power futilities and slow payment

I think I mentioned in an earlier posting that after some quite unpleasant conversations with British Gas recently and being threatened with having our power cut off in time for Xmas, we learned that the company in fact owed us over £1000 from having over-charged us through mis-reading of our meters. Well after some argument, on 16 December my wife finally got them to agree to reimburse us but we had to accept it would take them 10 days to effect repayment. Let’s be gracious and accept too that they meant working days and let us also appreciate that there have been 3 bank holidays recently. But Xmas, New Year and 13 working days later we’re still waiting for payment to land in our account. And we’ve chased them three times since. What do you have to do to get the power companies to meet their obligations? Reason, plead or sue?

It wouldn’t be so bad but two of my clients haven’t settled recent invoices for at least two months. It’s compounded by the fact that my principal contacts in those clients are suddenly also off the scene; one through long term illness and one who has just resigned. Life can be really tough sometimes. I was hoping 2008 was going to bring us some better luck ……umm. Is it just me?


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About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

2 thoughts on “power futilities and slow payment

  1. Pablo

    I can only sympathise with you, and if it helps recount a similar experience with your old muckers at BT.

    When I set my company up I needed to put a new line in, so BT set up a budget account where they deemed I would need to cover £85 per month. I couldn’t have an invoice account as I had no trading history, and I couldn’t pay less as their estimated charge was based on similar companies (quite how this worked I’m not sure!). After the first quarter I was nearly £200 in credit… Q can I get a refund and reduced budget amount please? A not until the usage pattern has been established, which is usually over two quarters.

    End of Q2, now £400 sitting in BT coffers…. Q Can I have a refund and a reduction in budget plan please A yes it will be calculated automatically and shown on my next monthly bill. Hurrah!

    Next bill, no change… computer error.
    Next bill, no change…. bill day problem

    Can I have the money at least (now over £500)? Not as a cheque, will arrange refund to account.

    In the end it took 9 months to get a refund, and now my budget is £27.50 a month.

    So, it’s not just you.

    Keep your pecker up, I’m sure 2008 will end up smiling on you.


  2. hi CC

    there’s always a BT story of blind indifference to top the last one.

    it would be funny but this is our money they’re banking. i should have hung out for a better leaving package clearly.

    ah well, one week in to 2008. things can only get better can’t they?


    ps the answer is yes – both my clients have responded positively, woo hoo.

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