Want to pay? Well you can’t.

There are times when I despair, when the ‘Ah’ moment is not one of relief but one of blatant frustration.
Such was today.

Cast your minds back to pre-moving day and my courtesy call to the energy company to advise them we would not be taking over their tariff and services.
How I wish I’d never contacted them.
Well, our new supplier has kicked in, and trying to get a bill out of the previous one is taking a huge chunk out of my patience reserves.

I eventually received an email to say my bill was available to view on-line a week or so ago.
Two days later I had another email to say my final bill was available to view on-line.
Bearing in mind I had never accessed my account as I’d asked for, and believed, I would be getting a paper bill in the post**, I took the bull by the horns (or the laptop by the throat) and logged in.
The readings were correct, and the total amount outstanding less than £15 for both electricity and gas, so I was quite pleased.
It was short-lived.
How to pay.
Yeah. Right.

**Paper bill in the post, the idea being to pay by cash or cheque.
So the payment details quoted were for online, internet, or telephone banking.
Hubby and I have had horrendous problems paying for things on-line with a card. The last time resulted in our accounts and cards being blocked, taking almost a week to get up and running again, so now we don’t do it.
I was loath to ring and pay over the phone as it would be just my luck for them to set up a direct debit, they really do come across as that dippy.
We managed to download the PDF file showing my bill and decided to phone the customer help line to check out the bank details for paying over the counter at the Post Office.

The young man I spoke to gave me the sorting code of the bank, and an account number which didn’t have enough digits to my trained eye, but he was adamant his details were correct. I quoted from the ‘telephone banking’ details on the bill and he said he’d check.
Yep. His screen was wrong and so he had to update it accordingly. I wonder how many other people he’s given the wrong number to.
He’d assured me I could pay the bill at the Post Office, so I stood in the queue and waited my turn.
‘Sorry, can’t help you without a bar code.’
I said I’d been told they could fill out a blank slip with the banking details on the bill and I could pay manually.
‘No, sorry. We need the bar code. Try the bank.’
There are two banks here, neither are open every day, and I am not a customer of either.
We thought sod it and got in the car to drive 20 miles to a branch of our own bank where I knew I would be able to use a blank giro form, especially as the company holds an account at one of their other branches. Numbers are my specialty and I still have a pretty good memory for which sort code series relate to which banks.
The girl behind the counter couldn’t have been more helpful, checking out the validity of the bank and account number first.
I made out the slip, quoted my customer reference number, name and address and handed over the cash.
Having attached the stamped receipt to my bill, we came home to find a paper bill on the mat.
Surprise, surprise. Apart from a curly gizmo under my name which I assume was a ‘bar code’, it was identical to the one we had downloaded, so no giro slip was attached anyway as I had originally been led to believe on my initial phone call a month ago.
Hell, all this for a few quid.
Still, it’s done, paid and finished, and I’ve sent yet another email to the company to say the bill has been settled in full and complaining about their service, confusion and lack of ease to make a payment for customer who don’t have a reliable internet connection.

Everything is so On-line dependent.
How I long for the old days when you got a bill with giro attached, walked into your bank and paid it over the counter with the minimum of fuss.

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! We have recently lost our beloved dog 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, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. 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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3 Responses to Want to pay? Well you can’t.

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    (Sigh). Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Pingback: Remember that gas bill? | pensitivity101

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