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I live in the UK and I recently switched suppliers from E.ON to E.ON Next. I didn't even realise this was a switch, I intentionally didn't switch to a new company so that my smart metre would still work. To my horror I found that E.ON and E.ON Next are actually different companies, and after the switch my smart meter no longer works, apparently the software doesn't currently handle switching suppliers. I had to give meter readings when the switch happened, and the smart meter is quite complex and not very intuitive to take readings from, and I didn't take much care to double check what they were telling me because I thought it was a smart meter so it didn't really matter to take a reading directly because it should get sent to them. So I think the readings on the switch over got messed up somewhere.

I now have a £400 final bill through from E.ON covering a 6 week period in the summer when I usually spend around £40-£60 on bills. I've tried ringing E.ON and getting them to explain this to me and they told me they sent my previous bill history through to E.ON Next. E.ON Next tell me they don't have it, and they said why would they get my bill history from E.ON anyway?

I received a £240 refund a few months back from E.ON that I wasn't expecting and I think was probably sent in error. I think that E.ON are probably claiming this back from me, but even the remaining £160 seems to be way too much so I think it's likely that there's a wrong meter reading somewhere.

I'm not happy to send them £400 until they've explained to me where it comes from, and I'm feeling pretty frustrated that the two companies are bouncing me off each other and neither of them wants to take responsibility for this. The payment is due at the end of this week, and I asked E.ON to please extend the payment date until the metre readings are sorted out and they said they can't do that. The person who I spoke to agreed that there must be some mistake with the meter readings.

Am I legally bound to make the payment to this time schedule even though there's been an error? Is there something I can say to get them to extend the date? Also, does anybody have any general advice on how to deal with this situation? Any way to get E.ON or E.ON Next dealing with it rather than me would be great.

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  • In the US, I'd complain to my local county or city Councilman, since utilities are a regulated monopoly. Is that a thing in the UK?
    – RonJohn
    Aug 10 at 14:50
  • @RonJohn There is indeed a regulator (Ofgem) but they don't deal with individual cases.
    – Steve Kidd
    Aug 10 at 14:56
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    @Joe You could try the Citizens Advice Bureau for assistance. Perhaps look at citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/…
    – Steve Kidd
    Aug 10 at 14:56
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    @Joe Although you can't complain to Ofgem, there is an ombudsman that can help resolve problems, but only after complaining to the supplier and after 8 weeks have elapsed. Ofgem also suggest that Citizens Advice can help, see ofgem.gov.uk
    – Steve Kidd
    Aug 10 at 15:05
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    Does the bill not explain how the bill was calculated? I don't pay for my own electricity, but I've only ever seen them fully broken down with line items. It should say you used this much electricity, which costs this much per amount of electricity, so your total for the electricity is this much, and there's a fee of this much just for keeping you connected to the grid, and if there are any disconnection fees, it would include them too. If you have that bill, show us (hide your information). If you don't have it, why not?
    – user253751
    Aug 10 at 16:48
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If you think the bill is wrong, then you need to make a formal complaint. They have up to 8 weeks to respond. If they can't resolve the complaint, or if 8 weeks pass, you can go to the energy ombudsman and put your complaint to them.

In the meantime, if the meter is no longer "smart", you need to start reading it yourself and sending them the readings. Find out how to read the meter - search on the internet for the exact make and model of meter you have.

Look at your energy bills. Check the meter readings. Don't get fixated on the money, as it's all driven from the readings. If the readings on your bills have an "E" next to them, then they are estimates. If that's the case, give them actual readings.

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    Also, find out what the "changeover" readings were at the point your supply switched from old to new, and make sure that they are vaguely plausible and that they are being used consistently by both suppliers. Aug 10 at 19:40
  • Thanks for your advice. If I make a formal complaint do I have to still pay the bill by their deadline? Or will it be postponed until the complaint is resolved? What's likely to happen if I don't pay the bill on time? Also just to double check, I understood that you meant to make a formal complaint to E.ON is that right?
    – Joe
    Aug 11 at 14:26
  • @Joe yes, complain to e.on. They should stop any enforcement while the complaint is open. But "should" doesn't necessarily mean they will stop. You are not "legally bound" to pay them anything until they have taken it to court, and a judge orders you to pay. Until then, they claim you owe them money, and you claim that you don't. But they can put a late payment on your credit record.
    – Simon B
    Aug 11 at 21:32
  • Thanks that's really helpful. So then after I've made the complaint, I may still have to give them some meter readings and things but they should then deal with sorting out the correct bill? I checked and it looks like a single late payment could reduce my credit score by quite a lot unfortunately
    – Joe
    Aug 11 at 21:53
  • @Joe But you're now a customer of e.on next. You should be giving them readings. Late payments do hit your credit badly. Sometimes the only real option is to pay, but then claim the money back from them as part of your complaint.
    – Simon B
    Aug 11 at 21:56

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