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.
© M- Open Gardens
Have I ever come across such incompetence before…..No: Have I ever seen such a complicated cock-up before…..Almost, but this one pips others to the post.
After five months of chivvying a utility company along and a having a variety of unexpected experiences, with no sign of an agreeable resolution, I have got to end of my tether.
From Monday of last week I had my nose to grindstone. I gathered together five months’ worth of information to make a formal complaint to the Office Of The Ombudsman (Energy). Once that was more-or-less sorted, the information had to be put into a non-emotive and concise presentation; ‘emotions not allowed‘ the
instruction guidance suggests. If you’ve done anything like this, you will know it can take days to do. Sifting through the collection of potential attachments, (evidence) is a must. Also, attachments, “Must be appropriate to the complaint“.
Midweek, I gave myself permission to have time off. I had few hours’ break, to go out and see what the rest of my world was doing. It was the only way I was going to bring myself back, bleary eyed, to face the next step…….editing.
Editing is a euphemism for making savings, word [efficiency] savings; being smarter with words, making cuts. I won’t bore you with the rest of it. By lunchtime on Friday I had finished work on the presentation of my complaint and had written a succinct-ish email to attach everything to.
It felt so very good to click on the ‘send’ button. Now we wait.
It defied any logic I could think of. An email informed me that my monthly fuel bill was increasing by nearly 101% in a few days’ time. Ouch! The day before I had an email apologizing for not advising me in advance that an increased debit had been taken from my bank account to pay for it. I phoned the company. What superhuman patience and effort was required to wait to speak to someone, someone, who was not very helpful. She was probably fed-up taking the flak from an army of very irate customers who, likely, had the same experience.
The huge deduction was being taken ….wait for it………………..in preparation for when my current billing arrangements expired in three months’ time and I would automatically be transferred to a [bog] standard higher variable tariff. Wha-a-a-t!!
In business, not good business practice, I have heard of “Do it then apologize after”. This was a blatant example of it, an absolute abuse of trust.
Whatever happened to the regulation that requires advance notice, (about fifteen days I believe) of end of contract and best renewal offers.
Today’s letter, the one I should have got sometime before my account was pillaged, described in general outline how the increased deductions had been calculated for everyone. So, back on the phone today trying every trick in the book to get an answer to one of my calls. It was too late to stop my bank account losing an extra large debit, but I have stopped the following two from happening. In the interim, I will formally request a refund of the engorged credit I have on my fuel account.
I have emailed my concerns and made a formal complaint about these spurious and dubious management business practices.