Thursday, July 17, 2008

The travails of staying with your electricity supplier

Some few weeks ago, I received a letter from our electricity and gas supplier saying they were sorry we had decided to change suppliers and was it anything they had said.

This came as something of a surprise to me. I hadn’t even considered changing supplier, let along actually done it. In fact, I have quite a strict policy of not changing supplier unless the need is very dire.

I consulted The Builder (who seemed a bit alarmed at the thought that he might change our supplier without first consulting me or, indeed, change them at all).

Girding my loins, I rang them up. It seemed that they thought we were transferring to An Other Supplier*. News to me. I hadn’t even heard of An Other Supplier, let alone arranged to transfer to them.

I rang An Other Supplier. Who are you, and why are you nicking my gas and electricity accounts? Oh, they said, after some considerable faffing about. Must have been a mistake. There’s a Bridgewood Street at your postcode too. It seems it was the people at 2 Bridgewood Street who wanted to change. Our mistake. We’ll fix it.

This, mind you, was a load of nonsense. Our postcode covers only the houses actually on Bridge Street. I might not have pondered that too closely (because all the postcodes in Tupton are very much alike and may differ only by a single letter), were it not for the fact that there isn’t a Bridgewood Street anywhere in Tupton or, once I came to investigate, anywhere in the area covered by the Chesterfield Street Directory. I suspect them of trying to kidnap our accounts.

Anyway, all was well. I received a letter from our supplier saying that they were pleased we had changed our mind. The direct debit was taken out of our bank account as anticipated. All was serene.

Or so I thought.

I attempted today to get into our utility account to supply meter readings, not wishing an estimated bill to bring the shock the last one brought when they estimated our gas use at £250! Logged in, and received the message that they had been notified that we had changed our mind and that they had closed our account and we would remain with our original supplier. But they ARE the original supplier. Sighing heavily, I rang them up. Yes. We have gas and electricity with them, but it seems our electricity is meant to be moving to An Other Supplier only there seems to have been a hold up.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

About 30 minutes it took, to sort it all out. It seems that An Other Supplier had cancelled the gas transfer, not cancelled the electricity transfer but then taken no further action on it, other than to raise an objection to the request to cancel from my present supplier. Huge big SIGH!

I *think* it’s sorted now. Except my web account still isn’t sure. I did manage to find a circuitous way to put the meter readings in, though.

Ofgem and the energy watchers wonder why people don’t change their suppliers more often to pick up the cheaper deals. It’s a complete nightmare trying to swap – I’ve never had anything other than disasters when I’ve tried. I really didn’t expect it to be quite such a nightmare trying to stay peacefully with the same supplier!! Perhaps I’ll go off-grid and generate my own power. Just as soon as I work out how to do that!!

Back at Psalter Lane today. Not my last shift, I don’t think. I am anticipating three more – though the final one might not happen if the whole book stock has moved to Adsetts by then. They might close the library early if there is nothing here at all bar a couple of dustballs.

I don’t have a current update on Stella – nobody seems to be online to ask. But things seemed to be going quite well when I “spoke” to Tony last evening. I’ll post one when I do. Ian’s brother, who is in the same hospital, I believe is recovering well from his operation to remove a bowel tumour. So all seems to be going smoothly, except that alas, Ian’s Auntie Jean dropped off her perch last week. But she hadn’t been on my list of things to worry about, so I hadn’t been (also, was ignorant of her existence until I was alerted to her cessation of existence!)

*Identity of the Thieving Supplier kept anonymous to protect me from allegations of libel

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