Npower - do they know what they're doing?

  interzone55 20:04 18 Aug 2009

I'm with Npower on a dual fuel, internet direct debit tariff.

We get a 6 monthly payment review, 12 months ago they dropped our payments, too far in my opinion, but they insisted.

6 months ago we were £420 in debt with them, so they whacked the payments up, too far in my opinion, but they insisted.

Now we're £200 in credit, so they're paying me the money back and have dropped the payments, again too far.

In the last 6 months we've paid £980 for fuel, but only consumed £360 worth. The £620 difference is paying back the debt & then paying £200 too much hence the credit.
That's an average of £60 a month yet they want to drop us down to £50 a month.

I fear they don't have the slightest clue what they're doing. We've been with them for 2 years, surely their software should have a picture of our usage pattern by now.

Oh how I wish I had a smart meter...

  oresome 20:14 18 Aug 2009

Two side effects of this over/undercharge spring to mind.

1) It's difficult for a competitor to beat the monthly payment you're making whilst you're being undercharged.

2) It's difficult for you to change supplier whilst in debt.

  961 20:58 18 Aug 2009

The answer to your question is......NO

If you look at customer surveys you'll find they are not well regarded

If you are in credit, switch supplier

I bet you can beat their tariff

Try the Which? comparison web site. It's free

  interzone55 21:14 18 Aug 2009

"I bet you can beat their tariff"

I've checked and can't beat the tariff - and that's based on what we should be paying, not the inflated or deflated rates they've been offering us.

We had a load of hassle swapping from British Gas so don't really want to switch again. I think I'll put my foot down and insist they take the right amount off us in future...

  SB23 21:15 18 Aug 2009

Its not just Npower that don't seem to be able to grasp a customers usage pattern. Your not alone.

Back in S.Wales my electric supplier dropped my payments so far, that when we moved we had to pay £200 just to clear their mistake.
Here in Lincolnshire my current supplier has done the same, but rectified very quickly after, after my wife "insisted".
My gas and phone are the same, so much so, my wife rings and "insists" when the payments need to be changed.

  Pamy 21:36 18 Aug 2009

send them regular meter readings

  WolframBlitzen 01:50 19 Aug 2009

Alan14: (we seem to be running into eachother a lot, hmm?) My partner and I had a problem exactly like yours when we moved in here 2 years ago. Eventually, enough was enough. We sat one night and looked on EON, amoung others, had a standing-order kind of thing. We switched to EON for their dual-fuel offer, we get a discount for that, a discount for paperless billing and tesco clubcard points (which I think was the selling point for Kyle)

We pay £80/month as a fixed price, year round. Currently we're in credit because we're using virtually no gas (not running the heating) and not much more electricity. Obviously, that credit gets nearly used up in the winter.

I'll get to the point. Checkout it's got some good offers on there and you specify what kind of tarrif you're on, without them changeing the price plan on you!

Good luck and I hope you get things sorted soon!

-The Blitz Man

  laurie53 08:55 19 Aug 2009

"they don't have the slightest clue what they're doing"

Oh yes they do.

All the time you're in credit they are earning interest on your money.

Multiply that by all their customers, factor in those who, unlike you, do not keep a close check of their account, and you have a nice little additional earner.

  red1977 09:04 19 Aug 2009

why not check your meter,advise Npower then pay your bills quarterly.

  jack 20:00 19 Aug 2009

over OTT monthly payments - It took a local newspaper campaign to get them to act and refund a credit worth half a years payments.
Since then I pay the bill when I get it- usually with 24 hours.
I much prefer my money in my bank earning me some interest.

  laurie53 09:10 20 Aug 2009

Use monthly Direct Debit by all means, but have it going into an ISA which you reserve for utilities..

Then draw a cheque as the bills come in.

I earned £180 interest on my "utilies" ISA last year, money which would gone to the utility companies if I had used their own scheme.

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