Happy New Year to all my readers…except for United and Origin. You’ll remember they failed dismally to get our new house connected to electricity and gas prior to Christmas. We are still not connected!. Now we are at the Energy and Water Omsbudsman stage, which is why I think others should know of these companies’ total lack of customer service, so you don’t suffer too. Here’s what’s happened since.
A little background. We can’t request an electrical connection ourselves, despite being the customer. So we have to get an electrician to contact Origin (our retailer), who contact United (their connector) who does the connection (probably through another contractor). We can’t call United. We can only complain to Origin, who ‘complain’ to United…who may or may not respond. There are many complications to our story since there are these four (or five) actors involved, but the keys are these (all now notified to the Omsbudsman):
– Origin notified United on 2 Dec to provide a new overhead power connection, which should have been completed at latest by 16 Dec under contractual agreements
– On 13 Dec, United sent an underground contractor, who apparent couldn’t connect the overground power (a labour demarcation issue??)
– Calls to Origin on 15, 19, 20 and 21 Decall led to assurances the job was about to be done (we still had hope…)
– On 22 Dec we were advised by Origin that United had cancelled the order when they apparently went to the wrong house (why not check with the customer about the specifications – surely something needed to be done?)
– United refused an Origin request to restart the order, so we had to start the whole process again (Machiavellian bureaucracy!)
– United does not work between Christmas and New Year (are there never any emergencies???), so the 10 working day period presumably only began 3 Jan…
– Complaint emails to Origin and United on 24 Dec have not been replied to by either company
– And we haven’t even started with gas supply yet…
We had to cancel our planned Christmas and New Year activities and are still without a working house. We’ve received no apology for any errors, for failing to meet agreed service standards or for totally messing up our Christmas which normally has 25-30 people coming to our house.
We are hopeful the Omsbudsman can speed up resolution and save others from experiences this nightmare. I’m also contacting our local MP, David Morris. United and Origin, this is shameful. I hope you lose a lot of customers because of this.