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
How refreshing ..................... a company who provide a great shopping experience from start to finish!
Great service from the initial enquiry through to the delivery. Would certainly shop with the company again. They know the meaning of customer service & providing good value for money.
Well done all of you!
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