Published: 10:18, 2 August 2017 | Updated: 11:02, 2 August 2017
Money Mail has been inundated with complaints from former Extra Energy customers, after we revealed the supplier was using debt collectors to chase households for money they didn’t owe.
It has been under investigation by the energy watchdog for more than a year over bill blunders and complaints handling.
We are passing on our evidence of customers being wrongly hounded by debt agencies for Ofgem to feed into its inquiry.
Ofgem probe: Extra Energy as been under investigation by the watchdog for more than a year
For example, Rebecca Baker, 43, a compliance officer from Stoke-on-Trent, left Extra Energy last November and was sent a final bill for £149, when she owed only £78.
The firm agreed to correct this, but in July, she started getting chased by a debt agency, which claimed she owed £932.
David Neale, director of customer services at Extra Energy, says: ‘We sincerely apologise for the delays and errors these customers experienced.
‘We will be offering each a goodwill gesture to apologise for the shortfalls in service they received. Their credit rating will absolutely not be affected.’
Energy watchdog Ofgem has been investigating the way Extra Energy treats its customers after Citizens Advice and the Energy Ombudsman reported the firm to regulator with a large number of complaints.
Last week, Ofgem said its investigations are ongoing.
Citizens Advice last month ranked Extra Energy, which has 400,000 customers, as the worst supplier for customer service.
It got one out of five stars for complaint handling between January and March, and two out for five for how easy it is for customers get in touch and the clarity of its bills.
If you realise you are in credit to your energy supplier, you have the right to ask for this money back.
Often this will happen during the summer months if you pay by direct debit as you will be using less energy.
Energy companies will often tell you that as your bills will be higher in the winter it’s worth keeping the money in the account, but if you want to use if for something else, and you know you will still be able to meet the higher bills in the colder months, you need to call up and ask for a refund.
If it refuses, you can make an official complaint and then escalate the complaint to the Ombudsman if necessary.
The same applies if you’ve switched suppliers and you were in credit at the time. Your old supplier should automatically refund you the money but it’s always worth checking as sometimes this isn’t the case.
By Rebecca Rutt of This is Money
Sky’s Unlimited Broadband deal comes with up to 17 Mbps speeds and a free £50 prepaid Mastercard. It costs £18.99 per month for 12 months. £19.95 setup fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £28.99 per month
Plusnet’s Unlimited Fibre package offers up to 36Mbps speeds and free calls to other Plusnet phone customers. It costs £24.99 per month with no setup fee. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £33.98 per month
Talk Talk’s TV with Faster Broadband and Sky Sports package comes with up to 18 Mbps speeds and free weekend calls. It costs £28.45 per month fixed for 18 months. At the end of the contract the price of sport jumps to £59.50 per month
Virgin Media’s Vivid 100 Fibre Broadband deal comes with up to 100 Mbps speeds. It costs £31 per month on an 12 month contract. Prices will rise by £3.99 from November 1. £20 setup fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £40 per month
John Lewis’ Unlimited Broadband with Phone comes with up to 17 Mbps speeds with free evening and weekend calls It costs £20 per month on an 12 month contract. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £26.50 per month
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