Is it just me who has terrible trouble with energy companies? The last one I was with, Npower, made such a mess of my direct debits, claiming from the wrong account and then not crediting my bill with the amounts taken, that it took them ages to sort out, in fact, they didn't put it right until I involved the energy ombudsman. It was many months before I got a correct statement from them. It doesn't leave me with much confidence when a company fails to listen to what you're saying after many phone calls so I did what I think everyone should do when companies offer such terrible customer service and changed suppliers.
I decided to give Scottish Power a go, surely I couldn't be unlucky twice in a row, could I? The answer is yes. If I thought Npower gave bad customer service it was because I hadn't yet encountered Scottish Power. I changed to them last August and since have spent numerous hours on the phone trying to sort out my account. The first bill I've had since changing to them last August was last month, apparently, a computer glitch meant that a bill couldn't be produced so I've had to guess the amount I owe up to then. I've been promised call backs from different departments which haven't materialised and had many requests to speak to a manager or someone who knows what they're doing refused. Again, I have had to involve the ombudsman who gave them twenty eight days to sort the problem out. I received a letter yesterday with a bill enclosed telling me that it was now all sorted out. Guess what, the bill's wrong. They should know it's wrong because I called them back in May telling them it was wrong and explaining why but they haven't done a thing since then, just sent this letter which I received yesterday enclosing a copy of that exact same bill.
I feel like banging my head against a brick wall, I really do. Even the energy ombudsman can't make them listen to their customers and sort out problems, what hope does ordinary Joe Public have? I wonder how people who are not as competent at dealing with matters like this are affected by the mistakes and subsequent lack of customer service these companies offer, I'd hate to think that my elderly parents were in dispute with an energy company as I know that these companies don't listen to a word you say to them and seem to have a total disregard for their customers.
I wonder, is it just me that has these problems? Surely not. Which? press office published the results of their annual customer service survey of the top 100 big brands last September and all the Big Six energy suppliers were the worst offenders when it came to poor customer service with Npower at the very bottom, second from the bottom was Scottish Power.
I've gone back to the ombudsman as the twenty eight days they gave Scottish Power to sort the problem out has now elapsed. What do you think they're going to do? The answer is give them a further ten days. Like I said above, even the energy ombudsman can't make them take their customers seriously.
I don't often write posts like this so I hope you don't mind this one slipping in, it's just that sharing my frustration over these incompetent companies is making me feel slightly better, though I still feel like screaming.