Are npower living in fear of ageing men with calculators?

15 June 2009

Back in February, we ran a story about Robert Bramwell, the retired art teacher who had noticed something awry on his bill from npower and wound up taking them to Ofgem, whoever they are. Anyway, they concluded that Mr. Bramwell, along with countless others, had been overcharged by the annoying energy giants and ordered npower to pay £1.2 million in compensation.

Now, hilariously, npower’s antics have been exposed by another gentleman of late-middle age. This one is Mr. Kim Stephenson of Warfield, Berkshire and he could have unlocked the door leading into a bejewelled hallway of compensation for another angry horde of npower customers.

When he signed up to receive fresh electricity from the supplier, Mr. Kim Stephenson was told that his monthly payment would be around £30, but once he had become a fully-fledged member of the npower gang, with the badge and the sun visor and the window sticker and everything, his monthly payment had mysteriously risen to £44.

Mr. Kim Stephenson probed further into this discrepancy, only to find that npower had been using an estimated figure based on an 18-month period – one that crucially included two winters and only one summer. In essence, they had given themselves the (n)power to start overcharging Mr. Kim Stephenson and store away his money in their bank account like greedy squirrels stuffing nuts into the cheeks, high interest-earning nuts.

If they are doing that with all of their customers, it has been calculated that npower could be trousering as much as £15 million a year solely in interest from overcharging. Nice work if you can get it.

Finding dealing with npower about as tricky as trying to writhe the nuts out of the aforementioned squirrel’s gob, Mr. Kim Stephenson eventually took the company to court, where they failed to defend their position and he won by default. They then failed to pay back the money that had legally been awarded to him and Mr. Kim Stephenson was forced to secure a warrant of execution against them, at which point they finally coughed the cash.

If you’re an npower victim customer and still have all of your correspondence from them, it’s probably worth looking through it to see if you’ve fallen victim to this particular mathematical quirk. There’s more information at the website of The Times, from where we copied and pasted this entire article.

TOPICS:   Utilities


  • Craig
    I hate Npower with a passion, the most useless, rude and unhelpful bunch of pricks I have ever had the misfortune to deal with!
  • The B.
    Yeah, I dumped them after the first ripoff was unveiled, I'm now with Scottish and Southern who randomly charge me £1,500 for a months gas and leccy but then say it was an incorrect meter reading when I ask them about it. Funny how the reading prior to that was also wrong, if I didn't know better I'd say that someone had run a re-index on the DB whilst the bills were printed off.
  • Junkyard
    Shame he didn't follow through on that warrant of execution. I can't think of a more deserving bunch than nPower execs.
  • Tobi
    nPower were charging me so much per month for electricity, that I could get a rebate every three months or so of £200 Funny when I contact them saying how much I am in credit they don't query, just refund. Refunds from ANY supplier without queries? That's most suspicious. I now make my own electricity with a nylon suit and a wool carpet.
  • Craig
    We moved in to our house in February last year, according to Npower by the end of February we had used over £300 worth of gas!!
  • Gus
    My DD was 50 quid per month for dual fuel with then.... they sent me a letter that would rise to £115.00 per month for a one bedroom flat! I told them to Fuck off and now I am with Scottish ( something) and it is much cheaper.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Npower – they’re nothing when faced with middle-aged-manpower. A win for Mr Kim Stephenson. [...]
  • midlands r.
    npower have overcharged my partner and I for over a year, claiming we used £100's worth of gas in a 2 up 2 down house. We challenged it over and over again and were met by rude, incompetent customer services staff who never recorded details or actual readings. We managed to get one person to help who recognised that they had over charged us £90 for 6 months but we still ended up over-paying for the another 2. We got sick and tired of dealing with them and just paid them to get rid of them. We've now switched, best thing we ever did. AVOID NPOWER LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
  • John C.
    For 3 years I've been telling NPower that Mr & Mrs D Naylor do not live at my address. 'Oh we're sorry.' they say. 'We'll correct it.' - and then send another bill/threatening letter/meter reader/man to disconnect. I don't even buy my power from them!
  • Isabelle B.
    Hi there, I have read this article and I have had exactly the same experience with Npower - what can I do next? The customer service dept has been so rude, unprofessional and unhelpful I 100% need to complain to Ofgem. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
  • Susie O.
    Hi have been reading with interest all of the above. I have been having trouble with N Power since they closed my account then opened it with a new account number and decided that my readings had been wrong and for two months electricity sent me a bill for £2,740. My average bills on the previous account number were £167 per quarter as I am on pension credits and on the spreading warmth tariff. It all comes down to interpreting my meter. It was a new meter in Jan 09 on the old account with a reading of 00000.0 N Power decided on the new account Jan 12 that they had been estimating on a four digit reading (doh new meter several zeros in front) this is not true I always gave them (as instructed) the first five digits including any zeros. Now they are reading my meter ignoring the first zero. Consequently they are saying I am using 681 unit a month instead of 68.1 as they sent someone last April to look at the meter and this person removed the decimal point using some software to reconfigure the meter. They also admitted that they sent him round to look at what sort of property I lived in? I would not bother with the Ombudsman at all as they are agreeing with N Power - What!! N Power estimate that my bill will amount to over £26,000 over the year?????? Where do I go now? They also sent me a bill for some house in Sheffield - I live in East Sussex. The ombudsman did not consider this incompetent at all??? Now the ombudsman has to go to another ombudsman for a report (happens to be the same person!!lol) I just want to be rid of N Power but I cannot until this is sorted out. AGREE WITH THE MIDLANDS READER AVOID N POWER AT ALL COSTS!!! Question? Is the Energy Ombudsman set up by N Power? As one of the complaints team at N Power said he used to do work for the energy ombudsman?

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