Scottish Power is chasing us for a debt we don’t owe

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Last August we moved into a house and set about renovating it. We had wanted to stay with our previous energy supplier, Bulb, and gave it the opening readings. The gas boiler was immediately ripped out as part of the major works.

It now seems that Scottish Power was supplying the house when we arrived. Despite the fact that we used no gas before the switch to Bulb, the company is demanding more than £400 for gas used. The electricity bill bears no relation to our usage, either.

My repeated calls to Scottish Power are getting me nowhere.

AS, London

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Going through the fine detail of this case, it soon emerged that Scottish Power had never been given the correct opening readings, and, instead, had used estimates – which had inflated both bills. Once this was rectified it was a simple case of recalculating the correct bills.

The fact that you had not used any gas meant you only owed the standing charge for the days you were a Scottish Power customer. To apologise, the company has written this off. You also now have a correct electricity bill. The big error was not informing Scottish Power of the exact readings when you moved in. There was always going to be a time lag of a few weeks while the switch to Bulb was processed.

Most billing problems we see come down to incorrect meter readings. Whenever you move, or switch supplier, make sure you take a reading – and triple check the figures. I cannot stress this enough, because life’s too short to be calling Scottish Power, which has one of Which?’s worst customer service scores, in the midst of a pandemic.

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