Electricity customer finally receives £6,000 settlement

Electricity customer Yvonne Bayford has had plenty of staggering moments since she began chasing a final bill and likely credit over a year ago, but the latest one has topped them all.

Now instead of the £3,000 she reckoned she was owed, £6,000 has been paid into her account in a settlement by her former supplier SSE (Energy), now part of Ovo.

“It has been such a slog. Although I hadn’t given up, I was in despair. One time when I called they said I was owed money, then I would hear it was the opposite and I might be in debt.”

Crusader had been my last hope and now they have done what they promised,” Yvonne said when she shared the good news.

Beaten back by brick walls at every turn and shocking bungles, we had joined forces with her a few months ago after her complaint had been upheld by the Ombudsman Services: Energy, but it had not resulted in any action.

She had done everything required of a customer before moving home, sending in regular meter readings and photos and keeping a record.

In return, she received hugely contradictory usage and cost figures. The roots of the problem, it emerged, stemmed from massive technical failures by her first supplier Bulb, prior to it going bust.

It changed Yvonne’s meter but failed to register it and update it on the national database, something today’s customers might take note of if they also have a new meter, to ensure it has been done.

From then on Yvonne was in a digital black hole, naturally unaware of the error and bewildered as to why it was impossible to get accurate bills from her new supplier, SSE.

The Ombudsman backed her but SSE/Ovo appealed so it reinvestigated last year and ordered she be rebilled from actual readings.

While both parties agreed to this, and many times both she and Crusader were told she had been paid, Yvonne kept double-checking her bank account, but it was not so.

Unable to face the prospect of resorting to court, she kept plugging away with our support.

And the sincere apology Ovo offered for the inconvenience, plus a £200 goodwill gesture and the correct credit, are now a reality.

“I never did get a cost breakdown but that’s alright. Crusader’s persistence helped me stay the course.”

I felt so lost, unable to work out what was going on and why,” says Yvonne, who is celebrating another new-found freedom as she now lives with family.

“My days of worrying about energy companies and bills are over, but never give up is my message to others,” she declares. “It could happen again.”

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