use FU as supplier of my fuel because I was attracted by the idea of a smart meter. Like another reviewer my house was empty awating refurbishment, FU invented an initial meter reading then refused to accept my readings because they were lower than their fabricated one. That was lasr December. I went to the Ombudsman who sorted things out but FU then sent me a threatening bill for the sum I owed them in standing charge with the compensation I was supposed to receive ADDED ON.
I have paid the small sum I owe but will not receive any compensation for the months of hassle because I have changed to another company . The smart meter? Never happened.
As an update I received a 'phine call from FU recently asking me if my smart meter installation was satisfactory. I explained to the poor girl on the 'phone that i hadn't been a customer of theirs for about 9 months. They really are in chaos!
Carla Linley found this review useful
I have lost count of the number of times that I have complained to First Utility now about their service to the customer.
The main issue began around 6-9 months ago when I put the property being supplied with gas and electricity up for sale, and consequently moved out. My electricity was read off a smart meter, which they were able to digitally download, and proved no problem whatsoever. My gas on the other hand was run off a meter reading that I supplied, and was then estimated each month.
After receiving a few bills which were quite high for what I was expecting (i.e. no gas use) I phoned the customer helpline to try and resolve the issue. I was perfectly happy to do this at the time, as I knew that the system would not change its estimates unless I informed First Utility, so that was what my intention was.
After speaking with a customer service representative I was informed that there was no way to change the estimated readings on the system, and that I would have to register an actual read at the end of the month in order to alert the system to any change that was not aware of. I therefore took readings at the end of the month, and input them online.
What followed was a series of further monthly bills that had no consideration whatsoever of the reads that were being input, and was still grossly overestimating my gas usage, even though I had informed First Utility of the change. After phoning up the customer service helpline once more, I was told that meter readings would have to be given more regularly for the system to update itself, as it continues to use a daily estimated usage after the read.
There are two main issue with this solution. Firstly you cannot submit a meter read within 5-7 (at best) working days of submitting a previous read, and secondly, you are not able to submit the same read (or a read within a single unit) of your previous read. This second point was confirmed to me by the customer service representative, who also believed the automated system to be extremely limiting with this.
This meant that I had to submit a read that was INCORRECT, as my gas meter read was not moving, and yet there I was having to input reads that would deliberately force my bills to be higher than they should be. This was all on the recommendation of a customer service representative, and all because I was not using any gas (even though I was still paying a standing charge for every month I was not in the property). This standing charge has consequently come back to haunt me, but I will get to that in due course.
This obviously was unacceptable from my perspective, and the next customer service representative agreed, consequently freezing any further bills from my account until the issue was resolved. This was a solution I was perfectly happy with, as I was not happy constantly paying large amounts of money for gas that I was not using, even though I had been going to every effort to resolve the issue.
Unfortunately, another issue then arose. I received no fewer than 4 notices via post, informing me that my bill amount was overdue, and that I was required to pay it immediately. Not only did I receive these letters, but also 2 text messages stating that my bills were overdue, as well as a direct call from a Billing representative who was quite clearly not informed of my personal situation with First Utility, and was trying to get me to pay over the phone (he was consequently very apologetic after the situation was explained to him).
It is one thing to have to go to all the effort to stop being wrongly charged, it is quite another to be bereted by correspondence demanding payment when you believe all to be sorted and well, and have done your utmost to resolve it yourself.
The house was sold and completed just over a month ago and I only received my final bill 5 days ago, in the usual e-mail format. Before receiving this bill I also received a further call from a billing representative two weeks ago, querying why I had not paid my outstanding bills (the ones which I had been continually assured had been stopped until someone from billing could resolve the issue). This was the ultimate ridiculous scenario, as I had phoned customer service over two weeks before this representitive had called asking when my final bill would arrive. I was informed that it would be on my usual billing day (a month from the point of calling). Wanting to be rid of all the trouble of dealing with First Utility any longer, I asked I they could tell me how much would be owed/charged and if I could pay it then and there. I was told that even they did not have access to the bill until it was automatically generated in September. So essentially, I was being called by someone, asking for a bill to be paid, that I had already tried to pay weeks before, but couldn't pay because of the same system that had clearly told him to call me and get me to pay. Pure stupidity. I submitted another complaint with the suitably apologetic representative who assured me that someone 'higher up' would call or write to clear everything up.
When the final bill did finally come it was one of the biggest shocks of all, as in the period from the bills being stopped (April) until the final bill (beginning of Aug) my bill had somehow managed to come to over £130. I had used around 90-100kWh of electricity in this time (around £13 cost for the units) and 6 units of gas (£2.36 by my conversion calculation for the units). The rest of this bill (over £110) was in standing charges. This was bad enough without a previous bill sent in March which had taken another £72 before I could get the customer service people to stop the payments.
I am not only completely disgusted with the amount being charged, but 5 days later (today) the money has gone straight out of my account, with no phone call, e-mail, or letter of apology still in site after much reassurance from the customer service team that someone 'higher up' would be informed and be getting back to me shortly.
The only good point about this whole experience (grasping at straws here) was the customer service representatives were always polite, courteous and extremely apologetic about the problems.
Had the bill been in credit, I might have been able to forgive and forget, even after the 10's of phone call made, and the hours of talking to customer service to try and resolve the issues. But after receiving this bill and having the payment taken without even a confirmation of the direct debit block being removed, enough is definitely enough.
I will definitely be calling Ofgen first thing Monday morning to explain the problems that I have faced, in the genuine hope that others don't have to suffer the horrible automation that is First Utility.
I signed up with this company in April this year & hadn't read the reviews, which with hindsight was a huge mistake.
I signed up for the monthly dual fuel tariff, (isave v10), where you send in your monthly readings, after being requested to do so, via e-mail. You are then, (in theory), only charged for the fuel/ power that you have used that month.
The first 2 months I duly sent in my gas & electricity readings as requested, but received no bill for the electricity account. I contacted the company to enquire why, after receiving the second bill, to be told that it was due to them 'awaiting industry data', & that it would be corrected on my next bill. No-one could explain the reason for this, or even what it was.
Shortly after this, an estimated bill appeared on my account for electricity only, which had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the actual readings that I had previously supplied. I rang the company again to be told that it would all sort itself out in the future & was asked how much I thought my monthly electricity bill should be? I explained that I had recently moved from a large 3 bedroom house, that had no gas supply, & used electric storage heating, & that the monthly bill there was only £60 per month. First Utility was charging me £76.86 for about 6 weeks & I now live in a small 2 bedroom, energy efficient flat, in the height of summer with no electric heating or hot water, AND I'm out of work all day!! At this point I was told that I could cancel my Direct Debit arrangement if I wasn't happy with it!
I also queried why there was no gas bill on this account & was told that I was 'straight' for the month & the account was up to date. I asked how this could be when I had submitted a read that was higher than the previous month’s but he couldn't give me an answer for that!!
As no new bill had appeared by the Friday of that week, I phoned again & was told not to worry as, if I had submitted readings, I would receive a new bill to reflect the actual readings.
To my absolute horror, I looked at the account again on the Saturday night and found another estimated bill on my account, for £59.37, again bearing no resemblance to the actual electricity readings provided. This latest bill now included the previous bill that it was meant to replace, so according to First Utility I now owed £95.57 for 83 days electricity supplied, as opposed to the actual amount of £27.73 that I had used.
Following this I made another phone call to First Utility & spoke to someone else who told me that he would put my account on hold & send information to the billing team, to advise that they weren't using my readings. He also said that he would transfer me on to the monthly payment scheme, so that I would know how much I was paying each month, (which had to be a minimum of £50 per month). He told me that he would request a management call to discuss my grievances, which I would receive within the next 48 hours - I am still waiting for the call!!
This morning I checked my bank account to find that First Utility have taken a Direct Debit for the amount of the first bill today, which actually leaves them owing ME money, based on my latest readings supplied. To add insult to injury, this deduction has also left me overdrawn in my bank account! This, despite being assured that my account was on hold.
I have no doubt that I will also have the second bill deducted with in the next couple of days AND the £50 monthly DD, which has suddenly appeared on the account page, despite the earlier assurances about forthcoming improvements to the customer service strategy, by their Head of Customer Experience, Steve McNeill, on 14 June, on this site.
I also find it amazing to discover that the company advertise, ‘submit your meter reads online for accurate bills’, for this particular tariff.
The only positive thing I can say about the company is that their call centre staff are always polite, courteous & do try their best to help you during your call. I agree with a previous reviewer who says that they are actually powerless to do anything & it is the rest of the company which are a total shambles. I feel sorry for the staff, as I have worked in a call centre & it must make for a very
demoralising atmosphere to work there.
Claire found this review useful
We signed up to the Smart as Standard package at the end of 2011. By May, we still had no Smart Meter and I requested First Utility put us onto the iSave tariff. This took many hours on the phone to First Utility Customer Service (FUCS).
Alongside this, we submitted a single incorrect electricity reading towards the start of our supply, and FU were very happy to charge us £433.98 for that month. I promptly provided the correct reading on the phone, as their website would not accept the revised reading which was lower than previously provided, and I was told this would be factored into the next bill. I also provided an updated reading towards the end of the month.
So next month comes, and we are billed on an estimated reading rolling forward from the previous incorrect reading, this also comes out of our account via direct debit. I then instructed FU to cancel our direct debit after realising they are completely incompetent, but gave them a last chance in that I did not send an instruction to the bank just to se if they actually would do as they say. Sure enough, they didn't. I was debited again the following month, at which point I instructed the bank to cancel the direct debit. It took a long time with FUCS to get credit notes issued back against these months.
Trying to get a correct bill went on until July 2012, when we moved out of the property and submitted final readings for our account. Now we are waiting for a correct final bill to settle the account, although I feel like we are owed compensation for the hours spent waiting on the phone to FUCS and enquiries&complaints submitted online.
As far as I can tell, their formal complaints procedure is to submit an enquiry via their portal under the option of 'complaint'. Unfortunately, when they email you back the confirmation, they don't provide the original message. I'd advise anyone using this to take a video of them sending the message and receiving the confirmation of receipt in their inbox like I've done with the last few I've sent, as nothing I submitted in the last 6 months was dealt with!
To make matters worse, I explained this in my previous bi-monthly call to FUCS and they told me my correspondance submitted online had never been received/is lost. Contrary to what the confirmation emails I have say!!
I'm absolutely disgusted with this company. They don't deserve any stars at all, but TRUSTPILOT require that I give at least 1 !!
N.B. Some of the people I've spoken to in FUCS actually seem quite competent, but powerless to do anything to resolve any issues. It's probably the rest of the company which is a joke.
Claire found this review useful
We moved in to our New home in Sept 2011 and inherited First Utility.
Since our first contact with them and until we finally had enough of their false promises and Extremely poor service they had provided we found them to be very unhelpful and at times quite rude.
We moved into a 3 bedroom house and watched our bills grow month on month.
Our first to our last bill were as follows -
We submitted our meter reads every month without fail, but was told by First Utility Customer services that all our reads were wrong so they estimated them instead, comparing them to last years bills. We tried contacting them numerous times via telephone and email every month to rectify what was going on. We told them a family of 2 adults and 3 children lived at the address at the time they were comparing meter reads and
as there is only 2 adults in full time employment living at the address now surely they must be wrong.
Each month we received no Bill via post or email, but each month received a phone call to say we had not paid our bill and if it wasn't paid immediately we would be cut off. We paid straight away each time and on every occasion was promised they would sent out a bill the following month via email. We still haven't received a single bill up until the time we finally switched over and went to a competitor.
Ive since contacted them to get someone to check our account/bills to see if we are due a refund but again have had no response.
We are now receiving great customer service along with regular cheaper bills.
I moved to FU using the MSE link to uswitch and duly received my free case of wine from Virgin Wine. A good start, I was then supplied with smart meters which give me access to my gas usage every 24 hrs and electric usage every 30 mins. its all displayed on graphs that I can access on my phone.. Every bill has been delivered by email and has been correct. I've rung the company once and that was quick and efficient, I am very happy with the service and the delivery. I will monitor the prices once I've had my 12 month dual fuel rebate and if there's a cheaper deal I'll I'll switch again. Although I now have a rule that the 'new' supplier must be at least £60 cheaper as I charge that for an hour's admin.
Waited 20 minutes to talk to someone then was told needed to be put through to someone else. After another 5 minutes was told by an automated message that they were too busy to talk and I should call back later - then I was cut off!!!
Hi everyone , I changed from EDF to First Utility and I wish I never did . Ever since I changed I only have been having trouble with the reading over billed for a two bed house £1860 for 3months worth of use of electricity and on top of that when we changed back to EDF they said that conveniently the the prices went up by December 2011 and I got billed by the same 14p rather than 11p for the previous 5months (@11p and the last months and a half they charge 14p per unit ) so they split my bill in two regardless of me using less units for the month and a half so they can raise the leaving bill so they wont owe me any money (being in credit ) and ending up owing them money .
We had a dispute about the readings and that last it 4months and a lot of agro and for something that they suppose to do come get a reading their estimate was over 10000 units and for their own mistake I had to fend of Credit Collection Companies that First Utility forward it my "non paid estimate bill of £1835" .
To put it simply , I would not recommend First Utility to anyone they are nothing but useless and in my eyes a bunch of con artists.
this company is a joke from day one do not trust a single word they tell you.signed in feb still waiting for smart meter fitting and money for signing up 6 months later.rang number of time kept on hold for long periods.just be told any old cock and bull.so all this as forced me to leave company and would strongly advive other to not waste there time and sign up in the first place.
I joined them with the Big Switch. ( I am emailing Which magazine next). I was promised bills that reflected my consumption and no more estimates.
They then sent me a fixed amount Direct Debit form which I challenged as this was not the agreement. I quoted their emails and website. “Pay for what you use”
11 days on and despite chasing I have only had computergenerated replies.
Today an email from them asked for my meter readings. I tried to supply them and the web link doesn’t work.
I haven’t paid them a penny yet and already I want out.
Also did Which not carry out quality checks before they sent them our way???
My wife transferred to you a few months back and you have done nothing but cause her stress ever since this time.
Every time she has celled you, well to be blunt you have been a waste of time and a costly one as well as you leave her on hold for half hour and your not on a free number, perhaps as you are so poor at customer service getting a FREE phone number would be a good idea or you could be on a cut with the telephone companies who knows.
Anyway lets begin with First Utility's catalogue of errors for the Rogers family.
* We were told we would have smart meters installed within 90 days of joining you and it took 5 months to come and install them at our property (did you get lost !!)
* To start with there was a dispute between you and our previous supplier N.Power (who right now seem to be far better than you!) over the amount we had used they said less than what was on the meeter, so we were told to not pay by direct debit and to call you with meeter readings in case you charged us with a massive bill.
* The meeter readings which my wife called you with (at our cost on the phone!!) she was told 5 months!! later that they were not been accepted by your system so we kept getting estimated bills.
* Finally in June you sorted the whole mess out, well done didn't take long! but then we had problems on the direct debit front tried to set up again and it didn't go through and so when we got back off our holiday (which was nice thanks for asking!) we had a lovely letter from you saying that we were in debt to you, but my wife had given the green light to set up the direct debit check you call logs please!
* So in June then the direct debit (or for short if you will DD) was accepted and set up and we were told on the 12th of every month we would have the money taken (you know where we are going here don't you!!)
* At this point my wife was told that she would now also probably not be in line for the duel fuel discount at the end of the year because we have not paid the rest by DD ! YOU TOLD US NOT TOO!!!! so how can you do that, and i now in trust that this email will certainly qualify us for the discount
* 12th of July comes round and you had not taken the payment, so my wife calls you to find out why and she was told that if it had not gone out on that day that it wouldn't go out at a later date so then she paid on the debt card. And you will never guess what happened next go on ask around the office see if anyone can and if they can i will provide a spot prize if someone does !!!!!! Yes on the 13th the very next day the DD was taken after she was told it wouldn't and had already paid the bill !! Do you work on commission by the way because this is a quality way of building up your bonus.
* So another phone call to you on your still not FREE number (look into the Free number could be a winner!!) and she explained to your member of staff what had happened and was told that she would need to contact the bank to try and claim the money back, we popped into the bank as they don't do free phone numbers as well (yes i did mention it to them to look into doing this) and we put in a claim to get back the DD, which in the end was rejected due to the reason that you have to give has not been accepted (apparently a poor company service from you was not good enough!) We called you back and was told it would take 10 days from you to sort and that a bank would sort quicker, at this point my wife asked about breaking the contract and when she could leave and who ever she spoke to was not interested!!
* We called back today to explain and was now old it would be 28 days to sort out with you (make you minds up!) my wife was then put in touch with Chris McAteer (apologies if i have spelt the guys name wrong) who was very helpful (YES you have a helpful member of staff give him a pay rise he deserves one) he agreed that everything that has been done is wrong and explained to us to get in touch with our bank and what to explain to them which i did as to not stress my good lady out any more and it has now worked the bank are to refund the money back to us.
We will be leaving you when our contract is up with you because this is poor and if i was this poor in my job i would have been given the push, everyone these days looks around the Internet for reviews before moving somewhere and i will be posting this type of message on every internet blog site, Facebook page, twitter feed that i can find that is energy related to warn people of the poor service that they could come to get from you.
Claire found this review useful
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