Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Energy suppliers equal robber barons?

I mentioned back in August about switching electricity suppliers for a vacant unit. they sent us the bill for the remaining time between the switch 14th July until 13th August, which we duly paid as quickly as possible, last month we get a call from a financial service asking why we haven't paid. "We have" I stated and gave them the invoice number and amount. "No this is a different bill, I'll fax it across".

Yep this is for 14th August until the 31st and of course this one has been sent to the vacant property (unlike the first one). A quick call to our new supplier and they took over on the 13th September; so we owe the old one some money, which we pay. I then mention that they should get back to the company and have them send the bills to the correct address like they did before otherwise we're going to get another call.

Just before 5pm yesterday I get a call from this same company with yet another bill. I sigh and ask them to fax it over, I read it and blink at the total, I check the rates and blink, then the dates and blink. Firstly the previous two bills had a standing charge rate of just over 25p per day, this bill has one of just over 190p per day; and they're also charging from 14th July to the 12th September. So they're trying to charge us for the same 49 days, but at seven times the cost.

The amusing thing (in the not laughing sense) is that I've not spoken to anyone who has a good word for energy companies - everyone has at least one tale of woe spread over multiple companies.

[Update - closer inspection of the latest invoice reveals a different account number, same supply number though. So it looks like they've tried to open a brand new account and back-dated it. I now await feedback from them]


Anonymous said...

Did you hear the one about the women who got charged £52,000 for 6 months' electricity in her normal 3-bedroom house?

(I suspect the wires to your house would have to be slowing red hot to supply that many units of power in such a short space of time…)

Obviously, once the BBC became involved, the supplier quickly decided that no, she doesn't in fact owe all this money. But can you imagine the shock of opening your mail one day and seeing a number like that? Dear God!

Less drastic but still amusing, the guy who received a final demand for £0.00. In the end, the only way he could get them to shut up was to pay them a cheque for £0.00 (which the helpful people at the bank actually had trouble processing).

And they say programming in C doesn't cause problems? :-P

FlipC said...

"Did you hear the one about the women who got charged £52,000 for 6 months' electricity in her normal 3-bedroom house?"

Yeah, I've also heard first-hand about a block of flats where everyone was wired into the same meter. Another where a meter was reconnected, they didn't take an initial reading, then promptly forgot about it for a couple of years before trying to drop a huge estimated bill on the owners.

And finally a business that had it's own substation. They contacted the energy company to pick up their boards (after removing their own stuff), which they duly did only to be contacted the next week threatening them with charges for the boards that hadn't returned.

"they were you came and picked them up",
"Did we? We've no record of that",
"I handed them over myself",
"Oh. Then where are they?"