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Former Economy Energy customers furious over credit refund delays

Former Economy Energy customers have been struggling to get back credit worth £100+ from the supplier, months after switching away from it. If you've been left out of pocket, here's how to get your cash back.

Over the past few weeks we've seen dozens of complaints from ex-Economy Energy customers, with some saying they have had difficulties claiming back credit from as long ago as August and September.

On Friday, regulator Ofgem announced a ban on Economy Energy taking on new customers, and ordered it to pay existing refund requests within 28 days of having received them, or by Friday 18 January, whichever is later – or explain why it is refusing to refund some customers.

If you're unhappy with Economy Energy, consider switching supplier – see our Cheap Energy Club to do a comparison and see if you can save.

What are former customers saying? 

Some departing Economy Energy customers showed emails from the firm apologising for the delay in getting refunds paid, but not explaining when payments will be made.

An email from Economy Energy sent in early December to a customer who has been owed £78 since September says: "At the present moment, the refund is on the correct track to being processed and being finally repaid; the justification behind the delay lies within the intermediary process change – as a refunds policy is variable and not a set-in-stone condition.

"The new internal process is in place and we will return monies owed as soon as possible."

As of Thursday 3 January the customer was still waiting. 

Here are some more examples from former customers:

  • Janice from Bexley says she has been asking for a £111 refund since September. She told MSE that the firm had told her several times that she could expect her refund to be paid "within 10 days". As of 3 January, however, she was still waiting.

  • Sheila from Essex pursued her refund for more than 10 weeks and told us she was only able to get her £362 credit after lobbying her MP and writing to Economy Energy's bosses.

  • MSE forumite Barry Daniels said: "I expected contact from [them] and a final bill after switching on 13 October. At the start of November, nothing, so I rang customer services, who then issued final bills showing me £141.80 in credit. I was told this would be refunded within 10 days – I'm still waiting." As of 3 January he was yet to receive his refund.

Here are a few other examples, the first of which is a tweet in reply to Ofgem:

How quickly should my credit be refunded? 

As part of Ofgem's investigation into the firm it has ordered Economy Energy to issue refunds. How quickly they should be paid depends on when you requested the refund:

  • If you requested the refund before Friday 4 January. It should be paid within 28 days of your refund request, or by Friday 18 January, whichever is later – or Economy Energy should explain why it's refusing to pay.

  • If you requested a refund from Friday 4 January onwards. This should be paid within 28 days of your request. 

Usually, when a customer switches away from a supplier, Ofgem says any remaining credit should be refunded within 10 working days.

In fact, the energy watchdog plans by summer to introduce fines for suppliers that don't return customers' cash within that time period.

The big six suppliers, alongside a large number of smaller firms, have also signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. This industry scheme promises that any credit from an old supplier will be refunded within 14 days of a switch being completed.

I'm owed a refund from Economy Energy – what should I do? 

If you've recently switched from Economy Energy, check your final bill to see if you're owed a refund. If you are, you'll need to contact Economy Energy directly. 

If you don't feel that your issue has been dealt with properly by the firm, or within Ofgem's set timeframes, you can lodge an official complaint with the supplier.  

If you're unhappy with its resolution, or you don't hear anything for eight weeks, you can refer your complaint to Ombudsman Services, an independent consumer complaints resolution service.

What does Economy Energy say?

An Economy Energy spokesperson declined to comment.

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