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Electric Ireland Representatives

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Dire service and non performance of meter reading

10.06.2019 13:51 #1
So, I got a call today from an OAP asking me to look at her bill.  She got a note in it to say her meter had not been read for 12 months. 

I went to take a look and find that somebody isn't reading the meter so I did it. Now an OAP has arrears of 300 euro.

I told her she owed 40 euro and rang you to complain.  Customer service blamed networks.  Networks lodged a complaint with the reading company.  Now it's 10 days for reply.

Who is responsible for an unread meter, on the front of a house, where it has always been, no gates, just an apparent never bothered reading it for a whole year.

An OAP on a pension who has always paid her bill on time dilligently, has been fecked over here.

While I had customer services on the phone, and after going through data authority with the OAP,  I asked was this lady on the best package.

What do you think the answer was?     We cannot go there until arrears are cleared.   Yep, you read that right.  The stupidest most arrogant answer I ever heard.

Please advise what you can do about this.

Thank you!
Last edited by Bikerman2019: 10.06.2019 at 13:56.
10.06.2019 16:05 #2
Hi there,

ESB Networks read the electricity meters for Electric Ireland and other electricity billing companies. Generally when ESB Networks have access to the meter, they read it four times a year, and they calculate estimates for the other two annual bills. They forward the meter-reading or the estimate to the respective billing company.

Usually if ESB Networks readers are not reading the meter, it is because they do not have access, however if the meter is accessible in this case, we are unable to advise why it has not been read - this query can only be put to ESB Networks themselves.

When a bill is estimated, there is a note on it to advise this, and the telephone number for submitting a meter-reading to correct it. If a bill is under-estimated, it is an under-charge to the customer, and the balance for what was actually consumed does have to be paid later, when the meter is read. The opposite applies also. If a bill is over-estimated, the next time the meter is read for a bill, the difference over-paid by the customer automatically reduces the bill.

When there is a series of under-estimates and a large bill issues after the meter is read, it means that there was a series of under-charges, the remainders of which are all accumulated together. This is correct as the electricity has been consumed.

Credit Control can set up a long-term payment plan for a customer in this situation, on 1850 504 021.

A discount is available to customers who pay by direct debit, and there is the Free Electricity Allowance available to customers who qualify for it. This is organised through the Department of Social Protection, which liaises with the customer's billing company.

Best regards,
10.06.2019 16:12 #3

So who is responsible when you don't read an accessable meter?

All bills are paid on the button, so why am I told you won't discuss the rate until arrears are paid?   What arrears?    Your agents didn't do their job and now an OAP has got stung.  

This only occured this morning so how is it classed as arrears?

Thank you
10.06.2019 17:44 #4
Hi there,

Electric Ireland and the other billing companies do not read the meters. ESB Networks do so, and they pass the meter-readings to the respective billing companies (Electric Ireland and ESB Networks operate separately since deregulation in 2011).

Any queries about a meter not being read despite being accessible should be put directly to ESB Networks on 1850 372 757.

We are unable to advise regarding what was said on the phone - we recommend emailing this query to confirming which organisation you are contacting Electric Ireland from, the relevant account details, and stating that you are authorised by the account-holder to discuss the account.

We can advise in general however that the way to avail of the best rate is to pay by direct debit. Otherwise the customer is on the standard rate for all customers (this varies depending on when the customer has a day/night meter or 24-hour meter, and whether they are urban or rural based).

Best regards,
13.06.2019 23:18 #5
If this lady is being supplied by Electric Ireland I suggest you look at switching her to Energia or BGE who are offering much better rates for a 12 month contract.
1 thank
13.06.2019 23:27 #6
May do.  Everyone is passing the buck.  The thing is, she is old school, pays her bills in post office, in full, on time,  most of the deals need DD, which she doesnt do.

I may switch her and let them get the arrears at 10 quid a month.  She only has a pension and I am supporting her.   It aint her fault !
21.06.2019 15:25 #7
So a final update on how it pans out 

Electric Ireland said not us.  Complaint made to ESB networks, reply in 10 days.

Got a call from a gentleman in Cork.  He was very unimpressed about this.  He sees the meter was read for years and then stopped.    So someone has some explaining to do about this.   His concern was that it was more widespread than we thought so he is investigating have the neighbours been read.    Get this, he sees it clearly as a service failure, so under their charter, the pensioner got a cheque today for the 3 scheduled missed reads - 105 euro.   That will take the sting out of it.  

Now I won't have to assist the lady as much as we thought !
2 thanks
21.06.2019 15:34 #8
Registered User
Some result. In fairness she got 105 euro and still will only pay for what she used. Fair compensation for the inconvenience.

Only Esb reads the meters, I guess someone was lazy on the job.
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