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Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Utility companies jack up your bills illegally

Not so, says a staffer.

Whoever the engineer who came to your house was, he was either not properly trained, or not properly equipped, to test the accuracy of your meter. I am an electrician, i used to work on metering, about 5 years ago. The standard procedure for dealing with a customers complaint of possible inaccurate meter readings, is either one of two things. 


Relax everyone.  They've hired Goldman Sachs.

Either a check meter is installed, that is a second meter is fitted, readings on both recorded, and left in place for about 2 weeks. After this time, the check meter is removed, and both readings checked. Any inaccuracy can then be determined.

The other method is to use a meter accuracy tester, which consists of a clamp to fit around the outgoing live cable, and a reader which picks up the flashing light on your meter. The faster the light flashes, the higher the power consumption. this is then compared to the current measured via the clamp, and will determine the meter accuracy. 

Most companies do tell customers that if either of these checks are carried out, and the meter is found to be accurate, then the customer will be charged for the visit. This helps to discourage everyone who thinks their bill is too high, from demanding a test is done. 

I know we all love a conspiracy, but i have to say , that in the 40-odd meter accuracy tests, and about the same number of check meter installations i have carried out, i have never once found there to be a problem with the meter, all were reading perfectly. 

Not everything in life is a conspiracy, and when you work everyday with the public, you soon realise just how many awkward, aggresive or paranoid nutters there are out there, just waiting for a chance to make a complaint against someone just doing there job. If there is an error, it is much more likely that the mistake lies in an incorrect tarriff, or a mis read meter, than a fault in your metering equipment. 


Inaccurate Npower Meter Concerns
Later in 2003 concerns grew about the accuracy of  Npower's electricity meter therefore I requested a meter test, the so called meter test which I witnessed was conducted by a former Npower storage heater fitter, his idea of a meter test was to connect a second hand bathroom heater to the supply for a whole 81 seconds, this included the day rate however the night rate was totally ignored, following the so called meter test  Npower  declared that the meter was accurate, needless to say I didn't agree therefore I then requested a further meter test by an independent authority.
Eventually two individuals arrived at my place claiming to be independent meter testers however despite requesting their  ID and authorisation they declined to produce any, shortly thereafter they informed me that my CCTV cameras which they had just observed could not be used to video record them, having then informed them that since it was my home they wished to enter I have the right to record anyone I choose, I then  acquainted then with Section 36 of the Data Protection Act  1998 which excludes domestic CCTV recordings, at this point the two individuals left the property thus the meter in question has not been properly tested since the 1986 when the meter was first installed with the Economy 7 heating system. 
Npower Harassment Campaign
Despite continuing to pay Npower regular monthly amounts based upon my own assessments Npower  then began a campaign of harassment and intimidation, this continued for a period of almost six years during which time I received threatening phone calls in addition to threats from door step debt collectors, at one point Npower hired private detectives who then contacted my family and friends telling them that I owed Npower money, despite many complaints the harassment and intimidation continued.
Npower Civil Claim
Since the harassment and intimidation failed to work Npower then changed their tactics and commenced  a civil claim in the High Court however having responded with a robust defence and substantial counterclaim Npower then panicked and applied to the Magistrates' Court on seven separate occasions for a  "quick fix" otherwise known as a Warrant of Entry, this was to disconnect the electricity supply or fit a pre-payment meter however all seven Warrant of Entry Applications were successfully defeated by bringing to the Court's attention the Statutory Provisions: Section (2) (a) of Schedule 4 of the Electricity Act 1989 and Schedule 6 of the Utilities Act 2000  which statues bars Npower from disconnecting the supply or fitting a prepayment meters while there is a "genuine dispute"  
How Npower Railroad Warrant of Entry Applications
In The Magistrates' Court
Having failed to intimidate their customers into submission Npower then hire Utility Management Services to apply to the Magistrates' Court for a Warrant of Entry in order to disconnect or fit a pre-payment meter however because Utility Management Services lied under oath to the Magistrates' Court the customer has no knowledge of the application or their legal right to oppose it therefore the customer only becomes aware of the Warrant of Entry when a deputation of police officers, lock smiths and Npower officials descend upon the unsuspecting customer's home, Npowerthen force their way into the customer's home where they then proceed to disconnect the electricity supply or fit a prepayment meter, the pre-payment is then set to extortionate tariffs .
Perjury & False Affidavits
During one of the seven Magistrates' hearings it soon became clear during cross examination that the employee of Utility Management Services  perjured himself by making a false and dishonest statement under oath when he admitted that he had failed to conduct any assessments as to whether it was both safe and practical to fit a prepayment meter as laid down by the Code of Practices of  he Office of Fair Trading, Ofgem and the Credit Services Association.
RWE to sell Npower?
The German energy company RWE who own Npower are now in negotiations to sell their UK based energy company, they claim that it is to raise money to pay off huge debts however many annalists believe that RWE's patience has finally run out with  Npower's  appalling customer services record, should the deal go ahead it could benefit Npower's 6.8 million customers when the inevitable job cuts are directed at those who have been responsible for the unprecedented number of complaints and massive fines.
Classic Cover-Up
National Measurement Office
Complaints have now been made to the Information Commissioner against the National Measurement Office who since 2010 have been responsible for the re-certification of millions of ageing electricity meters, information was formally requested by way of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to prove that meters who's certification periods ran out over five years ago were properly tested in accordance with the regulations which require strict laboratory testing procedures to be followed before the ageing meters are re-certified for a further five years.
The National Measurement Office has continually refused to disclose any information which would lay to rest the now common belief that the ageing meters were simply "rubber stamped"  their pathetic excuses include "they cant find the documents" and "its too expensive"
The National Measurement Office are also ignoring two formal requests to conduct a proper meter test on one of Npower's faulty meters .
2nd May 2012
No show Npower -  High Court Claim Struck Out
Having failed to attend the District Registry of the Swindon High Court for their first preliminary hearing Judge Cronin then Struck Out Npower'scivil claim and also awarded David Edgar his legal costs.

http://www.npowermeterscam.co.uk/


T.Stokes London

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what i experienced
about 5 years back, what happened was a person with the same name as me was in dispute over an Npower bill, so they thought ah same name he must be family so we will go after him, it went back and forth for some time even sending reps to my door to demand payment, for some thing that i had sod all to do with, the truth is they are a lousy company

Anonymous said...

MY STORY IS SIMILAR, WHEN MUM DIED I RENTED THE HOUSE OUT TO A REFUGGEE FAMILY, I NOTIFIED ALL THE UTILY COMPANIES THAT WILDENHAFFSZHITZOV FAMILY WERE TAKING OVER.
AFTER A FEW MONTHS THEY RAN OFF WING BILLS AND NPOWER GT ON TO ME, I SAID I KNOW THEY RAN OFF THEY OWE ME A MONTHS RENT, THEY THEN WANTED ME TO PAY THE WILDENHAFFSZHITZOV FAMILIES BILLS, I SAID NO WAY TAKE IT UP WITH THEM.
THEY THEN THREATENED TO TAKE ME TO COURT HAVE MY PRESENT SUPPLY WITH ANOTHER UTILIY CO. CUT OFF AND PUT ME IN PRISON, THIS WENT ON FOR 4 YEARS, THE HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION, NO WAY WOULD I PAY.
BUT WHAT WAS INTERESTING WAS I WENT TO COMPANIES HOUSE TO LOOK UP THE SENIOR DIRECTOR AND WRITE TO HIM, WHAT I FOUND WAS THAT ALL THE UTILITY COMPANIES ARE OWNED BY A HOLDING COMPANY IN FRANCE,
I LOOKED UP THE LAND REIGISTRY TO FIND WHO OWNED THIS BUILDING BEHIND ALL THE UTILITY FIRMS, AND YOU HAVE GUESSED IT ALL OWNED BY N M ROTHSCHILD HOLDINGS

Toad Hall said...

my combined bill for Npower is c100GBP a month, for a one bed flat!!!!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of changing to this company, now I certainly wont be.

Anonymous said...

Their sales-reps you see in the shopping malls/precincts are quite aggressive in their tactics too.

Anonymous said...

Post #2 at 1.26pm is intersting:


"I went to Companies House to look up the senior director and write to him, what I found was that all the utility companies are owned by a holding company in France.
I looked up the land registry to find who owned this building behind all the utility firms, and you have guessed it - all owned by NM ROTHSCHILD...”


Wow. Wouldn’t surprise me to find that they own the so-called Regulator also.

Anonymous said...

We are just slaves to the system.
Bring on the revolution.

Anonymous said...

Whoever the engineer who came to your house was, he was either not properly trained, or not properly equipped, to test the accuracy of your meter. I am an electrician, i used to work on metering, about 5 years ago. The standard procedure for dealing with a customers complaint of possible inaccurate meter readings, is either one of two things.

Either a check meter is installed, that is a second meter is fitted, readings on both recorded, and left in place for about 2 weeks. After this time, the check meter is removed, and both readings checked. Any inaccuracy can then be determined.

The other method is to use a meter accuracy tester, which consists of a clamp to fit around the outgoing live cable, and a reader which picks up the flashing light on your meter. The faster the light flashes, the higher the power consumption. this is then compared to the current measured via the clamp, and will determine the meter accuracy.

Most companies do tell customers that if either of these checks are carried out, and the meter is found to be accurate, then the customer will be charged for the visit. This helps to discourage everyone who thinks their bill is too high, from demanding a test is done.

I know we all love a conspiracy, but i have to say , that in the 40-odd meter accuracy tests, and about the same number of check meter installations i have carried out, i have never once found there to be a problem with the meter, all were reading perfectly.

Not everything in life is a conspiracy, and when you work everyday with the public, you soon realise just how many awkward, aggresive or paranoid nutters there are out there, just waiting for a chance to make a complaint against someone just doing there job. If there is an error, it is much more likely that the mistake lies in an incorrect tarriff, or a mis read meter, than a fault in your metering equipment.

Unknown said...

You're not paying for fuel or water or sewage charges you're paying a tax. That is the cons-piracy.

In the national bankruptcy everything is already paid for, so we should only sign for our goods and services. They know this so get round it by charging a tax. This the real meaning of double-dipping.

Check-out the Anti-Terrorist on youtube.

Anonymous said...

To continue with my last comment, which you have added to the original article, i think the writer of the original article misunderstands meter recertification. This is not a procedure for testing and recalibrating old meters. All that is meant by recertification is the replacement of an old meter with a new one. The old meters are not tested, then recalibrated for re-use.
The old meters are usually scrapped, or in some cases sold for use abroad. Meters are generally pretty much bulletproof. They rarely fail. The old electro mechanical meters are about as reliable as an old, well engineered clockwork device, and the newer electronic ones have no moving parts, only current transformers, and are equally as reliable as the older electro mechanical units.
The original article does say it is an economy 7 system, and on ocassion, i have seen these metering setups wired wrongly, though not often. This is not to say the meters are faulty, just that the installer has wrongly wired the metering system, and can cause the off peak heating to be charged at full rate. This is easily checked and repaired, and shouldn't happen, but i have came across this a few times, though as i said, not often.

It is always important to make sure that with off-peak heating, you are signed up to the correct tariff for the heating system installed.

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