Aug. 12th, 2008

jfs: (Default)
So, a long while ago, I set up gas and electricity from Npower, because they had a green electricity tariff; one of the first to do so, I believe. I also wanted desperately to move from British Gas because they're basically twatweasels of the highest order.

Last year, Npower started sending me "We're sorry you're leaving us" letters. Each time I rang up and found out that British Gas were trying to take my gas supply without me ever having asked them to. So I had to instruct Npower to block the attempt each time, and then ring British Gas to rant at them.

Eventually, British Gas won. Well - Npower were sending the letters via the Royal Mail, so you have to figure that that sterling organisation was going to fuck up something as simple as delivering a letter, don't you? Frankly, I was lucky to get as many of the 'sorry you're leaving' letters as I did. So I missed one, didn't phone in to cancel it, and British Gas got their grubby hands on my gas account.

I didn't notice for a while. For 'a while', read '8 months'. After all, my gas was still coming out of the taps, money was still going out of my account to Npower via direct debit. But then Npower sent me a letter saying "Here's the balance of your account" and £100 appeared back in my bank account.

So I rang, and found out that Npower thought that they had stopped being my provider in November 2007, only it had taken British Gas 8 months to send them the final meter reading so they could end my account.

Cue much ringing around to sort out exactly whose testicles I was going to be forcing through the blender, and much worrying on my part as to whether, once I was reconnected to NPower, I was going to be hit all at once with a bill for the last 9 months of gas. Finally, last Friday, I got to speak to someone at Npower who confirmed that British Gas had given them back my account, and that luckily, the meter reading that BG had given them was quite a bit higher than the one from last November.

Essentially, because it was their mistake, it looks like British Gas are swallowing the cost of the gas I've used between November 07 and August 08.

So, I can hear you all thinking, what's the problem? Are John's diamond shoes too tight? Is his wallet too smal for his £50 notes?

If only.

The problem I have is that the meter reading that Npower are starting my new account with is 8000 units lower than the meter reading on my actual meter. Looking back at old bills, that's about 4 years usage.

Did I mention I live in a flat? A flat with the gas meter in the basement? A flat with a gas meter on the outside of the house which actually belongs to the flat upstairs?

Would anyone like to take a guess as to what happened there?

(The worst of it is that I'm pretty certain that the meter on the outside of the house is a key meter ....)

Some idiot gas meter reader has come around, seen the meter on the outside of the house, not bothered double checking to see that the serial numbers match, and recorded an entirely new meter reading number. And no-one at the company checked to see why the numbers had changed so much.

And to top it all, the problem started with Npower, not with British Gas. So now I have two companies to shout at instead of one.

I really could do without this.

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