Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why have Npower lied to me? Why is their customer service department so so so so bad?

Angry gas meter theft and the problems of getting a new gas meter

I never thought I'd end up writing about something like this. That wasn't the purpose of this *blog*. Culture, art, happy happy things. But no. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I need to satisfy my need for food, for warmth; I need a shower. O boy, do I need a shower.

Filling a kettle and filling the sink and then splashing water at my gonads is not ideal. My armpits are clean; my gonads are clean. Really. Or more or less. But, can I have some hot water. Or should I just have a cold shower? Is this experience going to toughen me up? Nah. I'll probably just stay dirty.

So: Npower & my lack of a gas meter.

It seemed so weird and unusual and almost funny at the time.

Here's a tale to tell people, I thought. Someone has actually stolen my gas meter! Ha! The world we live in!!! Longsight!!! Manchester!!!

That was before the vegetables in the fridge started to rot. Before I had to stay in day after day waiting for appointments that had never actually been booked - despite assurances from 3 separate customer service people that they had. Bla bla bla. An engineer turned up with the wrong type of meter. And regulations wouldn't let him fit the right type. Bla bla bla. An engineer turned up another time and didn't ring the bell so I never heard him when he quietly tapped on the door. He was would have been worried about a gas leak apparently. Apart from the fact that someone should have told him: THERE IS NO EFFIN BLINKIN GAS in this house.

Npower - have severe a*se & elbow issues. I'm getting a windmill. That's it. I'm going off-grid. A windmill. Or a exercise bike hooked up to the mains. Or a farty cow that I can harvest methane from.

11 days without hot water, heating, cooking gas and counting. Whine whine whinge whinge whine.

Here is my consumer protection advice:

I wouldn't want to see anyone else get caught out like this so it would be useful to pass on the need to secure your gas meter. Put it in a safe. A high-security prison. Sleep with it under your pillow if possible. Buy a cobra or similar dangerous snake: let it live in your gas meter cupboard...

As once you've had it nicked... well, who knows if they'll ever manage to reconnect me... it isn't classified as a priority to get you reconnected. Thankfully I like sandwiches and having a chippy tea and going round to a friend's house to have a wash.

Npower are proving all recent reports right; all the angry bloggers and message board people are right. Something is very very wrong in their customer service department. I've worked in a few, I know that mistakes happen. I have some sympathy. Except when things go wrong, you try and get them right; rectify your mistakes, not just keep on lying, making excuses and doing everything you possibly can to annoy your customers. O, sigh. Sigh & more sighs.

"From November 2007 through February 2008, npower ( received 33 complaints per each 100,000 users, nearly double the amount received by the next company on the list."
The most badly run customer service department I have ever encountered. And there has been some competition (again, I've worked for some of them...)

So, yeah. A ranting Radio5 Live style complaint. Rage. Crying weeping rage of someone with absolutely no power. No Npower. No gas power. Maybe one day I'll get reconnected. They'll send me a letter saying they have looked at my complaint bla bla bla... Then I'll be left with struggling to pay my bill like everyone else is. Dull. Life as it is lived.

Thanks very much Kevin Miles, CEO of Npower. Here you are, looking thoughtful, right----->>>>>>

Good work by your team. My one imaginary reader will no doubt bear this in mind when next choosing a power supplier. I know I will. Things can change. You can get it right, I'm sure you can. Just give me a gas meter. Let me pay you some money. Thanks, that'd be great, hear from you soon, I'm sure. Have a good evening ...


  1. I finish my angry typing and want to go and eat some cold food (I need to get some microwave meals) but have a quick G00gle about to see if anyone else bla bla complaints: come up with this person: 5 appointments over 2 months to get a new gas meter - hey, but at least they had a meter in the first place, the lucky boogers:

    can we really just go back to the 1950s or something. Calor gas canisters. Coal fires.

  2. Everyone lies because noone ever actually provides any service and the very fact that they claim they do is a big fat ginormous lie. It doesn't matter what you want, you don't get it*. I'm quite sure if I told one of the charming young persons that call on a regular basis, despite my being signed up to TPS, to offer me a new kitchen/conservatory/bedroom that Yes! I want a new kitchen, conservatory AND bedroom tomorrow! that they would fail to turn up.

    You don't want to go back to the 1950s, you want to live in a different country where being utterly inept at everything we do isn't a national sport.

    *if what you want is a sickly overpriced coffee that's been tainted with almost-off milk, then you're laughing. Anything else, no chance.

  3. This comment box is really just primal scream therapy for me. Almost funny again. As I've just had a shower somewhere else and it's sunny. And I bought some couscous (only need a kettle to make it: lovely) But the Npower people. They are trying their best. But...

    "Mark Sullivan to helpline 15:50 (27 minutes ago) Reply

    NO. No. What are you talking about? Did you read my complaint?

    you wrote: "I have also spoken to siteworks who have confirmed an appointment is booked for Monday 13 October between 8am - 1pm to exchange the meter to a credit meter."

    THIS IS NONSENSE> I have NO meter. It was STOLEN. The Gas New Connections team have booked an engineer to arrive on Friday a.m. 10th October. A credit meter will be fitted then. DO NOT CONFUSE THIS. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS. Speak to G*** F***. He is in charge of this.

    Please do not get this wrong again.

    thank you"

    I think the *thank you* is a nice touch. I've complained to the CEO. I'm expecting a personal apology any time in this century. I blame the government. Totally. The government in 1983 that privatised the system and messed it up. But mainly the management. Their systems are woeful. Lots of people running around, not talking to each other, not a clue what they're doing. Not listening or reading anything anyone says.

    Ooof. A nice cuppa tea and I'll be on splendid form again. Hoo ha.

  4. Basically, what you're saying here is that it's Sid's fault?

    I still don't understand why someone would steal a gas meter. I know that was your original point, I'm a bit slow. I also just noticed your last comment on the last thing about this and heartily support the story of Gassy the Gas Meter. Except, change the name to Gastolph (Gas for short) M Eter.

    Disjointed, yes, sorry, I have a very little brain.

  5. I think Sid would be a good place to start, if only anyone knew where he was. Or anyone else actually remembered that 'he' existed? Ahh, kids nowadays, you try tellin em about a weird & dull advertising campaign about Gas privatisation and they've punched you in the face and stolen your wallet before you know what's goin on.

    And I take full responsibility for any disjointedness. I also take cod liver oil for my joints, so maybe that'll improve over time.

    Why Steal gas meter. It's basically the opposite of the old (Vidal Sasson?) advert: why take 2 bottles into the shower when you can use one (shampoo & conditioner combined!!! Wow!)
    Why have 1 gas meter measuring your usage when you take that meter off. Put my meter on - run the clock up - then 2 months later - put the old meter back on & it looks like you've been on holiday in Australia and never had the heating on. The clock has barely moved. I could probably get arrested for giving out criminal information.

    Next time: hotwiring a car in 3 easy steps.

  6. You said that already. How come I remember Sid but I can't remember something I read sometime so recent I can't remember when it was?

    Don't answer that question.