Mr Hobbins thought he might have £94.90 credit on his account and received no final bill (Image: GETTY)
Young dad Matthew Hobbins joined Together Energy in spring 2018 but then moved to Shell Energy last March after delays receiving bills. “I gave them meter readings every month without fail,” he told Crusader. “The last bill I got was in October. I had become massively in credit because my family’s monthly spend was around £40 a month. I had agreed £94.90 at the beginning, and although Together was not willing to reduce this I did initially manage to get a refund. Then the bills stopped despite promises they would be sent.” Before moving to Shell he did the correct notifications. He had also wisely kept a spread sheet of his meter readings and payments so at least had an accurate record to stand him in good stead when, as he thought might happen, no final bill arrived.
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“They huffed and puffed when I called and could or would not tell me how much credit I had,” he recalls. Matthew reckoned he was due £300 or thereabouts and asked Crusader to help get it back.
In a transfer that is part of regulator Ofgem’s safety net procedure protecting consumers if their supplier goes bust, earlier this year Together took on thousands of extra customers after another company One Select folded.
We did get some complaints about billing delays and credit balances associated with that switch, however Together did respond promptly when we alerted it. It was the same for Matthew, whose spreadsheet calculations were pretty much on the money.
Together told us: “We recognise that billing is an important communication between an energy supplier and a customer and can cause unnecessary concern if not handled empathetically.
“They huffed and puffed when I called and would not tell me how much credit I had” (Image: GETTY)
“For this reason, we have built internal processes to proactively communicate with customers where we feel the balance would create an unwarranted ‘bill shock’, either for a high debit or high credit.
“This is designed to enable us to have conversation with the customer to avoid any surprises before they receive any further invoices.
“We are sorry that on this occasion, Mr Hobbins was not advised that we wanted to review his balance with him which had been flagged up in our system as showing a higher than usual credit and as a consequence he did not receive further bills.
“The annual statement that he received details estimated consumption. This communication is a requirement defined by our regulators. It is not a bill but we are sorry if it has caused confusion.
“When we became aware of Mr Hobbins case we immediately prepared a final statement and refunded a credit.” With a final bill and his £300, Matthew told Crusader: “Your help clearly expedited the process, thank you ever so much.”