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To not pay this company any money

(36 Posts)
Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 20:59:22

I posted a few weeks back about a terrible day I was having and a company that had emptied my bank account - luckily I was just short of the bill I owed so it was just an inconvenience as the direct debit bounced back but this was after I realised my account was empty whilst stood in the queue at the petrol station to pay for my fuel.

Anyway - this electric company has never sent me a bill despite asking several times. They refuse to set up a payment arrangement for me to clear this debt as my offering of £50 a month (which is all I can afford at the moment) is not enough. They want half of it paid up front no questions asked. Before it got to this point I rang to set up a direct debit but the agents I got through to were trying to set up the payment for the full amount and would not accept £60 a month while the debt was relatively low.

When I first moved into my (now previous) property they were charging me £8 per day under a commercial meter and despite several attempts
To have someone come out to rectify my meter and recalibrate it, if you will, this never happened.

They are now continuously attempting to take £433 out of my account every other day and have also set up 2 x monthly direct debits one for £48 and another for £50. I have rang, emailed you name it and no one rings me back to sort this out.

Am I unreasonable to not pay them a penny until they sort my account out? I have complained when I first used them and didn’t receive a final response within 8 weeks so passed to the energy ombudsman.

This company is called enstroga if anyone has used these? If not - don’t use them. Absolute cowboys.

AnastasiaVonBeaverhausen Wed 14-Aug-19 21:01:07

Can't you cancel the direct debit mandate until this is sorted?

AlphaLemon Wed 14-Aug-19 21:03:15

Oh bless you that sounds awful! Don’t pay until they sort it out, but keep a good log of what you have asked and their responses

uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.enstroga.co.uk

I’ve never seen a trust pilot rating so poor!

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:04:02

I’ve cancelled the dd from my side via my mobile banking app but they have tried to take it since I’ve done cancelled it my end. Honestly at a loss. Feel like just paying them to get them out of my hair but on principle I don’t think I’ve been treated very fairly. I mean £8 a day for electric? In a 1 bedroom tiny can’t-swing-a-cat cottage?!

I’ve searched them on trust pilot and the reviews are god awful and similar things have happened to other customers

Summerunderway Wed 14-Aug-19 21:06:09

Make a complaint by phone and inform the bank. A utility Co took 800 out of mine and I refused to pay anything until they sorted the bill out as I disputed the amount. Took a year and they halved the final bill!

Merryoldgoat Wed 14-Aug-19 21:07:10

Cancel the mandate with your bank.

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:14:08

I honestly do not know what to do with it. Do I ring again? So I email again? Can I chase the ombudsman?

Will I be able to set up with another company if I owe £400 to these criminals? Stressing me out!

Kind of hoping they get shut down and my bill squashed so I don’t have to pay them because I don’t think they deserve it after how I’ve been treated

Flerkin Wed 14-Aug-19 21:14:12

Firstly, you need to open a complaint with them. After 8 weeks you can then go to ofgem.

Are they your current supplier?

Is the £50 you are offering including your usage and paying off the debt. Or purely the debt.

They wont recalibrate a meter and honestly it's very rare they run fast. Theres usually another problem such as crossed meters with a other property or someone tapping your supply. They may even have the wrong meter details for you.

Open the complaint and they send you the complaints handling procedure. They can not close the complaint until you agree to it. So if they close it, that also needs reporting to ofgem.

It's a long process. But the company will be fined around 2k for your complaint going to ofgem, even if its found in their favour so they will do all they can to avoid it going there.

TheWildAndTheCurious Wed 14-Aug-19 21:15:13

If you've cancelled the direct debit then they cannot take money form your bank. Go into your branch or talk to the bank on the phone.

How old is your debt? Has it gone to a collections agency yet?

This isn't all relevant to you but worth a read.
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/struggling-to-pay-your-energy-bills/

Flerkin Wed 14-Aug-19 21:15:21

Will I be able to set up with another company if I owe £400 to these criminals? Stressing me out!

Not always. They can stop you switching, if you owe them money. It's rare but they can.

JonSlow Wed 14-Aug-19 21:15:40

What period are they trying to charge you for? There is a back billing charter - take a look at it.

82YorkshireLass Wed 14-Aug-19 21:19:13

If they won't set up a reasonable direct debit, set up a standing order as they have no control over that. Make sure you're covering the ongoing usage and pay whatever you can afford towards the arrears. Have a look at uswitch.com too and see if you can switch - you might not be able to if the arrears are too high but it's always worth trying. Also make a complaint to them in writing - if they haven't responded in 8 weeks, or they have but you're still not happy, then escalate it to to the energy ombudsman and they'll investigate it. Good luck!

82YorkshireLass Wed 14-Aug-19 21:22:00

Here's some info on switching supplier if you have arrears: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/how-switch-energy-supplier-and-shop-better-deal/how-switch-energy-supplier-if-you-re-debt

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:27:42

I moved in in January and let them know I was taking over the account which was fine and they told me my bill would be £40 per month which is thought was reasonable, I tried to switch but they said they had my meter down as a commercial meter and not residential and asked me for a copy of my tenancy agreement and a picture of the outside of my house to ‘prove’ this was not a business. Did what they asked and then they asked if they could come round to do what they needed to with the meter to change back to a residential meter to enable me to switch. Problem was for me is that I work full time and at the time we had lost half of the staff on our team so the half days I had booked I wasn’t able to take. Rang them to rearrange and no one ever got back in touch with me. They also told me that my meter had the same serial number as a commercial property half way across the country

Long story short my bill shot up to £230 ish and this was for around 27 days supply. No way I used that much I work full time and am home evenings and weekends and was only me in the house at the time and I’m the type to rather get a blanket than put the heating on.

I live somewhere else now but due to move into a new house at the end of the month want to set up with another supplier so can they block me in these circumstances? Sorry for the long essays!

Not heard a word from the collections, but now seriously worried about the impact on my credit score. I have requested to speak with collections but I have never successfully got through as the agents hang up on me every.single.time!

I’ve sent my complaint to the ombudsman but just checked my emails and not had an acknowledgment from them so best chase that up tomorrow.

BrightYellowDaffodil Wed 14-Aug-19 21:28:36

After 8 weeks you can then go to ofgem

As I've found, it's not Ofgem any more (which was surprising since that's who I've gone to before). It's the Energy Ombudsman: www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy

@OP, don't just not pay them. If they are keeping on with trying to take the money when they know they shouldn't, it's not entirely unlikely that they won't start some sort of legal proceedings. What did the Energy Ombudsman say? I would leave the matter in their hands rather than corresponding with the supplier, but I would chase the Ombudsman up.

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:29:55

I did ask for the standing order details but they set up direct debits instead and when I said that wasn’t what I wanted she said ‘ring the bank and cancel’ I was due to go into work after the phone call and when I rang back to get the standing order details I’ve been told they don’t accept payment in that way.

WhatTiggersDoBest Wed 14-Aug-19 21:32:05

Call your bank or pop into a branch and report their attempted fraud for this company trying to take payments without your authorisation. If you've cancelled the direct debit, any further payments shouldn't be approved, and your bank can put a note on your account to stop them. Also look up the Direct Debit guarantee: www.directdebit.co.uk/DirectDebitExplained/pages/directdebitguarantee.aspx
I don't really know what you can do about the actual energy company but the bank need to be made aware.

combatbarbie Wed 14-Aug-19 21:38:02

If you are moving into a new property why would you need to switch? You just inform them of last day of tenancy and take pic of meter.

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:44:36

I have read online that if you have a debt over a certain amount the new supplier may not take you onboard. I don’t know how it works or if it’s any different if I have already left the property that is supplied by enstroga, which is why I’m asking.

suchasoftersin Wed 14-Aug-19 21:45:00

If you are no longer at the property there is no reason you cannot switch supplier. That bill is attached to you at that particular property. If your current electricity bill is up to date then you can switch. Also when you move to your new property just set up the bill with the cheapest provider you are under no obligation to stay with that supplier.

Are you paying your current supply?

Heartburn888 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:50:07

Yes I’m paying via prepayment meter where I am at the moment.

Sorry if my message before came across a little snippy I’m just bloody stressed! Apologies! X

SuzieSunshine Wed 14-Aug-19 21:51:43

Write a list of every time you have attempted to sort this out with dates if possible. Make copies of all e-mails you have sent them, log the calls made to them and make a file of every single bit of information you can find. Then contact the ombudsman. I had to do this about 3 years ago about a well known mobile phone company. I'd done everything I could think of - e-mailed, called them, cancelled my d/d to try and get them to address my problem but they then started sending debt collection letters. I was at the end of my tether. I think that once the ombudsman is involved (you have to wait for them to accept your case and give you a case no) that the debt gets 'frozen' until it's sorted out. I might be wrong about the 'frozen' bit but at least you can legitimately say 'it's now with the ombudsman' to the energy company and the debt collectors. but definitely apply to start a case with the ombudsman. It was such a weight off my mind and they sorted my case out for me. Good Luck!!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:52:58

Have you emailed the ceo?.

Ariela Wed 14-Aug-19 21:54:46

I think you are perfectly entitled to get a bill detailing your usage. I suspect this is something they cannot do.
One thing you could do as it is such a small flat is calculate your electricity usage and work out if their estimate is reasonable.

BritInUS1 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:55:51

Step 1 - Call the bank and cancel any DD that is set up with them
Step 2 - Put in a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman
Step 3 - Email / Write to the energy company know that you have escalated the complaint and will not be paying until it has been looked into

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