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gas ringI did what you’re meant to do. I compared energy tariffs, picked one and switched. On the basis of current consumption my energy bill should stay about the same as last year instead of going up. To simplify matters, I was even staying with my current supplier.

That was the theory.

Then the letter arrived. “I am happy  to confirm that we have now updated your accounts”.

“That’s nice”, I thought.

Based on information contained in this application, there was a recommendation that your direct debit be set at £23 for electricity an £28 for gas”. That’s very nice. “However, as we already have a direct debit plan of £26 for electricity and £38 for gas, which was set as part of our annual direct debit review process, we have kept your original payment plan on your new tariff“.

HANG ON A COTTON PICKIN MINUTE – I switch tariff because you’re going to put your prices up – you put prices up by 25% – switch me to the cheaper tariff, but leave me on the higher charge. How does that work?

SSE vanTwenty minutes listening to a recorded message whilst they make sure that “all our customers are receiving the highest possible standard of care” and I have the full attention of customer service. We discuss whether my quote is based on my postcode alone or whether I filled in my annual consumption in kilowatt-hours. I filled in my kilowatt-hours. Customer service explains that people who only fill in their postcode often find that they are paying more that they expected. I filled in my kilowatt-hours. Not only did I fill in my kilowatt-hours but, because you’re the same company, you actually know what my kilowatt-hours have been for the last five years.

Are you saying that you’d like me to reduce your direct debit? Well, alright, but you’ll need to keep a very close watch on your consumption.” Or maybe they could just read the meter and charge me for what I use.

So, I did the right thing and after considerable personal effort eventually succeeded in paying the same company the same amount as I was paying in the first place. As Mrs Brown would say,  “that’s nice”.