Lack of communication from energy supplier… then debt collection letters

Miss P was sent debt collection letters after being unable to set up an account with her energy supplier four years after moving into her home. But thanks to a referral from her housing association, our Affordable Warmth team were able to help her through a worrying time. 

Lack of communication

Miss P was referred to Changeworks via Berwickshire Housing Association staff after being unable to set up an energy account with her supplier despite living in the property for four years.

Despite trying multiple times to communicate with the supplier to discuss her situation with no positive outcome, Miss P was receiving letters from a debt collections agency. Understandably, this was causing distress, leaving Miss P worried as to how she would be able to cover the first bill that was due for four years’ worth of energy.

Advisor support

After being contacted by Berwickshire Housing Association, a Changeworks advisor set up a three-way call with Miss P and the supplier to help set-up the new energy account.

The advisor then requested the back billing rule to be applied so that Miss P would only have to pay for the last year of energy used. This was due to the supplier not having attempted to contact her during this time.

The supplier sent an initial bill of £5,159.95, before the advisor raised a complaint on behalf of Miss P as the back billing rule had not been applied.  The advisor also applied to the Home Heating Support Fund on behalf of Miss P to cover part of the outstanding debt.

The outcome

The complaint made by the advisor resulted in recalculating the account to a new balance of £1,809.58, saving Miss P £3,350.37 following the original billing error.

The application to the Home Heating Support Fund was also successful, which meant that £1,300 was awarded to cover the outstanding debt, reducing the final debt to £509.58.

Miss P was advised on how to set an affordable payment plan with the supplier to cover the remaining debt and ongoing usage.

Miss P’s wellbeing was significantly improved by the support provided by the advisor in setting up her new energy account and securing funding to clear the debt.

Combining the £3,350.37 saved from the billing error, the £1,300 Home Heating Support Fund award, and an estimated £183 saving in energy efficiency advice, our advisor helped Miss P save an anticipated £4,833.37.


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