Get Advice

There are various organisations that can give you free money and benefit advice in Scotland. Some of these are Citizen Advice Bureaus, some are local authority service and some are independent advice services.

Below is a list of of organisations you can contact locally and nationally. It is not an exhaustive list of organisations. Other organisations may include your local housing association.

Local Authority Area

Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire
Angus
Argyll and Bute
Clackmannanshire
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Dumfries and Galloway
Dundee
East Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire
East Lothian
East Renfrewshire
Edinburgh
Falkirk
Fife
Glasgow
Highlands 
Inverclyde
Midlothian 
Moray
North Ayrshire
North Lanarkshire
Orkney
Perth and Kinross
Renfrewshire
Scottish Borders
Shetland
South Ayrshire
South Lanarkshire
Stirling
West Dunbartonshire
West Lothian

 

Housing Advice

Shelter

Telephone: 0808 800 4444

Website

Comments

  1. Shona

    I have been having problems with my energy company. Since 2017 I’ve had no issues with them, until this year when I tried to get my credit reimbursed. I checked their reviews and they’re now at 2 stars on Google reviews and 3.5 on Trust Pilot.

    My refund has now failed 5 times and they keep making ridiculous excuses. So, I cancelled my direct debit which worked in the sense that they have started emailing me directly (though, despite my requests, they haven’t called me back or put my through to management when I call them) . They then argued that they cannot refund unless I have an active DD, saying they cannot access my bank account any other way. They have since changed their mind (again – they have u-turned on a lot of things!), telling me I will be refunded in 3, 5, 10 or 15 days (this varies). In addition, they want to refund me random amounts (the latest was £100, a fraction of what is due to me). Everything I’ve read (legally) suggests I need to keep paying my direct debit and fight but I’m reading reviews where customers have switched suppliers and are owed up to £1k and haven’t heard anything from the energy company for 6+ months. It feels like I’ll just be literally giving them money, I have no hope of receiving a refund and want to just cut my losses. As it stands, I have enough credit in my account to potentially last 8 months. But since cancelling my direct debit, they are threatening to put me on a higher tariff, which is approximately double.

    I have started the process with the Ombudsman, but it’s a long process to getting refunded and financially I am in a precarious situation as a result of the pandemic. It’s clear the company is struggling.

    Where do I sit, legally with cancelling my direct debit and asking them to deduct my direct debit from my credit until it is resolved or balanced? Will this impact my credit rating?

    I’m not sure if you publish this information but the energy company is Tonik. They are based in Birmingham but the call centre suggests they are further away.

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Shona

      This sounds really bad the way you are being treated and on top of that, what is exacerbating matters is your supplier appears to have very poor customer service, making it hard for you to get a resolution.
      There are obviously a number of issues here. First how you ended up in a credit in the first place, why you don’t appear to be able to get a refund and their treatment of you throughout this process.
      If you don’t want to pay by Direct Debit, thaf is fine, however, the problem is alot of the tariffs you get access to lower prices through, require you to have a direct debit set up, so my cancelling it, the Firm appears to be saying they are taking you off that tariff.
      The Problem is I totally understand why you don’t want a direct debit set up as this firm should not be making monthly deductions whilst you have a credit. They should be offsetting your credit against your bill. They, however, are not allowed to just hold onto that credit for that purpose, it is your money, you dont owe them it, so it should be refunded.
      All I would say is taking this to the Ombudsman is the correct thing, but it does take time and you understandable want a resolution.
      Have you considered switching suppliers? You are in credit, you have no arrears. This doesn’t stop you pursuing your complaint and also demanding your fund back? Is there a penalty? There can be sometimes if you are in a fixed price deal, but it doesn’t sound like you are.
      The only additional advice I would give is contact the Citizen Advice Consumer Helpline, if you haven’t already.

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