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Very bad experience with Esb.

19.06.2010 16:06 #1
A few days ago an Esb worker called out to my house to disconnect me, one problem, I had no arrears on my account and it was the ESB's mistake.

The mistake must have occured 3 years ago when the house was purchased by my partner from his dad, they share the same name, at the time when he bought the house he rang up the ESB to register the change in name to *** jnr. Bills were not coming out with Jnr in the name but we never took any notice of that and had been paying the bills anyway for all these years.

A year or so ago when my partners father returned to the country he had a new account where his bill went to his house and ours went to ours and it was only when he then moved again and set up a new ESB account our bill started to go to their new house for our address, now we still didn't realise there was an issue, thought it was just a simple mistake and kept paying it and my partners dad rang the ESB to tell them that this address wasn't his and to resend the bills to this address where they had been coming all along, it was only a few days ago and I mentioned to my partner that I was surprised that they still hadn't resent the bill or any letter to this house and if we didn't receive one in a few days that we should ring them up.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago when there was an ESB van outside our house, tools at the ready and he knocked on the door to say we were being disconnected. We asked him to come in as there must be some mistake and so he agreed to come in to make a phonecall to somebody in credit control. He made the call and put my partner on the phone to what I can only describe as a horrible woman who proceeded to shout at my partner down the phone and say "you agreed to pay this amount and that amount and blah blah blah" so my partner said "that was not me, I bought this house 3 years ago and have been paying my bill ever since at this address" and she said that there were arrears at 2 other houses so this house was getting cut off. My partner kept trying to explain to her that he was **** Jnr and we had told the ESB about that at the time the house was purchased, that our bill was up to date and any arrears that his father may had run up for nothing to do with us, however the woman was not interested. In fact she took the name and number of the ESB worker who was standing in our house and in his words not ours he said that she "was determined to cut us off and make an example of us".

I made a phonecall to someone I know who with a few phonecalls back and forth managed to sort it for us on one condition. They said our meter had been read a few days before and we would have to pay that esb bill right now up to date which was only about €100 even though it wouldn't have been due yet and that they would then cut off the father in laws house as that is where the arrears were. (We didn't know that they had such big arrears or had made any agreement about a payment plan)

This whole thing took more than an hour to sort out and I have 2 young kids, one very inquisitive who was wondering why the man was asking did we have somewhere to stay seeing as we would have no electricity.

We paid the bill but it was a nuisance as it was the ESB'S mistake. The guy who came to disconnect the ESB in fairness to him was a nice guy and he genuinely believed us but still was powerless to do anything other than ring credit control and then allow us to make phonecalls back and forth in an attempt to sort it. If my partner had been in work I would not have been able to ring the ESB myself as my name isn't on it and then I would have been left stuck in the house with no electricity with a baby and a young child.

The ESB worker even suggested I put the ESB into my name to avoid any confusion and I responded that No I would not, if the ESB cannot tell the difference between 2 people that is their fault and not mine, he also said we were lucky we were with the ESB and not one of the other providers as they would have cut us off straight away, I had to laugh at that as I said that no because those 2 companies would probably have updated their records a few years ago and so it would never have been an issue.

I have to say i'm absolutely fuming about the whole thing and seriously considering changing companies.
21.06.2010 11:02 #2
Hi Bluetomato,

I can appreciate your frustration and I am very sorry that this has happened to you.

To help me find out why this happened, I will need some additional information.

Could you please PM me the account number and a contact telephone number/email address for your husband, the account holder. I will then be able to look into this matter.

Many thanks
22.06.2010 21:59 #3
Registered User
On the face of it, it would appear that the ESB erred in not adding "Junior" to the bill when originally requested to do so but there was also an onus on the customer to contact ESB and point this out when the first and subsequent bills issued with it missing.

It seems to be a very complicated tale of woe and it is something that the ESB will I am sure investigate thoroughly on receipt of the PM.

ESB knows the electricity business better than anyone and have a fine track record of resolving even the most complicated of queries in a timely manner. As far as I know, only a miniscule number of queries fails to be resolved directly with the customer and have to be sent for arbitration to the Regulator. In the past, the ESB have been praised by ELCOM - the body that used to arbitrate on complaints and which has now been absorbed into the CER - for the way they dealt with customer complaints.

And while we can´t judge the rights or wrongs of this case based on the OP´s post - we are simply not in possession of all the facts - if the ESB made a mistake they will, on past form, admit as much and come to a resolution with the complainant. All organisations make mistakes. The differentiator is in how they are handled and, as I say, ESB´s record is second to none.


29.06.2010 00:28 #4
On the face of it, it would appear that the ESB erred in not adding "Junior" to the bill when originally requested to do so but there was also an onus on the customer to contact ESB and point this out when the first and subsequent bills issued with it missing.
ah dont turn it back on the poor customer who can only assume that a company as good as you make the esb sound would do their job properly!
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