Radio 5 Live recently listened to complaints from many Npower customers about the methods the energy supplier was using to chase former customers for payments. Many said that they had been sent demands for enormous sums of money more than 12 months after switching their supplier and going to another company. There appeared to be no outstanding debt in these circumstances as Npower had previously told the customers that their accounts were settled and closed.
Npower listened to these complaints on the popular BBC radio channel and has now promised to amend the way they chase former customers for payment. The energy provider says it will no longer send bills to the homes of customers who switched to a new company more than six months ago. This is only if the customer is not to blame though.
Mr. Guy Ensnouf, the director of communications for the company, which is owned by the German utility giant RWE, told the Radio 5 Live show:
Anybody who left us before December, so six months ago, and hasn’t received a bill from us, then we are going to write that off. We will write to them and say their account is closed, we are starting to write this week. Obviously, that does not apply if there was previous debt they knew about.
The complaints were made during the BBC Radio 5 Live programme Consumer Team. It is a show hosted by the money saving expert Martin Lewis. It explores the latest consumer news and provides advice to customers who are suffering from money dilemmas. In the last few weeks, it has looked into postal scams and airline compensation.
One caller on this particular episode, Denise Crouch from Essex, told the host Martin Lewis:
I paid up my final bill, or what I thought was my final electric and gas bill, in March 2013. I paid £610.85 which was a huge amount. I actually phoned up because I thought it was extremely high, and they actually said it was my final bill. And then in the post at the weekend I had two reminders dated 22 May one for gas £192.99 and one is for electricity £178.87
Mr. Ensnouf admitted that the company had made some mistakes. He also said that the billing problem was an issue that needed resolving. Since the complaints, the director of communications for the company says that Npower have over 1400 people working on getting it back to normal.