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First-Utility

Last post Thu, Dec 08 2011, 12:07 PM by erikbloodaxe. 131 replies.
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  •  Mon, Mar 14 2011, 4:54 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    Stand up for the little man:

    ...We switched in Oct 2009 and received our first gas bill in February 2011...

    It's a pity you weren't a customer of a supplier which is a signatory to the Code of Practice for Accurate Billing, that's the "Big 6" with the curious exception of Scottish and Southern Energy.

    Under the circumstances you describe you could not have been billed for energy supplied more that 12 months prior to the bill.

    First Utility is not a member of the "Big 6". According to a Guardian article in May 2010, First Utilility had 50,000 customers of which only 15,000 were on smart meters.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, Mar 14 2011, 3:52 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    Its somewhat reassuring to know that it is not only me that has been suffering from abysmal customer service from these lot. We switched in Oct 2009 and received our first gas bill in February 2011.....notwithstanding endless calls and emails (between Dec 09 and Sept 10) trying to get this resolved. This was even with a formal complaint being lodged in August 2010. As in keeping with their overall standards of service, no response at all and no explanation for the problem. Eventually, when the bill arrived, no explanation or apology and the merrygoround of trying to speak to someone to get an answer began again and in the end a £40 goodwill (note not compensation) offer was made and refused. Then a second offer of £100 was made and my wife was pressured by in trying to close the complaint.

    I will be giving them one last chance to make an appropriate award and then off to the Ombudsman and Watchdog Ofgem etc and if needs be small claims court.

    Stand up for the small man!!

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, Jan 18 2011, 4:03 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    erikbloodaxe:

    Ofgem are now investigating First Utility over concerns about its treatment of customers struggling to pay bills and policies on cutting off homes in winter - see The Sunday Telegraph Business Jan 9th 2011. I have responded to the article by sending in the following letter to The Editor.

    "Sir,

    With reference to your "First Utility faces Ofgem legal action" in THE ST yesterday, Jan 9 2011.

    OFGEM also needs to investigate customer service issues. In my opinion, First Utility has the most awful customer service that I have ever experienced. This company is not fit to trade and OFGEM should revoke their licence.

    There are hundreds of horror stories that can be seen on the Moneysupermarket.com site's 'Utility Reviews' and 'Community Discussion Forum'.

    Unfortunatelty, The Sunday Telegraph have not published my letter. Also I have not had acknowledgements from Morgan Stanley or OFGEM.

    Anyway, it is a case of continuing to let prospective customers know that they should avoid First Utility at all costs.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Jan 13 2011, 10:54 AM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    I would like to thank the author of the posting below that has been posted on The Daily Telegraph web site. Well done! I have sent a copy to Morgan Stanley and OFGEM.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reply to a previous comment.........

    " From the sound of your post you are either working for F.U or you have some kind of interest as you clearly know nothing of this shower of cowboys or of the amount of complaints against them.
    You should try reading the forums on moneysavingexpert .com and moneysupermarket .com, the amount of posts concerning this company is truly astonishing , considering the short time they have been around .
    I am amazed that they could have the number of customers claimed when there only claim to fame is this smart metering gimmick which is a non starter for 99% of customers , as who wants to get there highest bills over xmas when they would normally be balanced out over the year through direct debit.
    It is even a bigger joke when the computer system they have cannot even manage to produce the bills anyway, so the amounts outstanding can build up to over a year or more.

    Couple this with the worst customer service imaginable, and you will understand why they are so hated amongst the available suppliers with customers praying to get a bill so they can move away.
    I would hope OFGEM hit this company so hard it would seem total folly to provide any financial backing as Morgan Stanley
    have done, and this company failures to its customers brings about a fitting end as people leave wholesale .
    To anyone considering F.U beware, do your homework and read up on the forums to hear what former and current customers really think.
    I know for a fact that many customers who have approached the Ombudsman to seek a resolution with F.U have now had there cases forwarded on to OFGEM for consideration as they are unable to deal with them either (as is my case) .
    If OFGEM were to act in the best interests of the customer, then they would remove their license as they are not fit to trade, and customers would not have to go through the misery of it all .
    Say F.U to First Utility and take no notice of the post above , he either hasn't a clue or it is all propaganda . "

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, Jan 11 2011, 6:45 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    I have also sent emails to Morgan Stanley & OFGEM as well. Let's hope FU is out of business by this time next year!
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Mon, Jan 10 2011, 11:39 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    Chaps,

    ........ and Father Christmas will REALLY drop down your fireplace next year.

    Man. United have a bunch of discontented fans who turn up each week wearing yellow/green scarves etc.

    Better yet........... just DON'T turn up.

    And that's the way to beat the utility companies. MOVE. I was with F.U. and moved to EDF; but did so after I'd cancelled my direct debit with First Utility.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Mon, Jan 10 2011, 7:37 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    Thank you erik for bringing that to our attention, I have just posted a link to it on moneysavingexpert.com who have a large number of visitors to the gas and electricity forum, I know Ofgem have my case file from the Ombudsman with some others they have included, so with a bit of luck they will get hit hard, and funding from the likes of Morgan Stanley will dry up , and they will be history.

    • Post Points: 65
  •  Mon, Jan 10 2011, 3:46 PM

    Re: First-Utility - OFGEM investigation

    Ofgem are now investigating First Utility over concerns about its treatment of customers struggling to pay bills and policies on cutting off homes in winter - see The Sunday Telegraph Business Jan 9th 2011. I have responded to the article by sending in the following letter to The Editor.

    "Sir,

    With reference to your "First Utility faces Ofgem legal action" in THE ST yesterday, Jan 9 2011.

    OFGEM also needs to investigate customer service issues. In my opinion, First Utility has the most awful customer service that I have ever experienced. This company is not fit to trade and OFGEM should revoke their licence.

    There are hundreds of horror stories that can be seen on the Moneysupermarket.com site's 'Utility Reviews' and 'Community Discussion Forum'.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 1:30 PM

    Re: First-Utility - "Compain & Claim"

    scouse alias tony:

    I do not see where you are getting the idea that I owed them money...

    In the round I have relied on your 16 December comment "I have been in dispute with them for over 12 months". You may or may not have further clarified regarding "account debit" but I'm not going to waste time looking.

    I'm sorry that you have started the New Year with some unnecessary personal criticism, though I agree what you said is tame compared with other things you have said, but when I said I was responding mainly for the benefit of others, what I meant was anybody who was receptive to advice.

    It's free advice BTW, in a public forum, and if it helps just one person to avoid being in dispute "for over 12 months" (with any energy supplier) then I will be happy.

    Happy New Year.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 1:17 PM

    Re: First-Utility - "Compain & Claim"

    Jalexa.

    I do not see where you are getting the idea that I owed them money , therefore the transfer was blocked, you are presuming this which is wrong.

    I could not get them to produce a bill, and my account had been frozen back in May, meanwhile they produced fictitious bills calculated by converting all my supplied readings for gas by 2.83 becuase the computer said so and they could not correct this. The result was therby almost tripling my gas bill.

    They had not tried to take further payments by direct debit as my account was in dispute.

    When I eventually managed to get Stacey Roberts to calculate my bill over one weekend that she came in , she sent me her calculations and we agreed the figures and my account was paid up to date by a BACS transfer the following day, meaning my account was paid bang up to date, that was the 31 October, and my transfer was to take place days later, but was blocked .

    I had taken the precaution of cancelling my direct debit in case they tried to take a payment which we had agreed was totally incorrect as it would only mean at some point they would have to pay it all back, so was a pointless exercise.

    I think you should get off your high horse and try reading and taking in all of my posts oh wise one , which you seem to fancy yourself as.

    I put up all the information for others to see and not a one sided view , your post serves nothing but your ego.

    Go back and read my post of the 17 December again and again if necessary until it sinks in, then if there is any part you do not understand then ask, don't make presumptions.

    • Post Points: 26
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 9:51 AM

    Re: First-Utility - "Compain & Claim"

    scouse alias tony:

    I would be interested to hear on what you make of the blockage that has also occurred with my switch,

    I don't mean to criticise your actions but, only because its too late for you, post for the benefit of others.

    If a customer unilaterally decides to impose a one sided view of the account position (either by cancelling a direct debit or withholding payment), it should not be a surprise if a supplier decides a debit balance applies and blocks a transfer, whether in all the circumstances that is a correct implemention of regulations. The issue for the customer is not whether it is right or not, but having to fight a battle on the back foot.

    My strong advice, when dissatisfied with a supplier and seeking to switch, is not to do *anything* that creates a debit balance. The agreed industry switching protocol is that on or around the transfer date the gaining company either takes, or ask the customer to take, the transfer meter reading. The gaining company uses the reading as the opening reading and sends the transfer reading to the losing company, to be used as the closing reading.

    The important thing to understand is that (whether it is right or wrong) there is only one transfer reading.

    At a stroke, (whether it is right or wrong), the transfer reading is imposed on the losing company. From that point on it is the losing company on the back foot, not the customer, and either there is a balance to be returned (in which case the losing company is now a debtor), or there is a balance to be paid based on the closing reading. While the calculation may, (or may not), be correct, it must be based on the transfer reading. You can still employ the complaints procedure, or small claims if necessary to recover a debt, but with the benefit of no longer being a customer and with the supplier now being on the back foot.

    Resolve to fight smart in 2011.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 12:41 AM

    Re: First-Utility - "Compain & Claim"

    I will sign that petition, in blood if you want it.

    I hate the scumbags

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 12:32 AM

    Re: First-Utility - "Complain & Claim"

    nergelag:The posts here about First Utility are really quite depressing. Having been in dispute with them (see earlier post) I have tried to move my account away from them and they have blocked the move - seems to match lots of other people's experience. I had been pinning my hopes on the Ombudsman having similar powers to the financial ombudsman, but this would not seem to be the case. Maybe letters to National Newspapers are a better idea, name and shame might be the only way to make this company act in a reasonable manner.

    (Tongue in cheek) I think a 10 Downing street petition to close down this company would be a good idea!

    (Tongue in cheek - again) I also think that Moneysupermarket.com, Uswitch etc should no longer deal with this company.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 12:18 AM

    Re: First-Utility - "Complain & Claim"

    gelphyn:@nergelag Since I am unable to find the answers to the following questions within your posts please can you explain what has happened. What actions have you taken to switch away from First-Utility? How have First-Utility blocked your move? Have you signed up with another Energy Supplier? Switching energy suppliers should be a simple act of signing up with a new supplier, who will then make all the appropriate arrangements for your accounts to switch. The only impediment to your intended Switch may be if you owe your current Energy Supplier money for utilities or services provided. It is unlikely that First-Utility will be able to ignore your new supplier. If you have travelled the new Energy Supplier route and have been blocked it will be very interesting for us to learn how this has occurred. Regards, G

    To Gelphyn - Is this an open question or are you directing your questions to a specific contributor?

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sat, Jan 01 2011, 12:05 AM

    Re: First-Utility - "Compain & Claim"

    I would be interested to hear on what you make of the blockage that has also occurred with my switch, I think I have covered everything in my previous posts, but feel free to ask anything

    See post of the 17 December

    • Post Points: 50
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