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Friday, 21 December 2012


Switching - utility providers, that is - has become a regular exercise for many of us. It's not that the new tariff gains us that much, it's the minor satisfaction of getting back the £250 that the buggers have been sitting on. And they're all the same. Six months from now my new provider will have carefully calculated my direct debits to provide them with an interest-free £250 of my money. Multiply this by half a million customers all with substantial credit balances and you can see the source of the Chairman's million quid wedge. 

A couple of tips for anyone new to this. Three or four weeks after you've switched they will write to you advising you of the credit balance they intend returning, but just need you to provide your latest meter readings. Don't whatever you do give them your current readings; instead, give them exactly the same readings as you provided to your new supplier three or four weeks previously. 

And secondly, though they take your money instantly by direct debit, they will only refund your credit balance by cheque. Sent second class. 

And they wonder why we hate them so.


Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

£250? By the time I bullied my sister into doing something - Scottish and Southern had £1500 garnered off the back of several year's "estimated" bills.

Bill said...

Pay for what you use. Just like the old days. No guesses, no fraudulent estimates, no massive over estimations...

Anonymous said...

Like Bill said; dont pay direct debit, pay quarterly. Over estimate your reading if they are shortly to put the price up so you pay more at the lower price - then under estimate during winter.

G. Tingey said...

Isn't privatisation wonderful?

Especially since the old CEGB built power-stations against expected demand, whereas now, they build after the demand appears, so we have no future-proofing.

Anonymous said...

G Tingey: "Isn't privatisation wonderful?"

No sane person would make the case that what we have now, continuous political interference in the running of a company(s) is privatization.

The Energy sector is an arms length corporate organ of the state, true fascism actually, as operated in Germany during the period of who we shall not speak its name.

Scrobs... said...

Another scam which is in progress with Scottish Power, is for them to write to me and suggest I call them, for them to establish that I'm on the 'correct tarriff'.

Yup, I'll call them, when all the other companies have raised their prices, and I'll also be asking them what happened to a pensioners' help-out a couple of years ago too.

I've got the letters, they never offered me the reduction.

I'll enjoy that call...

Then change.

Anonymous said...

I have JUST got off the phone to British Gas[p].
My monthly payment tariff has now been cancelled, based as it was on last years bills, but now a more efficient boiler is installed, with a better thermostat that actually works. So their monthly payment of £80 was excessive...I am still in £80 credit, but with their payment scheme it would have been £220. And no interest. I pay by direct payment (bacs). Direct debit ?
That'll not do nicely thankyou !

G. Tingey said...

I tend to agree with you, & it doesn't seem to matter which "party" is supposedly in charge, either!

As bad as the phone company chargung me over 10% of my phone bill for ME, IN MY TIME, PAYING THEM DIRECT BY BANK-TRANSFER.
I won't do DD with those bastards, 'cause I don't trust'em!

Anonymous said...

Hate 'em I do indeed, arm of government [in Brussels] as surely as the EA is and a private/nationalised industry is doubly sh*&e.

Anon 2 said...

And they wonder why we hate them so. They do Raedwald? And there I thought they neither knew nor cared.