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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Blog 59. £hafted by npower – incompetently

This week I am fed up and worn out, sapped of energy you might say, with trying to get some sense or even just a response out of my energy supplier.

Saturday morning saw me trying – yet again – to ring them using the precious free minutes on my mobile. Even at 8.05 (their lines open at 8) there was a 37 minute wait to get through. Thus had it been all week.

In September I was informed that my monthly energy bill would rise by just under 1/3 despite the fact that my usage has not risen significantly. I complained. A letter arrived stating that my monthly bill would not go up by that staggering amount and that a little of the credit that they hold to ransom (and cream off interest – times however many million customers) would be refunded. Wohooo!

On further reading I noticed that the letter was addressed not just to me but to someone called Mrs Tims (hello whoever you are). I tried to ring; I did e-mail but answer came there none. I could not find out whether the contents of the letter were for me or the mysterious Mrs Tims.

In any event the monthly payments did increase dramatically – along with yours I’m sure – and they held even more of my monies on credit now than they did then.

In response to the sever hurt that people are feeling at massively above inflation increases in their energy bills along with the introduction of standing charges, investors are having tantrums and threatening to pull out, WHICH IS WHY UTILITIES WHICH USED TO BELONG TO THE NATION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FLOGGED TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

On Saturday I trekked to the library, registered my account online so that I could message npower (nine times) to say I no longer wished to pay by direct debit and that I wanted all my credit returned. Really it’s a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning – you should try it. AMAZINGLY they were suddenly able to spring into action. I arrived home on Monday to find the doors of my external meter boxes hanging open. Either npower had been able abruptly, in the light of the new arrangement where I might owe them money, to galvanize themselves and had done an emergency meter reading or people round my way like to peak at their neighbours’ meters.

This week’s ‘cross cartoon’ is a little raw I admit. I have put this (with some of the others) in the photo section (because I haven’t worked out how to put pics in the main body of the blog (see I suffer from PANTS blog 53) You can access it by clicking on the orange ‘Amanda Baker’ next to my blog pic at the top of the right hand column of this blog or the ‘view my profile’ at the bottom and go to photos.

There just seems to be so much to be cross about. If it’s not eye-wateringly rich people not paying tax, its corruption in institutions that we need to be able to trust. Our youngsters are blighted by student debt; workers are struggling on poverty wages or reapplying for their own jobs only to find reduced terms of service and eroded salaries. You can almost sense the get-up-and-go leeching out of people – the life force being worn away. I mean if you care and are aware.

The knack of the rich to sense when the poor have had about enough and need to be thrown a bone seemed to me to be what kept British society from real rebellion. In modern times it has been the tax system that has made Capitalism just about acceptable with, more recently, rampant consumerism and T.V. to keep the proletariat tame. But things are badly out of kilter now. You wouldn’t know it to listen to the news which is  an ongoing self obsessed chatter about one section of the elite bickering with another – but we must be close to a perfect storm of discontent. Maybe the only thing keeping Britain from mutiny is that we can’t afford to put the heating on and we’re too bloody cold. (But then that didn’t stop Russia!)

This week’s cross cartoon is not for the faint hearted. But for anyone paying energy bills, who – like me – will have to wear outdoor clothes indoors to get through this winter – you may find it cathartic!


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