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utility companies are increasingly beastly to their customers

(6 Posts)
Grannyfran Mon 13-Oct-14 20:52:51

My mother's friend is 97 and lives alone. She is deaf and rarely goes out. Her electricity company sent her a bill that was triple the usual cost and when my mother phoned up on her friend's behalf the call centre told her it was an estimated bill and she should have read her own meter as they have no meter readers these days. When people don't read their own meter, they said, the company sends them a huge bill to prompt them to do so. Never mind if they are 97, alone and unable to do it. This policy seems inhumane and exploitative to me. The company did re-issue a much lower bill, after my mother (a feisty 82) read the meter, but they would not willingly hand the overpaid money back, they said they would 'credit her account'.

POGS Mon 13-Oct-14 21:22:08

My father was 94 when he passed away last year. His utility company was EON and I can honestly say they were always very good and helped me sort out his bills.

They allowed me to set up a direct debit. He had his meter read, as we do because the smart meter which was fitted couldn't take the gas reading for some reason. He was always kept in contact over the government winter fuel allowance and if I had any query I was handled with courtesy on his behalf.

When dad passed away they were so kind and respectful and a month ago we had a letter saying that he 'may' have been entitled to an award of £79 due to ' doorstep mis -selling' but as they obviously didn't know would I accept that sum as his executor.

Perhaps it's the provider that needs changing! Ofcourse for every post saying something good there will inevitably one that says the contrary. confused

I can also say that Severn Trent Water were brilliant when his estate was being wound up and not at all greedy, infact they were entitled to more money than they charged for the final bill in my opinion. Again the staff I spoke to were very respectful of the situation.

durhamjen Mon 13-Oct-14 22:49:38

I have a meter reader. I thought they had to read meters once a year.
I am with Ecotricity.
I think it's G4S that come round and read meters here.

kittylester Tue 14-Oct-14 08:15:14

Just before we realised that mum had a problem, she rang me in a panic as the 'gas board' was sending the bailiffs round as she owed £4000.

Initially, we had a real tussle getting them to talk to me but, when they did, they promised that it would be sorted, five times!! Meanwhile, threatening letters continued to arrive despite my telline them that mum was 86 and probably suffering from dementia! Mum had been ignoring the bills because she was paying by DD. They could not explain why the DD were not increased!

She eventually owed £350! She had been leaving the gas cooker on to keep warm confused

Stansgran Tue 14-Oct-14 09:52:20

We read the meter put it in on line and THEN the meter reader comes round. Why? Presumably our electricity costs are higher because of this. We are not obliged to let him read the meter more than once a year and he only gets paid for those meters he has read.

Jane10 Tue 14-Oct-14 09:56:21

I`m happily, not in the unfortunate position as the other posters but a new thing has happened that really pissed me off irritated me. I pay the electricity bill. Always have. I set up the account when we moved house, set up the direct debit and enter online readings etc. I even phoned them when they gave an outrageous estimated bill once. Now, for no reason at all, they have taken to addressing all letters to my husband. He`s never had anything to do with them. We don't even know how they have his name. I`m spitting mad. In this time of equality too. angry