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Fortunately I am now an EX customer of NPower and receive my gas and electricity from Powergen, whose customer service has been extremely easy and problem free to deal with.
However, I felt that I should write this review to warn people about an incident which happened with NPower a couple of months back. First some background, when I moved into this apartment, NPower were supplying me with both gas and electricity, but the gas came through a pre-paid meter! Obviously that is a huge hassle to deal with and I asked them if I could get rid of the meter and pay both my gas and electricity by direct debit, after all, they were perfectly happy to set up the DD for the electricity - so why not the gas too? Oh no I was told, you've got to be a customer with a good record for 12 months before we can do that.
Anyway, soon after I saw a great deal with Powergen, signed up, they came and took away the pre-paid gas meter within a fortnight and everything has been fine with them so far, touch wood.
But had I heard the last of NPower? Oh no.... About a month ago, I'd just got home after having 2 wisdom teeth out, my face looked like a large red balloon, I could hardly speak, there was blood and I was woozy from the anaesthesia. I was about to go to bed when I heard someone at the door... It looked "official" so I thought I'd better answer it. Turned out to be a representative from NPower, who wanted to discuss why I'd decided to switch suppliers.
Before I knew it he'd invited himself inside "just for a quick chat, madam." It all happened so quickly from the moment he showed his ID to him actually walking in the door! I was definitely not my usual self or I'd have kept him on the doorstep. Anyway, since he was now in the apartment I told him why I'd changed from NPower. He then started giving me a long sales talk on all the benefits I was missing out on, the special offers available, this that and the other... I told him that I'd just had 2 teeth extracted and I wasn't in any state to have this conversation. However, he simply ignored me and continued to give me his sales pitch, going on to say that if I signed up there and then I would get a bonus reduction at the end of a year, special offers etc etc. Next he blandished a voucher for 2 free cinema tickets and told me "You could go with your boyfriend couldn't you?" I was shocked, how dare he assume my personal status!!
By this time I was feeling pretty faint and overwhelmed so I told him he could leave paperwork with the details and I'd look at them when I felt a bit more normal. He refused, saying that I had to sign up there and then to get the special offer. In normal circumstances, if the NPower salesman had survived up to then, I'd have have thrown him out at that point, but I really was not thinking straight. I felt under so much pressure in my own home, and it was not a pleasant feeling, the guy simply would NOT stop his sales pitch.
In the end, just to get rid of him, I signed the paperwork and he finally left... I felt like my apartment had been invaded by this guy with his relentless, constant pressurising to sign up for NPower again.
A couple of days later when I was feeling back to normal, I phoned the NPower customer service and told them that I had signed under duress and did NOT want to proceed with the contract, they were quite OK about cancelling it and I made the point of asking them to put on record that that particular salesman had acted improperly in ignoring my requests just to leave the info and go. Incidentally, the salesman did NOT inform me of my rights to cancel within 14 days...
As I said above, had I been in my normal frame of mind, the guy would never have set foot inside my apartment. The whole experience got me thinking about vulnerable people such as the elderly who might also find themselves signing for something they don't really need or want because of the overwhelming pressure put on them by the NPower salesmen. Needless to say, NPower have lost my custom for good.
" pay both my gas and electricity by direct debit, after all, they were perfectly happy to set up the DD for the electricity - so why not the gas too? Oh no I was told, you've got to be a customer with a good record for 12 months before we can do that."
of course, that £168 in service charges! someone has to pay for the champain at the xmas party
JeffFromPoole 08.02.2008 22:39
I've had these bastards on my doorstep too. I had to threaten bodily violence before they would go away. My Tip - Keep a baseball bat by the door and use it on them as soon as they say who they are!
fuzzyfelt 19.01.2008 10:45
Good review and a good warning to people.
My mother in law had a similar experience with Npower - her 'salesman' signed her up by forging her signature. I think he took advantage of an elderly lady. Needless to say, we wouldn't touch them with someone elses bargepole...