Npower (Answers after Mktg has been on the phone for several minutes and gone through a series of options.) Good afternoon, Npower, how can I help?
Mktg Hi, I've seen the stories in the papers about there being changes to the way energy companies talk to their consumers. Does this mean I'm going to start receiving letters from you about how I can save money?
Npower I'm not sure, we haven't had any briefing on that yet. Normally we'd be able to advise you about how to save money anyway. Can I take your account number?
Mktg I'm at work, I don't have it on me. The paper says energy companies have agreed to write to consumers about how to get the cheapest deals that could save them hundreds of pounds.
Npower We've always been able to tell customers that if they've signed over to direct debit then it can save you £100 a year, that sort of thing.
Mktg There's information here about energy companies having to tell people about cheaper tariffs if they are available. Does it mean I'm being overcharged?
Npower No. It depends on how customers pay. If you pay by direct debit you get a discount, if you manage your account online you get a cheaper bill than if you receive a paper copy.
Mktg But this article looks like it's talking about showing who is the cheapest on the market.
Npower Customers have always been able to find out who is cheapest in their area using things like Moneysupermarket.
Mktg But it seems to be something the government has said that energy companies have agreed to ...
Npower It seems to be the type of thing that we do anyway.
Mktg OK, thank you.
Npower Thank you very much for your call.
It took too long to get through to a real person and, when we did, the call-handler had not been briefed on the consumer energy summit. Considering it was held the day before the call, reported on in the national press and attended by the prime minister, Npower should have better prepared its staff.