Eon - smart key meters - cost customers more money
In my experience, when a company "make things easier for customers" there, always and without exception, is an increase in cost to the customer somewhere along the line.
Example 1 - The lovely new "easier to understand" British Telecom quarterly bill - looks good on paper, yet compared to last quarters bill reveals an increase in prices for a whole range of services provided, without any notification or explanation. In our case it is equal to about £6 per quarter, or £24 per year increase.
BT clearly believe that more than 2 million customers on quarterly bills, do not check their prices and are thick!
Example 2: Today, Eon have fitted us a brand spanking new smart key meter.
The installation was quick and easy, however their fitter took off almost £19 in credit and replaced it with £10 emergency credit, which will be claimed back by Eon at approx £1 per week.
Their fitter did not mention this at all, nor did he mention anything about how we claim this back (that's very helpful for Christmas week with a baby in the house - NOT!)
The government stated a few weeks ago, that all homes will be fitted with "smart meters" which will save every home around £28 per year.
I can confirm today that this is complete rubbish - not my words - Eon staff inform me that by law, they have to read a meter in a house a minimum of once every two years, which means that regardless of a "smart meter" being fitted, you the customer still have to have your meter read once every two years, so each home will not save the cost of a meter reader coming out to your home. This will now be called "a meter check" rather than a "meter reading" (have you ever such nonsense!)
Now pre-payment for our electric with Eon, is ideal for us, as we are not subjected to direct debit increases as many millions of customers were last year in October, when the monthly amount taken shot up.
I rang Eon today and had a very interesting discussion with a senior manager there regarding charging and costs to our house.
What was the standing charge on our old meter? Seven (yes that's 7!) attempts to find it out. They told me standing charges on the new meter, they told me how competitive on pricing they are, they told me in depth about how they collect the standing charge, they wanted a discussion about how often I put credit on the meter, everything but answer my question.
When they finally answered it was revealed that my old standing charge was £1.61 per week - the standing charges on this shiney new smart key meter are £2.48 per week!
That's an INCREASE in cost to me of more than £42.00 per year!
Next I asked Eon, why they reclaim a debt via my meter, caused by me buying a months electricity and the price going up half way through that month?
What I am about to tell you can be one of two things:
Either it is a complete lie or Eon need to pay back their pre payment customers some serious money (I suspect the first option)
"Eon do not claim back, via prepayment meters, any in balance in price. If the price increases between the customer putting credit on their card/key meter, we [Eon] do not claim back the difference!"
I asked for this simple statement to be put in writing - John (the manager) refused then back tracked. Instead he proposes to send out a copy of Eon's terms and conditions (which are missing from their own website). This is hardly a ringing endorsement of John's interpretation of Eon's pre payment policy for their customers is it?
John then told me that my last three statements have all shown a debt owing because of price changes in the middle of the month.
"If you do not claim back inbalances via pre payment meters, then why is my account showing a debt? Why have previous advisors stated that the debt will even itself out over the year as the meter reclaims a small amount each week?" I asked John.
After 15 minutes of pure waffle, I ended the call without an answer from John.
I am paying more than £42.00 a year more, for having their smart key meter fitted for my electricity with Eon, in increased standing charges alone.
Eon staff have not got a clue about why or how this is charged and paid back, etc.
If Eon staff do not know - then how exactly is the customer supposed to find out?
The bloke even lied about SWALEC having standing charges on their pre payment meters...
When I kept telling him I wasn't interested he got slightly aggressive towards me...hmmm that will really help your cause mate.
So I told him if I wanted to switch providers then I would do my own research, and was then told they only put on their site those providers that pay the highest to them...strange then how EON are on there...
Oh and by the way Eon you are not the cheapest for me, I checked on quite a few sites.
Now thinking about phoning Eon up and complaining about the phone call.
This is one reason I never use price comparison websites, as your personal information is sold on to make more profits.
Cold calling? sounds strange, but not unusual as energy companies regularly land at my door, with a clip board with my details on, a swift eff off and I slam the door in their faces.
Personally, I think that energy companies in the UK operate a monopoly and should be investigated.
Always find it strange how they seem to take turns in offering the "best price" - the best approach I have found is to stand your ground and fire questions back at the company you are with.
chopping and changing via PCWs is a waste of time, as they do not take into account exit charges, its a roundabout, once you are on and a cheaper price becomes available it costs you yet more money to get out of your current providers grasp and so on and so on.
Smart meters are being rolled out across the country, they show which appliances are using what amount of energy.
They also use a technology that allows them to take a reading ever hour or so and report this back to the energy company's central system.
There have been reports that this information can highlight when people are away, working hours, etc.
Doesn't go into great detail but outlines what they are.
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