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Energy customers owed thousands

Patrick Christys
Nov 29, 2019


Customers of an energy supplier that went bust before handing its client base to Scottish Power are still waiting for their accounts be credited...after a year!

A 'This is Money' investigation revealed customers are still owed as much as £1,800 - but nothing is appears to be happening about it.

 

When Extra Energy went bust last November, Ofgem advised Scottish Power would honour credit balances for both current and past customers of Extra Energy who are owed money. 

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However, many customers claim they have chased both suppliers for answers but have never been given a firm date as to when they can expect a refund including one who is awaiting £1,800 to be returned. 

This has led to numerous ex-Extra Energy customers wondering why they have still not received the funds they are due. 

To get to the bottom of the issue, This is Money decided to take action and sent a dossier of customer complaints to Scottish Power, the supplier that took over all Extra Energy customers after the company ceased trading.

We challenged the firm to explain why so many customers have not yet received their credits when it is the one responsible for returning it to them.

One of the issues identified is that the administrators, Price Waterhouse Coopers, are still issuing final bills, meaning the energy company is unable to organise credits. 

Jonathon, one of the readers whose information we sent to Scottish Power, said: 'I have heard absolutely nothing from Scottish Power or PwC about my credit balance with Extra Energy which was about £1,000. 

'I am very worried that I won't see the money again at a time when I was relying on it to pay off the winter quarter.'

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Another reader, Sue, said: 'The Extra Energy administrators have confirmed to me that they sent my final Extra Energy bill to Scottish Power on 27 June 2019 along with my credit balance of £462.11.

'I've been trying for almost 12 months to get them to send my money to me with no success. It's a scandal that I, along with other people, are unable to get our money back.' 

One customer is even down nearly £2,000. Farrakh said: 'Sadly I have a very large positive balance of nearly £1,800 which I am now trying to retrieve back from Scottish Power.' 

When This is Money challenged Scottish Power with the reader statements, it said it was sorry for the delay.  

A Scottish Power spokesperson said: 'We realise it has taken too long to issue final bills and return customer's credit balances and we sincerely apologise for the delay.

'We have been working with the administrator of Extra Energy on the supply of the credit balance data and final bills. 

'This process has proven to be more complex than was anticipated due to data quality concerns and both parties continue to work hard on this.'

According to Scottish Power, it was 'surprised' by the quality of data sent from Extra Energy and 'found it difficult and time consuming to source the data to resolve customer's accounts.'

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Ex-customers have previously complained about Extra Energy's management with many saying they have received letters from the firm asking them to pay large sums of money which they didn't owe. 

One reader, Julie, said: 'My husband received a final statement from Extra Energy. 

'The total charge for this period of 58 days is £3,366.07. This is £105.91 for electricity and £3,099.87 for our gas. However, our balance was £352.33 in credit.' 

When asked how many people are still waiting for their refund, Scottish Power said the majority had received their credit.  

The Scottish Power spokesperson said: 'To date, we have returned 94 per cent of the credit balances that have been provided to us, with the remaining 6 per cent being reviewed due to data inaccuracies. 

'Scottish Power are reliant on Extra Energy and PwC providing the credit data to us.'

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It said that it reviews and validates all meter read information on the final statements that are provided from Extra Energy and PwC to ensure closing and opening reads are aligned.

Scottish Power has said it is working to return everyone's credits.  

The spokesperson said: 'We will review each customer's position on a case by case basis. Our key priority remains to return the credit balances as quickly as possible.'  

Of the 25 customers we contacted it about, five have since been issued a refund with another one being sent a cheque this week.

There were another five customers Scottish Power said it had no information about which it is looking into whilst the rest are said to have some form of debt on their account which will be followed up by Extra Energy and PwC.

However, as previous customers have been told that they owe money and in fact, after investigation, have been found to actually been due credit, it could be that these customers have been wrongly billed.  

A spokesperson for PwC said: 'We appreciate customers' frustrations over the delays in receiving their credits. Issues with customer data and billing systems that could not have been foreseen prior to our appointment as administrators have resulted in a highly complex and challenging process.

'We continue to work very closely with Scottish Power to resolve these issues and ensure that customers receive their credit balances as quickly as possible. 97 per cent of all domestic contracts have been finalised and where appropriate passed to Scottish Power to issue a refund. 

'We anticipate finalisation of the remaining contracts very shortly and in any event prior to Christmas.'

In the meantime, angry former Extra Energy customers have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the energy firms. 

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