Last week I called npower. I called their official complaints line that they’d told me to call in their online apology. It was 5.15PM. I was in a queue for exactly 15 minutes, then I got cut off. So I called back. 15 minutes later, the very same thing happened. I called a third time, waited, then got told that the office was closed by an automated message.
So the next day I called the line again, this time at lunch. I waited 25 minutes but my hunger got the better of me after waiting for someone to answer the call. Their complaints line is only open from 8-6 so I’m severly restricted as to when I can call.
The next day I called again and, amazingly, after 26 minutes the call was answered. The nice gent told me, yet again, that my final npower bill had been sent out. It was, as I’m getting very used to from npower staff, a complete and utter lie. I’ve now been told 6 times that my final bill had “been sent” and “was ready”, but each and every time it’s been a complete load of tosh. Staff, I believe, are being told to tell complainants anything just to get them off the line.
So, I asked to talk to the person handling my complaint. My complaint, put simply, is that I moved away from this shambles of a company on November 26th and, at the time, had nearly £770 of credit in their account. They’ve since closed my account and given me £1.49 in return. All I want to know is how that was calculated – how the heck did £700-odd turn into £1.49? No-one will tell me.
I waited to be put through, but after waiting (again) the same npower customer person came back and told me that “the Executive Complaints Team are too busy to take your call”.
In three days I’d spent nearly 2 hours trying to contact them and now they were telling me that they were too busy to talk to me.
So, through gritted teeth I asked them to call me that evening and gave them my mobile number.
They didn’t bother.
The next day someone called my home phone instead and left a message. This was the lady handling my complaint. She told me that no, the bill hadn’t been sent out and no, it hadn’t been completed. In fact, it wasn’t going to be ready until February due to those “IT problems” which seem to be preventing them from adding numbers together.
So, despite being told numerous times that my bill was on it’s way, despite spending many, many, many hours on the phone trying to call them, they’d lied each and every time. False information, false promises.
However, this particular call handler gave me her direct number and direct extension. At last I could call and I wouldn’t have to deal with the front-line of liars giving out duff information. She was puzzled that I hadn’t received her letter which was sent out on January 20th and promised to keep me updated.
Today, a full week after this letter was sent, it arrived. Like everything npower does, it has taken ages. It was sent second class (obviously I’ve not quite made my point about expediency) and, although it was date-stamped January 20th I think some sort of pigeon must have sent it.
I’m now relying on the words of my executive complaints call handler. She tells me that, in February (more than two months after leaving them), I’ll get an explanation on how they’ve calculated the bill.
I’ve completely lost all faith in this company. Their systems are terrible, their methods for implementing IT updates have failed completely, their customer service staff continually give incorrect information, their complaints team seem under-powered and fail to answer calls, their phone systems randomly cut you off when you dial, they fail to contact you when they say they will and they choose the slowest method possible to send you mail. The word “failure” just doesn’t really come close.