I’m not one to complain, but………..

If I am dissatisfied with a product I have purchased and I think it necessary, a letter and wrapper/details go off to the manufacturers. I am usually compensated with vouchers (or in the case of a lost letter in the normal post, a book of 10 first class stamps), so perfectly happy.
However, there have been two occasions when the normal complaints procedure has been unsuccessful, and I have had to go ‘over their heads’ to get a result.
You might think I am just being petty, but there is a principle involved here.

Surprisingly, both instances were at our last house, one for the electricity supplier, and the other for our telephone company.

electricityThe electricity board had a price increase.
OK, I could accept that, albeit grudgingly.
What I wouldn’t accept was their estimated reading when said increase came into force.
We were on a dual meter system for an economy tariff that didn’t work for us, but I read our meter every day, and their estimate was way off equating to over ten pounds, in their favour of course. I notified them immediately and asked for an adjustment.
Sorry, they couldn’t do that, as their computer system could not ‘back date’ a bill. Phft!
I asked for a new bill with the correct readings only to be told that I would have to wait until my next bill (in six months), but an adjustment could still not be made because we were on a dual tariff. Double phft.
Eventually, I got the Ombudsman involved, who sent me a letter with instructions to write again to the electricity company but with two specific sentences therein.
If I didn’t get a favourable response within ten days, then I should contact them again and they would take over my claim.
Hurrah! Although they couldn’t adjust the meter reading (which had now actually passed on our meter), they gave me a credit of £25 as a gesture of goodwill. I only expected a tenner, so this was a good result.
meterThereafter, we got the meter changed to a single tariff and set up an internet account, where they sent a request for a meter reading when our bill was due.
No more problems until we moved out of the house and we were entitled to a small refund. This had to be by means of a cheque to our new address (a publicity ploy to badger us to continue with their services), which we never received and after spending £7.84 on a phone call (mainly on HOLD) on our mobile and still not getting anywhere, was not worth pursuing.

And so to complaint number two.
phoneWe wanted a telephone at our new property, but couldn’t afford a Broadband package at the time, so our computer was linked to the old style ‘dial up’ and you couldn’t use the phone if you were on-line and vice versa.
I was told that the 0844 number for our computer was included in the ‘free’ calls at weekends and after 6pm. Having spent over 20 minutes in a freezing cold phone box on a  main road with lorries going by all the time (their customer number was a freefone so at least I wasn’t paying for the call), I was glad to get our own phone line in a few days later.
utility bill 2I nearly had a heart attack when we received a bill for nearly £150, £80 of which was for our internet usage.
I got on the phone to complain and it appeared that the 0844 numbers were not free at any time, and I had ‘obviously misunderstood’.
No chance. It was one of the things I was insistent on understanding as Hubby used his computer a lot, and we’d had the ‘free calls’ in our previous property.
There was a lot of discussion, and in the end I said that as soon as our initial contract was up, we would be changing our supplier.
Over the next few months, we hardly used the computer and made enquiries for alternative providers in readiness. We paid our bills on time, and received several marketing calls about upgrades and obviously the increased costs.

The Survey call was very enlightening…… for them.
surveyIn no uncertain terms I told them exactly what I thought of their service, their customer care, their contracts and the rip off we had experienced. I bet they wished they had never called us.
A few days later I had a Senior Manager on the phone following up on our comments.
I explained again about the 0844 number and being misled at the outset, and she said she’d look into it.
Indeed she did, and as a gesture of goodwill, agreed to refund us for all our 0844 dial up calls since we had signed on. Very nice, and I thanked her politely for her time.

One month before we were due to hit the twelve month anniversary, I sent them a letter giving them the necessary notice to terminate our contract.
They were not happy.
All the sweet talk in the world would not sway us to change our mind, and we signed on for a Broadband Package with another provider, which worked out cheaper than anything anyone else could offer.
I budgeted for £30 a month, and including our line rental, calls and Broadband, our bill only exceeded that on four occasions in six years. Even then, it was just by a few pence.
Bearing in mind our original supplier would have charged £32 per month for Broadband PLUS calls and line rental, I think we did pretty well.
smiley

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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4 Responses to I’m not one to complain, but………..

  1. colinandray says:

    Good for you. Those who do not complain really do pay the price for it but, of course, one has to get all the facts before starting! Large corporations and Govt. bodies are the worst to deal with ….. but they can be fun in a challenging kind of way 🙂

  2. scifihammy says:

    It is like hitting your head against a brick walk with these big companies! Once they have your money they are gonna hold onto it!

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