In February 2018, Bernard Kennedy, Director of William Wilberforce Care Home, part of Paragon Healthcare unexpectedly started receiving significantly larger invoices from his current electricity supplier, resulting in his care home paying nearly double its typical monthly spend.
With no obvious reason for the significant increases, Bernard wrote numerous letters to the incumbent supplier, as well as other communications, to try and shed light on the situation. This back and forth continued for 16 months, causing considerable stress, anger, time and cost, however, the supplier was adamant that there was not a problem at their end. Bernard also requested the help of his previous broker, however they were also unable to assist other than advising him to engage an electrician to determine where the increase was occurring at source. This however provided no insight whilst entailing further costs. In late 2020, Bernard sought the help of QCG.
From experience, QCG’s analyst suspected it was likely an anomaly in the intricate ‘dataflow’ processes between the energy supplier, the meter operator, distribution network operator and the data collector – the parties allocated to each individual electricity supply in the UK.
Before assuming this to be the case, they went through hundreds of pages of invoices to confirm that there was indeed an anomaly and identified the period that the increase in usage occurred. They then obtained non-issued usage data which pinpointed the anomaly down to the actual half hour on the day in February 2018 that usage started increasing.
Working with the current supplier, they then ruled out a number of other potential causes for what had occurred. QCG’s analyst then instigated an investigation with the meter operator and data collector, an action only possible because the in-depth analysis proved the anomaly existed and was indeed the cause of the issue.
The error occurred back on the 18th Feb, 2018 at 2.30pm where the supplier accidentally started retrieving usage data from a completely different meter, that of another business, for which charges were being applied to the care home.
The situation is now resolved and is no longer a costly burden. Bernard received a full refund of 76k from the supplier, with additional compensation also awarded.
“Given how intricate the problem turned out to be and that neither the supplier or my former broker were able to shed any light on the situation, I may well eventually have just accepted the situation and spent God knows how much on charges not meant for my care home. I’m so grateful that after years of stress and worry about these costs, QCG was able to get to the bottom of the problem in such a short space of time and then recoup the overcharges on my behalf.”
Bernard Kennedy, Director of William Wilberforce Care Home.