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Bitter experience has taught me never to trust Shell Energy

By John Donovan

I first heard from a very disgruntled Shell Energy customer, Mr John Wood, in 2019.

John was one of the people who encouraged me to launch the

Extracts from the file of emails he sent to Shell Energy in 2019 about his particular issues with the company are printed below. They include a long list of repeated apologies he received from Shell.

John was therefore delighted and greatly relieved when his nightmare contractual relationship with Shell Energy came to an end.

Unfortunately, his celebrations were short-lived. The company he switched to went bust and without his permission or consent the energy regulator switched his account back to Shell.

Shell Energy, a company he had come to despise, was forced on him.

He soon discovered that Shell Energy is, if nothing else, consistent i.e. consistently incompetent and unscrupulous.

This is John’s January 2022 review of Shell Energy after catching the company out substantially overcharging him for energy supply:

What an absolute shambles Shell still is, clearly nothing has changed and despite all the criticism they still intend to do things “their way”. It’s a good job that previous experience has taught me never to trust Shell, because if I had accepted their word I’m sure I would still be over £100 out of pocket.

Nothing has changed, Shell are still dishonest crooks trying to cheat their customers…

Extracts from emails John Wood sent to Shell Energy in 2019


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 procrastinate, 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 to you.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 issued by Shell Energy are extracted:


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


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…


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


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


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.


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


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


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


Please accept my apologies for the delay.

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


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


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


I’m very sorry…


I am very sorry…


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.

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