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Originally posted April 19 2006 at 17:04 under General. 0 Comments. 1 Trackback (now closed). Last modified: 23 April 2006 at 13:01

PowerGen Are Incompetent

PowerGen just play Please hold the line. Repeatedly.

My mother just had a wonderful experience with PowerGen (no, I don’t know why their site is so painfully slow), the UK gas and electricity supplier. Yes, the word wonderful was used to mean the opposite there. Let me outline the situation.

Rental property, “keyed” meter. This basically means that rather than getting a monthly bill the electricity is pre-payed by “charging” an electronic key at a convenient store. So you add say £10, plug the key into the meter, you get £10 worth of electricity to use. This has the advantage for the company that people can’t do a runner and leave bills unpayed. Of course you’ll also notice that you can’t possibly owe the electricity company anything. That didn’t stop PowerGen claiming that money was owed for unpayed monthly bills, but that’s another (now sorted) story. No, this relates to removing this inconvenient system and installing the more usual metering procedure. The landlord said this could be done. PowerGen said this could be done. A date was agreed for the magical man to come a replace the keyed meter with a normal style one. He had a five hour window (8 am to 1 pm) this morning. Suffice to say nobody turned up.

That of course solicited a phone call to PowerGen. It’s worth noting, perhaps, that they seem to have out sourced their call centre overseas. Never a good sign. Basically they don’t know what’s happening, they’ll call back. An hour and some later, no call back, second phone call. First the front line support says oh yes, you should have had an engineer this morning. Then try to work out what’s happening and say, “oh no. No record of an appointment”. Er.. time for a supervisor. Out comes the classic response of “they’re in a meeting”, and a promised call back.

Wait more than an hour again (you just knew there would be no phone call didn’t you). A third phone call to “customer support” with an immediate demand for someone in a supervisory capacity. They seemed completely unable to supply such a person, or a supervisor’s supervisor… with an increasingly irate my mother to deal with. To not be able to supply second line support to an angry customer on their third phone call…well…

PowerGen are no longer the electricity suppliers. Southern Electric just got a call (to their apparently Scotland based call centre) and got the business, with no problem at all.

The thing is I just looked at PowerGen’s website (slow!!). Clicking the contact us link gets to email, postal, telephone and “complaints” links. The point is to get any further with any of them they want you’re address. What the hell for. They don’t even know if I’m a current customer. Bah. The public facing side of this company is nothing short of appalling.

There’s not much point writing this. PowerGen aren’t going to read it, and they are no longer being dealt with anyway. I just thought I’d send them whatever Google, Technorati, etc “love” I could.

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At Least They Worked Out Somethings Wrong

It's known Powergen are incompetent. At least it seems they're beginning to do something about it. we believe that we can best achieve industry-leading customer service said their managing director. All I can say is they've got a hell of... [Read More]

Tracked from IMS_Blog on Jul 2, 2006 at 22:24

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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