Pensioner Rip Offs, Energy Scams, (Barrel-dregs)
Whatever age you are, the implication of this scam will affect you, it may be your customers, parents or grand parents and if you are over fifty-five, you personally.
We have EON and Age UK passing on details of pensioners over 55 and putting them on more expensive contracts, EON paying Age UK a tidy £3.6 million for the information, as quoted in the national press. EON are now supposedly putting these pensioners back on cheaper contracts.
At a Trade Show last week the CEO of an Energy Comparison Company, told me most of the major companies are targeting pensioners with a similar scam.
I have been with (XXXXX XXXXXX) (XX) for a number of years, negotiating a new contract two months before the existing one expired, also checking with a Comparison Site to ensure that it was the best deal for me.
April 2015, I agreed a twelve month contract at a better rate than my previous contract and a monthly DD of £123, they had quoted on my last years figures a DD of £110.
I had taken the £123 because I knew that I would always be in credit, which they agreed to refund every three months and only did so after chasing them.
A month after starting the contract (XX) emailed me saying that the DD was being increased to £144, otherwise I would be in debit to the sum of £257.27, the fact that I was already in credit had no bearing on the matter.
A heated phone call and the DD was left at £123, end of story I thought.
Not on your life, 11th November 2015, (XX) emailed me saying that my DD is being raised to £177, a 40% increase, otherwise I would be in debit to the tune of £281.49 by April 2016, a quick check and my account showed a credit of £223, in fact it was actually higher than that after the scam.
By this stage, I realised that this was a scam on older pensioners.
I phoned (XX) and a woman told me that we were going to have a hard Winter, I told her that they were in breach of their contract and I was leaving them and no exit fee would apply, they were also intimidating ageing pensioners, she agreed to waive the exit fee. A further call and another woman said my credit of several hundred pounds would be paid within 28 days.
After 28 days nothing, I phoned (XX) again was cut off several times and finally talked to a man who said I had been put on the wrong rates and agreed to compensate me with £20 for my time wasted through being cut off, the balance would be sent to me with a breakdown.
No breakdown of how they arrived at the figure and certainly not the balance figure shown on my account, after that access to my account was blocked.
I switched to GB Energy at the end of November with my DD about 60% less than I would have been paying (XX).
I then got an (XX) email in January 2016 saying that my balance of £7.19, would be paid in 28 days and the £60 exit fee was payable.
Again, I phoned (XX) to be told that I was on a three year contract until 2018 at a seriously higher rate than my actual 12 month contract, the new contract had started in October 2015.
They claim that I clicked on a marketing link sent by them on 17th October 2015, automatically putting me on a three year contract at a higher rate.
An even bigger scam than I originally thought and needed exposing.
The fact that I was seriously ill at the time with a blood clot and tubes coming out of me, the last thing that I would do is change a cheaper contract for a more expensive longer one, knowing that energy prices are falling, regardless of the medical state that I was in.
No contract, no notification of 28 days to get out of the contract, all totally illegal, despite emailing them and phoning them for details of this fictitious fraudulent contract.
As with all click on links an automatic response should have been issued with an opt out time period for any sort of contract, in this case totally illegal.
The only email in October that I was able to send was the gas meter reading, if submitting your meter readings on line, constitutes changing a contract, then this is a total fraud and illegal.
The so called marketing link, if it exists, I certainly haven’t seen one in any of the (XX) emails they have sent, not that I respond to spam emails anyway, but I do keep them unopened, I have now opened them all and submitted all the details to the Ombudsman.
In addition our IT people have been through all the deleted, spam and active emails from (XX), absolutely nothing that relates to a click on link or an automated response with a fictitious contract.
Their Customer Case Resolution Service is worse than useless, having assured me that all the information of contracts, balances etc. would be sent to me absolutely nothing.
They did finally admit that the balance of my credit, which had been illegally pocketed by them, would be sent to me, needless to say I have not received it.
This National Company is in my opinion a very nasty company, they didn’t used to be, but they are now.
Another question, the NHS are fantastic at using statistics to their advantage, has someone, again illegally or legally, like Age UK been passing on details of seriously ill or vulnerable pensioners to (XXXXX XXXXXXX) and other companies, because this started after I came out of hospital, the first time???
I also asked (XX) to ensure that all similar scams to vulnerable pensioners would be rectified.
At this moment of time (XX) have declined to comment!
The stupid part by (XX) is, that if they had refunded my credit of £223 I would not have started digging and found a nest of very rotten worms from a company which should know better, they now rate as one of the worst companies in my opinion.
EON and Age UK had a similar cosy deal, targeting the most vulnerable people in our community.
This is the third hit that I have had after leaving hospital, one tried to insist that I had a contract and backed down, the second a complaint has been lodged with the Financial Ombudsman and (XX) now have a complaint lodged with the Energy Ombudsman.
I have also been advised to lodge complaints with Trading Standards and actionfraud.police.uk, the Ombudsman, unfortunately cannot instruct companies to rectify similar activities with other vulnerable people, only for the person lodging the complaint .
The only way to stop this abuse of vulnerable pensioners is to expose these activities is in the Press and Media, please be our guests and make older people aware that these national companies have very few scruples, older and vulnerable people are targeted because the percentage that will object or take action is very small.
The amount of money involved is eye watering, if you look at the commission paid to AGE UK.
If your customers, family or friends have been caught on this Scam, please let us know, we want the companies involved to make restitution to the pensioners and the companies named and shamed.
Please email us with names and details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what can be done to expose these nasty practices and put a stop to it.
We have blocked out the name of the Energy Company in the hope that they might repair the damage they have done to vulnerable people, most aged pensioners have little or no idea how to sort these companies out and rely on family to help them, if they are made aware of the scam, the others are just “Ripped Off”.
The Energy Company that ripped me off will have it’s name published next week, unless they make restitution to all the people they have caught in this Scam and assurances that it will never happen again with aged or vulnerable pensioners and people.
The sad reality is that we all get old at some stage and we don’t need National Companies “Ripping us Off”.
Fortunately all aspects of this scam are documented, but it took me until 14th January 2016 for confirmation from (XX) that they had put me on a three year contract until 2018.
Please view our other web site for Information, Help and Advice www.usenumberone.com
The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees, customers and older people are made fully aware of the many hidden pitfalls, set up by the unscrupulous individuals and companies.