I know there’s been some coverage in the media about the delays on the part of Bord Gais Energy in handing the volume of ESB customers that want to switch, but has anyone experienced any other problems with the switching process?
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received 1 or 2 e-mails from ValueIreland.com detailing issues where they’ve had problems with regards to meter readings before and after the switch. Here’s the experience of one reader:
As part of the switch procedure, Bord Gais advised me that I would be receiving a final bill from ESB and thereafter all future billing would be through Bord Gais.
I received a bill from ESB for 489.00 which I paid.
Unbeknown to me, Bord Gais and ESB had internal communications which were not copied to me. According to ESB, Bord Gais contacted ESB and advised ESB of a final meter reading which was an estimated reading. This reading was apparently for the period to 1 to 5 May when the switch was to take place. I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS COMMUNICATION AND WAS NOT ADVISED BY EITHER BORD GAIS OR ESB!!!
I had taken a meter reading when I paid our final bill to ESB and noted that the ESB estimated reading was higher than the actual reading but I didn’t do anything about it because I was advised that Bord Gais would charge the meter reading from our last ESB bill WHICH I HAD ASSUMED WAS THE €489.00 BILL WHICH WE HAD PAID.
I have since received a further bill for ESB (again an estimated reading) for an amount of €24.63. I phoned ESB Customer Services and spoke to a lady called Bernadette at 3.25pm on 9/06/09 to enquire what this bill was all about and was advised that it was a final reading for the period 1-5 May.
My concern is that as the ESB estimated reading was higher than our actual reading (unfortunately I destroyed the record once I received confirmation from Bord Gaid that the switch had taken place), we don’t actually owe ESB any money, despite the fact that they have raised a further invoice.
My point is that the onus is surely on ESB to take an accurate final reading or at least to contact the customer for an actual reading before they close an account. ESB maintain that the fault lies with Bord Gais as they supplied an estimated reading. My contention is that this cannot be the case – ESB raised the invoice and they must take responsibility to ensure that their final invoices are accurate.
I do not believe I should pay for an inaccurate estimated reading that was inflated above the actual reading and maintain I don’t owe ESB any money.
I can’t find anything specific on either companies website on what this customer can do in this situation apart from go through their respective complaint handling procedures.
On the face of the information provided above, it would seem that the reader should be directing their complaints specifically at the ESB since they provided the extra bill.
However, that I understand the switching process, the Bord Gais Energy requirement is that they provide an actual meter reading at the time of switching to the ESB rather than an estimated reading as per the e-mail, so maybe they have a case to answer as well.
Anyone else had similar difficulties with the switching process? Any advice for this customer?