Previous tenant debt on my Prepayment meter

  • TeKa's Avatar
    Level 1
    After being moved to e on next, a previous residents debt was added to my gas prepayment account. Well over £2000. Settings on meter allows eon next to rob me 99% of any topups I make. I'm on my last £4 of emergency fund, when this ends the gas will be cut off. I opened a dispute about the debt that is not mine, while this is going on, I am unable to top up my meter. I ordered a new card preloaded with a last payment eon next took. A week later it still hasn't arrived. I had appointment booked in, stayed home from work just to receive message from eon next 40 min before the end of day (8am-4pm) that they are unable to make it. Booked in new one a month from now. Looks like I'm going to be with out heating and hot water for next 4 weeks without a fault of my own. Had a lengthy tele convo with a helpful energy specialist, who sent me code for a new card and a payzone locator. None, I say, none of the shops I went to (7-8) can give me the card I need.
    I have no idea what to do next. Allthough all the people on the phone have been friendly and helpful, I have not yet received any help at all. It's been totally fruitless. I bet eon next is going to charge me daily standing charge despite cutting off my service and thus making me actually be in debt.
    Last edited by Han_EONNext; 19-10-23 at 13:59.
  • 12 Replies

  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 78
    Hey there @TeKa ,

    You are correct. That debt is probably not yours then and you're entitled to a full refund of all lost credit, as well as having the debt wiped off the meters. @Anasa_EONNext and @sustainablesoup_EONNext were just around a few minutes ago, I'll try to catch their attention in case they can help get the ball rolling.
    Just another guy passing by... The unknown tech way...
    Pete is an IHD Tariff Update Robot! 🤖 Anasa is a Giant Enemy Robot Spider 🕷 🤖 Hannah is neither! Need Customer service? click here! Replacement IHD Guide? Here it is!
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    There must be something fundamentally wrong for TeKa to be put into this situation if what is said is true. It should be capable of immediate resolution. What has a new tenant's account got to do with that of a previous tenant.

    Come on Eon customer services - surely you can sort this within hours. And pay generous compensation -£150 should do it.
  • TeKa's Avatar
    Level 1
    Update. Finally received a new card that turned the 99% into 0%. I can top up again. Now waiting for the outcome of the dispute.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    Good - you were put into an impossible situation through no fault of yourself.
  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 78
    @meldrewreborn perhaps I should explain a few things. I've never been on Pay As You Go myself (except for my first mobile phone when I was too young to have a contract) but both myself and Blastoise186 have spent an extensive amount of time researching how it all works even though we're both on Pay Monthly contracts. To be clear, it is impossible for the meter to know who is feeding it and it cannot tell that the debtor has moved out without external help. The best any supplier can do is disable debt collection, calculate the overpayments and issue a refund for the lost credit. Debt recovery against the previous customer will still continue in the background but the supplier will ensure the new customer isn't left out of pocket once validation checks have been completed - and the supplier is satisfied that the new customer is indeed unrelated to the debtor.

    While a Smart Meter can have the debt wiped off and debt recovery modes disabled with a single SMETS Command, traditional meters require messages to be sent to them using the prepayment top-up device that's actively linked the meter, specifically the electric key or gas card. When the correct message is transferred to the meter, the debt is wiped off and all debt collection modes are disabled. The meter will also set a message onto the top-up device to confirm that debt recovery has stopped and provide details of what has been collected to date - and when. A further completed top-up flow will allow this to be sent back to the supplier and any refund due can then be calculated. But in the meantime, debt collection will have stopped and no further credit deducted.

    You'll be surprised how often this situation occurs. Both myself and Blastoise have a well thought out process for dealing with users who encounter such an event and it's documented on his private Confluence instance that I have access to. We can't fix it ourselves, but we both know the process well. It comes as a result of several years of research and the fact that Blastoise talks with his supplier on a regular basis to learn more tips he can share with others.

    On the bright side, glad to hear things are sorted for you now @TeKa . If you need my advice again, please feel free to stop by.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    @theunknowntech

    On the technical side that's fine, but that's not the whole story, is it?

    The big issue here is that a customer was without electricity for well over a week. If the technical side gets in the way of providing proper customer service then its not fit for purpose, is it?

    The process for dealing with these issue should be capable of fixing the matter within hours and customer services staff should be properly trained in implementing the process.
  • TeKa's Avatar
    Level 1
    I’ve got a bit more understanding now how all this might have happened. It is not possible to rake up that amount of debt while having a prepaid meter. The prepaid meter have been fitted due to the debt of the previous residents probably not long before the house was vacated. When I moved in I opened account with e on. There was no debt recorded, this showed up when I was moved to eon next. I understood from one of the energy specialists thet this can happen with migration and obviously did in my case. I have now been notified that the dispute has been resolved to my favour and I am waiting for the new card with a code to arrive to erase the debt from my meter. My problem was that there’s very few people, who deal with costumers, actually understand how prepaid meter work. In the end I was fortunate to get to talk to a guy who genuinely cared for the quick and positive outcome of my problem. He took it upon himself personally to make sure it will be resolved. Being passed around and walking in circles for a month was quite unessesary and stress inducing.
  • theunknowntech's Avatar
    Level 78
    That's good to hear at least. The code that wipes out the debt and disables debt collection should also download the repayment data as well, which will get uploaded to E.On the next time you top-up again. Once that's been number crunched you should get a refund for the overpayments.

    The meter will also place whatever credit it was about to take for debt collection back into your main credit as well, so that you get the full value out of the top-up.
  • Westnick's Avatar
    Level 1
    Save all your emails and quotes you can take the company to the energy ombudsman and maybe entitled to a refund