Weekend of Quiet – the nPower farce

As I said earlier, the only scheduled thing for the weekend was a visit from Lowri Beck,  the clowns who are nPower’s third-party partner in the area – who needed to check my electricity meter.

Supposedly they legally *have* to do this once a year – and they allege they haven’t been inside my property in four years (i.e. before I even moved in), so it’s hardly a legal requirement in the first place. Saying they haven’t had access is utter bollocks, by the way,  as someone from the company was in there to check the gas one a month ago, and I’ve had people from the same company in to do readings before (except they then lost them, due to being useless cunts)

Anyway, the guy turned up, and in his most helpful manner said “Oooh, that’s not good. How long’s it been doing that?”. To which, of course, I said “Doing what?”, as I’m not a fucking mind-reader, and couldn’t tell you one end of a meter problem from the other.  “That” he says, and points at the meter.  “Go on, give me a clue.”

Turns out, there’s a flashing light that says “I need replacing”. It wasn’t there two weeks ago when I took my own meter reading, but now the clowns are here, we get the full circus lights. *sigh*

So – I now need to get a replacement meter.

But in a fit of truly inspired crap customer service, Lowri Beck’s installers only work Monday to Friday, 9-5. So to get a new meter, I’m going to have to take time off work, costing me money for something that’s entirely not my fault. And nPower won’t offer any alternatives, compensation, or understanding. (Which is no surprise whatsoever)

I’ve got it booked in, but it looks like it may just be time for yet another fight with the asshats at nPower.  Oh goody.


Change is Gonna Come

As per comments on the previous post about my asshole energy suppliers, I will definitely be looking at changing them this year.

However, because of the ongoing billing fuckups, right now I have no decent figures for comparison purposes. I’m sure I’m not getting a good deal from the cockwhistles at nPower, but I don’t actually know for sure how bad the deal is. I haven’t had a clear and accurate bill in nearly three years – which makes figuring anything else out into quite a struggle.

As always, I don’t see the point in changing anything until I know I’m getting a better deal – so for now I’ll be keeping things with nPower.

However, that’s only for the next couple of months, during which time I’ll be keeping an eye on actual usage and what I’m paying. Once I’ve had the next bill, and know more about the usage and expectations, I’ll be able to make a far better estimation of what I’m spending versus what I could/should be spending.

And from that point, I’ll then have to decide whether I’m going to stick with [current location] for at least another year’s tenancy. If I am, and there’s a good offer around, I’ll swap. Until then, it’s going to be about making sure I’ve got the figures to back up the decision one way or t’other…


Energy Madness

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?


Connected? Maybe

Following on from the last couple of posts about my connection, the guy from BT came out today and all seems to be well.

A new master socket appears to have fixed things – which is better than I was expecting. I’d kind of thought it was likely to be a replacement cable, but thankfully that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Of course, time will tell – if we get another weekend of vile weather and the connection starts dropping again, then we’ll be back to Square One.


Connected? Revisited

Back at the start of March, I was having issues with my Broadband connection, which BT was doing a fantastic job of avoiding. Because it would’ve cost me significant amounts of money to take the day off and wait for BT to chuff about investigating. Besides, while the weather’s been fine it hasn’t been that much of a problem.

So I’d postponed the appointment, BT had promised to make it again – and hadn’t. Quelle surprise.

Last week it got worse again – ‘coincidentally’ after it had pissed down with rain – so I got back on to BT. We went through all the rigmarole again, including dealing with similar levels of understanding (or lack thereof) from the first-level support people. It amazes me just how effing dumb their script is, and how incapable they are of deviating from it when they’ve already been given the relevant information.

Still, one conversation with the supervisor/manager later we got progress, and my line being monitored (again) for 24 hours by second-line support.

They’ve called today, and confirmed that (yet again) my line is shit. This time, because I’m working from home, there’s an engineer coming out on Thursday to fix it. There’s still been all the bollocks about “If it’s a fault inside the house you’re liable for it”, but I’m pretty damn sure it’ll turn out to be an external issue. Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough.

And after that I suspect I shall be having words with them about why it’s taken five months to fix a problem that (I predict) required no access at all to my house.


Connected?

Since before Christmas, my broadband connection has been pretty flaky, occasionally cutting out completely and so on. I reported it to BT at the time, and they did fuck-all. (Imagine my surprise at that one)

Last weekend, it suddenly got much, much worse – no connection at all for most of Saturday and the router descending into an endless cycle of attempting to reconnect. Sunday started in the same vein, so I called BT’s fault department again. Twice. (The first person tried to transfer the call, fucked it up, and disconnected instead. Slow handclaps)

They ended up escalating it to the ‘second tier’, who would investigate and call me the following day. As that was a Monday, I asked them to make my mobile my primary contact, as I’d be at work, not available on the home number. You’d think that would be pretty easy/sensible, but it took them three attempts.

Yesterday, I got the first call. Yes, the line’s fucked, but they can’t tell where. It could be inside the house (we’ll gloss over the fact that when there is a line, the connection is fine, and all the in-house equipment works well with no issues) or on the line itself. So they’ll need to send an engineer.

How’s tomorrow?

No, I’m at work. How’s about a weekend?

We don’t do engineer visits for this kind of thing on a weekend.

OK, so I’ve got to take time off from work in order for this to be checked at BT’s convenience. Who do I invoice for my time?

Oh, we don’t do that. We won’t pay for your time. You also need to be aware that if the problem turns out to be with your equipment, or something like corrosion of BT equipment, you’ll be charged £130

So this could be an expensive proposition.  (And how much do we want to bet, fellow cynics, that the issue is ‘corrosion’, and thus makes me liable?)

I asked at that point for a call back from a supervisor, because I wasn’t happy with the entire thing. They promised to call me back between 12 noon and 1pm.

The call didn’t happen. I got home, and found a message on the landline at 4pm saying “I tried calling you back, but you weren’t available”. No shit, you fucking moron, I was at work – as it said on the fucking ticket.  I called them back, and we’re now in the land of official complaints. Again.

On a more positive note, a random check on BT’s page last night showed that my exchange should be getting Fibre (and BT Infinity) this month. Which may just make things worth sticking with BT…


To The Ombudsman!

As nPower have today announced that the average joint-fuel bill will be going up by over 10% from December 1st, I’ve decided that I’m now definitely going to take my complaint to the Energy Ombudsman, and cost the fuckers some money.

Jesus christ, a 10% increase. Do they think people are made of money? Fucking hell.

I wouldn’t mind so much if there were any decent alternatives to change over to. Sadly though, they’re all as shitty as each other.