We switched to Utilita for our prepaid electric service after a canvasser spoke to my partner, at our address. We heard nothing at all from them for a number of months, apart from an electric key being posted which we presumed must have been from Utilita, but there was no letter or information included to verify this.
This week I answered the door to three people who were here to fit a metre. As I was on my way to take my son to nursery I said this was not a convenient time and could they call back, the response I got was 'If you leave the property we will break in'. I disputed this with the woman who did not tell me her name, but told me she was a warrant officer. Her attitude was appalling, sniggering and smirking at me throughout communication. I was told they had the powers to break into my home, this shocked me as we owe them no money and have heard absolutely nothing from them whatsoever. No prior warning, no appointments, no dates of when the switch would happen, absolutely nothing.
I asked what would have happened had I not been in at the time and she said simply they would have broken in. Well in her words it was ''what part of this aren't you getting, we'd have broken in'' - Nice!
One of the men, who I later found out was a locksmith, was apologetic and he said they could come back later but the woman took over and said she was the officer and it was her decision and she was to do it now.
My partner was due home early due to having to attend a course as part of his job, so it worked out that he would be due home shortly. The locksmith was happy to wait, the woman laughed at me with what she called 'frustration'. Really not sure how she thought I felt.
I then locked my property and left.
When my partner arrived the woman had a different attitude and said she had experienced this a lot in our area with people not being notified - this was something she omitted to tell me.
As soon as I returned from nursery I phoned Utilita and cancelled the account. My treatment was absolutely diabolical and I cannot believe this is allowed to go on.
I've heard of hard sales but this is ridiculous. Breaking into peoples homes to fit a metre, seriously?!
After cancelling the account with Utilita I immediately switched suppliers, who within a couple of days had posted a letter to me asking me to make an appointment for them to come with their metre at a convenient time to myself. This is exactly what Utilita SHOULD have done, yet didn't.
I have two dogs in my property which either could have attacked the people had they broken in if I had not been here, or escaped when the door was broken down/opened whatever - who would have been liable for that?
PLEASE STEER CLEAR OF UTILITA!!!
Third week of disputes with this company, several emails back and forth and nearly two hours on the phone today at my expense to their 0845 number. Lie upon lie upon lie, currently trying to threaten us with a £150 bill - yes for pre paid electric, makes no sense.
They have admitted on the phone, of which I have asked for a transcript to be sent out, that they gave no prior warning to the Warrant Officer's visit - yet they pride themselves on customer service? The Warrant Officer came to install the metre, why on earth they could not have arranged this via letter I have no idea, and neither do they - apparently an error. An error which saw me being verbally abused by a Warrant Officer with a court order to break into my home.
The Warrant company have said they called previously on the 30th of Jan which so happened to be my birthday so I am fully aware of how I spent that day - at my property with my sister and categorically no warrant officer arrived. This has been verified when I have questioned the safety of dogs had I not been home on the 18th by Utilita telling me that if they were aware we had dogs a dog handler would have been present. Surely if the warrant officer called previously they would have noted we had dogs? Aside from the barking which would have happened we also have signage and dog toys outside which clearly show dogs live here yet no dog handler arrived on the 18th. Kind of goes to show we were not visited prior to this - aside me and my sister fully knowing this anyway.
They are making the issue of the dogs to be nothing, but having researched this my dogs could have been removed - at my expense - or destroyed had they attacked when someone broke into their home, this is somewhat of an issue to me.
We switched to Utilita because we wanted their services so why would we ignore any communications? They've said that one letter was now sent out in december, it was not and they have not clarified what this letter is even supposed to be about.
Absolutely shocking company and disgusting service.
More Updates as case continues..................
I have been using Utilita For about 1 year now and have had no problems. They supply my Gas and Electric.
They were one of the companies that come around my area door knocking which usually ends up with me saying no thank you and shutting the door but on this companies 2nd attempt I took the information from them and looked into it more. I was interested to learn more when I saw that I could save money. I arranged for a sales rep to return to my property for a more detailed chat.
I decided to sign up with them and see how it went. The sign up process was quite easy and straight forward. The actually getting connected was what took the time. Utilita have to get the connection from the current suppliers which seemed to take a few weeks, Once they had the connection they arranging to come and install the new meters.
They put new meters in for gas and electric, and then they give you a box called a freedom unit. This Freedom unit box lets you find out all the information you need about your accounts. Very simple to use.
You get a manual with company info in and instructions on how to use unit. The information it tells you is how much credit you have on gas/elec. How much you have used so far that day, how much that previous week and how much into the emergency credit you are if credit used up.
I find this very useful in deed to help monitor usage and keep closer track, Also you can see what is using most energy in the home.
The units come with a paypoint card for each gas and electric which you use to put credit on at any paypoint place.
When you top up the credit onto the card it automatically goes onto the unit so no need to insert a key. If however the credit doesn't go on the numbers on the receipt need to be entered into the unit, instructions in manual show how. I've only had to do this on one occasion.
The company don't penalise you for paying this way as this is the only way they do it.
Upon joining with them last year they were cheaper then other companies in the area, Maybe not now as British gas lowered prices recently. I stay with the at present as find it so much easier then waiting for a bill that you don't know how much will be..I usually put credit onto the accounts once a week.
The units provide £10 emergency credit if you run out which is activated by pressing 2 buttons on unit after an alarm sounds to warn that it is low.
If however you use the £10 emergency the company will never disconnect after 4pm or before 10am on a weekday.If the supply runs out on 4pm on Friday the supply will remain until 10am on Monday unless a bank holiday which would carry it over until 10am Tuesday. This facility is aimed at people unable to get out at these times i.e single mums with small children or elderly.
I found out that back in 2005 this company had troubles but were relaunched in 2006.
Utilita are based in Winchester Hampshire. They cover areas in the South and not sure where else they have reached at present.
A disadvantage of this company like many others is the 0845 number to contact them but saying that they will give you a local rate number to call them back on if necessary.
My dealings have been good with this company and hope others will find this too if they are with them or decide to join with them.