from Richard Lutz
This week’s electioneering at the annual Labour Party conference had a whiff of righteousness about it- but it could hit a common chord with most folks paying the monthly bills. Or at least worrying about them
To freeze power bills for 20 months (if Labour get in) is a winner. I mean, have you met anyone..anyone…who has not had a utility horror story?
The Big Six, which runs 98 percent of our supplies, have been chucking bricks on our heads for years now, Conning us over payments, wilfully obscuring data on bills (show me someone who actually understands a power bill) and refusing to operate a transparent simple-to-use customer service over the phone or ‘net.
Brother, they don’t exist.
Here’s my little story. And I think it reflects the experiences of hundreds of thousands of householders:
A big utility company, which I shall not name but has the word Scottish in it, handled, until recently, two of my accounts.
Account One turned out to be £440 in the black after a viciously cold winter. I asked how I can be that much in credit after a freezing period of time. The anonymous voice shrugged and said the company would obviously throw it into the next financial year so I could begin deep in black.
I demanded the money (my money) right now and said my good byes.
Account Two is a victim of automatic increases. Though I remain modestly in the black on a small property, four times a year a computer decides to increase my direct debit. So four times a year I have to track down a human being to explain it runs counter to common sense to up my bill when I use less than my direct debit.
The company says, amazingly, it cannot stop a computer increase. I have stayed with this account only because through my scheduled chats with the company to stop the increases, I have kept the increases down to 16% over 5 years.
If I hadn’t, the bill would have exploded now by about 100%.
As an addendum, I cannot access this online account despite 10 phone calls. It defaults to Account One which, you may remember, I have closed.
So, roll on utility bill freezes. We all are victims of the Big Six merry go round. We all pay these greedy companies via indecipherable bills bullied by corporate avarice fronted by self imposed incompetent customer services used to create a barrier so we cannot talk to those who make decisions