I watched GMTV’s Martin Lewis talk about how to deal with saving money on energy.
So today, I created an account for feeding in my energy use.
I then read all my meters and input the figures, in the process I thought I’d read all my previous correspondence (received via email) and review my account.
Once I got nearly all the way through the review service on eDF’s web site, a pop up box appeared.
“Do you want to chat live to a member of staff?”
Here’s the chat – copied and pasted across ! Date 30th October 2013.
Welcome to EDF Energy’s Live Chat Service. We’ll be with you in a moment. Just so you know, this Live Chat will be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
Thanks for waiting.
You are now connected with Sneha.
Sneha: Welcome to EDF Energy Online Customer Service Team. You’re chatting with Sneha. How may I help you today?
Simon Hamer: thinking of going fixed, then another issue
Simon Hamer: to 2017
Sneha: So if I got you correctly you want to switch tariff to March 2017
Simon Hamer: i’m considering it … need a quote first
Sneha: I would request you to please login to My Account.
Simon Hamer: Can you see how much my account is in credit by since I have input up to date meter readings.
Sneha: I will check that for you.
Sneha: In the meantime I would request you to please go to account details and then change tariff option.
Sneha: You will see the tariff available and the annual cost.
Simon Hamer: done that, but I’m not going to commit to you, until we resolve this excess amount of our money that you hold.
Sneha: I am checking the account.
Sneha: Thank you for waiting.
Sneha: I see have billed the account and after the bill the account is £546.51 in Credit
Simon Hamer: Our estimated annual usage from you is £805 … so you should reduce payments to a minimum of say £10, until this is reduced to say £200 at which point we would still be 3 months ahead. Is this possible.
Sneha: I am checking on it.
Simon Hamer: Our usage will drop further as our daughter is now at Uni .. and we all know what daughters are like with water usage in showers.
Sneha: I understand my working with the direct debit calaculation.
Sneha: Please bare with me
Simon Hamer: no worries Sneha … if you agree to do this, I’ll move to the fixed tariff until 2017, and eDF will have us as customers for a further 4 years. That’s a good deal for both of us.
Sneha: I completely understand.
Sneha: Thank you for waiting Simon.
Sneha: I have calulated the directy debit and the mimimun that I can reduce it to £30 for gas and electricity
Sneha: The current Direct debit is £54
Simon Hamer: Yes it is … but our currect usage is just under £70 a month, and you therefore have almost 8 months money already held by you … asking us to pay £54 now is quite frankly ridiculous, and even on the blue tariff it says we’ll use £61 a month.
Simon Hamer: Ask a supervisor … get them to see sense. I understand you have guidelines, but common sense has to prevail.
Sneha: I will change it to £30
Sneha: Will that help?
Sneha: I haven’t heard from you for a while. Are you still there?
Simon Hamer: Yes, I am, have you read my last request to ask a supervisor ?
Sneha: I have consulted my supervisor that even if you change the tariff we will set the direct debit to £30 and not £61
Sneha: Simon will it be okay if I transfer the chat to my supervisor?
Simon Hamer: Sure !
Sneha: Please be connected.
Kiran: Hello Simon, This is Kiran Floor Manager.
Simon Hamer: Hello Kiran
Kiran: Allow me few minutes while I go through your conversation with Sneha to help you in best possible way.
Simon Hamer: Yes, read the chat first, and then we can chat further.
Simon Hamer: Sneha has been excellent
Kiran: Thank you for the Feedback Simon.
Kiran: I have reviewed and can suggest you that based on your meter readings for the month of June and the read you have provided today our calculations shows that we can set up the Direct debit minimum to £30.00.
Kiran: You can choose the March 2017 tariff and we will set up the Direct debit of same amount of £ 30.00 per month for Gas & Electricity together.
Simon Hamer: So the balance will transfer across .. ?
Kiran: Will that be okay with you Simon ?
Simon Hamer: messages crossed
Simon Hamer: will the balance transfer across from one scheme to another ?
Kiran: The account remains the same, however the Tariff only change so the account balance will be adjusted in the next bill.
Simon Hamer: Please confirm you have altered it to £30, and I will authorize the 2017 tariff.
Kiran: Allow me a moment.
Kiran: I’am amending your Direct Debit amount , however it will be affective from December 2013 as because your Direct debit date is 04th of every month and we have to send the request to bank 12 days prior to the date. So, for the month of November 2013 it will be £ 52.00.
Simon Hamer: Understand I’m ex bank staff.
Kiran: Thank you for understanding Simon.
Kiran: I have made changes in your Direct Debit amount to £30.00.
Simon Hamer: I’m now on the new tariff, please ensure the direct debits are as described
Kiran: I have checked the account and can see that the Tariff has been changed
and will ensure you the Direct debit remains £30.00. I would request you to provide the
meter reading every quarter so that the Direct debit gets reviewed according to the usage.
Kiran: Is there anything else I may help you with Simon?
Kiran: I haven’t heard from you for a while. Are you still there?
Simon Hamer: I’m done Kiran, tariff done too. Thanks for trying,
I think if you used this responce to people who are desperately short of money
you would lose a customer. Smething for you to think on about.
Simon Hamer: **something**
Kiran: I completely understand your concern Simon.
Simon Hamer: OK, bye, thanks for your time.
Kiran: You are welcome
MY AFTER THOUGHTS !
So, based on a direct debit of £52 in November, and £30 thereafter, and the £540+ I’m in credit as I write, when will my balance fall to just paying eDF three months usage in advance?
Usage estimates are presently £61 a month under the new scheme.
Allowing for usage to be £60 (daughter now at Uni) and paying £30 from December (£52 Nov)
Target £180 in credit !
End of November – balance £530+
December 2013 – credit balance £500
January 2014 – credit balance £470
Feb , March, April, May, June, July x £30 reduction a month (another £180)
therefore the credit balance at end of July 2014 £290
so by the end of November (another 4 months at £30) the balance will be £170 in credit.
To those of you stating prices are going to rise …. I’M ON A FIXED TARIFF UNTIL MARCH 2017, and this is their estimates of my usage from present usage with my daughter home.
An absolutely totally unreasonable stance and if I’d been desperate for money I’d have moved and closed the account to get the money back.
Should I be asking for credit interest ?
So I received the paperwork confirming I had moved my tariff to the Fixed tariff. What do you think I was going to be charged on my direct debit, £52, £64, £30? Yes, that’s I thought too, where has £64 come from after all this discussion and our agreement. So I rang again and now my direct debit will be £30 from December. My point is that you have to manage these things you cannot just trust that things will go through as you agreed or expected, they will make errors and if you want to control your own finances, you will need to control your suppliers.