I don’t often settle scores via my blog, but here is a tale to curl your hair.
I’m in the process of renovating a small house, which is being rewired. Lacking any form of heating and having just one live socket it understandably uses very little electricity. With great difficulty I convinced Scottish Power of this situation, and agreed to a direct debit of £14.54 /month to cover the standing charge and negligible usage.
Today I thought I would confirm the situation by submitting a further meter reading, showing that in the last 6 weeks I had used 3KWH of electricity.
As soon as I submitted the reading, this notice popped up! Increasing my bill to £191.44.
Something wrong here.. So I went to Direct Debit Manager which enables me to set my own payment. I planned to revert to the original sum.
It wasn’t that easy because this is what happened:
But I tried and tried and eventually I got to the right page, and set about amending the Direct Debit. Interestingly here they wanted not £191.44 but £171.00. Still pretty exorbitant for using no electricity. So I tried to set my own payment.
Read the bottom line! I am allowed to revert to the old payment. But there is one tiny problem: the penalty will be an immediate one-off payment of £2,659.82!!
Deeply puzzled I took a look at the panel displayed if you click on “View your payments breakdown”
Beyond astounding. This panel tells me that my next payment review takes place in April 2024. However, according to Scottish Power paragraph 2, this is only 5 months away! What calendar are they on? Would you trust a direct debit to a company which doesn’t know what year they are in? And increased your bill thirteen fold because you used three kilowatts of electricity?
I’ve since received an email, telling me that they are going to take not the recommended £171 but the far nicer £191.44 which appeared in the first pop-up. Seems dates and figures are pretty labile in the Scottish Power computers. My account balance is already £47 in credit, which would cover almost three months in a house with no electricity.
Complain you suggest? The chance would be a fine thing! The system allows you to communicate online with bots or listen to a couple of hours of canned musak and then speak to an operative trained to resemble a robot. I already have one unresolved complaint with Scottish Power running since early August. I have 31 days before they start helping themselves to my £191.44. I am going to need it.