Some customers find it more convenient to be under a prepayment meter (PPM) because they can top up the amount that fits their budget and needs. However, Npower’s PPM customers have had their share of woes regarding the supplier’s services.
With the number of prepayment meter complaints Npower receives regularly, it begs to ask the question of whether Npower’s PPM services will ever get better.
A customer bought a property with an Npower prepayment meter installed and requested for the meter to be switched to a standard meter. While having work done on the house, they made sure that the prepayment meter was always on credit until the switch was made.
Two months after switching to a new supplier, they received a letter from their previous supplier, Npower, about an outstanding balance for £49.84. Npower further threatened to send a debt collector if the payment was not settled.
After contacting Npower’s customer service, the complainant was told that the bill they received was due to a computer error and would later be investigated and resolved accordingly. However, they received another debt collection letter saying that they only had seven days to pay the debt or their account would be forwarded to a debt collector and some charges will be added.
The customer urgently went on live chat to settle the matter but was told that they did not have any record of previous calls. The supplier eventually explained that the debt was based on the final reading sent by the new supplier. They also could not tell how or when the debt came to be.
Frustrated, the customer spoke to their new supplier, who then told them with certainty that they have not made any readings on the bill as all payments are made via the meter itself.
Having enough of the absurdity, the customer finally lodged an official complaint with NPower. To their shock, they received another letter asking to pay the debt, and they were further told that the complaint was closed because it ‘had no validity’.
The complainant has since reached out to the Ombudsman because Npower has made no move to resolve the issue.
A Moneysavingexpert commenter also recounted how they were sent a collection letter stating that they owed Npower more than £200 for their gas usage. The supplier failed to send them the final bill and was only notified of the debt after sixteen months.
Ofgem enforced their Back-Billing policy enforced June 2014 and this policy states that any consumer who fails to receive their final bill within twelve months of switching or closing an account is eligible for a write-off.
Another aggravated forum member posted on the same forum page, relaying the horror their mother had to go through with Npower. The member’s mother ran across several issues with the NPower regarding direct debit, unfulfilled terms and more.
After the member’s mum moved to a new property she receive a shocking final bill for their previous Npower prepayment gas meter amounting to more than £400. They contacted Npower and requested a review of the account to see the history they have had to deal with with the company’s services.
After the review, the supplier said they could write off £129 from the total debt, while the rest should be paid in instalments. The consumer refused to pay the bill and asked the company to review the account again. The problem that infuriated the PPM customer more was that Npower sent the bill to a debt collection agency while the issue was being resolved leading the customer to be hounded by debt collectors while still resolving the issue with the supplier.
Npower updated its Facebook page with a video regarding customer support for prepayment meter users during the coronavirus pandemic. The update was supposed to promote a positive look into PPM services but it received grievances and customer frustration comments instead.
A customer named Sue Baker commented that Npower was of no help to prepayment customers who want to top up their credits. Sue was in isolation due to a lung condition and coronavirus symptoms and needed to top up her PPM via bank card but was not able to receive any assistance from Npower in setting up at all.
Several other complaints were made below the video, mostly saying that the supplier has been unhelpful when it came to topping up prepayment meters especially for customers who are vulnerable or in isolation.