Last year we decided to change our electricity and gas supplier. npower, our supplier at the time, had put our prices up and, after checking on a comparison site, I decided to go with someone else. The competitor was offering a fixed plan and it was cheaper deal so we changed.
We moved across on November 26th and, to be honest, I assumed that everything was happening smoothly. The new provider kept us updated and told us that we’d switched across to them on that day. Great news.
However, on New Years Eve npower sent me an email. Don’t ask me why they thought that New Years Eve was the best time to send me an email, but send it they did. It was from their Customer Services Director, Gareth Pickles. He was apologising quite a bit. It wasn’t just to me, even though my name had been wedged into the top in BLOCK CAPITALS, oh no. This was an email that had obviously gone out to many of their customers..
We haven’t been able to close your npower account and send you a final bill/statement as quickly as we’d like. We’re sorry for the delay and would like to reassure you that we haven’t forgotten about you. Your final bill/statement will be on its way to you as quickly as possible.
If you’ve already received it, either by post or online – please ignore this letter and we’re sorry for bothering you.
Thanks for being an npower customer – we hope we can be of service to you again one day.
So I was pretty surprised by this. I’d assumed that npower had closed my account, but no – they were still holding onto the £700+ credit we’d given them.
A few days later and a meter reader appeared. He read the meters and went off. A couple of days after that, another one appeared. He read the same meters yet again and I told him how puzzled I was because..
a) I’d provided meter readings myself to both npower and Scottish Power (the new company) several times
b) Another meter reader had read both meters just days earlier
He told me that it’d been happening “a lot” and simply said, “Let me guess, were you with npower?” I nodded and he simply told me that I wasn’t alone.
So, I called npower. They instantly apologised via the recorded message and then, after waiting, I spoke to a lady who continued to say sorry. “We usually get your final bill to you within 30 days”. Great, I thought. That’s all I want. It was already more than 40 days at this point and I just wanted my final bill. I want the detail of how they’ve calculated the costs, where the money has gone and why. I like to check, even though I’ve got little control over the calculations they come up with.
Classic #npower. They've e-mailed to apologise for not getting back to me and ask me to call. The wait time? 17 minutes. Rubbish
— Leigh Geary (@gears) January 6, 2014
So I asked her when it was going to be sent. I assumed it was stuck in the post, but no..
@npowerhq 41 days since switching away, still no final bill. Just spent 30 mins calling you and I get told it'll be another 10 working days!
— Leigh Geary (@gears) January 6, 2014
At this point the people from the npower Twitter account started to help. They somehow performed some magic and, on January 8th, came to the conclusion that I was owed £1.49 credit.
To be honest I was expecting more, so I wanted to find out how they’d come to that particular conclusion. They told me that a full bill was on its’ way and that I’d also be able to see it online.
That was nearly a week ago…
Now, when I log into the online account I can see that my payments have been cancelled but my most recent bill is from August 2013. That’s definitely not my final bill and I’ve still not received anything in the post.
So, yesterday I tried ringing them but gave up after waiting in the queue for far too long. I’ve sent private messages sent by the @npowerhelp team. They’ve not responded to any. I’ve also sent them tweets but again, nothing. They’re responding to others but not me.
It’s now 51 days since I moved away. Still no final bill.
The experience I’ve had from this company has been pretty terrible. It takes ages to get through on the phone. Even after waiting 40+ days I’m then told that I must wait another 10 business days. All the time, I’ve no idea on how the final bill has been calculated and, despite apologising lots, not much is actually happening. It’s now been nearly two months, and I’ll continue to tweet them until a final bill appears online. If someone can work out that I’m owed £1.49 then they should easily be able to send me the calculations that produced that figure.
So, Mr Gareth Pickles from npower Customer Care. Stop apologising and actually fix the problems, because I’m so happy to have left your company and hope that I soon won’t have any more to do with npower.