On Christmas Eve, the energy giant mistakenly accepted direct debit payments that were to be debited from its customers’ accounts in January. At that time we saw a lot of complaints from angry customers, as happened when finances were already tight due to Christmas.
While the direct debit was automatically refunded at the end of December, many had to ask their bank for additional fees.
Energy regulator Ofgem has now completed its investigation into the problem after E.on promised to make goodwill payments and refunds for the bug.
E.on has paid £ 55,000 direct to customers who have faced bank charges to date and will continue to make payments to those affected. In addition, £ 627,000 will be added to Ofgem’s Energy Legal Fund, which provides money to charities to help energy consumers in vulnerable situations.
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What went wrong?
According to Ofgem, E.on incorrectly received 1.6 million direct debit payments from customers on December 24, 2020. These payments should actually be made in January 2021.
The error was due to a technical error after E.on made changes to the “friendly credit times” (which you can use to continue using electricity after the balance has expired) for customers with prepayment between Christmas and New Years.
At the time, the supplier said he would email everyone involved. However, if you’ve never heard of them and think you might be affected, the easiest way to do this is to check the bank account your direct debit is set up on and see if any money has been taken and refunded.
While the supplier immediately apologized for the mistake, payment refunds took a while to process due to the holidays. As a result, we saw many complaints from angry customers – including one who accused the company of “ruining Christmas”.