A bereaved retiree has hit out after being denied access to £250 worth of energy credit for months - because it was in his late wife's name. Michael Wright, 64, lost Sally Wright, 60, in November last year.
Grieving, it was left to him to get the family affairs in order - including sorting out the energy bills. But Michael, from Leicester ran into problems with ScottishPower - finding out there was £250 in energy credit he couldn't access.
The account had been in Sally's name and he was told she would have to sign forms - despite being dead. The energy firm has since apologised, issued a refund and a further goodwill payment.
Michael said: "I switched providers after moving house when my wife died. ScottishPower owed me £250 in credit, but wouldn't transfer it unless my wife, who was the account holder, signed something.
"Well how was she supposed to do that when she passed away last year?" The couple were ScottishPower customers for around eighteen months before Sally died of a heart attack.
Michael then moved from their home in Derbyshire to a flat in Leicestershire to be closer to his family, and filed to close the account - which was in his wife's name. He is now an EDF energy customer - but was owed £250 in credit from ScottishPower that was remaining in Sally's account.
While dealing with the death of his wife, Michael was repeatedly trying to contact their customer service to access the money. He claims he spent hours on hold and was unable to speak to a real person through their online chat.
The dad-of-five believes they fobbed him off for weeks before sending him an email stating they needed Sally's' signature to authorise the credit transaction. Michael, a retired warehouse worker, said: "Originally we were with British Gas, but ScottishPower kept sending someone round to get us to switch.
"We eventually did, and everything was fine until Sally died. She was the account holder, and when I moved to be closer to my family, I had to close my account with them.
"I submitted all the paperwork and sent them countless emails - but never got any confirmation of the account closure. I was chasing them to transfer £250 credit, which I knew was left on our account, to my meter in my new home.
"They fobbed me off for weeks, until sending me an email saying I needed Sally to give her signature to allow me access to the credit. It was extremely frustrating. They knew that Sally has passed, and I was supposed to speak to one of their bereavement officers who never called.
"I know it's only £250, but it's enough electrics for the whole year in my new flat. Plus, on principle, it wasn't t their money; it was ours, and I was entitled to have it back."
A ScottishPower spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for the issues Mr Wright had when trying to close down the previous energy account and arrange a refund. His experience does not reflect the level of service we aim to provide – especially at such a difficult time. We have now closed down the account and issued a refund for the credit balance, with a further goodwill payment in recognition of the service received and any distress caused.”