Customers still left in the dark in Npower bills row

Irene Hunt has not received a bill from Npower for 14 months. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (14958-2711)
Irene Hunt has not received a bill from Npower for 14 months. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (14958-2711)
Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

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CUSTOMERS of energy supplier Npower say they are still experiencing problems with the company months after their stories were highlighted in The News.

This comes as the power firm was found to be the most complained about energy supplier in a league created by community charity Citizen’s Advice.

In April, 82-year-old Irene Hunt, from Fareham, said she had not received a bill for more then 16 months and she was so scared of how big it would be that she had been sitting in the dark.

Other unhappy customers, including pensioner Bob Meaden, from Portchester, contacted The News to say they were in similar situations.

Despite earlier in the year Npower promising The News that the pair’s billing problems would be sorted out, months later both Mrs Hunt and Mr Meaden said they had seen no sign of action from the company.

Both were unsurprised to hear that Citizen’s Advice had placed Npower bottom of its energy complaints league table for 2013.

The charity’s figures found Npower received 306 complaints for every 100,000 customers, a figure 10 times that of rival SSE.

Citizen’s Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said it was ‘unacceptable’ practice from Npower, which blames the introduction of a new billing system 
and complex metering set-ups for its failings.

Mrs Guy said: ‘For well over a year now some Npower customers have been finding their finances thrown into chaos.

‘Some are not receiving bills and others are ending up in debt because their direct debit was cancelled.’

She said the charity had asked for Npower to pay compensation.

Mrs Guy added: ‘Time and time again energy suppliers are letting customers down. People will not feel able to trust energy suppliers if firms cannot get their house in order.’

When contacted by The News again, a spokesman from Npower said it had now sent Mrs Hunt a bill, reduced from £819.32 to £500 as compensation.

Mrs Hunt said she was ‘over the moon’ that the bill had been sorted so she could leave Npower.

Npower said it was looking into Mr Meaden’s account and that it was waiting for up-to-date meter readings to produce a bill.

Speaking about the Citizen’s Advice findings, a spokesman for Npower said: ‘We wrote to all our customers during this period last year apologising for the impact on them of issues we have had with the implementation of our new billing system.

‘We are making good progress in dealing with the root causes of this, but remain totally committed to resolving any problems this has created.’