Over the years, millions of Npower customers have logged complaints regarding billing errors. Several individuals raised their concern over the company’s billing management, citing overpayment or underpayment incidents that are causing inconsistencies in their finances.
Some customers reported that they were not able to receive their statements for years, with several others struggling to set things right with Npower.
This article looks into some of the raised grievances and unfortunate circumstances suffered by Npower customers over the years.
An 82-year-old Npower customer complained that a statement he received did not reflect thirteen of his direct debit payments. He contacted the firm to ask for an explanation, and a representative wrote back, saying that they will be investigating the matter.
A number of weeks passed since the first correspondence, but no one attempted to read his meter for months. He also noticed that his direct debit was reduced to only £24, which the customer was sure did not cover all of his energy consumption.
He raised his concern to the Thisismoney.co.uk ‘Money Mail’ segment, telling the story of his billing woes. Tony Hazell, the columnist, contacted Npower and was able to get a response from the energy supplier only after nearly five months. Apparently, the firm was still investigating the 82-year-old’s complaint.
The resolution came three weeks later, when it was shown that the customer’s direct debit payments were credited but not shown in the statement. However, the firm reassessed his payments within the twelve months that no meter readings were done. As suspected, the £24 bill was too low, causing the man to fall into debt.
Npower apologised for the error and wiped out the £210.83 outstanding balance as a goodwill gesture to the customer.
Back in 2013, Npower faced a billing error that affected over one million customers. Several individuals have complained of underpayment or overpayment issues because of an incorrect direct debit setup. Several consumers raised frustration over being unable to receive bills.
Npower immediately issued apologies to affected customers. Those who made overpayments were able to get their money back while underpaying consumers were given time to get their payments up-to-date.
The supplier also allocated £1 million for the energy regulator Ofgem’s redress fund, which is used to aid vulnerable customers.
Npower attributed the error to problems following the installation of new computer systems.
Ofgem accepted the apology and action taken by Npower to resolve the issue, but also ordered the company to ensure that its recovery plan will provide fair treatment for customers. It also expected the firm to improve its services to ensure that consumers are satisfied that they are getting good value and service for their money.
While the company has implemented measures since the incident, it still met severe criticism over the deterioration of its services over the years. Ofgem has closely monitored Npower’s progress, holding the company under constant scrutiny.
However, this hullaballoo wasn’t the last of Npower’s problems.
Numerous customers have strongly blasted Npower for a series of billing blunders. Previous consumers were surprised to receive billing statements from the company despite having switched to a new supplier.
There was another case of misbilling a 52-year-old Essex man for £2,312 out of the blue. This charge related to a property he had vacated over seven months previously.
After an investigation, it was found out that the bill was determined via erroneous meter readings since the man switched to a credit meter from a prepayment gas meter. The company has since wiped out the bill, admitting that they should have sent him a final billing statement within six months.
In 2016, roughly four million Npower customers were overcharged due to billing mistakes, which amounted to £72 each for a whopping total of £270 million. A year prior, the company had to pay £26 million to customers after a bout of complaints handling and billing problems.
Time and again, Npower’s billing department has made problematic errors that put the firm in a tight spot. As the company continues to make losses, customers have been the eventual victims of such errors, making them switch to different suppliers that offer better services and value for money.