“ recently been acquired by TXU Europe - parent company of electricity and gas business Eastern Energy. „
I was about to sign up to norweb only to find that it is part of TXU and powergen and yet had been quoted figures under those of each company by each other. be warned when planning to sign with any company that you could actually be signing with someone you are already with, and if you are unhappy with them you are not likely to be happy with them under another name.
Following deregulation of this,that and the other,we are supposed to have so much choice when it comes to picking the right utility company to use.At times this can be bewildering when companies assail you by post,phone and even e-mail! After being bombarded by phone-calls from all the electricity suppliers under the sun (or so it seemed),eventually I succumbed to one silky voiced damsel and agreed to speak to a representative from Norweb, whom she assured me would be able ,at a stroke ,to cut our energy bill by an astounding amount! On the duly appointed day,at the prescribed hour,he turned up. I am fairly sceptical of all offers - if something says it`s too good to be true,it usually is and I`ll stay well clear of it,whatever it is.I was well prepared to take what he said with a large pinch of salt unless he backed up all his claims with solid fact and figures.Unbelievably ,what he presented to me did appear to justify switching our account from Powergen to Norweb.After careful analysis of figures,facts,graphs,comparisons and the like,I began to be swayed. We are currently on the Economy 7 tariff with East Midlands Powergen.The numbers he gave me stated that there would be an appreciable reduction in the cost per unit used ,both for the day and night rate.Also the standing charge per day would be considerably less than what we were paying,making an overall saving of about 15-20% in all. I decided to settle with them then and signed on the proverbial dotted line.I sat back to await my first bill from them,wondering just how much we could reduce our monthly direct-debit by,as they said it could only be set up after they have seen what our present consumption was.Fair enough,I thought. Plop on the mat came on envelope the other day from TXU Energi.I was just about to bin it unopened as yet more advertising rubbish when curiosity got the better of me and I ripped it open,already heading for the waste-bin.
What came out was our electric bill,not from Norweb but from this restyled company that I knew nothing about.A liitle blurb included told us that that was the new name for Norweb who I had signed up with. We had been expecting a bill in the region of £60 - 70 and not a demand for ,wait for it........£513.09 !!! As we are not responsible for powering Blackpool Illuminations or Wembley Stadium floodlights,I thought this a little excessive!(Here you can add ..understatement of the year!) The problem lay in the fact that the meter readings had been estimated,giving totally ludicrous figures for our consumption.As we have an outside meter to negate about that particular need,it rankled me somewhat. A phone-call to them would allow me to vent my anger at some poor ,unsuspecting assistant.Problem!How do you get through to them when they say the phonelines are so busy,they leave you waiting and waiting for so long that eventually a recorded message comes on to say "leave a message and we`ll get back to you" - Famous last words.No way was I going to accept that. Eventually after many attempts I got through to a real person although she seemed totally uninterested,impersonal and probably had been dealing with problem bills like ours all day. Ah.The fault lies in the fact that your bill is estimated and our computer does not have any previous bills to base it`s estimation on, were her words.I asked her why so many of customers problems were laid at the feet(!) of the "computer" .I could almost see the sneer on her face as she snorted at the other end of the line.."I`m afraid I can`t answer that". My second question was just as easily fended off.Why estimations when there is an outside meter?Oh.The readings were probably incorrectly inputted into the system so couldn`t be used or the meter man couldn`t gain access to the meter box.Obviously set answers that she reeled off. <
br>Did I want to leave the actual readings so a true bill could be sent out? Not so fast deary!My eagle eyes had spotted that the standing charge was 30.47 pence per day ,almost double what Powergen had charged.This figure was supposed to be less than with my old company .Why?Not my department she stated.I was supposed to contact another part of the company ,in writing,no phoning ,to sort that out. As you can tell,my first brush with Norweb or TXU Energi did not enamour me to them and I have already set plans in motion to junk them!This bill almost gave my wife a heart attack and she said that if she had of been on her own she would somehow have paid the bill as sent! How many more companies are responsible for bills like this and brush offs of the type I was given? How much pain and anguish are the elderly or timid subjected to? Let`s have your horror stories please.
My opinion of British Gas (BG hereafter) is perhaps best kept to specific BG opinion but let me just say that they are not a company that I would willingly do business with. After purchasing my first house I took all gas/electricity meter readings ready to receive bills and start paying! Not as simple as you might think but to cut a long story short it didn’t take long for me to be so despondent with BG that I was desperate to change supplier. On shopping trip to Safeways I was approached by a NORWEB (now TXU) energy representative and was easily convinced to switch from BG. From that day on, NORWEB were both my gas and electricity supplier. The process of changing supplier was extremely easy. NORWEB took full responsibility. All I had to do was take a meter reading and pay the outstanding balance from the previous suppliers. Since then I have enjoyed lower prices for both gas and electricity. Whilst the saving is not massive enough to warrant an extra holiday or a shopping bonanza for the wife, every penny does count in the long run. More importantly, and one of the main reasons I changed to NORWEB (rather than the other suppliers on the market), was the deal with Tescos. Whereby NORWEB customers receive club point vouchers for every pound spent on NORWEB utility bills. This represents a nice bonus at the end of each quarter as we get almost £4-5 worth of Tescos vouchers for already saving money on our bills. As if this wasn’t enough, NORWEB customers receive a Goldsaver card which entitles the bill payer to discount at a variety of shops around the country. For me living in Portsmouth there are relatively few shops that accept the Goldsaver card promotions but there are restaurants and shops in Blue Water, Lakeside and other regional outlets that do and you receive a booklet highlighting participating retailers. The offer I use most commonly is the one at Dominoes Pizza where I receive 30% discount on normal
ly full price purchases. Not a bad saving really! I try to keep it in the car as I get a good discount at Granada service stations too. I originally thought that the energy suppliers were all a much of a muchness in their ineptitude - but I was very wrong. On every occasion I have needed to contact a NORWEB representative they have been courteous, professional and above all helpful. For example I am in credit on one utility and wanted to reduce my DD instalments. This was done instantly and my refund cheque was received two day later! Yes, two days later – I nearly fainted! It took BG 7 months just to organise my account properly! I have little doubt that as long as TXU energy remain price competitive I will keep my custom with them and in the same respects I have no qualms with recommend TXU to everybody paying a gas and electricity bill.
I first joined Norweb Energy two years ago. As I had just retired and my income was more than a little less than my previouse salary I phone them and asked what would be the best way for me to pay for the gas and electicity I was given several ways of paying, monthly direct debit being the easiest way, but as I was now on weekly pay this did not really suit me. Having a card meeter installed was another suggestion but, never having had one of these before this did not suit me either. My next option was a plastic card that you take to the post office and pay as much or as little as you wanted, and then this ammount would be deducted from future bills. I opted for the plastic cards as then I was able to pay for my gas and electric when I went to the post office everyweek to cash my pension. This worked out to be the best payment plan for me and in the two years that I lived in my flat I did not have to pay for one bill for gas or electric over and above my weekly payments. When I left my flat I was in credit for both gas and electricity and when I phoned them to ask for a refuned I was sent a cheque the next day. I have now changed to Norweb Energy for my new home. They did not presurise me to change over to them in my new home, I phoned them and they were their usual friedly selves.
How many times will I have to phone Norweb energi to get a meter fitted? To date it has taken five phone calls, two missed appointments and one failed appointment. All I want is to change meter to a card meter as we have built up a large bill, largely to keeping rooms at oven temperature to keep newborn baby toasted. We have learnt our lesson but still need to pay off bill and keep gas on. It has taken three attempts to get then to acknowledge the meter being changed. I have phoned then each time I have received a bill asking for payment, as I have ignored recent communications, and each time I telephone they have no record of previous conversations, yet they still know I haven’t paid my bill…mmmmmm. Each time I have noted the time date and whom I have spoken to and when I mention this, suddenly, as if by magic I am told, “oh I wonder if that’s what that note on your file refers to?”. Strange that don’t you think. Eventually we agreed on a day and an afternoon appointment, so I structured my working morning around this arranging for the child minder to stay at my home in case their afternoons start at 12.00. I then waited until 4.30 before telephoning to be told the men work until 6.00pm and beyond. Fair enough. After 9.00pm, I figured they weren’t coming. When I telephoned at 8.00am the next morning I was told they might have had emergencies which is why they didn’t come, so I guess the mobile phones they carry around are for show only. But that was all they offered me, they then asked “did I want another appointment making?” had to think about this…after deciding I did I was told it will be in a fortnights time. Ah well, I suppose we can turn the heating as high as it goes for another two weeks and not worry about paying for it. BUT< will they turn up? We will wait and see.
I have always had my electric from Norweb, in fact when British Gas tried to get me to defect, they didn't believe I paid so little. Truth is I defected from British Gas as they charged way too much, so now I get both gas and electric from Norweb energi. I was quite happy about this, especially as my electric direct debit was halved earlier this year as I don't use a lot of electric, but they then decided to put UP my gas by £15 a month, I was not happy. I decided to try British Gas again, but they said they couldn't offer it much cheaper (I thought they could have at least tried to get my custom!) So now I am trying to use less gas, to be honest I don't use it much anyway, I use the microwave more than the cooker, and of course the central heating is off. So I am going to scout around and try to find a better deal, where are all the salesmen when you want them?