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AnnoyedByTheirTrickery's review of EDF Energy Gas

★☆☆☆☆

“Sadly, all the problems reported by others are real. ...”

Written on: 02/08/2012 by AnnoyedByTheirTrickery (1 review written)

I switched around eighteen months ago to a 'pay by Direct Debit' account for both gas and electricity.[Online [email protected] v7]. Before that I was with Southern & Scottish, whose service I was quite happy with, but a leading online website advised a switch to save on the bills.

EDF have still never sent me a gas bill, despite several contacts via their website AND written letters, to which I have received no replies or even acknowledgements! I see this has affected others, so its either a dire fault in their system or a very dodgy legal ploy.

The elec billing on the other hand seems OK.

It is true that their website is fiddly to use. It is not user-friendly, and times out very quickly, meaning in a single session you often have to log in two or three times.

The customer service is absolutely terrible. Like I say, you can send letters and they seem to disappear into a black hole. Emails via the website also go unanswered and unacknowledged. On the phones you will normally be kept hanging on the line for 30 minutes or so before the call is even answered. I suppose this is one way of reducing customer complaints! To be fair the call centre staff speak perfect English (it's probably in UK, which does help communication) and are trying to be helpful, once you finally get through.

What really takes the biscuit is how they allow positive credit balances to build up (that's you, the customer, being forced to lend them your money). This was an aspect of the direct debit pay scheme I didn't know about before I signed up. Because you can't easily communicate with them to resolve it, it amounts to a type of fraud in my non-expert opinion.

Part of the trickery is billing period. Bill period appears to be completely random. Looking at each of the periods I have been billed, the complete list is as follows: 4 months, 5 weeks(!), just under 3 months, just under 3 months, 9 months! Probably intended to make any meaningful assessment or comparison with alternative suppliers so difficult I wouldn't bother.

Two examples of their abuse of credit terms:

1./ I have a printout from when I signed up, saying a 'cash-back' payment of £100 would be made within 3-4 months in return for switching. It actually states in black and white that this will "either be credited to your bank account or a cheque will be sent". It has been applied instead as a credit to my EDF account, and all correspondence on it has gone unanswered. Is that a lie or a damned lie?

2./ Recently my account had reached nearly £700 in credit, then they took that 9-month bill and it is still nearly £400 in credit. But get this, they also said my DD had been reassessed and the new payment advised is a whopping 40% *increase* on the old one. !WHAT?!!!! Apparently though the reason for this is the gas bill which has never been assessed but is being 'allowed for'.

I think you can see the picture building up here. I am, needless to say, absolutely disgusted with all this. The latest half-hour wait on the phone finally produced a promise that they would sort it all out 'within the next few days'.

I should probably sue them as well. If I was not so busy I certainly would!

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