Electric Shocks!!!


I received my first on line electricity bill from Southern Electric this week and yesterday was the first chance I had to check it over..

I was unprepared for the shock of seeing that my quarterly bill including VAT was for £448.49! Just for electricity! Well I know I like my fairy lights but how could it be that much? I read on….

My monthly direct debit had paid off £120 already so the final bill was £300 ish and at the bottom of the PDF file Southern Electric had the audacity to put the statement – ‘you’ve chosen our cheapest payment methods’. I don’t think so!!

Frantically I went back to my email – this is a dual fuel account and I wanted to see the gas bill. It wasn’t there, it hadn’t been set up!

I printed the PDF and made coffee – this just couldn’t be right..

Looking at the bill it showed that they had estimated my electricity reading – goodness knows why, I haven’t been with them long enough for them to know my usage over the winter and a meter reader hadn’t even tried to call…

I read my meter – my reading was a world away from theirs… I read my gas meter too and got in touch with Southern Electric.

I can’t fault their customer service guy – he was wonderful, he looked at my bill and took my readings. then he said I would receive a new bill in a few days. I asked him about the gas bill – he said that hadn’t been set up for online yet and was in the post to me, but that he could take my reading.

He looked at the account for gas – and literally gasped in amazement another £400 plus!!! He advised me not to open the bill when it comes!

When he had applied the actual meter readings for both accounts he told me what I really owe:  £30.92 Electric and £21.84 Gas!

Not nearly £1000 pounds like they had billed me for!

Today I will be looking for a new provider because, quite frankly I don’t need the hassle or the nasty shocks!

Any suggestions anyone?

The Power of ‘The Blog’!

For many years I dealt with customer complaints, customers would ring me or turn up at my place of work and I would listen to them ranting about their purchase (cars – a very emotive subject), it never did me any harm. BUT it did teach me the right way to complain should the need arise.

If I have to complain about anything I do it so nicely people usually thank me for bringing the matter to their attention, it works and nobody needs to rant.

Yesterday I decided I had had enough of a mascara that I had purchased. Black, volumising and waterproof, if you believe the label.

The reality was that it was black, runny and went everywhere but my eyelashes. I gave up and went to the company website to search for an address to send it back to.

The website was very pretty, full of glamorous ladies, just as it should be – but there was no address….

There was, however, a ‘contact us’ form, I decided to go for that and ask for an address…

I filled in my contact details but the next field really surprised me:

‘Are you a blogger?’

Mmmm I’ve been called that before so ‘Yes’

Next question:

‘Will you be reviewing the outcome of this on your weblog?’

I was given choices – ‘no’, ‘maybe’ ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’

I chose the latter – I had not thought of it before, but, depending on the outcome, I might just have to iRamble about it.

I filled in the free comments box, telling the company about my problem and clicked the send button.

I thought I might have received an email or phone call just to let me know they had received my complaint, but, strangely enough I have heard nothing yet!

Now, why is that I wonder?

Is it because I might blog about it? Or do they really not care about their customers? Or, maybe they get so many complaints they haven’t got round to mine yet?

OR, and I like to think this might be the reason – my complaint has been passed to a higher bod who deals with bloggers and the fact that they might tell the world wide web about their experience? See, that is power!!!!

Sadly, the reality is the website may have had a problem and they didn’t receive my request – I’ll try again today!

purple glitter eye using ben nye, m.a.c. and urban decay
Creative Commons License photo credit: dreamglow

Check Out your Check in!

I recently made an online booking for an all inclusive holiday to Tenerife.

I did this last year and spent a lovely week in the hotel in Callao Salvaje, a really nice seaside place where it is not as touristy and manic as many resorts on Tenerife, and as my brother and his young family live close by – it gave my daughter and I quality time with them.

The downside last year was that the holiday included ‘budget flights’ and Ryanair were at their worst. My daughter and I couldn’t sit together and flight personnel were quite rude. I vowed then not to use them again. But booking this latest holiday changed that because my holiday provider chose Ryanair as the carrier.

SO – after discussions with my son during my stay with him this weekend, I decided to upgrade my flights to have ‘priority boarding’ – not expensive, and it gives us a chance of sitting together.

Whilst doing this my son checked the rest of the booking and discovered that we had no baggage allowance booked. We were supposed to go for one week with just hand baggage!

I rang the holiday provider, they said that was correct and to check my tickets as it was down to the airline to work that out – they only booked the flights and hotel!

I have now revised my booking to include priority boarding both ways, 15k baggage allowance for two, both ways and now because we have baggage we have to check in ….. guess what? Yes its another payment, both ways. A total of £65 on top of what I have already paid!

But, worse than all of this would be the embarrassment of arriving at East Midlands Airport and being told that I couldn’t take my case!

So, warning to you – check out your check in allowance very carefully – it may not be what you thought it would be…..