Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Posted By on 9th December 2014

I hope so, because this is a long one, on my very favourite subject, NPower.

A few weeks after my last rant on the subject, we decided to come clean to them about the gas supply.

We rang NPower one Saturday afternoon and got through to a human being almost immediately. Armed with dates, times, reference numbers, account numbers, meter numbers and meter readings, we told our tale.

All we wanted was the gas supply adding to our existing electricity account. How hard could it be?

To cut a long story short, we were told that a gas account had actually been set up, but in the name of the previous owner!

This information begged 3 immediate questions.

A. Why would they set up an account in the name of someone who died in November, for a brand new gas supply installed the following May?
B. Why had the meter not been read in 5 months? and
C. Where had the infamous ‘Welcome Pack’, and the bills (estimated presumably!) been going?

Now might be a good time to point out that ‘Grassy Bottom’ was originally called ‘Wold View’. We changed the name through all the appropriate channels back in March, as it had become apparent very early on, that due to the number of properties in the area called ‘Wold View’, post was often misdelivered.

Once we had received approval from the council we gradually notified all interested parties of the new name. This included NPower who, after only a small hiccup, are managing to send the electricity bills to me at the correct address.

We have a temporary sign on the gate stating ‘formerly Wold View’ and have had no difficulties with anyone else during this transitional period, as we have received post for both addresses, so where did the ‘Welcome Pack’ go?.

Back to the story.

About 10 days after the phone call we received 2 letters from NPower on the same day, neither of which were addressed to me, Peter or ‘Grassy Bottom’!

The first was addressed to ‘Mr G Brown’, son of the previous owner, empathising with him about the stress of moving house and informing him that his gas account for ‘Wold View’ would be ended on May 31st and asking him to provide a final meter reading so they could send him his final gas bill.

This was wrong on several levels, not least of which was the fact that neither he nor his late mother had ever had a gas supply at ‘Wold View’. As I mentioned earlier, she had passed away in November and the gas wasn’t installed until the following May.

Secondly, Mr Brown wasn’t moving because he didn’t live there.

Add to that the fact that we had owned the property since February, had been paying for the electricity since that date, and Mr Brown had already supplied NPower with a final electricity reading on completion of our purchase.

The second letter, presumably computer generated as a result of the first, was addressed to ‘The Occupier’. It welcomed ‘the occupier’ as a new NPower customer, provided a brand new account number, and asked us to contact them with our details. Isn’t that exactly what we did 10 days ago?

We sat back to see what would happen next.

To our surprise what we got next was a £0.00 bill for the 3 months at the cottage they had previously tried to over charge us for. I thought that had been put to bed moths ago, but it seems NPower work on a different time frame to the rest of us.

This can be illustrated by the fact that every letter I have from them, and I have enough to paper the walls of a small room, starts with the phrase, “We’re very sorry we didn’t get this bill/letter to you on time. We know this falls short of the service you deserve and we want to help you with any problems we have caused.”

They’ve said a jar full there!

Over the next few weeks both ‘Mr Brown’ and ‘The Occupier’ began receiving bills for their gas supply, estimated of course. To date neither of them have paid a penny.

Those of you who are paying attention, (and I’ll be asking questions later) will know that the NPower story has now been going on for over 12 months. As you can see it is still going strong.

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