Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My problems with NPower

We were customers of Npower from April 2006 to December 2009. It is important to note that we were unable to leave as the flat that we were renting during this period had a clause in the contract stating that we could not change suppliers without the landlords written consent.

Our first problem with Npower came in August 2006, when we received a bill for £2,000 for the period April 2006 – August 2006. We realised very quickly the reason for the error – the original reading that Npower had taken when we moved in was read as 4,000kwh, rather than 40,000kwh. We assumed this wouldn’t cause a problem, as we had proof from our landlord of the readings from when we moved into the flat. We naively assumed that Npower would see the error and correct it accordingly…..Wrong

It took 8 weeks, and numerous phone calls and letters to sort out the problem (which was only sorted when Energy Watch got involved) during that 8 week period we were repeatedly chased for payment of the clearly incorrect bill and even threatened with legal action and having our power cut off. Npower’s eventual reaction when Energy Watch got involved? “We are sorry, here is £50”

Our current problem stems back to the summer of 2008, when Npower erroneously closed our account, despite letters and phone calls informing them that we had been mistakenly transferred to another company and wished to remain your customers. Despite Npower’s duty to rectify this you ignored our attempts to sort out the situation and closed the account. From August 2008 we have simply received bills addressed to “The Occupier”, despite repeated requests to put my name back on the account.

When we were moving from the property, anticipating that we would have some trouble closing the account that Npower would not acknowledge we had, we completed a form on your website on 8th November 2009 informing them that we would be moving on the 2nd December 2009. We received an automated response telling us that if they needed any more information they would contact us. We heard nothing further from NPower until the 7th January 2010. By this time we had moved out of the property, forgetting to read the meter, but believing we had informed them in good time that we were moving. When Npower did eventually contact us, it was in the form of a bill dating from August 2008. This turned out to be the final bill from our previous account that NPower had closed against our wishes. We contacted you questioning why they had sent this bill instead of sending us a bill for the period 13th October 2009 to 2nd December 2009 – Their response? They simply added our name to an account that we were no longer responsible for – so they were able to put our name on the account when we were not responsible for it, but they were damned if they could when we actually lived there!

On 29th January 2010 we received a bill for our old flat for the period 13th October 2009 to January 25th 2010. The bill was dated 27th January 2010 and asked us to pay by 10th February 2010. This surprised us as we had repeatedly told NPower that we had left the property on 2nd December 2009, were no longer responsible for the bills on the property and could not access the property. I called Npower’s “customer services” department for an explanation, and was told that this had been done as no meter readings had been given as at 2 December 2009. In response to this I wrote a letter to their “customer services” department informing them that no meter readings were available and that we would like them to produce an estimated bill, thus far have received no reply to this letter. On 1st February 2010 we received a reminder for this bill, also dated 27th January 2010, but demanding immediate payment. Believing the matter to be in the hands Npower’s customer relations department, we decided to wait and see what response we got to our letter (In Hindsight this was a stupid idea, on the grounds that Npower are morons and never actually do anything)

On 11th February 2010, we received a final demand for payment of this bill and a letter from a debt collection agency, sent on the 8th February 2010, two days before we were required to pay the bill original erroneous bill that they had sent. When we explained what had happened, we were told that the bill would be cancelled, an estimated final bill would be produced and our account would be closed.

However, on 22nd February 2010 we received a letter from your company threatening to take action against us for the non-payment of the bill for the period 13th October 2009 to 25th January 2010. They even threatened to cut off the electricity at the property where we have not lived for 3 months!

We are currently waiting for Npower to give us our bill for the period up to 2 December 2010, in the mean time we continue to be harrassed by Npower’s debt collection department for a bill that we do not owe. I understand that if we had read the meter on leaving the property then this could have been sorted, but that does not mask the utter incompetence of Npower.