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Spent a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday on the phone to First… - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
flavius_m
flavius_m
Spent a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday on the phone to First Utility, who for the last three years supply me with electricity, gas and inflated estimate bills that they send to me in duplicate as they have me with two different customer account numbers. To try and make that simpler, they have issued a third account number and decided that I have never paid electricity or gas and I therefore owe them 2.393 pounds and pence. I'm getting final notices of payment on that last, third account number, mentioning legal department, etc. Yesterday I phoned them for the third time -the two previous calls had fallen through exactly twenty minutes into them, after being put on hold while the person at the other end 'was sorting things out'. This is on an 0845 number. Every time you speak to someone different so you have to go over the same story again. They have 'smart' meters that don't work and I have been sending them emails with the readings (including photographs of the meters..). Long history of email and phone correspondence which goes from the surreal to the Kafkian.

Haven't moved away as there is that ghost second (third?!) account that would still be hanging over my head, as is happening to a neighbour in the building right now (First Utility was already set up as the provider in this new build). I'm also finding that they have the very worst reviews of all gas/electricity providers..

I put a small personal recommendation on Twitter ('never ever consider using these people as gas/leccy providers') and they came back to me asking whether they could help. Can they?

Sorry about the lengthy post!

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lovelybug From: lovelybug Date: September 5th, 2012 11:22 am (UTC) (Link)
*supportive hugs* damn them!
scifi_mel From: scifi_mel Date: September 5th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should reply to them on twitter by saying they can help by giving you a free number to call and someone who can sort things out! That's just insane!
glamgothruthy From: glamgothruthy Date: September 5th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
change your provider immediately - npower is very good to me - and cheap. Get a 'thingy' on your mobile - i can call all 0845/o8 something else numbers for hours/ever for £2.50 a month (get this for just one month if the need be)

Then - just ask straight for managers/supervisors - helpline people are not trained enough to help you. try different depts. Took me 8 calls to sort out a company when i had '2' accounts. Got total apology , refund and one reduced rate - but it did take alot of perseverance
kruku From: kruku Date: September 6th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Doubling or tripling accounts is an old trick used by utiltiy companies. Lots of managers new in a departmant do this to make their growth rate look good. They don't really care the havoc they are causing.

I suggest that in any further dealings with First Utility you correspond via post only. Not email, twitter or by phone. That way some one actually has to open and read the the things and physically file them. This will put them to more trouble than they are used to with clients; They will almost certainaly insist you contact them almost any means. However it is a good way of keeping account of their service. Because should things involve lawyers and bill collectors I guarantee they will have no record of any pf your phone calls that reinforce your case and they will 'loose' any electronic correspondence you have sent them. Keep a record of all your letters to them on your PC and reguarly back it up on a memory device &/or cloud. Good luck :)
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