Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Utility providers suck shyte

While I've never been happy paying good money to money hungry privatised utility companies and I've done the "we don't have your authorisation - yes, you do" waltz, mingled with the "we don't have your father's concession details so we're going to suddenly whack on the extras - yes, you do - no, centrelink says he doesn't exist - that's because he's with vet affairs - no, they say he doesn't exist - yes, he does, I'm looking at him right now go ring vet affairs yourself " dipshyte foxtrot today my estimation of these pricks reached new lows.
Although I'm quite certain they're capable of stooping even lower.
We pay an agreed amount fortnightly, have done for years. It was worked out by their precious computer system based on our yearly gas useage.
Haven't missed a payment, been in credit for years, never had any probs.
Until they changed their billing system around August last year.
Suddenly, no bills.
Was my fault for not following it up but we were a tad distracted with the offspring's rage attacks and meltdowns, wasn't going out of my way to find more angst.
But we kept on paying the agreed amount.
Then we get a letter today saying we've missed a payment.
I promptly rang them up with all the receipts lined up in front of me only to be told that they had decided to INCREASE the payment amount.
But they didn't tell us.
And when I questioned as to why they would need to increase the amount they claimed it was because I wasn't covering the bills.
Pardon?
I read out the details of the previous bills (up until August) that all stated clearly that after the due amount was taken out we were in CREDIT.
Ahhh, but apparently the Sept-Oct bill was larger and not met by our payments.
As were the following months bills.
One of which was sent out yesterday with the over-due letter but hasn't arrived.
Were they, I asked, actual or estimated readings?
Estimated readings, came the reply.
Right! says I through gritted teeth, I want my readings re-done by one of your chaps to actually eyeball the damn meter.
And I am NOT paying for a new reading to be done as I expect my money for these bills goes towards the pay of the meter reader and I will NOT pay for the damn person to dream up a figure in his head instead of using his God-given eyesight to read the actual useage.
I then contacted the Energy and water ombundsman and I've asked that the readings be re-done without me paying extra, that actual readings are done in futre, that the payment amount is returned to the previous AGREED upon amount and that future communication is far more diligent and forthcoming than what has been our experience in the past few months.
We shall see if they will play ball or we will be taking our custom elsewhere.
Yes, I even considered ripping out the gas heater and going back to wood just to get this particular monkey off my back.

As for mail arriving late or not at all - I have a looooooooooooooooooong list of several years worth which I compiled and produced for the postage ombundsman early last year (after 5 complaints about missing mail and parcels over the years were brushed aside at the post place itself. Yes, some were registered mail)  only to be told that really wasn't very much and to contact them again when I had something substantial to complain about but that they probably couldn't do very much in the end, anyway.
I haven't wasted my energy in that quarter since.

9 comments:

Jo-anne "Blossy" said...

We pay a set amount each fortnight towards our bills, just like you. It's nice seeing the credit amount when the account arrives every three months. Although I have noticed that the amount we pay seems to get swallowed up pretty quickly and the amount of credit shown on each bill is becoming less.
I do hope that you are able to get everything sorted out soon.

Red Nomad OZ said...

AAARRRGGGHHH! What I loathe is actually dealing with ANY company whose customer 'service' section is a call centre run by a bunch of clueless 15 year olds! Who don't give a flying fig about a) your issue; b) the correct answer or c) follow up service. And our bore pump meter in the paddock didn't get read this time because the meter reader didn't want to walk down there (2 mins return) because a) there'd be snakes in the grass; b) the grass was too dry (!) and c) he'd have to fight off the wild animals (sheep). So we've got a random 'guesstimate' that bears no relationship to ANY readings from that meter!

Good luck getting it sorted - and deepest sympathy!

Lord Sedgwick said...

There isn't enough time left in my life expectancy to chronicle my experience of the chronic performance of AGL -both gas and electricity. (Not only me, but similarly frequent and banging head against brick wall experiences from 2 immediate neighbours)

The classic was when I saw the gas meter reader walk right past my front door (is one way glass) without giving it a second glance and without breaking stride or wind as I sat working at my desk. I went out and asked (rhetorically) if he was reading the gas meters.

"Yes."

"Well, perhaps you might like to come inside an read my meter."

"Oh, I knocked on your door but there was no answer."

"So, you knocked on the door upon which is attached a large sign at eye level which advises the meter read to ring the door bell!?"

"I didn't see it."

AGL needs to hire a better class of lazy liar.

Davo said...

Policy;

Give us a small amount a week ...

And we will hold you in thrall for evermore.

(says someone who happens to be on gummint payroll .. heh)

JahTeh said...

I blasted them the other day for reducing my fortnightly payments after I'd already abused them for doing it with the gas. Apparently a computer is going through our accounts, seeing how much we're using then adjusting the payments.
A fracking computer ffs!
My bills now have the proper amount taken out and back to my pension days but I'll have to do this every 6 months.
Which reminds me, I haven't had a phone bill since the last round of abuse directed at Telstra. Must check that.
Who's idea was it to privatise essential services? I do hope they're burning in hell.

River said...

There's a very special level of hell reserved for all those who make decisions in utilities companies.
In particular, those who insist on raising the cost of supplying the stuff without any thought to all the pensioners who already have to choose between eating or heating. (or cooling)

Fen said...

oh good lord and good luck, i hate dealing with utility companies, let alone australia incompetentpost. They seem to be untouchable for some reason.

Andrew said...

Is it because we are getting older or are utility/phone/mail companies becoming increasingly difficult to deal with? I am yet to write about R's Mumbai meltdown, but I shall and it was quite effective.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"Is it because we are getting older or are utility/phone/mail companies becoming increasingly difficult to deal with?"

Both.

(a)Those companies ARE getting difficult to deal with. So many firewalls between the customer and the company.

(b)Us old fogeys can remember when 'service' was seen as a valued component of those companies' standard operating procedures, when you could talk to someone who knew what you were talking about and could (and in some cases would - of course it never was Utopian) do something.

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