Every few months being frugally inclined I like to do a bit of financial housekeeping and set myself the challenge of shaving money off my domestic bills. It's simple amusement and appeals to my pound stretching tendencies.
Anyway, my existing energy provider for both gas and electricity First Utility had advised of a quite hefty price hike and despite my satisfaction with their service I knew I was forking out more than I had to each month. Coupled with the fact that my house is very energy inefficient - solid walls that can't be insulated and children plus a hairless dog inclined to complain when they turn blue something had to be done.
I looked on various price comparison sites and all came up with the solution - a fixed deal with npower. I have had previous multiple dealings with npower none of which have been positive so I was sceptical. However the figures spoke for themselves. I decided to switch via a price comparison site using Quidco so that I could earn cash back on my energy switch. I immediately regretted the decision but the prospect of being able to keep the heating on longer and saving some money won me over.
What could possibly go wrong? Well everything really. The switch to npower was very slow taking over 12 weeks for both my gas and electricity to transfer across. I provided my initial meter readings when I joined npower but apparently they aren't too good with numbers and these were taken incorrectly. This resulted in someone calling to check I wasn't tampering with my gas meter when I submitted my next meter reading. I explained the error but nobody was interested. I was never put on the fixed rate plan I signed up for. My gas direct debit wasn't ever activated. If you call to get through to the call centre expect to be on hold a lot alternating with being cut off completely. I didn't receive any gas bills after more than 6 months and still haven't had both my final bills having decided that I could not stand any more of npower.
Since leaving I have had numerous letters apologising for the delay in the preparation of my final bills, but still no bills. I can now honestly say I have learnt my lesson and will happily never be an npower customer ever again.
The 1986 wholesale gas price was exactly the same as the 2006 gas price. But your gas bill has risen 400% in that interim. The market is rigged and acts as a passive cartel for the Big Six, who can make huge profits by not risking putting each other out of business with this market. They mine the gas, they pipe the gas and they sell the gas to themselves. They can't lose. The governments are complicit as they want the VAT and tax revenue from high prices and also the big six to extract money from bill payers, rather than the treasury, to cover infrastructure costs. The alternative is an oil war like Iraq every other year to secure our gas supply. Putin isn't the nicest man to play fair on that. The energy companies then have the bloody cheek to use tax avoidance measures as they claim to be investing all that profit in infrastructure, complete nonsense. Although Npower makes the most of this tax avoidance they are the biggest investors in infrastructure in the U.K. so that's something to mitigate. Coal and gas generate 81% of their output. They were, however, like most of the big six, involved in dodgy doorstep salesmen techniques to trick people into higher tariffs.
It looks like the Chinese are going to pay for our new nuclear reactors and in return they are going to get twice the value of a each gas and electricity therm and volt they produce and sell to the National Grid and that cost will be passed on to you, of course. British Gas and our big six energy companies simply don't want the massive bill to build our critical energy infrastructure or, indeed borrow the money to build it and so that's why your bill goes up and up. With the China deal the duel fuel bill is definitely going to keep going up and up and suck more and more money out of the economy as heating and power becomes your second mortgage. We are at the situation now where our oldest and most frail are PRAYING for really cold weeks in the winter to trigger winter fuel payments so they can pay their bills and not be evicted due to Cameron's sadistic bedroom taxes. Knowing the nasty Tories I would not be surprised if they hope 20, 000 or more a year die from the cold to save on their pension payments and care home bills - and, of course, winter fuel payments.
I like to switch my bills and agree with The Sun that we should all move away from British Gas. BG overcharges 15% on average purely because people rarely move away from them. Older people quite rightfully are intimidated by switching and easily bullied. But a move to online billing does save big the first time you do it, especially away from British Gas. Most people that do switch have exhausted the savings and simply don't turn on the heat so to save that way. Like petrol sales, gas sales have fallen 20% in the last five years. And people get used to being cold and those savings. This is what's really worrying the big six as they then have to sneak the bills up more to recover that profit loss for their shareholders and so draw more bile; yours and my pension funds the result. And if you are switching wait until the big six have put up their prices, especially your provider. Remember that these guys are talking in the same clubs and bars to maximize profits with their coordinated movies. I fully expect Npower to put the bills up the same as all the others and so not competitive in any way.
We have moved to NPower as they have cynically offered a lock in deal to 2017 to counter and prove Ed Millbands claims at the same time. What I like about NPower is they allow you to tap in your gas meter reading every month and calculate your bill that way. It's often the case your first few bills with a new supplier are over estimated and you get the shock bill. We watch every penny.
NPower lists on the bill exactly where the money goes from your bill. We already know we have to pay green taxes to help the EU build cleaner energy but many think that's simply wasted on loss making wind turbines that produce just 1% of the power and, yet again, have to be subsidized by our taxes. Everyone hates turbines but it lifts the guilt over man made global warming that may or may not be happening and so there they all are. But MMGW is not happening right now and the more green taxes we are forced to pay the colder it seems to get in the winter. To be 100% cynical I believe the government, big business and the green movement are cashing in on a science that solid and exaggerated for exactly that reason. Oil companies secretly fund green charities and groups to push global warming so the energy companies can claim their commodity is tougher to pump than it is.
There is a small levy of around £10 pounds on everyone's bill to help subsidize discounts for the extremely poor and elderly and there is a similar deduction for grants to help us get 'free installation'. But with all these added costs the bills go up for the poor and elderly the most. God forbid if you get on a pay slot meter! Whoever you are with the price will go up £100 every year until you die. The wholesale price will not be going down any day soon because the suppliers are simply getting rid of vital but ageing storage in the U.K, like those old gas towers you used to see, so to create demand from dwindling supplies that are not actually that scarce. They buy gas cheap in the summer and store it in Europe and then flog it to us at retail in the winter as we have no storage to buy and store it cheap. Thatcher allowed them to dump storage to make it an attractive privatizing and so here we all are shivering away.
Npower, of course, are as greedy bastards as anyone else in the industry and so no value here. I moved to them simply because I have already used three of the other five. Their customer service seems fair on the phone as it is online and no problems as yet after 6 months use. Our first bill was big but falling away as they get use to our usage and regular readings from the meter. We intend not to switch the gas on until November and sparingly thereafter. I know the house temp must stay above 13 degrees so not to get poor health and also above 10 degrees to stop pipes freezing in a frost. Extra layers of clothing help to bring the bills down and if you have a log fire option then why the hell not?
The bill is set out like most bills and seems clear. As far as tariffs go we locked into the price freeze until 2017 and can at least thank Muliband for that option. If you want the best deals you have to pay by direct debit, again penalizing those without bank accounts. They have two 'Price Protector' deals, 2015 to 2017 lock in. You can get a quote on their website or use one of the many price comparison sites although if you use that latter option remember those sites can produce lower estimates than other sites on the same entered details if the power company has a deal with them. If you put the exact same details in the six major comparison search engines you always get different results. Like the energy companies, don't trust them as far as far as you can throw them.
Like getting people to care about folks in care homes or hospitals, bringing down high energy costs is just not going to happen. Hospitals surreptitiously cull our octogenarians with dementia and the energy companies use every method they can to create demand. You have to cut your usage and move money away from other bills to pay for it. There is no way out of the recession we are in as most of our wages will soon be going on fixed costs like utilities, mortgages and rent. We don't have the spare money to stimulate the economy anymore.
We have both gas and electricity on Npower and the bills around £50 a month although we have a strict regime to keep the bills low. That will double by November. The website is pretty good in keeping you up with where you are on the power you have used and how much you will use, comparing it to last months bill etc. For me I have accepted that bills will only ever go up and so waiting for the chance to vote the Tories out and see what Miliband can do with a more regulated market as its simply isn't working the way it is and costing lives now.
I Took out their boiler cover for £15pm in November 2012. Faults, Parts, Labour plus an annual service all included. As it was a busy time of year I opted to not have the service done immediately but to leave it until the spring, it was only 8 months since the last service anyway.
In Feb boiler developed a fault, bearings went on CH pump. The problems then started freom there.
It took four months to fix this fault and a subsequent one that mysteriously started after their engineers go involved. Too many issues to list here but the mains ones are the fact that it takes days for them to book you in for a visit, this is either due to a lack of engineers or a problem with their parts ordering process. Missed appointments, a lack of basic knowledge of the boiler by the engineers (my boiler is not unusual - Vaillant Ecotec Plus 937) but a number of the engineers remarked that they had never encountered one before despite the fact that it is a just an 837 with a storage tank. Issues with incorrect diagnosis of the problem itself.
When I complained I was sent an almost generic letter that answered none of my queries and when I asked for further information the person I was dealing with just stopped communicating with me. I had an answerphone message saying she would call again the next day and I never heard from her again. When the boiler was finally fixed and I restarted the complaint I was told that Npower do not cover my boiler because it has a storage tank and that they wouldn't be renewing my cover! and again mnost of my issues were not covered in their reply.
Absolutely atrocious service and judging by the other reviews not an isolated occurance either.
I feel they have total contempt for their Customer Base. Having been a loyal customer for several years they have treat me so bad I had to go to the Ombudsman to resolve the issue. They even messed them around and have breached their letter by not complying (hope this is seen by Offgen). Having complained several times they just don't get back to you; they promise the world but then do nothing (and this is at Manager level!). They are now refusing to talk to me which again is unacceptable and said that I must go through the Ombudsman. Apparently this is also not the way I should be treat (may I add I have been nothing but polite to these people). I would never go with this company again. Please read similair reviews and the 'Which' report before you go with npower!!!!!!
Be warn: Npower don't cover hot water cylinder or thermal stores. Wish I stayed with BG :(
Moved to a new house where Npower supplied electricity by inserting a preloaded key into the meter. They wanted £60.00p to convert to a standard credit meter so I transferred to BG. I had £7.50 on the key when the transfer took place. That is lost to me.Then I started getting letters demanding payment of various amounts. I rang various employees, explained the position and was told I was not in debt and that they would resolve the matter. This did not happen.I have never owed anything to them, in fact I have £7.50 credit which I can not use. I have phoned and used their useless website to no effect.Still demands arrive, the latest for £28 followed by a threat to attack my credit rating. I rang them at 12:25hrs this date and they were shut!What a rubbish company.
I applied to switch my dual-fuel (Electric and Gas) from eON to NPower early December 2012, after many chases with no correspondence I finally had a welcome letter in March 2013 from nPower, but noticed it was for electric only!!
After many more chases I was told they had computer system problems after a change to a new system and the gas was "stuck".
They quoted another 40 days to get the gas online!! Out of those 40 days I am now on day 51 still with no gas or feedback!!
That would make it over 4.5 months to get me switched with still no sign of it being resolved. In the meantime I have no dual-fuel discount and my gas is still with eON on out of contract prices!
I am losing a load of money on this switch and wouldn't recommend NPower at all.
I have complained 4 times with no feedback. I would avoid them at all costs unless you want months of hell and costs.
I had a boiler failure on Saturday 9 March. Rang the call centre at 6.30am - they would pass on my details when office opened at 8am. I rang again at 8.30 and was told engineer would call Monday between 8.00am and 18.30pm!
Stayed in all day, made a couple of calls to see if he would attend and was assured that he would be there as it was a 'repair'. At 18.30 someone in the office called me to say the engineer was in Ipswich but would be with me two days later on Wednesday.
It was a particularly cold period and they only had 2 engineers for East Anglia and one was off sick!
"NOT GOOD ENOUGH" I complained. I had to make numerous calls to various women in the office and eventually the repair was done at 17.30 on Tuesday 12th. Another day wasted waiting for visit.
I received a letter from the Hometeam on Thursday stating " We hope it was reassuring to you when you needed to contact us.." and "...you aren't eligible for a cash back.." "Relax, your we'll renew your membership automatically next month".
NEEDLESS TO SAY I CANCELLED IT IMMEDIATELY
This company is quick to take your money and promote themselves but when you need them the service is without doubt - RUBBISH.
Be very wary, do some research - and go elsewhere.
After three years of membership your cash back CEASES!!!!
Left British gas on boiler and heating cover because npower was cheaper but they don't cover the cylinder in the small prints. Berate of this because its +1000 to replace.
6 days AL lost, copious failed appointments by engineers. Disconnect between office staff and field teams. 3 children and no hot water or heating for over a week. Won't come out until Sunday another 3 days to go,daytime temp is 2 dropping to-2 at night. Issue ongoing for 3 months since Decembe . Had a perfectly fine working boiler until they touched it . Now has lots wrong with it. Stay away from npower boiler cover . If you gave me £15 a month I wouldn't have anything to do with them again. Set of cowboys , please Beware 0 rating from me
I had a small leak from a radiator valve. NPower wouldn't give me a time for the engineer to call so we had to wait in all day and he arrived at 4pm. After a quick look he said we needed a new valve and fittings which he would order and suggested that he would return 2 days later. The following day I rang customer services to ensure that the work would be carried out but they couldn't give me an answer and suggrsted I ring later, this I did but again didn't get an answer. Following numerous calls they said they we unable to get some parts. I contacted a friend who came to look at the valve; he went to the local Plumb Centre, picked up the necessary patrs and completed the repair within an hour. NPower are still waiting for parts 6 days later.
I've had a hometeam boiler contact with npower for 2 years , thankfully never having to call them out in the first year. This year we have had 4 engineer vists for various reasons booked,( the type where you arrange to stay in all day between 8 and 6). 3 times no engineer turned up on the day , with no phone call to advise. They blatantly have no regard for their customers at all. I be moving my support plus gas and electric to British gas next week
If I wrote here what I really think of NPower the mods would remove it due to profanity! The staff are useless and don't have a clue. Their processes and procedures are in disarray, no one has a clue what they're doing!! They can't add up, they don't return calls, they all say different things, you'll be on the phone for hours, honestly, this is a warning, avoid, avoid, avoid, avoid.... don't even recommend to your enemies, no one deserves to deal with them!! Wish I could give less than one star!!
friend joined Npower from British Gas for their home care service as it was a little bit cheaper, and clearly they are saving money on their customer services training. She rang up as engineer was a no show in alloted slot, totally unhelpful and disintrested. Advised to look at the terms and conditions and left feeling all her fault and not theirs even though they had said 8.30 til 1pm, which from experience means absolutely nothing. Lets hope when the manager (or if) they have a more helpful disposition.Engineer arrived, an hour after allotted time. Unclear on what his task was and had to ask my friend. He was unable to complete the inspection as his emmission tester was out of power and the charger broken. Another appointment has been booked , and no doubt another days leave wasted
I joined N Power Homecare 50 last April, an engineer arrived in a month to check if my boiler would be accepted. He inspected the boiler and was here for 15mins - a Worcester boiler 5 years old. He confirmed the boiler was OK, He did not service it.
10 months later I had a drip coming from the bottom of the boiler, being in the building industry for 35 years I am used to dealing with many different trades, one of our sucontractor plumbers told me it would be the heat exchanger and that the Worcester boiler I had was renowned for this fault.
I rang N Power on the Monday morning and was told an engineer would ring me to confirm an appointment.
I rang them on the Wednesday as I had not heard, they told me it would be Friday, an engineer turned up at 4.30pm and really did not want to know, he stated that heat exchangers were not covered under their policy, I had a copy of their policy and it did not state that within the policy. He agreed and rang their stockists to order a heat exchanger, union washers and a back board that was cracked, he read out the prices they were - Heat exchanger £198.00 the rest were a few pounds. He told me the parts might take up to a week to come.
I waited a week and had heard nothing so rang N power customer services who told me they would look into it and and ring back in 4 hours they did not return my call that day. I rang the next day and was told heat exchangers were not covered, I asked him to give me the paragraph within their policy that stated that, he referred to the sludge paragraph, the water dripping from the boiler was clear and I explained that to them, he told me a manager would ring back.
Eventually on Friday 2nd March he rang - 3 weeks from the date I first rang them and told me it would cost £900 to carry out the work needed, I asked for a breakdown - £345 for the heat exchanger ( quite a mark up on the £198) and the hourly rate was £90 per hour. I did lose my temper and apologise for swearing but what a terrible company to deal with, I have decided to get a local plumber to sort out the problem and he was horrified by their quote and will do the job for a lot less.