Tuesday, 21 January 2014

NPower Customers and Stupidity.

   Shurely shome mishtake?

Have you come across the phrase 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks'?
It's something that you say which means it is difficult to make someone change the way they do something when they have been doing it the same way for a long time.
Well that's ME when it comes to dealing with NPower. I have nobody to blame but myself, I know from past experience what they're like, dis-organised, unapologetic and poor on communications.

I know that NPower are useless. They "managed" and I use the word advisably to achieve a customer satisfaction score of 31% in the latest poll. 
A company which has been voted the worst provider for 3 years running and only just beating Ryanair in consumer satisfaction MUST be doing something wrong? 

Despite all of this I decided to place "hope over experience" and sign up for their "Price Protector September 2016" 

I've detailed my problems and frustration with them in a previous piece written in November 2013. Basically Npower appear to be incapable of supplying my final meter readings to my previous energy supplier.

You have to accept that giant multi-national companies make mistakes. They have millions of customers and keeping all of the infrastructure running perfectly must be difficult. The (fortunately) rare gift that NPower possesses is its ability to ignore customers problems despite bringing it to their attention numerous times and resorting to their complaints procedure.

I'm in credit with my previous supplier Scottish Power. Unsurprisingly, they won't refund the credit until they receive my final meter reading.

When I initially asked NPower in early November 2013 to explain why my meter readings taken in September 2013 hadn't been passed on to Scottish Power they couldn't have been more apologetic. "We'll get onto it straight away, they'll have the details by December 4th." 
Whilst nearly a month seemed a VERY long time to collate and pass on the figures I was pleased that something was happening, but no, nothing happened. The next time I rang up they once again apologised and explained that it was all due to a new IT system that wasn't performing as promised. 
Once again they assured me that my concerns were a priority for them.

After realising that nothing had happened on December 21st I used NPower's website facility to make a formal complaint. 
NPower acknowledged receipt of the complaint, but apart from that nothing happened. In fairness it was the Christmas party period and their systems weren't necessarily at there best...

Npower offer the facility to escalate a complaint to their  Management team. On the 5th January I once again detailed my request that they forward my meter readings (taken 3 months ago, for those of you losing the plot) to Scottish Power. Once again an automated process acknowledged my complaint immediately, but once again no phone call, letter, email or apology explaining the delay.

I'm reasonably well off, not rich, but reasonably well off. I can afford to be in credit with two energy providers at the same time. However, there must be 1,000s of consumers who are financially embarrassed as a result of a multi-nationals incompetence.

NPowers appalling organisational ability doesn't extend to their billings department. Oh-no, every month on the dot they take money from my bank account for energy usage. One of their meter readers called in mid December and took a reading, but we haven't received a bill detailing charges since September 15th 2013.

I accept that based on previous experience "it's all my fault" for signing up with NPower knowing their track record. The reason I'm posting this piece is to warn others about of what to expect.

Updated 10/02/2014...
Finally. Nearly 5 months after supplying my meter readings on September 15th 2013, Npower have contacted me to apologise.
I would rather have not had the hassle and complications, but they have offered me a bottle of wine and £50 to compensate me for my complaint.
Will I be staying with them after my fixed price contract ends in September 2016? Probably not.

I'd be interested in hearing comments from other NPower "sufferers" experiences.

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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