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Ombudsman (UtilitiesADR) question - what to do if the respondent isn't abiding to the ombudsman's decision?

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Mars
 Mars
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Without getting into specifics, we lodged a formal complaint against E.ON (solar PV installation) earlier this year and in October the determination made by the representative from UtilitiesADR went in our favour. E.ON, however, are not following any of the directives set out by the ombudsman going so far as to say that they do not consider the decision binding which I find baffling given their complaints process says that they will abide to any decision handed down by the ombudsman.

My question is to anyone that has dealt with UtilitiesADR – should we lodge a fresh complaint or is there another avenue to pursue regarding non-compliance? There's no phone number to call, and I've sent them two emails via their contact form but never received a reply. 

Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Jeff
 Jeff
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Doesn't appear to be a lot you can do via the ADR process. I assume you told the ADR you accepted their determination. All that happens is that in theory EON get fined 100 pounds (see below). Perhaps worth informing the ADR and ask them to fine EON. I think the ADR process was part of EU legislation so who knows if it still applies. 

You could try the small claim court. There is a small fee, you don't need a lawyer in theory. 

Jus for info even with the Financial Ombudsman although binding, companies can ignore rulings and then you have to get a court enforcement order as i know from personal experience... 

Small claims if you want to try:

https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees

ADR Determination info:

----

8. Determinations and awards

8.1. The Adjudicator will base his or her decision on i) the facts and supporting documentation
available, ii) the applicable law/regulations and iii) what is fair and reasonable in the
circumstances (“the Determination”).

8.2. Where the Consumer agrees, the Determination becomes binding upon the Trader.

8.3.The Determination is not binding upon the Consumer unless it agrees to accept the
decision. Consumers will be given 7 calendar days to consider and confirm whether they
accept the Determination. If the Consumer fails to confirm its acceptance, it will be
deemed to have rejected the decision.

8.4.Interest will not be added to monetary awards.

8.5.Subscribing Members must make compensation payments within 30 days of the Determination

8.6.Subscribing Members agree to accept a £100.00 fine for failing to comply with the SchemeRules (including refusal to follow an Adjudicator’s Determination) unless the Subscribing Member has a fair and reasonable explanation for such breach.


   
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(@kev-m)
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@editor

https://www.utilitiesadr.co.uk/our-rules-and-constitution/

Mars, have you seen this? It says decisions are legally binding and the member (Eon) can be booted out if they don't comply. 

Have you considered Moneyclaimsonline (aka small claims).  You might have a good case with a utilitiesadr ruling in your favour.


   
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(@derek-m)
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Hi Mars,

Quite some time ago, I bought a reconditioned gearbox for my wife's car at the time. After confirming by phone and e-mail that it was the correct one for the model of car, I was rather annoyed when the local garage tried to fit the gearbox, only to discover that it was the wrong one. Repeated e-mails and telephone calls got no suitable replacement or refund from the vendor, even though I did explain that I would take him to court if necessary.

To cut a long story short, a claim was made through the small claims procedure, which although it took quite a few months before a judgement was made, eventually ruled in our favour. We were not only able to recover the initial cost of the gearbox, but also all the court costs, the cost of the abortive attempt to fit the gearbox at the local garage, and interest on the sums involved based on a fixed formula. So in the end we actually made a small profit. The small claims court route is not that expensive, and it is worth the effort to make it clear to unscrupulous vendors, that they cannot keep treating their customers so badly.

Anyone want to buy a gearbox? 😎 


   
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Mars
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@Jeff, thanks for that. Yes, we accepted the determination, and what's frustrating is that E.ON clearly know the process and how to navigate around it, and just continue to repeat the same old email/message, never addressing the issue at hand. I will investigate small claims court – the thing is, we owe them money, but we think we've been overcharged.

@kev-m, it's one of those tricky ones. The adjudicator ruled in our favour and directed E.ON to show we have not been overcharged, which E.ON are refusing to do, so we just go round and round in circles. I have seen that the ruling is legally binding, but can't find the course of action to take in the event that E.ON don't comply, which they aren't. Would love to see them booted, but it's unlikely they will. I may just lodge another complaint purely based on this latest round of drama.

@derek-m, that's very interesting. Sadly we're not in the market for a gearbox. I guess what we need to figure out is whether we can pursue the small claims route despite us owing E.ON 90% of the money. The time it's with the small claims is therefore irrelevant - they can take a year if they want. E.ON's defensive and uncooperative stance definitely means we've been overcharged. 

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Mars
 Mars
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@kev-m, just went to Money Claims ( https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim) and the first line reads: "You can make a money claim if you think a person or organisation owes you money and will not pay you back." 

This would have been an ideal course of action had we already paid. Since we've withheld payment, I think we'll just have to submit a new complaint to the ombudsman. It's not likely to lead to a resolution given how unflinching E.ON have been to this point, but it'll buy me time to figure out a different course of action.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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(@derek-m)
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@editor 

I thought the ombudsman was supposed to have powers. Have you tried Consumer Protection or Trading Standards? You could also try the journalist Anna Tims, who may be interested in your situation.


   
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Mars
 Mars
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@derek-m, as did I. There just doesn't appear to be a mechanism or course of action to report E.ON for not complying to the decision, so I think the only way forward is to post a new case citing the old case and highlighting E.ON's non-compliance.

No, haven't looked at trading standards or consumer protection. Will look into them this morning.

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Mars
 Mars
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@kev-m, do you know who's responsible for putting the data together in this link you provided? Is it Ofgem or anyone else credible?

https://r6fd51uoetngaqh-db202106081427.adb.uk-london-1.oraclecloudapps.com/ords/r/apex_live/energy-price-calculator/home?session=107701991193293  

 

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(@kev-m)
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@editor 

Mars, it was done by a contributor to the MSE forum.  He says he used the Ofgem data from here

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/default-tariff-cap-level-1-october-2021-31-march-2022

Kev


   
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Mars
 Mars
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I have an update on my complaint with UtilitiesADR.

I was unable to find a way of contacting the ombudsman to complain that E.ON were not being complaint with their decision so I started a new case. I received a message from the administrator saying that they would not be able to open a new case as this was contesting E.ON's non-compliance and was not a "new issue".

I explained in my message back to them my situation and to their credit, they escalated the matter to senior management who were staggered that E.ON were refusing to comply with their decision and have taken this matter up with E.ON's management too. They have given E.ON to the new to comply. We'll see what happens.

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Mars
 Mars
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In the attached document, what does nil kWk mean (when looking at electricity tariffs) and why is the tariff calculated by dividing the sum of money by 3,100kWh - seems like an arbitrary number?

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Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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