Energy comparison site uSwitch has released a startling new study that reveals that almost ‘4 million energy customers were overcharged £72 on average’ last year. The total impact has cost consumers £270 million.
Out of the 2001 people who were surveyed, 36% said they had experienced errors on their bills, which was down to the wrong tariff or wrong product details being applied, which left them being overcharged. Worryingly, 27% were charged differently from the meter readings they provided.
Another issue came when the overcharged customers tried to claim back their overpayments. Nearly a fifth of consumers (19%) had to wait between one and two months before the billing issue was resolved. More 12% also had to wait longer than two months for a resolution. Shockingly, 9% are still waiting to get their money back.
Energy expert Clare Osborne has said that consumers ‘shouldn’t have to pay for suppliers mistakes’. She goes on to say ‘We urge customers to always check their bills carefully, and speak immediately to their supplier if they think they have been short-changed. Consumers should also always provide up to date meter readings to avoid estimated bills, and check that the figure they provided has been used.’
If you are concerned about your bills there is something you can do. Make sure you always check them thoroughly, know your tariff and have an idea of what you should be paying based on your usage. You should also be regularly looking for the best energy supplier. Use comparison sites like uSwitch to make sure you are getting the best deal.