Energy MadnessPosted: Sat 14 February, 2015
Since moving to the new (current) place, I’ve had an ongoing (and too depressing for words) set of issues and disputes with nPower. These have included, but not limited to
- Not having the correct name on the account for eighteen months, despite repeated requests to change it
- Losing documentary proof (including my tenancy agreement) of my address. Originals were insisted upon, sent recorded delivery, signed for, and then lost. Hard to place blame anywhere except nPower
- Billing issues – my bills went up, down, sideways, and every way except correctly
- Misrepresentation – sending a meter reader into my house under the guise of being someone to do ‘legal gas meter checks’. (This was also while the bill/account was in the wrong name, so there was also some issues legally around that)
- A meter reading done by a representative of nPower, who then managed to register that reading to a completely different address, and denied ever having done one for this house. (Despite his having done readings/visits recorded to every other house in my block at the same time)
So it’s fair to say that I regard nPower as incompetent useless dickwhistles at the best of times.
Today, though, has taken it to a whole new level.
Things have settled down somewhat, and on Tuesday I gave them a meter reading directly through the website. At that point, my account was £1.62 in credit. Happy day, all well and good.
Today I logged in for a quick check. £595.82 in credit. Um, what? So I look, and it’s got four cancelled bills, adding up to the amount in credit. Four bills I’ve received, and paid. Now cancelled. File under “Fuck, What The”
So I gave them a call. The first incompetent managed to put the phone down on me. So I called back, and finally got through to one of the (few) efficient and competent individuals who work at nPower. (I’m quite sure she won’t last long, having been actually pleasant and competent)
It turns out that – once in receipt of a valid meter reading – nPower cancel out all the estimated bills back to the previous correct reading. They then recalculate all those bills with the correct figures (although technically they must still be estimates of what was used, averaging out the figures over the number of bills) to bring everything back up to date. So for however far back, the bills get cancelled – despite having been printed, posted and paid – and then recreated. Then I’ll know what I need to pay to be up to date.
Except of course that they’ve also got to send out all those new bills. So next week I’m going to get five bills from nPower – the four reconstructed ones – as well as the one to bring me up to date.
Now, I realise that this is something that’s required by the energy regulator – but does it strike anyone else as a completely fucking barking way to run a business?