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Scottish Power. Can there be a worse energy provider?

I switched to Scottish Power in February 2013 when energy prices were rising almost daily and took out a fixed price contract that ran until April 2015.

Scottish PowerWe agreed that I would pay them £74 a month by Direct Debit.

Two months later they wrote to me to say it was being raised to £150 a month.

It didn’t take long to work out that they had failed to take any money from my bank account, so I rang them and paid £150 by Debit Card so that they could have another go at doing their job properly.

While on the phone I asked them to raise the DD to £80 a month and when I was asked why I said that I wanted to see if they would be as quick to reduce the Direct Debit when I went into credit as they were to jump on me when their error caused the account to go in the other direction.

I really cannot be bothered to check my bill regularly and Bonkers takes up all my time anyway but I became aware that there were no less than four DD authorities on my account. Only one was being used but how does their accounting system get into that sort of muddle?

Fast Forward to August 2014 and I discovered my energy account was nearly £1,100 in credit. That was obviously nonsense, it was nearly as much as I had paid them.

I queried it and they said it was a mistake and I was rather less than £400 in credit. I asked them to return it and they sent me £226.28.

A request for a clear explanation of how the account had been over £1,000 in credit, under £400 and only £226 in credit all within the space of two weeks was never answered, and such are the time restraints imposed by Bonkers that I didn’t chase them up.

In April this year the contract was coming to an end but I had time only for limited research. I noticed on a comparison site that Scottish Power was offering a one year contract at a lesser price than what I had been paying, and the clincher was no penalties on leaving early.

I didn’t want to give Scottish Power more custom but it was a simple short term win win solution for a man in a hurry and we agreed on £71 a month. Well they knew my history so their assumptions had to be reasonably accurate.

Then at the beginning of this month I noticed they had taken £76 from my bank on 1st July so I asked why they had broken the DD agreement whereby they must notify me in advance of any change. Five quid is fortunately of little concern to me but not everyone is that lucky. My account had gone negative by £7 for a few days while a fresh payment was being applied.

£7 in the red for a few days; a £5 a month price increase. £1,000 in credit, or even £226 if you believe Scottish Power’s figures, for 18 months. No action until put under pressure. Stark contrast is it not?

They sent a standard letter to say that my consumption may have gone up.

I replied to say they had missed the point. They told me they had notified me of the Direct Debit change, by putting a notification in the private messages area of my account; as if I am supposed to check that daily.

They were right, they had and it was dated 4th July. At least four days late.

I said that wasn’t good enough and asked them to return the £5 and they could collect the £76 from August 1st if they needed to.

They said they wouldn’t. My account is currently nearly £70 in credit.

I reminded them that they had broken our DD agreement and they must put it right by returning the £76 and taking £71 instead. They would then be free to do the right thing from August.

Not long ago Scottish Power changed its T&C’s from they would reply to complaints within two days, to within five days, but five working days came and went with no reply.

I sent the complaint again and said I would go public with their atrocious service if they ignored me again. They did and this is Stage 1.

I know it is bloody minded over a fiver but these companies must learn to stick to the rules.

I have asked them to confirm their no penalty contract which has mysteriously disappeared from my account conditions, or maybe I just can’t find it.

Another case of No Reply.

The Scottish Power people who do not understand simple questions about Direct Debits and send standard letters relating to something else are Imran and Pollov Buragohain. I suppose they deserve more credit than those who cannot be bothered to reply at all but maybe they will enjoy being able to find themselves on Google.

30th July 2015

On 24th August 2015 Scottish Power announced that they had increased my Direct Debit from £76 to £104. Their website informs me that my consumption of both gas and electricity has fallen steadily this year and that I ma currently in credit by £127 with another payment due in one week’s time.

They are truly totally incompetent.

24th August 2015
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