I implore everyone to avoid this Utility supplier at all costs , they are incompetent from top to bottom. All the issues listed on other reviews have been experienced by myself - up to 50 minutes on hold , to then deal with a distinterested call centre operator who is incapable of following your requests , we were overcharged, had numerous emails and letters ignored, we were then held to ransom by them when we tried to switch because of the disputed bill. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY - YOU WILL LIVE TO REGRET IT IF YOU DO .
* You will ALWAYS have to wait at least 15-20 minutes for them to answer the phone. * Ignore the suggestion on their website to send them an email instead of waiting on the phone - they IGNORE all emails so it's a complete waste of time. * Don't believe a word the 'customer service adviser' tells you because they NEVER do what they say they are going to do. * Don't be conned in to thinking you will actually be able to look at your online bills - I've not been able to view an online bill since NOVEMBER 2013. They should be done under the Trades Description Act because this is just one of the promises that they make that they don't keep. * Expect to wait at least 10 days for someone to call you back - after you have escalated the problem to a 'formal complaint', which you inevitably will have to because the Call Centre staff don't or cant do anything to deal with problems. * Of course if you've got nothing better to do than wait on the phone for them to answer - or enjoy listening to insincere recorded messages about 'being very busy' - or sending emails that are not answered - or listening to excuses and promises - or quite enjoy the experience of dealing with the most useless, inefficient energy company for the sake of saving a few pounds a year then First Utility is the energy company you should choose.
Wouldn't even give it 1 star. Week's of phone calls,being cut off, misdirected within departments. Denied access to a line manager as none available but they suddenly appeared when I pushed the point. No answers to my emails when I supplied information. Possibly the worst company I've ever had to deal with for customer service.
After submitting my details into USwitch, I had my direct debit amount set at £76 per month. Not unreasonable I thought, so went ahead with the switch. Switched to First Utility at the beginning of 2014. Bills for February and March were less than £76, but I received an email stating they had re-calculated my usage and upped my monthly direct debit amount to £113 per month! Tried to call them, and after spending 3 hours on hold, and being cut off 3 times, I have given up. Tried to call them one more time the following morning... number 47 in the queue... hung up. Sooo after 3 months, I am going to switch again to get away from this APPALING customer service. WORST customer experience out of ANY company I have EVER dealt with!!!
I am with First utility from last few months i dont get trouble with them they never charge me extra , its fixed direct debit and if i use less they charge me less in next direct debit , i submit my meter readings online. customer services is a bit annoying part but now a days its same every where.
I transfer to this company back on 5th September 2013 duel fuel.......at this point I cancelled my direct debit with my pervious supplier. A direct debit was set up at the point of joining this company.......no payment has ever been taken. My first call to this company was a very long wait....I waited 90 mins to speak to advisor only to be transferred to another department and put on hold again.......for 15 mins......I was then told the reason no direct debit had been taken was due to the fact that this company had only moved my electricity not my gas and the system could not take payment from me when only one fuel was supplied??? I then called again 9th December 2013 and advised that the gas still wasn't with this company I asked for reimbursement due to the length of time I had been on hold and waiting for a call back that never happened and the fact that due this coming NOT taking the direct debit and not moving my gas over I was now in debt with this company and my old provider...I was offered £20 .....what an insult.....I then told them I was leaving this company without incurring any penalties for leaving within the first 12 months.......they told me they understood and said it was fine.... I then got in touch with another company but was advised that I couldn't come to them until the gas had been with this company for 31 days. I have received an email on Monday for a meter reading and today two letters demanding payment of £284.22 and a letter from a debt company wanting to gain access to retrieve property to the value of £284.22. I have called theis company again today and been on hold again for approx 30 mins when I get through to an advisor she tells me firstly that my gas has been with this company since February 19th 2014 then when I said this could not be possible as I was assured this was taking place on 9th December 2013 and then changed her mind to say both gas and electric had been with this company since 9th September 2013!!!! Does this company know what they are doing???? I am at a total lose where to go to and what answers I will get this time! I am waiting on the credit control team calling me tomorrow and also asked for a complaint to be logged but wasn't given any information on what the process was for a complaint!!!! I then called the company I want to move to and they advised the national data base system show that my gas came to this company on 19th February 2014
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.......I don't want to pay anything as I feel the service has been absolutely shocking and I have never been treated the way I have from this coming in the past 24 yrs of having my own home and paying my own bills!! I AM ONE VERY UNSATISFIED CUSTOMER AND CAN NOT WAIT TO LEAVE THIS COMPANY.
A few points: phone communications verging on impossible, sometimes 70th in the queue (are they joyful customers or complaints?); website communications - URL relating to online form, usually inoperable; they do not take sufficient care over, nor do they have respect for the granting of access to the customers' financial account, which ought to be held as a privilege given to them; and, avoid this company, flavour of Ryanair, they attract customers on the basis of lower charges but the customers' experience with them is too often fraught with problems and difficulties.
logged 12.3.14 - I swapped my energy supplier (dual fuel) in December and having hear the promotions from First Utility believed that they were an established, trustworthy, professional and caring company with a good standard of customer service - how wrong could I be....Having set up a direct debit with First Utility my first payment should have been deducted from my bank account in January - it wasn't - neither was it in February and neither will it be in March. I have made 4 phone calls to date and wasted a total of 2hours and 20 minutes. on one occasion I was informed that I was number 45 in the queue - I didn't wait. First Utility have on three occasions assured me that the reason for non payment via my bank is their error. They assure me that they will do whatever is necessary to rectify the problem - have they done this???? It seems not as I had the need to make a further phone call today now having received not only letters (I have three of them) telling me my account is overdue but I have also begun to receive text messages. I spoke to one person today who said I had come through to the wrong dept but he would put me through.....I hung on the phone for 40 minutes eventually hanging up .....and so, the issue remains unresolved. I am seriously considering reverting back to my previous supplier who were more expensive but efficient, professional and able to deliver a service. DO NOT CONSIDER CHANGING TO FIRST UTILITY...... A SHAMBLES IS HOW I WOULD REFER TO THE COMPANY.......
logged 14.3.14 - to add to the disgraceful service mentioned above. I have today received a letter with quite a threatening tone from First Utility. It states i have 'failed to pay' (despite me making a payment of £150 by credit card a week ago in spite of the company's admittance of their errors regarding direct debit not being set up). The letter threatens that if I fail to pay a further amount (almost £100) within 7 days then the matter will be passed to a debt recovery agency. It threatens that they will obtain a warrant to enter my property, disconnect my fuel supply and charge me a further £385 for doing so......... it then threatens that If i ignore the matter then court proceedings will be issued without further notice......ALL AS A RESULT OF CONTINUING ERRORS/DIS-SERVICE BY FIRST UTILITY........ i NOW AM REALLY AT THE END OF MY TETHER... CAN SOMEONE ADVISE AS TO WHERE I GO FROM HERE?? (I also made an official complaint via their website 3 days ago with no response)
18.3.14 - As expected .... my direct debit payment did not go through yesterday ...... FU have still not rectified the issue it seems ...... Oh well, I will simply await further threatening letters, texts, emails from them instructing me I have "failed to pay" and need to take "immediate action" (the 'action' I expect from them is not forthcoming after a 4 month period ...... I really don't think they are in a position to demand that I 'act now'. DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS COMPANY - think, think and think some more if you are even considering doing so.....
1.4.14 I have had no further correspondence from First Utility despite two emails registering formal complaints. I have made a further call to First Utility today. They tell me that the action that they should have taken following my call to them on the 11th Match has 'not been acted upon' - they are unable to give any reason for their incompetence but assure me (yet again......) that they will 'take up the matter immediately' (I very much doubt that they will..) My direct debit remains unpaid.......and the saga continues. This company needs to be formally investigated
Like all other reviewers, my first experience with FU, they did not take out any direct debit payments until I contacted them by letter, the response I received was full of apologizes and reassurances about how things would improve.
By now they must have felt, they will start having some sport with this one, next they started not reminding about taking meter readings and like everybody else, I contacted them via Email and phone, on one occasion a lady I spoke to, was quite hostile in manner, stating " the matter had been previously resolved and why am I still contacting them about an old problem." I have now given up with them totally, I intend transferring my business to another company soon after my contract period ends on 07 May 2014.
I changed my account last October to a fixed rate for dual fuel. I gave all the usual details e.g. bank account number etc for the DD, but no money was ever taken. I received calls about non payment from them and I had to explain the same story (that the DD was set up) month after month after month. I checked on the web site and they had my bank details along with the agreed amount from last October. By February of the following year, I received an email with the usual underlined threat of 'further action will be taken', oh by now I owed them £852.55. Contacting them over this period was, to say the least, impossible. All I wanted was for them to take my money! I must have spent six hours over that period on hold and not one email I sent was replied to, I wanted to pay them! In the end I relented and paid the balance with my credit card (or pay £220 a month). I am in the process of moving to another company - one that can understand the complexities of direct debit! Oh by the way I'm writing this while on hold, it's one hour and five minutes so far and they phoned me about non payment --- oh no I've now been cut off!!!!!!!!!!!
Changed to FU last year, and everything went smoothly with my transition from EDF.
Have recently convinced my parents to switch to FU, and the experience literally could not be worse.
Tried to switch, couldn't, called and got through, "switched", email saying "sorry you decided to cancel your FU account", called again, "switched" again, 2 days later another email "sorry you decided to cancel your FU account".
This got my parents SO worried (about having their EDF cut off because FU have done something wrong, about having a direct debit taken by FU but with no switch happening, etc. etc.
If it took 2 minutes to call them to sort things out, that would be ok. But it's taken on average 25 minutes to get through.
So I'm afraid I have to say, after what was a great energy provider for me, if you're elderly and thinking of switching stick to the big names with better support - EDF, British Gas, etc.
These people will change you to a higher tariff without emailing you or contacting you. You need to be on your guard. Don't use these thieves, they never email you back ! I changed my utility through uswitch and they still didn't stop the last direct payment. Couldn't log into my account to get the last final bill - they'd closed my account, I'd recorded my usage upto my transfer date and so should know exactly how much I owe them. They owe me money and trying to chase to get it back, but they won't reply to emails. I called them and waited 2 hours only to be disconnected again !!!! They are crooks and Ofgem need to get a handle on these thieves. Jay
I contacted FIrst Utility on the 4th January as they had increased my direct debit without any notification, which made me incur bank charges of £30 for going overdrawn. Today (7th March) I received a response and the offer to reduce my payments as they hadn't raised a bill since September. I've switched to a cooperative and obtained a fixed rate deal for the next 3 winters. I sent in monthly readings to First Utility, who did not use my electric readings as they were so low...perhaps it could be the solar panels and the fact that I live in a sustainable house with low energy needs. My total fuel bills are under £200 per year but this company thought it would be wonderful to up my direct debit to £75 a month. I guess it helps their profits. I anticipate the next battle will be a return of these monies owed...... Steer away from them as you can end up paying way too much for fuel you don't even use.
Update: First Utility have noticed this review and kindly sent me an email with a no reply address so I have no means of responding directly to them. I have been advised to send a copy of my bank statement as evidence of my incurred bank charges but have NO address to send it too as none provided. I am assured a refund will be given. I am also told to continue to pay my direct debit and that any outstanding credit will be returned after a switch but the onus is on me to chase this money using, wait for it, the main phone number which is never answered unless you wish to sign up. I'm cancelling my direct debit and writing to my MP as this is the WORST customer service ever. I am not a charity and certainly do not work full-time to shore up this companies profits.
This website is a farce. Cannot login to submit meter readings. Try to phone to give readings but get stuck on hold. And even worse, 9mths ago I changed payment from my wife's direct debit to my own. First payment came out of my account and that was the last. Phoned them every month since and been assured that issue was resoved but no payments come out. I have to pay manually when I manage to login to website. I even phoned and cancelled my D/D and started a new one but still no joy. I dont know what else to do. I have even contacted them on website explaining issues but no response after initial acknowledgement about a week later.
After purchasing a new build house in 2010, the developers had already set up the electricity with First Utility. At first I thought they were brilliant as I had a Smart reader for electricity and had a gas one installed shortly after. All was working well for about a year when the gas meter stopped working. In the past two years, I have contacted them numerous times to ask if I can get it fixed as the only way I can give a meter reading is to call them and wait in a queue for up to 90 minutes!! Their website won't let me do it online as it says a 'system error.' They've had this error now for two years. If I email the reading the just ignore it. On their website they suggest texting the reading to them but give no number. The first couple of times I contacted them they said an engineer would be in contact with me as soon as possible. It's been two years now !!! On the fith time I was told that they were waiting for the government to agree on a universal smart meter that can be used with any company and not just First Utility. The woman I spoke to told me I would be at the top of the queue to get mine fixed and even convinced me into changing my tariff (I can't believe I was so stupid) to a fixed one that, If I now want to leave before 2015, I will have to pay a £60 fine!!! She told me I would have my new meter by December 2013. Still waiting...They now only charge me for the supply of gas which means I am going to be hit with a whopping great big bill if they ever finally pull their finger out and update my account with a meter reading. To summerise. They have the worst customer service I have ever had the misfortune to experience. They don't respond to emails, and lie to you on the phone. Avoid at all costs as they are not worth the small savings you will save as you'll spend more money in telephone calls trying to get through to them and therapy sessions to deal with the stress!!
I logged into my account this morning to discover I owed First Utility £1400 out of the blue. My monthly bills are normally no more than £100, so this came as a big shock. When I called up I was told my bills from the day I had signed up with in April 2012 had been recalculated and that my actually bill should be around £290 not £1400. I called up again to ask a few more questions and was told that my bill wasn't £290 - they are unsure why I was told that, and the amount due was in fact £1415. I was told that something had gone wrong during the billing process, so all my previous bills have credited been recalculated leaving me this balance. I was refused the opportunity to speak to the billing department about the error and just told that a manager would call me back within 72 hours even though she said they are unable to give me anymore information than what I have been told... so what the point of the phone call is I really don't know, but we shall see whether they call or not.
I was offered a payment plan of £100/mth over 12 months - however seeing as the bill covers 21 months, I will be insisting that I pay it over 21 months - assuming the bill is correct - which I doubt it is.
Feb 2014 - I have seldom if EVER got through to these people on customer service line also they DO NOT RESPOND to emails although eventually you will get a smarmy catch all excuse sheet letter from some ejit up the command chain - everything was going swimmingly as they came out very competitive with each comparison website but last year suddenly all my information about previous usage etc just disappeared from my online account - I pay monthly by DD and beacuse my partner checks the current ac and i check busines accounts we did not notice also that no payments were being taken for Nov Dec and Jan - LO AND BEHOLD WE GET A HUMOUNGOUS BILL WITH COMPLETELY BAFFLING LIST OF CUST, EST, READS -I was doing online readings every month end only to find they had changed the reading date THEY CHANGED THIS TWICE IN A SHORT PEIOD - they really are AWFUL at customer service - I emailed them four times (could NEVER get thru on fone) to tell them I wanted a payment schdeule as they eventually after over three months sent me a bill for 520 quid - I did not want to pay that all at one - guess what, they ignored me! they took the money anyway - I am changing via the Big Community Switch to Ovo - FINE UNTIL YOU NEED TO TALK TO THEM - NIGHTMARE to deal with them direct - I am leavinh them asap - ALSO they lost all of my usage records from three years of using them - they are in meltdown mode
I tried to switch electricity and gas to them. Gas went through OK. There was an erroneous transfer of the electricity because they picked up my neighbour's meter number. I have been trying to resolve this since October. They tried to bill my neighbour for at least four times more electricity that had been used and threatened to cut him off. I have spent hours on the 'phone, because each call takes about 90 minutes mostly in a queue. I sent a written detailed statement (that they obviously did not read) and nothing happens except more dunning letters. They are incapable of moving anything forward.
Having closed my account, they made no effort to contact me to remit the £361 credit balance. Online statement is "for information only" so I assumed they would send me my money as no action was called for. Apparently I have to ask/beg for the money rather than them automatically sending it to me. Phoned in - took 5 attempts as I wasn't prepared to join a queue of over 40 - final attempt was "only" 24 long so I waited the 20 mins. No apology for having to hold on, no apology that they hadn't proactively contacted me to return the funds, no attempt to compensate for waiting time and lost interest and, unbelievably, no knowledge that the issue of refunding credit balances on closed accounts had had such a high profile in the government and press only last week. Then they said I should wait 15-20 days to receive a cheque - despite them having made free with my bank account when it comes to taking the monthly debit. After toing and froing with the supervisor, I will apparently receive my funds in 7 working days but they don't know whether by cheque or by transfer - pretty sure by now that I won't see the money in that timescale.
The website is a mess. As a new customer, I received an email asking me to submit my first gas and electricity readings. Should be no problem. have done this over the years with EON, BG and NPower. FU offers me the option of SMS or website. For SMS, it says, log in and insert your mobile number into your account, You will receive a text to which you can reply with your readings. Inserted my mobile number and waited...and waited... Never mind, try the website. Click on 'meter readings' and the icon goes round and round.... Try elsewhere in the website and it sends me back to log in again. Eventually after a long struggle and many revs of the icons, I manage to input my readings. No confirmation that this has been successful. Has it all been wasted time? Has my change to FU been a big mistake??