I just wanted to let everyone know what kind of company SWALEC really are. Due to THIER mistake, they have undercharged us by £1049.80, & have now billed us for this amount, we today in 1 instalment have paid them £1000.00.
I also want to add not only is the above stressful enough, but me & my husband are expecting our first child as I am 9 months & 2 weeks pregnant, & my husband has just been made redundant! The £1000.00 had been from generous friends & family to go toward necessities for our unborn child, & since my husbands job provides us with the house we live in, we have 1 month & 5 days before we will be made homeless, so this would have hopefully also helped towards a deposite for rental accommodation.
So thank you very much SWALEC. Also to the people we spoke to for you rude & disgusting attitudes, & for being so condesending that you had me in tears!
Oh but I should add, as they said it is all fine as they said they were sorry for the mistake they made in the letter that they sent!
I don't normally publish two reviews in one day but I've just had some good news about my energy account and thought I'd share this with other people wondering whether to switch utility suppliers.
I'm not going to do a full review of Swalec, as the intention is get this online quickly and hopefully help others in my position. It will mean talking a bit about benefits, but this is done for a reason and please do not comment on my own situation, I manage quite well.
I've been with Swalec for about 15 years now. I did once decide to change suppliers but reverted back when I kept getting estimated bills. As a company Swalec supply both gas and electricity and are part of the Scottish energy chain. Overall they have been pretty good to me so I won't comment on any bad reviews I've heard about them. Also, they have recently given their intention to hike up energy prices by 9% on the electricity and 18% on gas. I was horrified, where would I get the money to pay the extra bills? I am on very low benefits. I get incapacity benefit and a small amount of income support in the form of a disability premium but I lose much of that because I get a higher amount of Incapacity money as I have this on my paid stamps. It is a little confusing, but for people like me I'm sure they will understand this calculation.
Incapacity Benefit is paid for someone who is too ill to work and is paid at two rates.
One is just over £90 and is paid weekly to people who have paid enough national insurance stamps to qualify without means testing.
The second rate is about £60 and is means tested.
If you have a disability (I qualify for the lower rate of Disability living allowance for mobility purposes), then there is a top up payment of about £25 and this is means tested income support. It's this premium that's so important to my review.
For about two years Swalec have run a scheme that is government backed for people who struggle with paying utility bills and have ill health. It worked out that customers were charged 20% less on their gas and electric units used. It proved a big help to me but last winter's bills were naturally high with the terrible winter we had in Wales (along with the rest of the country). This scheme run out in April of this year and I got a letter saying that I would still qualify for a £100 at the end of April 2012 since the other scheme had been scrapped. This seemed okay until the price rises were announce. Still, I hadn't heard of any other supplier who offered lower prices to people under 60 and I'm 59. I resolved to stay with my suppliers since any help was better than none and other suppliers will probably put up their prices soon.
My meters were read on Monday and I was pleased to hear that I was well in credit; enough to compensate for the price rises. I chatted to the meter reader who knew about the old Energycare plus scheme as it was called. I told him it seemed a bit unfair that I'd struggled all winter to keep my bills down by heating just one room. It's a large room with two radiators, but he was concerned that I'd struggle again this year. He then said he thought there might be something different to help with the bills, but I thought it was the £100 credit mentioned, that would be added to my bill at the end of the year. As he wasn't sure he called the office and arranged for an advisor to come and see me today.
We went through the different tariffs and he confirmed that there was help available. I answered some questions, went though my benefit details and discovered that I qualified for a one-off payment of 120 at the end of the financial year. Also, they now run a 'tracker tariff', which promises to charge 2%, lower than the new charges. Would I be interested? Of course I would. I didn't go into details but I believe this is open to all Swalec customers; it's certainly worth checking.
But what if energy prices dropped? Then the tracker will be 2% lower still even if prices drop a lot. I haven't had the paperwork yet, but I cannot see any hitches to that. I'll certainly add to the review if it isn't as good as it seems to be.
My advisor then checked out my lighting and asked if I had enough of the energy saving light bulbs, which I'd received from them. I did, but there are some lighting systems in my home that doesn't use the standard bayonet bulbs. I have two up lighters with three candle bulbs. I tried ordinary energy saving ones but they were too heavy. Although Swalec don't provide these free of charge, I can get some at various discount stores and since I have trouble standing on ladders to change the bulbs, he said just give him a call and he will come out and change them for me. They even will pay for the call!
I'm so relieved that I'm not only in credit, but that I don't have to increase my monthly payments. I could have decreased them slightly, but I want to stay in credit. This year I'm not going to shiver under a blanket, I will still read my meters and check what I'm using, but I have always been careful of that anyway.
Knowing I have someone to call is also a bonus. I have the advisor's card and sure enough the card says the following: -
Always happy to help you, your family and community with:
Energy tariff Information
Energy Efficiency advise
Energy saving devices
Obviously this won't help everyone, but it does put a different face on the prospect of winter fuel bills. I do hope this helps anyone like me. Just call up your local supplier and see what they advice, or check the online sites, though they won't know your own personal details. Maybe other companies help like this. I can't praise the advisor more and the meter reader who did more than his job, he listened and acted on it.
15.10 I just had a letter from Swalec today confirming that they are paying me a loyalty 'bonus' into my account, but it will be put in next week instead of April. Maybe it's a goodwill gesture because of all the media fuss, but I'd like to think they are helping me through the winter months. I will now have 100 pounds in my account before the bad weather that's been forecast. Thank you Swalec.
I have just recently moved house, which as anyone who has done this knows it is one of the most stressful things known to man! The new home I am now renting has both its Gas and electric supplied by a company called Swalec. I had never heard of them until finding out that to switch to manweb (Scottish power) at my new address I would first have to contact my current supplier to tell them I was changing supplier. And also obviously to sort out payment details in the meantime. So duly I ring Swalec, I tell them my meter readings and that my electricity meter is a token meter and that the gas meter isn?t. Problem number 1. They think my gas meter is a Quantum (card) meter. I am told not to worry that someone will sort it out 3 days later, lo and behold a letter drops through my new front door from Swalec not a new card for my electricity meters, as I expected, oh no, a card for my gas meter. A gas meter which has no slot to place a card in. Once more I ring Swalec (oh and by the way the call is free so I guess that?s a plus) to tell them about my meter, I am told yet again not to worry it?ll be sorted out, oh and yes we?ll issue you another electric card whilst we?re at it. A couple of days later the electricity left on my meter is getting low, so I ring again, listen to another round of ?love, love me do? then speak to another customer advisor, who gives me a number to use temporarily to purchase my electric. I was asked if I had received my gas card, so I told them yes and yet again explained how my meter wasn?t a quantum meter. I gave the lady all the information off the gas meter and was told the gas was on and it would be sorted out immediately. Off to the shop I pootle to purchase £10 worth of electricity tokens, only to have it gobbled up by the last tenants debt, I ring my landlord who tells me that manweb (the local supplier) should have sent an engineer out to swap over the meter
. So I once again ring good old Swalec, give them my electricity meter readings (again) and I am told I will have the £10 debt refunded to me as 2 £5 electric tokens. 3 days later I receive a letter from Swalec, again not an electricity card but a request for info about my gas meter, the same info I have told over the phone twice to the nice people of Swalec. So guess what? That?s right I ring Swalec (I know have their number tattooed onto my memory) listen to a bit more of ?love, love me do? until I eventually get to talk to a voice. Apparently the cards can take up to 10 days, so I should wait a little longer for my card, as for the refund tokens I was promised, well they hadn?t been sent and wouldn?t be sent. I was confused, so the girl explained to me that I couldn?t have a token refund I could have a refund with my quarterly statement in the form of a cheque. Before I could point out I wasn?t going to be their customer still in 3 months time she hastily put me on hold whilst she found out if I could get my refund sooner. More ?love, love me do?. I can have my refund as son as they get the shops record of my purchase. I should ring back Friday and I?d be told then what was happening. What a palaver. Not one of the customer service person?s I spoke to had a clue what they were on about, I swear that they were just making it all up as they went along. Ok credit where its due they were polite and courteous but I really can?t say any of them were particularly helpful. On top of all this my electricity is costing me a fortune! I am using approximately £1.20 of credit a day, compared to around 75p, which I usually pay with manweb. Ok so this is a slightly larger house, however it does not have the same number of electrical appliances as my old address had. I dread to think how much my gas bill will be when it eventual arrives! This is my own personal experience, apparently there are w
ays you can save money with swalec, and I however have not found them! My advice is to think carefully before changing your gas and electricity suppliers, do lots of research and do not commit to anything you are not fully sure about. You may be stuck with a bad deal for up to 12 weeks whilst you change supplier because it takes that long for the paperwork to be sorted out. Based on my own experience I can heartily say Swalec Stink!
I live in Wales and have used SWALEC for my electricity since I moved into my first place. I have recently transferred my gas to them as well to gain both the financial advantage as well as the admin benefits of using the same company. They handled the transfer process very well, and no direct debit problems (which I did expect to be honest). I do constantly check I am getting the best deal – which I am. Try the service it is first rate.