Saturday, 3 November 2012
With my current two-year fixed term from NPower about to expire, like millions of folk, I have been shopping around to get the best deal, .
Taking my cue from the Consumers' Association magazine Which?, I shopped around online to get the best offer.
I carefully entered my usage for both fuels in the MoneySupermarket.Com website and chose the best offer, from Scottish Power. The quote, £24.35 per month, was a substantial saving on my current provider. Thus I started the transfer process.
Today, I received a welcome letter from the company, quoting (in very small print) a direct debit of £68, something like 70% more than I currently pay.
I telephoned the number in the letter, pushed various buttons 'to get to the right department' and waited. And waited.
For over half an hour I listened to some pretty naff musak and the same message, 3 times a minute, telling me my call would be answered 'as soon as possible'.
Thirty three minutes later, and without a word of apology, the call was answered. Not by the department selected, but by a lady who knew about bills but very little else.
All I want to do is to stop the transfer process, but no, the department is closed and I need to call back on Monday. Not surprisingly, I told the woman I was not prepared to do that and requested a call back.
As far as lodging a complaint about both the sales techniques and the delay in answering the call, my verbal message (which I confirmed was being recorded) is, apparently, not sufficient. I have to fill up a form which will be sent to me.
I am sure there will be many of my readers who have had similar experiences with companies in the energy sector. What is scandalous is that many folk, especially the elderly, will not realise that their 'better tariff' is in fact a substantial increase. Or, if they do, will find out too late and be tied into a long-term, expensive, agreement.
The UK energy sector is in a mess and if their sales people are clearly able to misquote in the cavalier way that the disgraced banking sector did, then we are heading for a crisis of similar proportions.
Scottish Power, OFGEM will be receiving an official complaint.
Not that, I am sure, you will care a jot. There are many other folk who won't have spotted your cheating, con-artist sales techniques.
As for whether they will call me back, don't hold your breath.
I do hope you haven't been holding your breath, because I have not had a call back from my original discussion with Scottish Power. So I telehoned them. The lines were busy, so I requested a return call. They did call me back nearly 40 minutes later, but, of course, it was the wrong department and during the transfer, they dropped my call.
Shambolic or what?