Gave up! Grudgingly Paid my Scottish Power Bill

Further to my last blog post (rant) is Scottish Power the Worst Customer Service, I thought I would post an update. I debated for several days whether to take the case against them further. I even contacted the ombudsman, but in the end it just felt like it was going to be too much energy (pun intended) to fight their inflated bill…

spowerbill

While I agree I owed them some money – I believe what I ended up paying (Again £107.55) was double what it should have been).

This has been the worst customer experience I’ve ever had with any company. Their social media support, a tool which in this day and age we expect to be fast, was ridiculously slow.

They take about 2 or 3 days to respond to anything. That just should not happen in this day and age, and I’m not the only one to think so. Scottish Power needs to read this article Social Media is the Future of Customer Service. Most notably for these pullout quotes!

  • 42% of customers complaining directly through your social media expect a 60 minute response time
  • In fact, this number actually increases to 57% at weekends and evenings!

To date, I’ve had no less than 14 duplicate bills sent to me – since April 8 (21 days). Duplicate. 3 pages each. What to be completely inefficient Scottish Power.

I also note with interest that other people have had complaints about their billing. Like me, in particular a FINAL BILL.

A Google search revealed a Guardian piece from five days ago that looks very interesting and relevant to me:

Scottish Power has plunged me into a Mad Hatter world

But when you go to Guardian’s site, it’s miraculously not showing up. Censorship or something? Are they an advertiser in the Guardian?

Guardian where is it: cottish Power has plunged me into a Mad Hatter world

I smell a rat.

But here’s another one complaining about how dubious Scottish Power practices are – Miles Brignall this time with meter reading outsourcing.

I Give Up, You Win Scottish Power

In any event this has gone on since I tried to leave them November 2014. I’ve spent a dozen hours trying to sort that. The bills have been all over the place – £166.20 to £178 (which is preposterous) to the where they eventually knocked down to £107.55. which as I suspect that’s about DOUBLE what it should have owed them but I gave up.

They’ve sent me bills this month – as follows:

24 April – £107.55 in debit
23 April – £107.55 in debit
22 April – £107.55 in debit
21 April – £107.55 in debit
20 April – £107.55 in debit
17 April- £107.55 in debit
16 April- £107.55 in debit
15 April – £107.55 in debit
14 April – £107.55 in debit
13 April – £107.55 in debit
10 April – £107.55 in debit
9 April – £107.55 in debit
8 April – £107.55 in debit
6 April – (need to track this bill down again)
5 April – (need to track this bill down again)
20 January –  £178.20 in debit
7 January – £166.20 in debit
6 January – £166.20 in debit
5 January – £166.20 in debit
3 January – £31.92 in credit

* They’re still sending bills that say “Estimate” – even though they have the actual reading (supplied by both myself and Utility Warehouse).

* They’re still showing “In credit” on Nov 26, 2014 on the left hand side.

* They’re still not showing my £60.00 payment for October. Though they insist that’s been included. (Why does it say £0. under payments?)

Scottish Power Won the Battle, but…

Because of this experience, I will never ever be a Scottish Power Customer again. I paid the bill grudgingly.

I’ve been a customer for over twenty-two years, loyally, paying monthly, and I will never do so again (well as long as I own my home anyway).

End of story. Time to close that chapter. But given their history, I bet they still send a few more bills…Watch this space.

Is Scottish Power the Worst Energy Company in the World?

I don’t normally like to rant too much, in life or online…(Or at least I try hard not to).  In fact, a bit of a Pollyana at heart, I actually tend to “find the good in everything”,..but sometimes life, or indeed customer service, gets in the way.

You see after more than two decades, in half a dozen Scottish properties, I’ve left Scottish Power (SP) as of Nov 29, 2014. I moved over to Utility Warehouse (UW) with the view to consolidate some bills and help a friend out.

Frankly the process has been nothing but trouble the whole time!! Maybe I’m just unlucky?

Passing the Buck

UW blamed SP. SP blamed UW. Each saying the other was at fault for lack of meter readings and communication.

The fact that one of my meters had been replaced years ago, and had the wrong serial number on also it caused much hassle (hours of hassle to get to the bottom of it).

Back and forth it went for weeks.

“It’s their fault” each would say to me on phone calls.

Frankly, I didn’t care whose fault it was, I just wanted it sorted.

I left in December for around a month in America. Electricity switched off at the mains – for the entire time. I came back to several bills from SP – some were just 2 days apart and completely conflicting.

Actually I have bills from Jan 3 (left), Jan 5, Jan 6 and Jan 7 (right). Way to waste money guys – on paper and postage! See picture below.

spowerbill

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to understand my electricity bill. Perhaps I am just thick? I don’t know.

I’ve called them to straighten this out because I was confused by the fact I was “in credit” on 26 November and UW took over on the 29 Nov. So doesn’t that sort of read like I had just 3 days of electricity with SP to pay for?

Well that’s what I thought, anyway.

So after countless calls, I wrote to them. One was a letter by post, and another an email after a social media rant on Twitter elicited a response from their social team who tried to explain it to me.

Here is today’s response:

I understand what you are saying about the invoice advising that you were in credit of £22.49 but this was before any energy charges were applied.

 The way the invoices show is that they list the balance brought forward minus any payments you have made on the left side of the invoice then they advise of the energy used on the right hand side under the section showing ‘energy charges for this period’.

The energy charges on the invoice were for the period of 24/9/14 to the 27/11/14 and amounted to £188.69 so once the credit was removed from this your account was in debit of £166.20

Having said that the account was billed to incorrect estimated meter readings which needed amended as you had provided the correct meter readings.

I have rebilled the account to the readings you provided in your letter and the debit on the account is now £107.55. This includes all the energy used between 23/09/14 and the 27/11/14 and your payments between that period of time.

I hope this helps to clarify the bill for you.

As I said, for the better part of 23 years, I’ve been a Scottish Power customer – at an array of addresses. I always tend to pay monthly, manually, from my bank account (instead of direct debit). I do this so I don’t get surprised by any “big bills”

On closer inspection, I note, with interest, that the £60 payment made 2 October is not showing up as credited in the £166 bill. (Also I reckon the £50 payment made 3 Sept should be in there too?)

In any event, I just don’t know how the final bill would be as high as it is…To be fair I never made the November payment – so I could in fact owe them that, I grant you…but I highly doubt I owe them £107.

My next step will be to request an itemised list of payments to my account through to Nov 1, 2014.

Why is it all so challenging?

Why do they (and other energy companies) make the bills so hard to read? You need to be Mensa marvel to work out the charges.

Do you think that they deliberately make it hard for us to leave? The hassle to switch banks? To switch energy providers? To switch broadband carriers? We are so tied to so many companies like this, it’s like we’re stuck. I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s had a similar experience or thoughts – to know I am not the only one!

OK, I am done with my rant.

Now I’m off to workout (#5x50chal) to cool off.

UPDATE: 14/4/2015

A new bill has now been sent for £107.55. Better,…but still not good enough. The payment for £60 sent on 2 October at 16:32 does not appear to have been credited. If they’d simply credit that and reissue the bill for the £47.55 – I’d pay it and be done with these monkeys.

Not my circus, not my monkeys