COLUMNIST - Mike Mendoza on energy companies

I KNOW I am at risk of being labelled a grumpy old man this week, but I know many others have been in the following situation.

Saturday, 12th July 2014, 3:00 pm

You are ‘ordered’ to wait in for a reader to come to your property to read your gas or electricity meter within a specific time slot or you could be cut off!

And despite waiting in for up to six hours, the anticipated visit does not happen. Sadly you cannot cut their services off!

I have solar panels on my roof and am a member of the FIT team; they pay me for the energy I generate.

I received a letter on the June 12 from the power company to say they need to read my meter and some will call around in the next four weeks.

I accepted that, but thought to myself, I hope they don’t expect me to stay in for the next four weeks!

On June 16, I received a letter from the same energy company to say that as their reader person was unable to gain entry they are suspending my payments until I arrange to have the meter read.

So this letter, which was computer generated, must have been sent on the same day as I received the other letter to say that I had four weeks.

I telephoned the company to tell them what I thought of the four day notice and ask why had my payments been stopped.

The lady on the other end of the phone said, not to worry I can make an appointment for you for tomorrow for someone to call around.

I said that’s great, so an appointment was made for anytime between 8am and 2pm.

By 2.30pm I telephoned the power company to say that no one had turned up, I have waited since 8am and this is no way to treat customers.

I received an apology and a new appointment for two weeks time!

In the meantime because my meter had not been read, I was informed that they were suspending my payments for three months, so here we go again, customer service.

Appointment to read meter, no one turns up at allocated time and the customer is in the wrong!

How does that work?

I have now written a strongly-worded letter to the power company.

I would love to hear from other readers who have had to endure similar problems.