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Shell Energy Beware

The above extracts are from Trustpilot, Facebook Group: Shell Energy (formerly First Utility) – the worst customer service ever?? and First Utility Reviews

The Shell Energy gripe website is being launched in response to consumer horror stories involving debt collectors and bailiffs, with complaints posted online by outraged Shell Energy customers like the damning examples quoted in the above header.

By John Donovan

Shell and its shareholders will not welcome the news that I am launching another website later this month focussed on Shell. This time the target is Shell Energy, a global brand of rapidly growing importance and value to the parent company – Royal Dutch Shell Plc – in its quest to move away from an increasingly toxic fossil fuel-based business. Part of the gathering flight of ethical investors deserting Big Oil, in Shell’s case a transition into becoming a global energy and broadband company, instead of a dying oil giant.

Shell lawyers will not be pleased by the Shell Energy website domain name I have secured or the possibility that some consumers may wrongly assume that it is a Shell website. However, there is nothing Shell can do about it in the context of being a gripe website.

To counter any possible confusion, it will feature a permanent prominent disclaimer making it plain that it is not a Shell website. In any event, visitors will quickly realise that the content of the website would never be published by Shell.

The Shell Energy gripe website is being launched in response to consumer horror stories involving debt collectors and bailiffs, with complaints posted online by outraged Shell Energy customers like the damning examples quoted in the above header.

Emails recently began to arrive drawing my attention to the flood of online complaints about Shell Energy. Serious allegations which, if justified, suggest a toxic business culture totally at odds with Shell’s claimed business principles, which supposedly include core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.

I have seen numerous Shell Energy written apologies to individual customers but the company continues to make consumers lives miserable, with one desperate person apparently even driven to contemplating suicide.

The emails I received led me to look further and I discovered facebook group pages and online reviews with numerous negative comments about the integrity and competence of Shell Energy in the UK. Extracts from some of the more outspoken comments are featured in the header image of this article.

The negative reviews were mainly detailed and extensive while the positive tend to be brief and have the hallmarks of fake reviews.

See the illuminating Which Report: “How to spot a fake review“. 

Extracts:

Fake online reviews appear to be by a genuine customer, but are actually paid for by the seller – unlike real product reviews.

Often the seller gives away their product to the reviewer for free to review it. They might also pay the person to write a review.

Positive reviews are very important for marketplace sellers as potential customers are more likely to buy something if others have bought and enjoyed it.

Which report Extracts end

For an example of Shell’s unethical track record on dealing with criticism, see “How Wikipedia articles are corrupted by unscrupulous parties like Shell…

I also read another recent Which report – “The worst energy firms for responding to customers“.

Extract:

You phone your energy company to try and sort out an issue and wait on hold for several minutes, only for the line to go dead. This is the frustrating situation we encountered when phoning some energy companies in our snapshot investigation. The worst culprits for dropped calls were Avro Energy, Green Network Energy and Shell Energy.

Trustpilot

It is notable on the Trustpilot website that almost 20% of the reviews for Shell Energy fall within the categories of Poor or Bad (14%)

Shell Energy is ranked 35 out of 42 in the category Electric utility company

Shell Energy is ranked 32 out of 39 in the category Gas company

EXAMPLES OF EMAILS RECEIVED

(1) From Ian, 5 December 2019

Hi John,

I came about your site by accident.

I belong to a group of over 1000 consumers whom have been severely out-manoeuvred by Shell-Energy ( formerly First Utility ). Over 50,000 Consumers were duped into joining a company to supply home energy, aiming to be different.

The sting in the tail was they were!, increasing charges by over 60% in some cases, under the pretence of a Price Promise and aptly named ISAVEeveryday tariff.

Since its purchase by Shell Energy, the company have made no efforts to help any of us. The industry is totally self-regulating in dealing with individual consumers, we are at the mercy of them.

I am at the stage of giving up!, but why should I let them get away with it. One of our members contemplated suicide.

Let me know if you would like to feature us.

Thanks

Ian

(2) From John: 12 Dec 2019

Extracts from emails John sent to Shell Energy:

25/09/19

If you and/or (REDACTED) send any correspondence in order to obtain a court warrant (to use forced entry or not) in the name of the previous occupier, M/s (REDACTED), thereby knowingly depriving me of advanced notice of any court proceedings, this shall be regarded as fraud, which is a criminal offence.

You should know that I am a Pensioner, vulnerable, disabled and in poor health, which is the my reason for requesting a visit from one of your own staff by appointment.

04/10/19

After all, I would remind you that you can unlawfully send three big men to threaten to smash down my front door to force entry, so I am sure you can send someone from your own staff to mutually resolve the issues which are as much in your interests as it is mine.

04/10/19

With regard to your veiled threat that “you will have a large bill produced from when you moved in until present.” I would respectfulness draw your attention to Ofgem’s advice as per the the document just forwarded.

I reiterate that I am prepared and in fact, very willing to help you resolve this matter, but I must say that the use of illegal, improper tactics and/or unreasonableness will not assist the situation or encourage my cooperation.

11/10/19

You refer to “confusion” which you will now be fully aware is entirely your company’s fault and although you have repeatedly appologized, this in no way absolves you from the extreme inconvenience and stress you have caused, which is also ongoing

When the Bailiff’s you employed said the warrant authorised them to force entry and I confirmed that M/s (REDACTED) was no longer resident, they continued to threaten to break down the door as they claimed the warrant was in the name of the occupier. I believe that was totally untrue and dishonest of them to make such improper and unlawful threats. Now you appear to be threatening me in a similar manner, which is causing further unnecessary stress.

15/10/19

The delays you cause, create more upset, anxiety and stress than should be necessary. In spite of your repeated appolgies, you continue to disregard our feelings, and your responsibilities as in fact your company have done consistently throughout this entire matter, which is completely unfair and unreasonably. Appologies are worthless, all we want is a fair, urgent resolution, including a compensation allowance for your company’s atrocious incompentences and failings, now and historically.

At this stage, I will repeat and emphasize that this entire state of affairs can only be attributed to ineptitude and gross incompetence solely accountable to your company. This incidently can easily be substatiated, if necessitated by your threatened further legal action…

Being registered members and signatories to Ofgem’s code of conduct, you of all people must know the rules and moreover, your clear binding obligations. Your attempt to mislead in this respect alone, is nothing short of a disgrace. In fact, I regard it as deliberate deception and tantamount to trickery and fraud.

For that very reason, any further flood of questioning, aimed to procastrinate, confuse events, threats of legal proceedings, warrants, lies by yourselves and/or your debt collecting agents etc will no longer be entertained, and in fact, will immediately be reported to the appropriate authorities, without further reference toyou.

The time has now come for YOU to start co-operating, please STOP the threats and now begin to make amends for creating this disgraceful state of affairs.

16/10/19

At last I seem to have someone who is willing to explain and answer “some” of my questions, instead of threatening me with Court Warrants and Bailiffs, which has frankly caused my wife and I to go into mental meltdown. You have no idea of the stress and consequences you have caused.

I have no wish to speak to you on the telephone, because I do not feel confident when you have proven that you don’t listen, just interrogate and adopt bullying tactics.

I have noted your confirmation that (REDACTED) are not in fact Enforcement Agents or bailiffs and therefore in light of the CAB advice it is evident that they and your company by association have committed a serious criminal offence.

I refer again to Ofgem’s code of conduct (to which I know you have subscribed)
that energy companies cannot backbill for more than 12 months. In light of your previous unethical and unlawful threats, I will not, personally answer anymore questions until I receive confirmation from you that you will abide to that rule.

31/10/19

Your repeated appologies for the stress and consequences you say you have caused us and moreover, your feeble and insincere assurances that you have our best interests at heart have patently proved worthless. To the contrary you have made absolutely no effort throughout to help our situation or reduce the emotional distress caused by yourselves. You have absolutely no conception of the severe suffering you have caused, needlessly increased by your deliberately prolonging this nightmare, leading to even more mental stress, anxiety and worry.

04/11/19

The officers stated that they held a magistrates court order which entitled forced entry by breaking down the door which was totally untrue. This disgonest and disgraceful behaviour must contravene all your indusries standards, especially when elderly, infirmed and disabled occupants are involved.

14/11/19

Email to Andy Eadle, Director of Customer Service, Shell Energy

In addition to all my other health issues, yesterday I was diagnosed with heart atrial fibrillation, likely to have been brought on by the stress and anxiety your company has caused and now I am having to take daily medication to reduce blood clotting to avoid posssible strokes.

The officers stated that they held a magistrates court order which entitled forced entry by breaking down the door which was totally untrue. This disgonest and disgraceful behaviour must contravene all your indusries standards, especially when elderly, infirmed and disabled occupants are involved.

22/11/19

This started with the awful, disgraceful visit and unlawful threats made by your debt collecting agents, (REDACTED) and subsequently continued with your inefficient and shameful behaviour, all of which has resulted in our extreme stress, anxiety (physically impacting upon our health and well being) and severe inconvenience since.

In conclusion, I offered you a final opportunity to resolve the complaint fairly and reasonably, particularly the matter of compensation and you have declined. Consequently, I shall now escalate the case to the Ombudsman, which I have already prepared ready for sending. I will also inform you when I have nominated and arranged a new energy supplier.

05/12/19

Despite your assurance, I have today received ab email from Octopus advising me that you have refused to allow the switch to them.

Consequently, I have sent a further complaint to the Ombudsman, asking them to instruct you to approve the switch without delay.

John kindly supplied a 74-page file of emails from which the following repeated apologies to him from Shell Energy are extracted:

26/09/19

We would like to sincerely apologise for the poor level of service you’ve described in your email.

04/10/19

Firstly, may I offer you my personal apologies for the poor level of service that you have described in your email. As your complaint case handler, it is now my responsibility to carry out a full investigation into the matters raised and provide you with a satisfactory resolution.

I am really sorry…

I am really sorry…

11/10/19

I think there has been some confusion therefore Please accept my apologies…

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused to you and if we can arrange to speak that would be great

16/10/19

Thank you in advance and once again apologies for the confusion.

16/10/19

I understand that you wish to speak with me in regards to the concerns you have raised. Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the poor service you have experienced to date.

22/10/19

I’m very sorry for the stress and consequences we have caused.

30/10/19

Once again please accept my apologies for any inconvenience cause to you by Shell energy.

13/11/19

As a further apology, I would be willing to remove…

13/11/19

Please accept my apologies for the delay.

Thank you for your patience and please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused to you.

14/11/19

I understand that there have been issues our side which I do apologise for…

14/11/19

I am truly sorry for the poor service you have received to date.

20/11/19

I’m very sorry…

21/11/19

I am very sorry…

26/11/19

I am really sorry that we were unable to resolve this for you and please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused to you by Shell Energy.

(3) From Val: 9 Dec 2019

Dear Sir

I don’t know if you are the right contact. But I have had the worst experience with your energy company. In October 2017 you tried to install a smart meter it wouldn’t connect to my internet. The guy came back next day to try again but again wouldn’t connect. You put a different meter in, which already had a reading on it. I emailed and telephoned customer service to tell them. After a few months I phoned to ask what about meter readings I went on line and sent it but it wouldn’t accept it. So for months I telephoned shell holding on sometimes over half an hour. Still no help. Time went on and after nearly 12 months no solution. Again I kept phoning. Sometimes giving up because of the wait. By January 2019 I managed to get through to a helpful gentleman who sent someone out to photo the meter again March someone came to photograph the meter. In May I receive a bill saying I was £666 in debt. Even though I paid £100 month. No way would I use that much extra gas. I put a complaint in and was offered £300 goodwill which I accepted as I couldn’t stand this dragging on anymore. I paid a lump sum leaving £200. But I now am left in debt trying to pay my new supplier and finding this amount for you. I have since spoke to a advice centre who said the debt was your fault for not acting immediately. I am now with octopus and paying £100 and £90 in credit looking at your bills the same time of year there must have been a mistake. How can you come back 20 months later and say that £666 is owing when you couldn’t be bothered sorting the meter readings out. Please take the time to look at this apart from having extortionate phone bills contacting you. I was with first utility for years but the minute you mess with my meter this happens

I await your reply

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

1 Comment on “Shell Energy Beware”

  1. #1 John
    on Dec 13th, 2019 at 18:34

    The most unscrupulous company I have had the misfortune to deal with

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