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Maxine's complaint against EDF Energy
EDF Energy transferred tenants debt to my account on pre-paid metre
Complaint against EDF Energy
EDF Energy Dual Fuel (Gas & Electricity) Supply I contacted EDF Energy on 9th April, 2019 as the day prior I learned that my tenants had gone leaving debts behind them and that day I discovered EDF Energy had installed pre-payment metres. I needed to refurbish the property and find new tenants asap but in order to do so I needed EDF to remove the pre-payment metres which were loaded with the tenants debt. I was told that I had to open up an account with EDF to do this as no-one else could remove their metres and changing supplier could take weeks. I needed services in order to get the flat re-decorated etc and tenant ready. I was sent a new key for electricity metre that I was able to insert to re-activate the account and clear the former tenants debt off the metre. The gas metre I was told could not be re-set remotely and relied on an engineer to visit which would be an 8am to 8pm appointment and the first available date for that was 23rd April - a full two weeks ahead. I wasn't happy with that and given that I am a type 1 diabetic, neither was I happy to wait for up to 12 hours in an empty, cold property at risk to my health and insulin control. I had no option then but to agree to an account set-up and agree the engineers’ appointment date of 23rd April. I said I could not re-let the property without a gas supply and was advised to use the previous tenants Gas card - which would deduct 70% of any amount I put on it to pay down the old tenants debt that I or a new tenant could claim back from EDF after the metre was changed! I strongly disagreed to that being a reasonable solution and said a new tenant would never be agreeable to such a condition. She disagreed with me. Days later I received a raft of letters with new account details, Gas cards, and a change of tarrif to the highest standard tariff because according to the letter I had set up the account 'after I had moved in'. I don't live there and never have lived in the property it is a buy to let, tenanted for 4 years. I then received a text cancelling the engineers April 23rd appointment and asking me to call in to EDF and re-book another appointment! Fuming I called in and spoke to a nice representative, who sorted out an engineers appointment for the 29th April but said she would attempt to get an earlier one and would call me back the following day. No-one called back, so a few days later I called in again and spoke to another person who said the appointment had to be an all day 8am to 8pm one, again I went through the difficulty that caused and wanted an appointment within a shorter time frame. I also live 1.5 miles from the property not at the property. She escalated the call and put me through to another colleague who from the outset was extremely aggressive, patronising and obstructive. He insisted on repeating the same thing over and over again and would not listen to my point of view regards health conditions, not being able to re-rent the property until the metres were sorted out etc. He said it wouldn’t matter to EDF if someone was able bodied, disabled or any other condition the same rules apply and are approved by the ombudsman ! Eventually he organised an engineer for the same day 24/04 if I got to the property by 2pm and confirmed I was on site. I did that and I waited for an engineer who arrived at 5pm and re-set the Gas Metre. That should have been the end of matters but I got a call on 29th April from the original engineers who had not been cancelled by EDF. I explained to them that I was not at the site and an engineer had cleared the debt on 24/04. I also said I had been treated appallingly and had decided to keep the pre-payment metres for the time being and let a new tenant decide if they wished to keep them or change supplier etc. The next day I received a call from the same rude representative saying I had cancelled the engineers on 29th April and therefore the complaint was resolved and closed. I got into a conflict with him over that issue, as I had not cancelled the engineers, I thought he would have done that when he arranged an engineer call out on the 24/04 an appointment on site that I attended. He also said the Gas Card I had would no longer work and a new one would be sent and take 5 working days to arrive. I was not happy and said it would just further hold up a tenancy agreement - but again he suggested I get a tenant to use the existing card, service the debt and claim a refund later. I asked for the card to be sent to me at the correspondence address, as I did not live at the account property. I few days later I visited the property when it was being re-painted to find the EDF letter with new card. It had not been delivered to my home correspondence address as requested. He called again and I asked him why he took the decision to ignore my request and send the gas card to the property and he said he decided it was more convenient that the card be at the address. I said that was not his decision to make - he disagreed. He said he would be writing to me formally closing the complaint and ended the call. I heard nothing further either in writing or by phone. Today 1st June 2019, I activated the card as I am letting the property on airbnb for the holiday season to recoup lost rental and whilst it is now on the market to sell. There was £9.30 in Emergency credit, I bought £50 credit on the card and inserted to metre. To my horror I discovered that he had re-loaded the debt to the card and the balance showed was just £38 credit instead of £59.30 I contacted EDF Energy and explained that the debt had not been cleared off of the metre or rather it had been re-loaded on to it which is probably why he sent the new card to the site and told me if I used the earlier one sent it would not work. So I feel it was all deliberate nastiness because we disagreed. The person I spoke with today also said that I had been sent a letter - which I didn't receive - putting the matter in the hands of the Ombudsman!! And she was unable to have any further discussion! I asked which address was the letter supposedly sent to and she said 16 XYZ- my address is 6 XYZ - and she said, yes that's right 6. I received no letter. I tried to complete the Ombudsman form online, but it said they (EDF) had 8 weeks to deal with the complaint so I should re-try before going back to the Ombudsman - yet EDF say they can’t do anything further I must go through the Ombudsman. Meanwhile, every time I top up the Gas Card not only is it taking payment to service a debt that is not mine, it is charging at the highest tariff rate!! And they say they have also blocked me from changing suppliers !! I have several holiday-let bookings and need this situation sorted out immediately as it is simply outrageous that a new account holder is saddled with someone else's debt and EDF energy have closed down communication. Surely it is an illegal act for another parties debt to be passed to a new account holder / the next tenant? I am still being affected. I couldn't re-let to a long-term tenant as no-one would accept a lease with no access to Gas supply unless they were prepared to service someone else's debt until EDF could find the time and resources to have an engineer de-commission their metres - and now which is tied up in a ridiculous dispute referred to the Ombudsman to resolve. EDF simply won't enter into a conversation saying they have gone out of their way and done all they can to resolve the matter but now it is referred to the Ombudsmen – and therefore the debt is still on the metre. I am badly affected as topping up the card is servicing a debt that is not mine - and leaving the gas supply credit short which will affect holiday rentals and involve me making several journeys to buy and top up credit and again a % of which is paying off a debt that is not mine !! I also feel he undertook these actions purposefully and spitefully due to disagreement. I had already attended the property and the engineer cleared the debt - so the rep that arranged the visit should have cancelled the 29th April engineer. Instead I believe he himself over-rode the work of the first engineer by sending another activation card that he had re-loaded with the previous tenants debt. This has been going on since April 9th and its now June 1st - I am stuck in the circle of frustration with nowhere to turn and all I want is what I wanted from the outset, that the former tenants debt be removed from the metre and the card that has been sent to me. IT IS NOT MY DEBT. EDF know that and should never have encumbered me with it. Once they have removed the debt and re-started the new card without debt, I want the credit taken to service the former account holders’ debt re-credited to me along with an additional credit given due to highest rate charged. I also want a compensation offer to cover the time spent dealing with this, costs of travelling to and from the site, distress caused and cash flow problems caused.
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Maxine Horn | | VERIFIED
Maxine Horn | | VERIFIED