Friday, November 14, 2008
(Addresses and names have been changed to protect NPower's victims)
When I moved in April 2008 I kept the existing electricity supply - even though I knew it wasn't the cheapest in my area. NPower. I arranged to pay bills monthly by direct debit. After a while I got my first bill and also a bill for a Mr D Maylor with the same address. Mine was in credit since the amount I paid monthly was more than I needed to pay. I returned Mr Maylor's bill marked 'Not known at this address'.
A couple of days later Mr Maylor's bill was sent back to me. I went to my neighbours to see if they knew the Maylors - they had never heard of them.
I sent the bill back again; an inconvenience since there isn't a postbox within 2 miles of my house.
Then the 'Red' bill came for Mr Maylor. I rang NPower and told them he didn't live at my address. It was at this point that I noticed they had my address down as Trackside House rather than Trackside Cottage and that Mr Maylor's bill was addressed to Trackside Cottage. I asked them to correct this.
Three months later I got a new set of bills from NPower for Mr Maylor. Again I returned them and promptly had them sent back to me rather than to NPower.
This time I opened them and discovered Mr Maylor hadn't been paying his bill - not surprising since they had been sending it to me - and owed over £200. Again I rang NPower and explained yet again that Mr Maylor didn't live at my address and that I was paying my own bill and had no intention of paying someone else's.
'Could you tell me the meter number on your meter' the guy at Customer Services said? I got the stepladders and read off the number on the meter. It wasn't the same as on Mr Maylor's bill and, surprise surprise, it was the number of the meter on my bill.
'I don't understand it' the guy said. 'We've been sending bills to Mr Maylor at that address for the last eight years and they have always been paid!'
'Well it isn't going to be paid by me' I said, 'and I'd thank you to get the correct address on these bills so that they don't come to me in future.' I also told him that there were eight houses which shared my postcode and only mine had the name Trackside Cottage and there was no Trackside House.
The phone call took 25 minutes and then I was assured everything would be sorted out.
Today, two months later two more letters were delivered to Mr Maylor at my address. I was about to throw them away but then I noticed the large orange sticker which said:
DISCONNECTION NOTICE GAS/ELECTRICITY
The occupier of this property must act on the contents of this envelope
I opened the letter and found that Mr Maylor had still not paid his bill and was being warned that NPower was going to disconnect him if he didn't pay immediately.
I opened the second large brown envelope and discovered inside yet another envelope with large disconnection sticker. Opening this I found this:
We called again today to try and resolve the unpaid account, (strange - nobody had rung the doorbell and I hadn't gone out), but were unable to contact you.
IT IS NOW OUR INTENTION TO APPLY FOR A WARRANT OF ENTRY TO THE MAGISTRATE'S COURT
The letter went on to explain that if I wasn't in they would break in, disconnect the meter, then if necessary secure the house by replacing locks. I could then collect the new keys from their team valley office - just 30 miles away. I would be liable for all costs which could be £150 or more
'Wonderful' I thought. 'NPower is going to break in, disconnect me for a bill I don't own and then lock me out of my own house making me travel 60 miles to collect keys'. I got back on the phone.
25 minutes later I was assured that everything would be sorted out. Time to get in a stock of candles I think.
16th Jan 2009 - Two months later and NPower is still getting it wrong!
Today I received yet another letter from NPower. I didn't read the address on it before I opened it and as a result I now know that The Maylor's are getting very concerned about their account. Apparently they contacted the customer complaints department to find out why they have not been getting bills. They wrote back to the Maylors - at my address saying that they were still working on the problem but they had promised it would be sorted out today and they need do nothing.
Bad news NPower - you're WRONG!
12 June 2009 - NPower sends me the Maylors new bill for £1476.86
The bill arrived addressed to Trackside House with my postcode.
They STILL don't live at my address!
This time I'm notifying NPower's retail CEO, Kevin Miles and drawing the attention of the Times newspaper to this blog.
17 June 2009 - Sucess?
It took a bit of experimentation to find Kevin Miles e-mail address (its kevindotmilesatnpowerdotcom) but finally I got some sort of action from NPower. They sent a guy round to check the meter and find out it's number and to ask my postcode. Maybe that's the end of the story?
19 June 2009 - Maybe not!
NPower sent another guy out to check the meter
17 August 2009 - Definately not!
Since I last updated NPower have sent two more letters to Mr Maylor at my address. Both were returned unopened and suitably marked 'Not known at this address' but it's inconvenient for me to do so since the nearest post box is three miles from my address.
OK That's it for NPower got ditched in favour of EDF Energy effective from 15th Aug and today I posted up to NPower's site the following:
'Npower has consistently, over the last 17 months, sent bills to my address for a Mr & Mrs D Maylor. These bills have been returned to you, and you have been advised on numerous occasions that Mr Maylor has never lived at my address. Despite that, you continue to send bills and even a threat of disconnection to my address and even a complaint to Mr Kevin Miles, Npower's retail CEO, has not stopped them. The meter number on Mr Maylor's bills is not my meter number. His account number is not my account number. This has been checked by your meter reading services, twice.
I will no longer return or respond to correspondence sent to Mr D Maylor, addressed to Trackside House, Hexham, NE46 XXX.
I live three miles away from the nearest post box. It is inconvenient for me to return these. All future letters to Mr Maylor will be destroyed. You should note there is no such address as Trackside House at my postcode. Consulting my neighbours who have lived in the area for many years, they have never heard of Mr D Maylor.'
I also cancelled my direct debit to NPower at my banks website and notified NPower of this and my other reasons for ditching them in favour of EDF. Just to add one final touch of annoyance I discovered that if you take too long using the form at NPower's 'Contact Customer Services' page it logs you out, blanks the form and you get to start again! Now there's an original way of annoying your customers!
Of course I've changed the name of those unfortunate people who haven't been getting their bills and the address but NPower - you know who they are and this is my proof that you've NOT being doing your bit. Since I'm now going to ignore all your letters to the Maylors your next step should be to try and take them to court using my address at which point I will enjoy appearing at the court to tell them just how C*!p you are.