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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Are there solicitors who specialise in energy law, relating

Resolved Question:

Are there solicitors who specialise in energy law, relating to cusotmer difficulties with energy suppliers?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I remain interested and am happy to wait for an answer. The Energy Ombudsman is likely to take weeks and I will be awaiting his response to the part of my complaint which he is considering before seeking legal advice. I also think that it will be useful for me to have a transcript of all communications with the energy company before approaching a solicitor and am continuing to chase up my request for this, but think this will also take a long time.

Many thanks.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I hope you have received the message I sent earlier today. Sorry I didn't respond earlier, but the message had gone into spam and I hadn't spotted it. In case you haven't received my earlier message, I said I would be happy to wait for a response, as I will have to wait for the Ombudsman's response and for a copy of the transcript of my communications with the energy company before proceeding, both of which may take weeks.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
I see you have been waiting for some time - what is it you would like to know and I will see if I can help you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Alex

I would like to know if there are solicitors who specialise in helping with complaints regarding domestic energy suppliers.

I am happy to wait for a response as my difficulties with First Utility have been ongoing since April 2011 and I am also awaiting the Energy Ombudsman's consideration of a particular part of my complaint which I have referred to them.

In addition, I have requested a full transcript from First Utility of all my communication with them and would like to have receipt of this before approaching a solicitor, so that I can order and quantify my complaint properly in advance.

Clare Garvey

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Perhaps you could give a brief summary of your complaint?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Briefly, I moved energy suppliers from Scottish Power to First Utility in April 2011. The gas account was not moved immediately because Scottish Power had the wrong serial number for my gas meter. It took some months of effort on my part to ensure that this was corrected.

I was not able to submit a gas meter reading to First Utility, because, despite having the correct gas meter serial number, they did not set up the gas account until August 2012 and I did not receive a gas bill until November 2012, despite constant phone calls from me.

The bill was excessively large when it eventually came (and in fact stands at £8800 this month). Some months I can receive up to 3 bills, all varying between me being in credit and owing huge amounts.

During one of the many calls I have made to First Utility to try and establish what I really owe, it became clear that Scottish Power thought the gas account had been moved to First Utility on 30/11/2011, with an end read of 24012, and First Utility thought the gas account had started with them on 25/07/011 with a start read of 21547. I think that this discrepancy represents a large proportion of what I owe, but neither company is prepared to tell me how much it represents, as they both deny responsibility.

I have referred the matter of the differing start/end dates and reads to the Energy Ombudsman and am awaiting his response.

Once I receive a transcript of all communications that I have had with First Utility I would like to seek advice about seeking compensation for the very poor service that they have given. Hence my need for a solicitor who might have experience in the matter of domestic energy supply.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Have you raised back billing code?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry, I am not sure what a back billing code is.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have received two emails from you, one of which was in my spam folder. I am replying again in case my previous reply did not reach you. Apologies if this is a repeat.

Sorry, but I am not sure what a back billing code is.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Did you give readings when asked etc?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have probably submitted meter readings on 90% of the times asked. They originally asked for them each month, but since 2012 there has been no pattern to their requests for meter reads.

For about 4 months in 2012 they neither asked for readings or took any money by direct debit. I rang to ask why and they said my account was in credit, which I knew to be wrong. As I felt unable to trust their system I cancelled the direct debit and set up a monthly standing order instead. The next bill I got, within a couple of weeks of this phone call was for over £3000.

I have communicated regularly with them by phone, email and letter to try and establish an accurate figure for what I owe. They have routinely promised to supply the necessary information, but have only acted on these promises once, over a period of three years.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Ok - you should read this:
http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/publication/finish/43-code-of-practice-for-accurate-bills/412-the-code-of-practice-for-accurate-bills-back-billing-for-domestic-customers.html
It shows that generally they only backbill for the last 12 months use where they have failed to take readings etc.
This should help but the Ombudsman should pick up on that. They also have a duty under Section 13 of the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act to act with all reasonable skill and care, if they have not then potentially you have a claim.
If the amount in dispute is less than £10,000 it would be a small claim, so you dont need to worry about a Solicitor as the costs are likely to be eaten there and small claim fees are not recoverable.
But you can issue a claim online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks Alex. Your answer to my enquiry was better than expected. I think that I will be better able to decide how to proceed, once I have the Ombudsman's decision and First Utility's transcript and am grateful that I will be able to manage without a solicitor.

Clare Garvey

a very satisfied customer.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go. You should see some smiley faces.
Thanks
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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