Simon has been waiting seven months for a refund from Extra Energy
I’ve been waiting since January for Extra Energy to refund me the £370 I am owed in overpayments.
My direct debit had been set too high and when I realised I was in credit to the company, I asked it for my money back.
But instead of transferring me the cash, it delayed processing the refund because it said it was having ‘billing issues’.
It had taken so long for me to get a response from the energy firm I eventually went to the Ombudsman which in June ruled in my favour.
But even though the Ombudsman told Extra it had to refund me by June 9th, I’ve not yet received anything.
I’ve tried calling and emailing but am getting no response even though I was told the payment should have taken 12 calendar days to come back to me.
What else can I do in order to get my money back?Simon Liversedge, via email.
Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: If you pay your energy company too much, you can ask it to refund you the money at any point and it’s meant to make a transfer shortly afterwards.
This can often happen if your bills have been estimated – instead of the energy company taking manual readings from you – or as in your case if the direct debit payment is set too high.
You realised at the start of the year you were £370 in credit to Extra Energy so you rightly asked for this money back.
You were then caught up in a series of emails and calls in which Extra told you it would repay you the money but you didn’t actually receive this.
You then approached the Ombudsman to try and get your money back and it ruled in your favour in June but you’re still waiting for your money.
Extra is currently being investigated by Ofgem over customer service and billings procedures
We approached Extra Energy to find out what had happened. It told us it had produced a final bill for you, with the £370 of credit on it, and this would be sent to you within 10 working days.
It also said it was giving you £30 as a goodwill gesture for the delay in making the payment.
While it’s good this is happening, there’s absolutely no excuse as to why it didn’t happen after the Ombudsman’s ruling, let alone at the start of the year when you first requested it.
Extra Energy has had a particularly bad year.
In June it received the highest number of customer complaints on record, sent into Citizens Advice between January and March this year.
Our sister publication, Money Mail, also published a story last week about the firm chasing former customers for debts they didn’t owe.
One customer spent four months trying to get back the £307 she was owed after she switched away from the firm to British Gas. Then almost a year later she started receiving calls from a debt agency claiming she still owed the firm money.
It is also currently being investigated by Ofgem for customer service and billing procedures.
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.