AN UNLOVED NECESSITY

Keeping ahead of the game.  I wrote about it here .  Fuel suppliers are an unloved necessity.  I thought I had eventually got my totally frustrating fuel provider trained and I was swithering about whether to stay with them at the end of the contract.

I re-contracted and billing horrors renewed apace.  The fuel provider went into seige mode.  Online notice boards and review sites were buzzing with irate and unhappy customers. A few got to speak to an unhelpful operator after an hour or more. I waited fifty-nine minutes and forty-five minutes respectively, during one day.  The company also switched off its auto-acknowledgment of emails.  Thus, there was no way of communicating.  This firm was in lock-down.

The Ombudsman Service (Energy) assured me the fuel provider was still trading, though one weary advisor said they were getting daily calls.  That prompted me to put in a formal complaint. (The Ombudsman Service,  provides a negotiation and remediation service).  I have now had two complaints against this company found in my favour within a year.

 

Where am I now?  The company have been able to complete two of the agreed remedies, the remainder, which would allow me to smoothly switch supplier without a contract exit penalty and within a specific period of time, are being frustrated.  Why?  

I started the switch process; it stopped because my gas meter was linked up to a different address on the industry’s main database for the gas supply !!!  My current supplier is obliged to ‘update’ the industry database.

I’ve emailed the company.  Their auto acknowledgment feature is switched on again.  It tells you there is a ten day response time.  Previously, it was five days.  The Ombudsman Investigator has now got the case back.

 

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20 thoughts on “AN UNLOVED NECESSITY

    • Thanks Gilly. I have no choice but to resolve the issues. My energy could be better conserved. There is, unfortunately, another service disaster waiting in the wings. These days I can only deal with one ‘case’ at a time. Who truly wants any of it. I don’t.

    • Yours is a good question Mr F. It’s possible to hazard a few guesses. My view is, any business behaving as Solarplicity does, is teetering on the edge. If there are sufficient numbers of customer complaints to OS(Energy) and a pattern is perceived, The Energy Regulator may investigate the company. It could be the best outcome.

      Thanks for your sympathy. I now, just want to see the back of this dreadful experienceand move on.
      Xx
      .

  1. Bonjour Menhir ! Nous n’avons pas encore ce genre de problème. Je reste avec le fournisseur traditionnel (EDF) pour l’électricité. Je prends du gaz en bonbonne à l’hypermarché… Et mon gas-oil aussi…
    Bon dimanche à toi

    • Aussie nous avaient l’experience du bonbonne pour gaz comme principale source d’energie, mais ici, le compte pour un annee, ce preuve la beaucoup plus chere mode d’emploi. Il etait necessaire de changer.

      Customer service from the big energy companies can be quite poor. The current problem is abominable.

      Un entreprise Neelandaise as fusionee avec un petite entreprise ici, au moment ou laquelle j’ai demanagee. Ils on augmente leurs nombre des clients rapidement sans suivi le code d’industrie.

      I have not experienced anything as bad as this.

      Merci pour ton commentaire.

      • I could have used some unladylike language, but it seemed beyond that point of exasperation!

        These adverts for smart meters are annoying me, I cannot see how such a meter is supposed to save me money. Will it run my fridge and lights on less power? I don’t trust the technology (yet) I certainly don’t trust the marketing.

      • You are absolutely right not to trust the smart meter technology for all sorts of reasons, and the marketing well. As I understand it, at the moment there are no smart meters for Gas supplies; I am sure they will be foisted on us though. A sales person of one of the big six suppliers told me a very large majority of customers are refusing to take up installation of smart meters, preferring instead to take a less advantageous supply arrangement.

        The push out of the electricity smart meters- aided and abetted by hefty government threats to the supply companies – is another story. Version 1 is still being installed by the companies. It is not a universal design. Every company appears to have their own smart meter, which causes problems when switching to a new provider, who has not used exactly the same metering and system. After probably being in limbo for a bit, (and estimated readings) you would have to go back to readings until the next smart meter is installed, if you agreed to it. At this stage it is not compulsory.

        Version 2 meters have been manufactured. I understand that these may be more universal, though, not knowing enough about them I cannot advise further. The big issue is, for now, the customer does not know which version of meter they are getting installed; they have what they get.

        xxx

      • I have not worked out how these meters ‘save’ energy/money. I use as much as I use however metered. I’m sticking with my old meter until such time as I have to switch.

  2. I think I would probably pay the penalty just to get rid of them, and then sue them for wasting my time and squeezing undeserved monies out of me. I always had this fantasy of living in a commune where I could worry about the things I’d worry about anyway, and other could wage the good fight against evil. In any case, it is good to remember that everything comes and goes, and keep things in perspective. Best wishes.

    • Agreed, coming and going is part of the evolutionary perspective, Shimon. The thought is an encouragement to procrastinate and delay completion of other activities, because the the one event that uses up excessive amounts of time and energy. I’d like to see a lot more ‘going’. I for one, don’t want to keep depleting my reserves. At our age personal energy takes longer to revive, it is valuable and in short supply. A steady low plateau in demand on it would be very nice.

      Effectively, the suing is what I have done, twice. Compensation has been included in the remedies. Moving on has been thwarted because of the manner in which the company has conducted its business.

      You are very sweet and I appreciate your counsel. X

    • Hi Snowbird,

      This affair is a nightmare: Most of the agreed remediation is in the melting pot just now. I am hoping the Ombudsman Service being in the background will share the load to some degree. xxx

  3. Hi Anne-Marie,

    There are so many reception black spots in the UK, and locations where reception is too poor for smart metering to work. If some form of compulsion were imposed the whole thing would become fractious. It would also mean responsibility for bring no reception areas and poor receptive locations on board would be a rather expensive project, perhaps impossible, with the present system, (and geography). And who, in the chain of events would bear the cost…..the consumer. We’ll have to see if the will is there to propel the coach and horses.

      • Factors (managing agents), I was told by one, do check the communal electricity smart meters in their blocks of flats when they notice a bill or reading is not what they would expect. It is possible for the readings to be manually checked “by pressing a button or two”. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

        Individual flat dwellers who own their leases (in England) or, own their apartments in Scotland, may choose to have the old analogue meters serving their individual accommodations replaced with the smart ones. I have come across a few people who have committed to it. One did because her electricity meter was seven floors down and in an awkward low position which, she found difficult contort herself to, to be able to read it. She has absolutely no interest in ogling her digital usage clock which sits on her kitchen work surface. The face is turned to the wall! Another individual reckoned it was ‘really good’ the day after it was installed. I think he has been a bit gullible with the hype. For yet another, the novelty has worn off and the ‘behavioural’ digital thingy is totally ignored. Last I heard, you’d have to move a pile of papers to find it. Flats and houses, are, in the main, are likely to be okay with the smart system if a reasonable broadband wifi is flowing through and the signals are not going to be blocked by really dense structures and geology, like the odd mountain or two.
        xxx

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