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Before you start to read my very truthful and painful review on Scottish Power, I would you like to bear in mind that this opinon contains numerous tips on how not to get caught out like I did, if you fully read this review, then there is no excuse for you to be as stupid as I was!
When we first moved in to the house we are in, Scottish Power ( I will call SP) were already the supplier of our electricity, rather than go through the hassle of pricing up and changing suppliers we just kept it as SP. (1st mistake) I can now not stress enough to people that you really should find out what you are paying for and how much it is all going to cost.
Our SP bills arrived and we payed them as they came in, we were paying quartley, and when the bills arrived I would write out a cheque and post it. That was that. I never thought twice about it, it was all so easy. (2nd mistake) Always check your readings against the reading on your meter, as most bills are estimated, and there can be a vast difference, which can result in saving you a few hard earned pennies, this point I found out too late to my cost.
It all started to go wrong when we received a bill, and at the time of its arrival we did not really have the funds to cover a cheque, so I popped in to a drawer with the intention of paying it as soon as I could. (3rd mistake) Never ever be tempted to file a bill in the junk drawer.
After a few weeks I started clearing out the junk drawer in the kitchen, and found the offending bill, still though at this time we ddi not have funds to cover it, so I rang up SP and spoke to a very nice lady who explained to me that I need'nt worry and all the time I stayed in touch with them things would be ok ( she was on my christmas card list!). After talking with my husband regarding our spiral in to debt, we worked out a bugdet that if we stuck to would mean that we could see a light at the end of the tunnel with our money situation. Part of that budget was sorting out all our payments so that they would go out on time, to try save the noose tightening around our necks.
So I called that nice lady at SP, only this time I got some bored young man that obviously would rather of been drinking in the pub with his mates than talk to me (hmmm reminds me of my other half!). The young man's attiude was really very poor, and did not inspire me with confidence, so I found myself double checking everything with him. We wanted to pay our bills monthly by direct debit on a budget plan, so that the actual outgoing would be easier and lower than a hugh chunk every quarter, but we would have the peace of mind that our bills were being paid. "Yes" he said "Thats all done for you Mrs Jennylou" I had to ask this man if we would need to sign anything and his excat response was: "oh yeah" chortle "You should be doing my job, you know more than me" ( if only I knew then!) He assured me that we would have a direct debit mandate sent out and we had to sign it, and return it in the post. (4th mistake) If you are not happy with the person you are speaking to ask to speak with someone else, don't feel guilty, after all its your money.
The mandate arrived and we duly signed it and returned it in the post. Our peace of mind was sealed. That was just over a year ago. Three weeks ago I recieved a bill from SP for £297.82 You can imagine my horror, but I thought one simple phone call would put it straight, they would realise they had made a mistake. The "simple" phonecall left me heart broken, The person who I spoke to, who yet again was as much use as a chocolate tea-pot said that no payments had been recieved under our account number, I asked her how could this be when we pay by direct debit each month. "I dunno" was my answer. I asked her to arrange for someone to call me back, and we agreed a time. Needless to say an hour after that agreed time, I called them back, their customer service is truly absymal.
When I called them back I had my bank statements handy so I could quote that the payments had been going out of our bank account. When I gave the details to the 4th person that I had been passed on to, he pointed out that the account number that our bank had been paying into did not match our SP account number. (5th mistake) Check everything that you sign!
He assured me that the payments would be in a "lost payment account" and that they could be put on to my account. I asked to be told when this was done, so I would know that this nightmare was over. I had heard nothing after a week, so I called them again ( my phone bill will soon be as high as my SP bill!) I was informed that the payments had still not been traced. I was very concerned over this and spoke to my bank who assured me that it would be down to SP to find the payments as they had been going out of my account each month.
I got a letter this morning to tell me that my account is now in credit, but this whole experiance with SP has left me with a bad taste, I would never recommend them. I know that sometimes mistakes can happen, but what I found appalling was their customer service, and not even bothering to return my calls. Their staff truly did not know how to advise on this situation, I was passed from pillar to post.
What I also found upsetting was when I recieved the bill for over £200, it had a number of bills on there, as it was for a long period of time, and the meter reading on the final bill did not match my actual meter reading, but after all the hassle and having found out from a friend it would only be a matter of saving a few pence off my bill, I have just let it go, and the main reason is I just can not be bothered to tackle their customer service jungle.
What you must also know that is alarming is that it took over a year for this to come to light, now why did someone not notice that my account was falling in to arrears? I had no communication, bills or red bills in a year, the only thing to arrive was this hugh fat bill. If for some reason my payments had not been going out of the bank, and I was sat home with my feet up thinking that they were untill this bill arrived, I would now be in over £200 of debt to SP, which would not of happened if I had recived communication earlier.
I have learnt from my mistakes, I hope that no one else has to deal with this company over a matter like this because it will cause you a lot of stress, heartache and a big phone bill.
I may still consider them but it is very worrying that it was a year's worth of arrears and they didnt bother inform you! Thats not very good practice! Great review!
Penfold49 02.09.2003 18:15
Not very good on SP's part but it still doesn't even compare with the nightmare that is N Powers customer services. Lets just say Mother-in-law was sent a bill that totalled in excess of £5000 (which was a very obvious mistake but still took several letters and phone calls to rectify!). Given your review I'd still consider Scottish Power but just be very sure about how I handle it! Wishing you financial bliss from now on! Pen.
TrevTheBev 15.02.2003 06:47
Always remember,you are the customer and as such,you can tell the compnay how much you feel you should be paying by DD..... and always keep the other eye on the meter !!!