Questions of Cash: Scottish Power says it's sorry - again and again

Six of the energy company's customer have cause to blow a fuse this week

Q. I have used prepayment meters since March 2014 when I began renting. As I pay for energy upfront from Scottish Power, I was alarmed to receive a bill for £318 in February. I noticed that many of my top-up payments were not shown on the statement.

Customer services told me that many of my payments had gone into the previous tenant's account and reassured me it would be corrected. It wasn't. I phoned Scottish Power again, but was told my complaint would no longer be dealt with by phone. My communication with Scottish Power seems blocked and I have received more incorrect bills. The latest says I am in debt and contains an obvious miscalculation about my energy use. JH

A. Scottish Power says: "We have contacted [the reader] and apologised for the shortfalls in service and inconvenience this caused. Investigating his account showed the key for his prepayment meter was set incorrectly, which resulted in underpayments on his electricity account. This has been corrected. We have assured [the reader] we would apply an adjustment to clear off any debt owed due to this error. In way of an apology we have issued a goodwill payment of £100."

As a thank-you for our involvement, you have donated £90 to The Independent's favoured charity, Space for Giants.

Q. I have tried to switch our dual-fuel account since November from Scottish Power to E.ON and to get a refund of the credit balance. I was offered a goodwill gesture of £30 because of the problems.

However, I am now being hounded for £93.74, which Scottish Power says is outstanding but which it told me to reclaim via my bank account as the direct debit mandate had ended, not because of my actions. HJ

A. Scottish Power says: "We apologise to [the reader] for the inconvenience and the time it has taken to resolve. When the account was closed, a refund was issued, which included the additional payment of £93.74 we had taken from [the reader's] bank account on 6 March 2015. When we received the indemnity claim from the bank, we returned the £93.74 to it, which meant we had paid this twice. This triggered the rebilling of the final account for this amount.

"In way of an apology, and as a goodwill gesture we have written off the £93.74 balance and the account is now at zero."

Q. Scottish Power told me it would take eight weeks to get my new meter in its system and update my bills and provide a new tariff. It is now 10 months.

In September I was told the problem was with a new computer system. In February I was told my meter number was not in the system. In April I was told the system problems had not been resolved. I am 72 and this is too stressful. PD.

A. Scottish Power says: "We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and agreed to withdraw the electricity charges from 17 July 2014 until the matter has been fully resolved."

Q. My mother died in February. Her gas and electricity were supplied by Scottish Power and she had a credit balance of several hundred pounds. I arranged to have the account transferred into my name and the correspondence address to be changed to mine.

But Scottish Power changed the correspondence address to that of one of its employees. Two cheques were sent to my mum's address, one has been sent to the Scottish Power employee, and my request for my complaint to be escalated has been ignored. AH

A. Scottish Power has paid the refund electronically into your account and issued an additional goodwill payment of £100.

Q. I switched my energy supply in autumn 2013 to Scottish Power on a dual- fuel contract. Although the gas supply changed quickly, electricity did not start until nearly three months later. The delay was because of a mix-up with the "supply" number. I switched supplier again in November and received a final bill for electricity of £195.15, which became the subject of a formal complaint. I suspect the problem stems from the mix-up with the electricity supply number.

Scottish Power seems to think I have two electricity meters. I do not. In a statement dated February 2014, it said a meter was "removed". No meter was taken away but it reappeared in later statements. Scottish Power claims I owe about £200, while I believe it owe me about £100. The difference is represented by the usage on the "phantom" meter. VS

A. Scottish Power says: "The problem was due to a human error. When we took over the supply, we incorrectly added another meter, which led to an extra 285 units showing on his account. We are issuing a credit of £100.39 for the overcharged units and in way of an apology a further goodwill payment [of] £75."

Q. I changed my gas and electricity supply from Scottish Power to my new supplier in December 2014. After countless emails to the company, I am no further forward in getting back the money it owes me. My final bill in January stated that I was in credit by £108.38. DS

A. Scottish Power says: "We have raised a cheque for the refund plus a goodwill payment of £75 in way of an apology."

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we’ll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

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