No doubt occasionally you might get an estimated energy bill and need to send an updated meter reading.
However the other day my good self saw a letter from an energy supplier that truly amazed me.
The letter was sent to a friend of someone who knows me and, with the permission of the addressee, a copy of the letter was forwarded to my good self with the personal details of the recipient redacted.
The letter was headed ‘Please send us your meter reading today‘. Now it seems the person to whom the letter was addressed happened to pay their last estimated electricity bill last February  without needing to send a revised meter reading as the estimated bill was accurate hence the last ‘confirmed’ reading was around six months ago.
In the letter was the following sentence highlighted in bold (as shown in the picture above which my good self has additionally underlined in red for clarity) :
‘Thousands of people like you send us their meter readings every day so they get accurate bills. Please take a moment and send us your meter readings today.‘
Really? My good self knows of nobody who sends their energy supplier ‘meter readings every day’! Indeed can you think of the hassle having to send 365 meter readings (i.e. one for every day) each year?
Presumably the poor souls burdened with such a wasteful and irrelevant task by their energy supplier also get 365 bills to pay (i.e. one for each of the daily readings) every year?
Alas, it seems the poor and unclear wording in the letter can be interpreted several ways, namely implying there are individuals who are sending daily meter readings and alternatively every day the supplier receives meter readings from their customers when they need to be billed.
In my opinion the original sentence as shown in the letter is poorly written and a perfect example of ‘muddled English’ that is open to interpretation.
I have been informed that the person who received the letter usually pays their bill quarterly and they were none too pleased to have possibly been put on ‘daily reporting’ especially as they always pay their bills promptly.
The letter ends with the sentence ‘We recommend that you give meter readings whenever you get an estimated bill in the future….‘. So basically every estimated bill sent by the energy supplier is pointless as the energy supplier expects it to be amended by a ‘confirmed’ meter reading sent by the customer.
Wouldn’t it be easier if rather than sending an estimated bill a polite (and sensibly, clearly worded) letter was sent asking the customer to supply a reading on a specified day every three months (for quarterly billing), say on the 20th of February, May, August and November every year so a bill can be sent out?
If the customer does not send the reading on the agreed date then the energy supplier could send another polite and sensibly worded ‘follow up’ reminder letter?
In my opinion the text contained in the letter and the way it can be misread sums up the sad way in which society and sensibility has declined to the state its in today. Years ago companies would treat their customers with respect, politeness, sensibility and would check what’s being sent out to customers but alas today that notion seems just but a memory, then we hear that energy companies are loosing customers, I wonder why?
As for the poor customer who is being requested to send ‘meter readings every day’, well your humble servant has been told it isn’t going to be happening and if the energy company turns funny they will be changing supplier….
What do you think?
My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.