Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sparks will fly

Aaargh! So far I've spent the best part of the past hour on the phone to Scottish Power who currently supply my gas and electricity and seem to supply the electricity in the new flat.

I started with the Carefree team who are the department set up to deal with extra needs. Nearly 20 minutes on a chargeable 0845 number with a nice lady keen to help. After checking with her manager she gave me the number to the power systems team which was also an 0845 number. Carefree believed that because it was a physical change required (ie a new power supply rather than just a new meter) that it had to be the power supply team who authorised and did the work. They believed that because it related to disability there shouldn't be a charge but couldn't state that for sure.

So then the power supply team insist it's not their responsibility and must be sorted out by the Carefree team, even reading out an email to me which they'd all received explaining such issues must be dealt with by Carefree. I was given a national landline number to contact the carefree team this time so at least the 10+ minutes I've now been on hold since being transferred aren't chargeable. Unfortunately the second person I spoke to at Carefree insisted it was the responsibility of the power supply team and that they can't deal with it.

Finally, I've found I've been on hold so long the carefree team are closed for the day. So now I have 3 different phone numbers for the carefree team and no better idea of who to contact or how.

So, to Scottish Power: Your customer service is appalling. The individual operators are all pleasant and helpful but passing people back and forth between different departments whilst both insist it is the other departments responsibility is pretty poor and indicates a lack of training and communication. In terms of disability access and DDA it's so complicated and insistent upon avoiding responsibility that it's probably also in breach of DDA. Banging my head against a brick wall would be more productive than trying to deal with Scottish Power as a company and probably produce cheaper electricity too!

17 comments:

Rach said...

What ever happened to the can I help you and when you tell them what you want they dig and dig until the find the answer to your question, oops that doesn't happen does it, it just happens to be the way I do things, hence why I sit next to the buzzer in our office because everyone knows I will sort whether it is my job or not...fingers crossed...xx

Elaine said...

Don't let me mention BT and BT Internet. I went for BT Internet as I specifically did not want one company to fight the other.

WRONG!

They are entirely separate companies ............

Weeks later I got it sorted out but with no help from BT.

When you start to think they are all out to get you, you are not parinoid, they really are.

Mr. Nighttime said...

You gotta love governmental authorities. It's always fun when the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Sadly, you see it far too often in the private sector, as the cable company I do support for is a prime example of about as fucked up a bureaucracy as anything you might find in the government.

Fire Byrd said...

Not relevant but got me today. I got asked coming out of the supermarket which line rental I used for my phone. I said utility warehouse (gaurented(SP!!!) cheaper services than any other provider services) And since it wasn't the answer she wanted as I passed by she muttered FUCK OFF to meI was just amazed.

LceeL said...

Gawd, I hope you can get this sorted. (Notice UK speech mannerism. Just for you.)

frogpondsrock said...

I can sympathise with you. Once I was on hold for so long the battery in the cordless phone went flat *sigh* Good luck with it and thanks for the EDS link I have passed that on to Veronica.. (she is still not in labour yet) xoxoxoxo Kim

oh and btw I nominated you for the bloggies..

Dave said...

Oh dear just switched to Scottish Power....

Bendy, the problem is that you don't match up with the list of boxes they must tick. The staff are forbidden to think for themselves and all intitiative is stifled and/or punishable.If all else fails keep moaning at your MP until something is done.
And aske them for a refund on your telephone bill.

Madison Rose said...

Aargh, Scottish Power. They tweaked my pre-payment meter (ghastly rip off already) so that off peak electricity cost the same as peak time. It was winter and we were using storage heaters. My flatmates and I, stressed, penniless students all, had a huge fight over the electricity, until we realised what was happening.

Long and dreadful story short, they just messed us around appallingly, never gave back the money they stole from us, never replied to letters or emails, never apologised. Stick it to them, Bendy!

elise said...

Here in the States we ask for the supervisor or department manager when we can't get what we need from the custie service peon. I've been a peon and it's typically not a problem to hand people off to the higher ups. Of course the more polite you are, the nicer treatment you get! (EXTREMELY difficult to do when the company is completely irrational and pissing you off! But the rules of custie service seem to apply regardless.)
Once you get a human being on the phone, ask to speak to the manager/supervisor on call! They have more power to make things happen and typically know the rules better.
Good luck!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Elise,

Are you sure you don't work where I do? ;-)

Mysterious G said...

A handy site you should bookmark : http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

You can put in an 0845 number (or more expensive 0845) and most of the time it will give you the geographic number that it actually maps onto. There are a few for scotish power, sometimes it even has sneaky 0800 numbers too :)

Good luck with your future battles.

Casdok said...

Yes good luck. There is always abonther battle isnt there. SO frustrating.

having my cake said...

I was just about to put you onto say no to 0870 as well. Ruf managed to get several bank landline numbers when they fucked up. I have to say that he had a nightmare with Scottish Power over a meter issue. Good Luck x

KC said...

Hiya, completely unrelated to your post but I just wanted to let you know that I work for the ambulance service and today I was called to a lovely lady with EDS.

Purely as a result of having seen your blog I knew a bit about her condition and I really think that fact made a difference to her and to how I helped her.

Keep up the good work, you never know whose lives you're touching.

Best wishes

Nicey said...

Yeah I have had my run ins with that outfit they really are a bunch of cowboys !!
Laters

Nicey

LceeL said...

Just stopping by - today is the 15th - so it's been over a week since last you posted. Sincerely hoping you're okay.

xoxo

Adrian - Incense and Candles said...

You're right, those utitlity companies have a license to print money (most of it ours). And they're all total tosh.

I remember signing up on the door to Powergen because the guy showed me a print out of the cheapest gas + electricity company to be with (of course it was Powergen). The next day I used a price comparison site online only to find out they were way down the league tables - I'd been stitched up!

I promptly returned the 7 day cancellation form thinking that was that. Well, you guessed it - 30 days later I get a call from British Gas saying that they were sorry to lose me and that everything had now been transferred.

So, trust no-one! (from utility companies anyway)...