finance

How can we get the money we overpaid back from Utility Point?


Two days after switching energy supplier from Utility Point, I received an email from the ­company informing me that my account was in credit by £377.62, which would be refunded within 10 working days.

Six weeks on, I have still not received it. Online reviews suggest that, like myself, many people were attracted to cheap deals, but then found direct debits were soon increased and are still waiting for overpayments to be returned.

IBH, Sheffield

Something appears seriously awry with this new entrant in the energy market. The Dorset-based company began offering eyecatchingly good deals in 2018 and promised to “transform the customer utility experience”. Things appeared to be going promisingly. Reviews on Trustpilot were largely positive – until October, when a spatter of ­single-star ratings began.

Now, customers have flocked to the website to share their tales of woe, all worryingly similar. Large credits have been racked up, and promised refunds have not appeared. And there’s no way to get hold of the company.

A message on its customer service line states that calls cannot be taken due to Covid restrictions and the chatbot is unresponsive. I used the email address but received no response, although your refund suddenly appeared the next day.

I asked the regulator, Ofgem, if it was aware of the problems. It declined to confirm whether it was investigating. Instead, it says: “As part of the Standards of Conduct, suppliers have to make sure that consumers can easily get in touch to report and resolve any issues.

“Where we become aware that a supplier might not be meeting these standards, we will engage with the supplier to understand the situation, and, based on the evidence, determine which form of engagement is most appropriate to resolve any issues.”

Others affected should take their case to the Energy Ombudsman, although they have to wait for eight weeks from when they first complained to Utility Point.

If you need help email your.problems@observer.co.uk. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions



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