Fiat Coupe Forum
- Founded by Kayjey & James Northam
- Funded by the Club for the benefit of all owners
Fiat Coupe Club UK
join the club
Fiat Coupe Forum
 
» Announced
    Posting images


» Related sites
    Main club site
    fiatcoupe.net


» External data
    owners listed
 
Who's Online Now
3 registered members (Max, Jim_Clennell, 1 invisible), 99 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics109,656
Posts1,303,100
Members2,762
Most Online546
Aug 30th, 2007
Top Posters(All Time)
stan 32,098
barnacle 32,065
Theresa 22,814
bockers 21,009
PeteP 18,957
JimO 17,908
Nigel 17,041
Jim_Clennell 16,306
Vickster 15,915
RSS Feeds
Club Events
Club Information
Track Events
Rolling Road/RWYB
Social Events
Non-UK Events
Coupé Related Chat
Coupé Spotting
Coupé News/Press
Buying/Selling Advice
Insuring a Coupé
Basic FAQ's
How to Guides
Forum Issues
Technical Problems
General Maintenance
Styling
Tuning
Handling
ICE and Alarm
Coupés for Sale
Coupés Wanted
Parts for Sale
Parts Wanted
Group Buys
Business Forum
Other Vehicles for Sale/Wanted
Other Items for Sale/Wanted
Haggling/Offers
Ebay links
Other Cars
Other Websites
General Chat
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
What is it with utility companies? #1628345
04/01/2019 05:35
04/01/2019 05:35
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
MeanRedSpider  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
M

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
With the notable exception of Ovo Energy, I’ve had shocking experiences with every other utility company I’ve dealt with in the last two years.

The latest of these is, in some ways, the most shocking.

Cambridge Water, having not managed to send my daughter, Eve, a bill in the last nearly two years then sent her a bill for nearly £1000. I’d have been pretty upset if this was me but Eve, on account of her leukaemia and treatment, is registered disabled and on various benefits. Cambridge Water missed 3 billing cycles.

I dealt with them on Eve’s behalf. They initially offered a £60 reduction on the bill, saying they could have offered more had Eve contacted them asking why she hadn’t been billed earlier. This was like a red rag to me. I said the the agent that I’m sure, as Eve was in hospital, the thing foremost in her mind is why she hadn’t received a water bill...

To make matters worse though, a month after Eve moved in, the water meter had to be replaced. In the bill, Cambridge Water had estimated that the water usage for that ONE month was nearly 100m3 - 100 tonnes of water in a month!!! Or about 1/3rd of the total useage in the nearly two years. £218 of the bill was related to this month. Utterly shocking and dishonest.

To cut a long story (the call was over an hour) short, they’ve reduced the bill to under £400 which I will pay for Eve - but I’m appalled by this. There must be others in Eve’s situation or worse who don’t have the support of family to take these issues on.

Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628347
04/01/2019 08:39
04/01/2019 08:39
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,212
Kent
Submariner Offline
My job on the forum
Submariner  Offline
My job on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,212
Kent
Water companies have a monopoly in each of the areas they supply and their primary aim is profit for their shareholders, they appear to make little effort and expenditure in enhancing the supply network or co-operating together to end the annual water shortage farce. They have little sympathy or empathy for their customer's, more momey gained from you is more dividend and fatter pay packets for CEOs.

The regulators of Utility companies like OFWAT and OFGEN et al are legislated impotent, they also appear to condone the practices of the companies they are meant to 'police'; case in point between 2010-2015 OFWAT allowed water companies to make £1.2bn in excess water charges that OFWAT actually had the power to prevent, reduce and even cap. Wait for the utility companies to keep creaming off the cash, treating customers like cash cows and the infrastructure degenerating further, their business model would then advocate approaching the Govt/tax payer to bail them out....ring any bells?

I agree with you OVO were superb as are Bulb. The main 6 energy suppliers run a cartel the mafia would be proud of with equally appalling customer service.

Last edited by Submariner; 04/01/2019 08:50.
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628351
04/01/2019 10:39
04/01/2019 10:39
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 18,957
Aldershot
PeteP Offline
Ex Presidente and Treasurer
PeteP  Offline
Ex Presidente and Treasurer
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 18,957
Aldershot
I too use OVO, they are even competitive when the contract ends and time to renew.

The worst ever energy company was Extra Energy, they made water companies look like paragons of virtue.

Extra Energy's billing was so chaotic with communication totally ignored that I cancelled the contract early and involved the Ombudsman who found in my favour. They even buggered up paying the compensation, telling the Ombudsman they had paid when in fact they had done no such thing.

Eventually it did arrive and so I was able to send it to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, so some good did come of it.


I have just googled Extra Energy and was pleased to see that they ceased trading in November 2018.


16VT and X1/9 1500
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628367
05/01/2019 06:30
05/01/2019 06:30
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,306
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Online content
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Online Content
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,306
Corridor of Uncertainty
I agree about energy companies and utilities - generally shockingly bad. Good to hear praise for OVO. We use Ecotricity for both our home and work energy and they are pretty good. But they are based in Stroud, where we live, and are more about the ethical side than most (like OVO?).

Dreadful behaviour by Cambridge Water, which is most disappointing as - until this - I'd have said they were easily the best water company I've ever dealt with.

If it's any compensation, my experience of utilities in France and Spain was worse even than the UK.


[Linked Image]
Spoiler alert!
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628368
05/01/2019 07:59
05/01/2019 07:59
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
MeanRedSpider  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
M

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
I work with a guy who used to work for Ovo (they’re based in Bristol) and he was explaining that they are really a software company that happens to sell power. He said that the trouble with the “big six” is their legacy systems just don’t work (parallels with banks there I think). Ovo push green power very hard.

I was impressed with Cambridge Water when we had issues with their stopcock - the fix was done quickly and efficiently. But this billing fiasco has been very shocking.

I’ve also been dealing with Virgin Media to close out the fibre connection - also utterly terrible and reminded me why I’d never use them again.

Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628369
05/01/2019 08:56
05/01/2019 08:56
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 32,065
Hemel in the Hempstead
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - Minister without Portfolio
barnacle  Offline
Club Member 18 - Minister without Portfolio
Forum Demigod

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 32,065
Hemel in the Hempstead
And yet, and yet, I've had no issue in years with Virgin, either mobile or broadband. Just occasional 'why are you charging me this much, make it less' queries. I don't buy phones from Virgin and I don't slam phone data, so a fiver a month contract does all I need.

For gas and leccy, I find the Bristol have been fine for the last couple of years, in spite of their reputation. Again, though, I may not be the standard user: I read my meter every month (reminds me, they just sent the reminder) and they send me a bill. No way will I *ever* use a direct debit on a utilities bill -- they bill me for what I've used, even at the cost of a slightly higher contract rate.



Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628387
05/01/2019 19:19
05/01/2019 19:19
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
MeanRedSpider  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
M

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
Virgin Media score 0.7 of a star on Trustpilot

Ovo Energy score 4 stars

That about matches my experience

Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628391
05/01/2019 20:04
05/01/2019 20:04
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 32,065
Hemel in the Hempstead
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - Minister without Portfolio
barnacle  Offline
Club Member 18 - Minister without Portfolio
Forum Demigod

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 32,065
Hemel in the Hempstead
Interesting that Bristol also has 4 stars. Yet the reviews are either wonderful or dreadful...

Also, time to talk to virgin again about rates smile



Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628393
05/01/2019 23:29
05/01/2019 23:29
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,471
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
Club Board member
Edinburgh  Offline
Club Board member
I AM a Coop

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,471
Auld Reekie
You really do get 'em Richard!

After thankfully jettisoning Scottish Gas and Scottish Power several years ago I've ended up with Bulb on a dual fuel contract which I'm pretty pleased with overall....you can even speak to an advisor shocked


[Linked Image]

So there, Photobucket...
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: Edinburgh] #1628394
06/01/2019 06:13
06/01/2019 06:13
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
MeanRedSpider  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
M

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,650
Cambridge & Cotswolds
Originally Posted By Edinburgh
You really do get 'em Richard!


To be fair, I’ve been living a somewhat more complicated life over the last few years than your average person (luckily for the average person) so the chances of coming across the crappier companies out there is more likely. Some, though, like Honda or Mercedes have surprised me by how poor they have been.

To make matters worse, though, I’ve been a “Quality system professional” for the last 15 years which has trained me to think in a certain way and realise that many of these things don’t need to be the way they are.

Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628397
06/01/2019 07:43
06/01/2019 07:43
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,306
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Online content
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Online Content
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,306
Corridor of Uncertainty
On a bit of a side-track, (but you started it, Rich!)
Since starting our business, we've come to realise that review sites are the new altars, upon which you can be raised up or put to the sword.
We are encouraged by our HQ to use TrustPilot (but we've realised that this is because the reviews cover the entire brand rather than individual franchisees).
Then there's the ubiquitous Google, which literally puts you on the map. Bing is also in the mix, but far less influential.
The latest one we use (largely because we are getting it free as a trial) is Checkatrade.
They have a seriously thorough vetting process, covering everything from your accounts to customer service to actual repair process. They interviewed both MrsC and me and talked to our customers. The only drawbacks are that you have to pay to be a member and - more relevantly - we have scarcely had a single lead through it, despite having dozens of 10/10 reviews. We've been told, ironically, that we need a few less glowing reviews to make it look more realistic!
I must say that when looking at reviews of other businesses, I try to remove the extreme positive and negative ones and read the middle scoring, so perhaps there's something in it.
With regard to energy companies and other utilities, they must have to recalibrate, given the dreadful overall satisfaction levels...


[Linked Image]
Spoiler alert!
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628415
06/01/2019 18:34
06/01/2019 18:34
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,540
In the coupe.
magooagain Offline
Club Member 259
magooagain  Offline
Club Member 259
Forum is my life

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,540
In the coupe.
Various forums have been talking about "Checkatrade" negatively.

Mainly diy oriented forums with people moaning after choosing bad tradesmen with glowing references from Checkatrade.

In the main,the replies have been is ,what do you expect with company's paying to be on the Checkatrade list.

Allthough on balance I know a few chaps listed there and they are top tradesmen in my opinion.



Waiting for forum photo hosting!
Re: What is it with utility companies? [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1628429
07/01/2019 06:56
07/01/2019 06:56
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,212
Kent
Submariner Offline
My job on the forum
Submariner  Offline
My job on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,212
Kent
Heard from a tradesman that the reviews/scores can be gamed on checkatrade and even -ve reviews removed, have no evidence to suggest that is true. Have used it a couple of times for plumbing issues experienced and both tradesman were good, well priced and efficient; would definitely use again if a personal recommendation could not be found.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1
(Release build 20190129)
PHP: 7.3.2 Page Time: 0.013s Queries: 14 (0.006s) Memory: 0.8112 MB (Peak: 0.9235 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2019-03-22 18:39:09 UTC