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Government Electric Credit Gone to SEE Airtricity Instead of Electric Ireland

  • 10-11-2022 5:55pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭

    Bit of a story to this post.

    I signed up with Panda Electric in Sept 2021. I found the bills high so I decided to switch to Electric Ireland (EI) in June 2022.

    Everything was going fine with EI. I got an email from SSE Airtricity (SSEA) 6th Oct saying: Thanks for making the switch to SSE Airtricity. To make sure your switch goes as smoothly as possible, please check that your details are correct, especially your supply address and Direct Debit details.

    I thought this must have been spam/fraudulent and so I just ignored it. However, when I logged into my EI account a week or two later I noticed that I had incurred a cancellation fee on 13th Oct. I put 2 and 2 together and realised that the SSEA mail wasn't fraudulent.

    So I contacted EI and tried to figure out what was going on. Turns out SSEA must have taken my details from Panda Electric, including by bank account details, and set up a direct debit. Another email to SSEA to find out what was going on and they told the switch was completed on 22nd Sept.

    In the meantime SSEA have got my €200 government electricity credit.

    I spent 55minutes trying to get through to somebody from SSEA just now and ended up leaving my number so hopefully I get a callback from them to sort out this mess. EI told me SSEA will have to refund the €200 into my bank account as they cannot transfer it to EI. I find it unlikely they will actually do this to be honest.

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation I wonder or can they advise on what the best thing is to do?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Airticity would have to give you back the money - they cannot transfer it. Right now they are supplying your power, however.

    You will almost certainly need to get the CRU involved here as that transfer was effectively fraudulent, albeit probably mistake rather than malice and you will want to be transferred back to EI; get the cancellation refunded and so on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Apologies, I didn't clarify in the original post. I managed to cancel the SSEA account and revert back to Electric Ireland. So yes, SSEA will have to give it back but I assume they will have to transfer it as I don't have an account with them. I never wanted one with them in the 1st place.

    Who/what is the CRU?

    If someone had an email address for the accounts department in SSE Airtricity could they post it please? No harm in reaching out to them and seeing can I get anywhere. I already emailed the following but I don't think any of them will be able to do much: [email protected],[email protected],[email protected]

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The Commission for Regulation of Utilities. They will want to know that you have exhausted SSEAs complaints procedure, but my experience is they will exhaust it themselves quite fast.

    There is no method for SSE to transfer the money to EI. It will have to go to you, by EFT or cheque.

    I'd be fishing for that transfer to include compensation for their mistake too; but don't try too hard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Compensation - SERIOUSLY.

    ffs, no wonder we pay so much on insurance when any minor inconvenience is met with a cry for compensation

    The OP ignored an email which would have sorted whatever error was made.

    But compensation????

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Yes. Seriously.

    the OP is having to go through a massive amount of faffery due to utter incompetence by SSE.

    Would you do their admin work for free? It is absolutely not a minor inconvenience - it is going to require hours to sort and is entirely SSEs fault

    They "ignored" an email sent due to someone elses complete and utter cockup; which was unexpected and phrased entirely in the manner of a scam - completely legitimate to ignore. If you acted on such an email send to your work email address you might find yourself doing some very boring IT security training afterwards.

    SSE have a cavalier attitude to customer care and need to financially suffer for it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    sorry, but your posts screams compo culture.

    Maybe I should get compo for a traffic jam caused by an accident, or compo if my water goes off for an hour or compo because it is raining when I want to play golf

    an error was made somewhere. if the op checked the original email it could have been sorted in a minute. But the op ignored it and it escalated

    Now YOU then catastrophise it and make assumptions and tell the op to go the compo route.

    That is ridiculous

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The OP ignored an email that screamed of a scam. It was sent by SSEA in error, bordering on fraud.

    This is SSEAs fault, 100%, and the OP now has piles of work to do to sort it out.

    If you are willing to roll over and accept this sort of stuff, go ahead. But don't expect anyone else to. And your "comparative" examples are the ridiculous thing here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Ok guys just to clarify, the original email looked like a scam to me as I hadn't set up any account with SSE Airtricity hence why I ignored it. Like I ignore spam emails claiming to be PayPal or Amazon and my account requires urgent attention.

    However in this case, Panda Electric (which exited the market in late summer and whom I was with until I switched to EI in June 2022) I think must have given my details to SSEA and they went ahead and closed my Electric Ireland account without my consent. Panda Electric had even given them my IBAN which is a breach of GDP as fair as I'm aware.

    On querying further with SSEA they came back with the below:

    Thanks for your email. I can see your sign up was fully cancelled on the 27/10/22 and your supply has remained with your previous supplier.

     On viewing your account, there are no government credits logged on it.

     Unfortunately we had a system issue that lead to a delay in adding the government credits to customer accounts.

    These credits have only been added since the 07/11/22.

     My advice would be to contact Electric Ireland to query the €200 credit.

     If you have any other questions please let me know as I am happy to help.

    So I called EI today again and told them the above and they are looking into it. I've also emailed SSEA again to double check they haven't received my electricity credit. I won't be looking for compensation but it certainly is time consuming and one could argue I should have done more due diligence on the 1st email I received from SSEA but you don't expect to have your account switched without having the process initiated by yourself. Good lesson learned for the future.

    Thanks for the help. Lets not get into an argument over who's right and who's wrong. I'm partially at fault, handsup.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭eeepaulo

    The effective date for the credit is the 27/10/22 whomever you were on-supply with on that day owes you the credit, it is meaningless for the SSEA representative to talk about the 7th november, delayed payments, or 'having viewed your account' it's not there, the government aren't transferring the money to your account, they are taking a snapshot of which company you are with on that date and paying them, in order to pay you, regardless whether you close your account or move or move in somewhere new, you are entitled to the credit from them if you had an account on the 27/10.

    These companies work with ESB market messaging, its a series of codes that are sent and received to each other via ESB networks that show things like request to take over supply, accepting it, coming on supply / rejecting coming on supply, even things like meter readings. Those codes are needed to tell which company has received the credit from the government for you.

    The email on 6th october was the initial request from SSEA, you were certainly on supply with SSEA on the 13th, that's why you got the early exit fee, they wouldn't have charged you that until you were on supply with SSEA. The email says - I can see your sign up was fully cancelled on the 27/10/22 - That is probably where the confusion is if the takeover was rejected (EI sent a message for you to return to them) and that executed on the 27/10 who knows which company has been given the credit? The rep in the email certainly hasn't a notion.

    I would be asking each company to look at esb messaging and tell you the times and dates you were on supply with each one. Normally with these sort of transfers the companies have processes to work out the billing amongst themselves (you dont get a bill if you sign up to a new company then cancel within 14 days, although you can be on supply with that new company) See what they say.

    Can i just say this is absolutely not your fault, even partly, you should not be expected to police an unauthorised company taking over your supply, if you'd caught it, fair play, but it just isnt, i think it would be entirely reasonable for you to request compensation as suggested above, depending how much time it takes to resolve, although as was suggested don't push too hard, also the fact that SSEA can take over a customer who is not on supply with panda shows a glaring hole in the process, that should not be allowed to occur because of user error, it should be foolproof, they should be given a list of only customers on supply with panda, how many other people have they transferred incorrectly, DPA is certainly an issue. I think the CRU should be informed regardless of the outcome.

  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭ClmAlfie

    On my Airtricity bill, there is a payment of 59e for customer support.

    Do anyone know what this is. I have tried to ring them about it and failed to get through. Have sent a message and waiting to hear back

    I hope that's not a payment I have to pay after the 200 payment I got from the government!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Here's the latest update. @eeepaulo looks like you're right about the "The effective date for the credit is the 27/10/22 whomever you were on-supply with on that day owes you the credit".

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭eeepaulo

    Good stuff, it might not be SSEA that have your credit but at least it's with someone who understands what the issue is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,442 ✭✭✭✭Mr. CooL ICE

    I have heard of 3rd party sales reps (door to door,or otherwise) working on behalf of these supplier companies going rogue and just signing up random MPRNs, collecting the commission and then buggering off before the supplier(s) and customers have realised what has happened. Not saying that's what happened here, but it is surprisingly easy to get transferred to a new supplier without your own input.

    As for the IBAN; I don't see how SSEA would have gotten it from Panda. Anybody with half a brain knows that shouldn't happen.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal

    If Panda did provide the IBAN then this would be a data incident by Panda and a complaint should be lodged about them, it seems unlikely though that this occurred.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,442 ✭✭✭✭Mr. CooL ICE

    Yep. There'd most likely a perfectly logical explanation as to how SSEA got the IBAN details. The OP most likely made a leap while omitting something important.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    SSEA are going to refund me is the final outcome as the credit was applied to them. Hasn't happened as of yet but got 2 calls on the same day from them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Nothing happening on this yet. Emailed SSEA yesterday for an update.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Got the below reply today despite 2 fellas calling me on the same day a few weeks back saying I would be refunded.

    Lessons learned: Get everything in writing. How does one go about going through the small claims court again? I did it once before with O2 after a phone went kaput after a few weeks. Was the only way to get a refund from them & I'm thinking the same will apply here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭StrawbsM

    I’m going through an issue too regarding the government credit. What you need to do is ring ESB Networks and give them your MPRN. They will confirm who the credit was sent to.

    Then ring the regulator (CRU) and explain the issue. If like me, they will tell you that it has to go through the official complaints procedure of the service provide first before it can be escalated to them. But they took my email and then sent me all the details of who I needed to contact along with a link to the service providers customer charter.

    ESB Networks 1800 372757

    CRU 01 400 0800

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Thanks @StrawbsM I'm pretty sure I have already rang ESB networks and they have verified they have not received the credit but I can't remember.

    I've emailed ESB Networks ( asking them was it SSEA or EI that got my €200 credit. I wonder what to do in the event none of them received it.

    I've also emailed CRU ( so hopefully I hear back from them soon.

    Post edited by pprendeville on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭StrawbsM

    ESB Networks are not a utility provider but they do have the list of where every MPRN government credit went to. Give them a call, they’re lovely and they will have your answer in seconds. They have nothing to hide so won’t be fobbing you off

    edit - you are confusing esb networks with electric Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭StrawbsM

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    I got onto CRU who said the following: In relation to your ongoing issue with receiving the €200 Government Credit, when you had contacted ESB Networks (ESBN), whichever supplier they confirmed you were a registered account holder on the 27th October 22, would be the supplier responsible for the credit.

    ESB networks they told me that "according to their information, the 27th October credit was allocated to Airtricity".

    So I've reached out to SSEA and made a formal complaint (stated this in the subject line). This type of arsing around is potentially what drives people to compensation claims. Thanks again for the tip-off @StrawbsM. I expect this will rumble on a while yet but I'm making progress albeit slow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,879 ✭✭✭pprendeville

    Result at long last. Kudos to @StrawbsM or I'd probably still be writing emails for the next few months.

    So lesson learned here (and for anyone else in the same situation) is to go to the ESB Networks & find out who was supplying the electricity. Then issue a Formal Complaint to that supplier.