Questions of cash: If Scottish Power could read, my bills wouldn’t be so high


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The Independent Online

Q | We have had continual problems since July trying to get Scottish Power to correct our electricity bills.  In the meantime, based on its error, it has increased our monthly direct debit based and keeps charging us twice as much as it should.  We are on a “twin heat” tariff with cheap electricity for three hours in the afternoon and four hours at night.

I usually submit meter readings online and had a reminder at the beginning of July to provide current readings. When I went on the website, I noticed the previous “day” readings were shown in the box for the “night” readings and vice versa. I emailed Scottish Power directly with the correct readings.

I received a reassuring reply, but when the bill arrived, the readings were switched around. As a result our monthly direct debit almost doubled to £180.  After I complained, Scottish Power made a partial repayment and sent an amended bill, which was again incorrect. 

I complained again and was given a complaint number, but our case was not looked at for several weeks.  In September I went to the next level in the complaints process. Eventually the company accepted the readings had been switched and our complaint was forwarded to another department. But the bills are still wrong.   BH, Aberystwyth.

A | Scottish Power apologises and accepts your complaint was justified.  A spokeswoman explains: “When we transferred [the reader] on to our new system, her reads were transposed in error.  We have now updated [her] account and refunded her credit balance of £250.  We have issued a goodwill payment of £75.”

No closure with scottish power

Q |  I have repeatedly requested the closure of my account with Scottish Power, doing so within the specified period for changing suppliers.  I am frustrated I cannot get it to do this.  KY, by email.

A | A spokeswoman for Scottish Power says: “We have contacted [the reader] and apologised for the delay and inconvenience.  We have accepted the termination notice and [the reader] is satisfied the matter has now been resolved.

Mini-bar fees could drive me to drink

Q | We booked a summer holiday this year through Jet2holidays for four people in two rooms at Olu Deniz in Turkey. We specifically chose a hotel that stated a mini-bar was one of the room amenities.  On arrival, we found there were no mini-bars/fridges in the rooms.

The hotel provided them without any trouble the next day, but there was a charge of £4 per day, per room.  For the remaining eight nights, this came to a total of £64. 

I contacted Jet2holidays on our return to request a refund for the £64.  The response was that the listings were clear in showing that “some amenities at the hotel are payable locally” – as shown with an asterisk. 

I checked and there was now an asterisk against the mini-bar listing, when I had booked the holiday in February, there was only an asterisk against air conditioning. 

Jet2holidays replied: “You are correct to state the asterisk was added to the mini-bar facility after your return home. Nevertheless, we are clear to state that some features may be payable locally regardless of the asterisk.” It added that it would make its listings clearer in future. 

But despite all this, it considers it has no duty or moral obligation to reimburse us.  AM, Leeds.

A | A spokeswoman for Jet2 says: “We apologise for not making this additional charge clear at the time she booked. We have now refunded her the £64.”

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