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It's been a while since this mob have had a mention so I thought I would bring you all up to date on their progress or lack of.
Many years ago, in another life, I was an nPower customer. I hated every second I had to spend arguing with their self important under-trained accounts staff about messed up and missing bills, overcharging my Direct Debit and never reading my meter. Then I moved to Wales and all my troubles ceased.
Unfortunately for me I had to move to North Yorkshire a few years ago, and I became a victim all over again. Now this is not the fault of North Yorkshire or the lovely North Yorkshire people, they are wholly blameless for my suffering. No it is the faceless, egomaniacal, moronic proprietors of what has to be the worst energy supplier in the country, nPower.
For the past eighteen months I have been supplied electricity by this company and every three months, when the bill arrives (no way I'm using DD this time), I swear I will switch my supplier to someone else. I have never actually got to the point where this has happened, but that's only because I keep forgetting to do it.
My first complaint may be petty, but I feel it shows just how unfocused they are on their customers. When I moved into my current home I contacted nPower to switch the billing over to my name. They happily claimed it would be done immediately. I have recently received my latest bill and, as with every previous one, my name is apparently 'The Occupier'. I am not The Occupier, it makes me sound like a character from a thriller. 'The Occupier. This time it's Personal.' or some such. There is nothing more irritating than being ignored, like I have been every time I have rung nPower to ask for my name to be put on the bill, the way every other company who bills me manages to do.
My next problem stems from the fact that they lie on the bill about having read my meter. Since I moved in I have not had a single estimated bill, yet consistently they have billed me for the same amount, give or take a few pounds, every three months. Now I know I don't use a lot of power, but there is no way my bill for summer use is going to be as high as my bill for winter use, especially as I am away a fair bit in summer. This means I have to read my meter and query the bill each and every time.
My final gripe is more to do with manners than anything else. Do any of you remember the days when you would receive a polite reminder to pay your bill after a couple of weeks if you forgot to do so. Then you'd received a red letter if you still failed to cough up the readies? I do. nPower seem to have forgotten this nicety of asking for their money pleasantly before setting the rottweilers on to you. I have a habit of forgetting to pay the bill when it comes in, busy life and all that, so I get what nPower thinks is an appropriate communication for a bill overdue by 13 days. It reads:
Statutory Notice: Electricity Bill £???.??
(This is legal terminology for 'Now we can screw you in court because we sent you a warning with Statutory Notice written on it'. You have to issue this before a debtor can be officially chased in to county court and made bankrupt. It should be used as a last ditch effort to recover money not a scare tactic. If this were for real I would have 18 days to comply or risk losing everything for a crappy little debt.)
This is followed by a load of blurb telling you to pay this bill NOW!!! Followed by a load of stuff about payment difficulties and special service. As if they give a damn about your financial circumstances.
Then, and this is the kicker, it states the following (this is reproduced verbatim): **** If you do not pay this bill or agree to have a token meter installed we may have to cut off your electricity - please read the section under statutory notice overleaf. We will then visit you at least five days after the date of this statutory notice. If you then pay this bill when we visit you'll owe a further £23.50. If you pay after we visit you'll owe a further £23.50 and if your electricity is cut off and you would like it reconnected, you'll owe at least £99.99. We do not want this to happen so please pay your bill in full or get in touch with us now. ****
I'm a grown man and I don't scare at all, but this has got to be the most threatening piece of text have ever read on a demand for payment. I cannot imaging what a poor old pensioner or a single mum on a fixed income is going to be feeling when this is dropped in their lap. It really is atrocious, especially after such a short space of time as they allow between the actual bill and a demand being sent out. They don't even take postal delays into consideration. This smacks of the tactics used by a company that is on its last legs and strapped for cash, not a multinational conglomerate with obscene profits like nPower has. They really want to get their pulses checked and find out if their hearts are still beating. I for one wouldn't work in any capacity for a company that dealt with the people who keep it in business in such a dismissive manner.
Incidentally, I actually left the bill one time to see how far they would take it. Believe it or not they actually sent out an even more threatening letter a couple of weeks later and when I rang the number they insisted I contact to pay the bill, the person at the other end couldn't have been more rude if they had tried. So much for 'We Understand'.
I am definitely dumping this dismal organisation and switching to another supplier this time.
Can somebody out there PLEASE remind me to do it in a couple of weeks time. Oh and recommendations for other suppliers are always welcome.
U switch is a good first point to compare. But I would not finish the paperwork there, as apparently any complaint raised subsequently is ignored due to you providing incorrect information. But this could just be npower again
kimp123 25.11.2005 10:58
I wouldn't use Npower again after very bad experiences with them - still makes my blood boil now. Kim
AnitaM 01.09.2005 11:43
As people have said uswitch is your best port of call. It can give you an unbiased "best deal" depending on how much you use and where you are in the country. I think it also gives you a star rating for customer service to help you make a decision. If you like collecting loyalty points, Powergen offer Tesco clubcard points on all payments made (and sometimes offer bonus points for signing up) and I think EDF are associated to Nectar.