Back in August the boyfriend and I moved into a new flat that run gas and electricity on pre-payment meters. At the time we were assured this would be easy to remove and go onto monthly bills (which is what we had been used to in our previous flat).
So we contacted Scottish Power and asked them to remove the metres. The previous meters had been installed by the previous tenant and Scottish Power were aware that new tenants had moved into the property. However their competence level was horribly low. First of all, we were told it would be £250 to remove the meters as a 'security' deposit. Okeee.... Both my boyfriend and I have reasonable credit scorings so we asked if this could be taken into account and we could have the meters removed, free of charge. The agent at Scottish Power literally laughed in our faces. She had never heard of such a thing, it was ridiculous. So we decided to switch suppliers who agreed to do it for free. Unfortunately we couldn't move to them for about 2 months. We figured we could live with this.
And so the fun began.
The electricity meter was fine. However, the gas meter still had the outstanding debt from the previous tenant on it. So every time we topped up, it was taking 70% off our card. So for every £10 we topped up, we were only getting £3 off it. We phoned Scottish Power at least four times about this and each time they told us they had sent a message to the card which would update it the next time we topped up. This never happened and we almost ended up paying off the previous tenant's previous debt. Eventually we did get a cheque from them refunding us the amount we paid. Of course we were fools and forgot to get our receipts from the times we did top up to check the right amount had been refunded.
By this point we had switched to the new supplier and arranged for the meters to be removed. Huzzah! That lovely day came. But the drama didn't stop there. When it came to get the electricity meter changed there was an giant asbestos warning sticker on the unit which meant the engineer couldn't touch it. He did ring the Scottish Power 'emergency' line but, judging by the response from the call centre, he didn't get very far. They were meant to phone us back within a week. Over a month later we are still waiting.
Yes, I know we should phone them but, unfortunately, a bit of real life has got in the way. The electricity meter isn't causing that much of an issue but grrrr Scottish Power! The company we're with now, Scottish Hydro, are lovely. In the first week we moved to them we had a problem with the electricity payment card. They sent someone out within 2 hours (we phoned them at 6.30pm, someone was there for 8pm) who was lovely, put emergency credit on the meter and even told us who had installed the meter had done a shoddy job of it. Huzzah! But what a contrast.