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Author Topic: Electricity Bills - Again!  (Read 8607 times)

grendel

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2014, 12:36:17 pm »

the problem is that everything is totally automated, once the meter readings go in, everything is processed by the computers, and printed, enveloped and sent out - all without human intervention, thus if a meter reading is put in with one too many digits, a spurious amount goes through the system, without ever being checked by human eyes, most of the customer service advisors would agree with you that the situation is stupid, and such bills should never have been sent out in the first place (all it would need was for any bill above a certain amount to be routed through a human checker - but then that would mean employing someone more than they need (of course they havent worked out that if this cut down on customer calls by just a few percent they would be saving on customer service advisors)).
As mentioned above, to avoid estimated bills, regularly read your meters and submit readings, this will also mean that they can chart your usage better, so if anything suddenly shoots your usage much higher it will be easier to track down the mistake or fault.
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Nordsee

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2014, 03:01:45 pm »

There seems to be an absence of the same commodity in all of these stories - common sense. The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job. God help us all if the rest get hold of any responsibility. Make that a grubby and stupid little island..............the lunatics are taking over the asylum.
DM
One big problem is the culture of not failing, also that People who are useless in their job but  cannot  be dismissed, so they are promoted to get rid of them. This gives you an upper Echelon of useless Berks running everything from the NHS to Power Companies.
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NFMike

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2014, 04:23:45 pm »

The truly scary thing is that the folk who are responsible for such monumental cock-ups are allegedly the BEST who could be found for the job.

I assumed they were the cheapest. And since UK fat cats only pay peanuts for their staff these days ...  O0

There was a supposed quote by an astronaut about launching to the effect "... you know that every last part of this huge rocket was built by the lowest bidder!"

inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2014, 04:27:15 pm »

One big problem is the culture of not failing, also that People who are useless in their job but  cannot  be dismissed, so they are promoted to get rid of them.

I was a civil servant for over 30 years and I've seen off nearly as many of those as I've seen. They become so lost in their own little worlds that they forget what they are there for.
Just yesterday I had an altercation with the local sub-postmaster who, despite having taken similar packages from us for seven years, still insists on asking me what's in them; having me reply "Electronics", and then following it up with "No batteries, then?". After seven years it's become a silly pantomime, so I told him instead it was "the usual rat-droppings" and he did a very good impersonation of Basil Fawlty - complete with red face, bulging eyes and head-tossing. Told me that it was THE RULES TO ASK EVERY TIME (I bet it's not) and that if "THEY" found out that he hadn't asked then "THEY" would take away his mail and his livelihood. I have this morning posted the letter of complaint to THEM c/o his head office. He's clearly terrified of THEM - I wonder if it's occurred to him that THEY are as dumb as he is, if not dumber i.e. all of THEM were promoted there.

I've found that the two things encountered most often in life which settle upwards are draft beer and incompetence. Actually I've just thought of a third, but this is a family forum.........

Dave M

Plague - Just seen your post. How much cheaper than a 'zero hours' contract on national minimum wage can you get? No - these were the ones with PhD's.................
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dreadnought72

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2014, 08:35:07 pm »

Told me that it was THE RULES TO ASK EVERY TIME (I bet it's not)

... I bet it is.

I was in a queue in one of the discount stores a couple of days ago. After each customers' final product was scanned, the till operator asked if they'd like "a discounted packet of Polo mints today?"

When she was about to scan my first item, I said "I don't want any Polo mints, thank you. You must be sick of saying that a hundred times an hour."

She agreed, yet at the end of my items, I was offered "a discounted packet of Polo mints today".

I blame the faceless people who dream up these stupid systems and turn people into automata.

Andy
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grendel

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2014, 08:49:26 pm »

my daughter eventually quit mcdonalds after refusing to ask customers if they would like to upgrade to a large meal.
Grendel
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2014, 10:40:44 am »

I suspect that the culture of incompetence rising up the ladder has a great deal to do with the fact that large corporations and government agencies use promotion boards, where the ambitious one faces a few senior managers.  The thought has crossed my mind, having looked at said senior managers, that they don't want anybody joining their club who might rock their boat, so they have a strong tendency to pick contenders who have parroted the same answers to the questions that they were primed with.
A few years back I got the impression that if grittish bas ever gets its act together, there will be a huge saving when their complaints department gets cut to size.  This could be very bad news for employment in Hampshire.  It won't happen, though.  I'm guessing that the outfit is run by an empire builder, who sees competence as detrimental to the size of his/her empire.
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inertia

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2014, 12:55:30 pm »

I've had an E-Mail from Model Slipway who have had exactly the same experience as I did with the Post Office. For the sake of those of you who firmly believe that Jackie is an angel without blemish I won't reveal what she told them was in the package........save to say it was neither model boat fittings nor rat droppings. Mr White was not impressed!

Ref promotion in large organisations, it seems that you have a career choice. If you concentrate on doing a good job then "they" will just let you carry on, because every organisation floats on its worker-bees. You will be marked as 'capable but unambitious' and ignored for the rest of your time there. On the other hand, if you devote all your time to making sure you say the right things to the right people in the right places then you will, in time, be invited to join their table. After all, there's usually another level of incompetence that they can aspire to - in the absence of being capable of doing a good job at their present level.

I had a colleague who, much to everyone's surprise, was invited to a promotion interview. At the end of the interview he was asked if there were any questions he would like to ask the panel. He said "You know when you see a list of successful promotion candidates and there's always a name that makes you say "How the $%**! did he get through? Please could that name be mine?" He passed! I've also just remembered - with a deliciously circular irony - that he retired early under a cloud and became the village's sub-postmaster (which is where I came in to this thread).

DM
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sparkey

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2014, 02:52:43 pm »

Where I used to work there was a nice lady who worked on the switchboard who happened to be blind,her husband who taught braille was also blind,one evening she got a knock on the door by the TV licencing people,she told them that she did not have a TV licence as she did not have a TV as both of them were blind,the man did not believe them and said they would be summonsed for the offence,it went to magistrate court and was thrown out,as she and her hubby were very upset about the whole affair so we advised her to level action which she did with the help of a friendly solicitor,she was awarded quite a large sum for harassment and pain,this money should have come out of the pocket of the idiot who decided to prosecute for not using a bit of common sense and humanity,Ray
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canalpilot

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2014, 08:12:01 pm »

REF; Electricity bills, I signed up with Utility Warehouse for my electricity supply and have to send them, by computer, the meter readings at the end of every month.  If there is a big difference in what the readings should be if they were estimated, then they are questioned and I have to check I have entered the correct readings.  It works and I never get anything but the correct bill. An added bonus is that they also provide  my broadband, my house 'phone and my mobile.  I only get one bill a month to pay for them all.  I also have a cashcard with them which gives me discounts in a large variety of shops..   
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Peter Fitness

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2014, 10:34:23 pm »

I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?


My youngest son is a meter reader with the local power authority, and most of his runs are in the rural areas of the district, where he has to contend with numerous farm gates, and the occasional unfriendly dog. By law, all meters must be accessible at all times to the meter readers, so consequently most are on the outside of buildings, and any gates to the meter must not be locked. In the event that a reader cannot access the meter, an estimate is sent, which is usually significantly higher than actual usage.


Peter.
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Capt Podge

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2014, 10:56:57 pm »

I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o 


Peter.

Hi Peter,
 
Up until about 6 years ago, we did have power supply company meter readers and they used to come bang-on time every 3 months and there were rarely any discrepancies.
If they couldn't get an answer at the property, they would leave a meter card for the occupier to write down the reading and place it in a prominent position at the door / window and the guy would come next day and take the reading that way.
 
Now however, they use the services of a meter reading agency who attend just once a year. (Said agency employ people on minimum wage only) :-X
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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Peter Fitness

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2014, 04:13:33 am »

The meter readers here come regularly, every 3 months, and are currently employees of the power company concerned. However, that seems set to change. As I mentioned earlier, my youngest son is a meter reader, but the power company has put meter reading out to tender which means he could well lose his job as a reader. They claim that it will save money whereas, in fact, it may cost a lot more than it currently does. It seems that the displaced power company readers will be found work in another section, but we will have to wait and see.


There is a big argument going on here concerning the escalating cost of electricity, much of which has been blamed on so-called "gold plating" of the network infrastructure. This has involved unnecessarily upgrading power line capacity well beyond any future prediction of usage, at great expense. With the high uptake of domestic solar power here, consumption from the main grid has decreased, making costly upgrades extremely wasteful. Another cause of price increase has been, ironically, the very fact that so many people are using solar panels. This reduces income to the power companies who then increase the unit cost of their electricity to those of us who don't have solar, to maintain their income stream. The whole idea of solar was to reduce conventionally generated power consumption, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and saving money.  Yeah, right >>:-(


And to think I actually believed them %%


Peter.
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derekwarner

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2014, 05:15:52 am »

mmmmmmmm >>:-(

Once upon a time in NSW we had a company called the Electricity Commission of NSW  O0 ......this entity owned the following

1. the coal mines that fed the boilers that fed the turbines at the power stations
2. the electricity generators fed by the steam turbines  :-X
3. the State power grid
4. the sole responsibility for the provision of electrons to both domestic and industrial consumers
5. the sole responsibility for administration , accounting, maintenance of all the states power utilities

From this they had a Board of Directors, a CEO and ancillary staff .........yes of many....but what has happened you ask after privatisation  >>:-(  ?

6. the coal mines group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
7. the electricity generation group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
8. the distributions group now has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff
8. the numerous electrical supply Business groups [6 in NSW alone] now each has a board of directors and a CEO and ancillary staff

So that is what has happened ...effectively our Governments have multiplied our senior electricity management costs by six fold....but with essentially a static number of consumers ........ <:( >>:-( ..... Derek

PS....if there is a life after & I could return again  %) .....I think I would choose a vocation that started with P ....yes p

P for Parliamentarian
P for Prostitute


>>:-( ..... Derek
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Derek Warner

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Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2014, 07:40:16 am »

Here in Spain the government about 5 years ago introduced massive support grants to those people who installed solar electricity both private and corporate. This made it practcally free for anyone willing to put the panels on the roof. Of course corporate bodies including the generating companies bought up vast areas of land and put up essentially fields of solar panels.

You store your  electricity in special batteries, any excess could be sold back to the national grid.

This worked for about 3 years until the generating companies petitioned the government about private households generating their own power and reducing their profits! So last year the government changed the rules for private households, you can no longer purchase storage batteries legally ( a black market thrives on them now!) you can install the special crossover box to connect to the national grid, but any excess power you generate has to be given freely to the energy companies, Then the huge subsidies for installing it has been removed---can you say stitch up?

Meanwhile the only beneficiaries of the whole scheme is yep you guessed it, the energy companies. They still get the subsidies for installing the panels which have turned large parts of the countryside into fields of black panels. They increased the price they charge for electricity supplied to take into account 'how much' they had to pay to put the panels into the fields, and of course as has been mentioned earlier, put the price up because of the reduced profits due to private homes installing their own solar!

At the end of the day no matter where you live its win win for the power companies, who due to the 'muscle' they have can get governments to do whatever they want.

dougal99

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2014, 11:51:19 am »

I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?

Peter.


Most companies that let users read  meters, read, or have read, meters once a year. However, even without this, under reading your meter would only work for so long. Eventually the meter would be changed or you will move out/die then the true reading would be known and the appropriate bill would arrive! Anyway, you can bet your bottom dollar that although the companies appear not to be able to spot excessive bills, they can spot bills that appear too small!


If the companies have their way meter reading will shortly be obsolete, as new smart meters will read themselves and report over the internet! Joy oh Joy  <:(
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warspite

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2014, 11:54:51 am »

I am amazed that people over there actually read their own meters :o  ours a read by the power company. I'm assuming that there are checks in place to ensure people don't give false readings, otherwise you could say whatever you wanted?

Peter.

Until recently the 'BIG 6' energy companies had control of the whole market - taking several months if you wanted to switch to another, now that there are several small investor companies that have set up a company, where they buy large quantities of 'units' at a vastly cheaper rate than the rate sold to joe blogs (business rate prices), they then offer joe bloggs a rate slightly cheaper than the 'big 6' to have then switch to them and make a profit from the difference, for essentially doing nothing other than paperwork. this means that they usually rely on having joe bloggs go on line and tell them what there meter readings are per month, and at least once or twice a year they confirm the reading with a meter reader coming round, hell of a bill if you get it wrong. The cost of a meter reader agency going to all your customers once a year is a pittance to what profit they make on selling the units.

I get a feeling the agencies do a blanket reading for an area on behalf of the meter owner - who is a single company - say British Gas (it is their meter) or a comparable regional energy company and the customers energy company access the list of readings paying for the priviledge.

I believe smart meters will use the power lines to a central junction that then connects to the internet, so you don't get chance to intercept the reading.
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Capt Podge

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2014, 01:08:13 am »


If the companies have their way meter reading will shortly be obsolete, as new smart meters will read themselves and report over the internet! Joy oh Joy  <:(

....and I, for one, will be digging my heels in on THAT !
 
I have no idea of the "workings" of a Smart Meter - but, (and this is where my naturally suspicious mind kicks in) what's to stop them serruptitiously hiking up the Unit price "just a little at a time" without you knowing about it ?
...or perhaps giving you less "juice" for the same price ?
All done remotely of course >:-o
 
Food for thought anyway O0
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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derekwarner

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2014, 05:04:08 am »

 ok2...may years ago in my vocation at the Garden Island Naval Dockyard in Sydney.......the electronic master clock system for the entire base was controlled from the Weapons building where I resided  %)

Typical of Naval bases with civilian workers .....the local pubs were bursting at the seams during lunch times

Senior management [both Naval and civilian] could not understand how the 1200 lunch siren actually sounded at 1155 and the 1230 return to work siren sounded at 1235 O0

You trust those electronic people?  <*< ...some smart ar*e had reprogrammed the electronic master clock system to turn a 30 minute luncheon into a 40 minute luncheon @ the Pub..............

 {-) went on for over 7 months before the reprogramming glitch was discovered  %% ..... the culprit was never found......however we suspected he was one of the persons who frequented the Rockers Pub @ the Loo every day......... :o ......Derek

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Derek Warner

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Brian60

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2014, 07:32:09 am »


I have no idea of the "workings" of a Smart Meter - but, (and this is where my naturally suspicious mind kicks in) what's to stop them serruptitiously hiking up the Unit price "just a little at a time" without you knowing about it ?
...or perhaps giving you less "juice" for the same price 

Take a look at the photo. Notice how much is on the pump, then at the bottom how much it says it is per litre!

 1.1p difference, the pump had been altered to deliver less fuel, the guy complained to the kiosk who said nothing was wrong even when he showed them photo! Of course he handed it over to trading standards for investigation.

warspite

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2014, 01:06:23 pm »

Thing is if you divide 123p by 1000 and then times by 9 which then equates to 0.009 of a litre then it does figure out as the resultant calc comes out as 1.107p.
The calc is based on 1 litre is shown and the decimal after it is two zeros, 1.000 is the next decimal place and it has to get to 1.009 before one more 0.001 pushes it up to 1.01 litres, so depending upon on how accurate the pence is calculated against the litres the difference could be that the pence is shown at 125p since the litres equal 1.009. just a thought  %)
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roycv

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Re: Electricity Bills - Again!
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2014, 02:00:58 pm »

Going back to the time before we all had computers, I had an electricity bill that was very high I checked the meter and it had been misread by one digit.  However this was on the million dial!
I rang the company and some one tried to convince me that I had used an extra million watts that quarter, easily done of course!

The bill was paid but I had the last laugh as the price went up in between times so I had boughty ahead and saved a few quid.  The next bill was of course unusually low.
I confess I have a problem with company employees relying on computer information.

 I used to be a computer engineer and so all day long I only saw broken ones.

regards Roy
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