Life is… interesting

I have a lot of moving-related stuff to take care of and have to be out of here with everything breakable before the letters start arriving. Mortgage, TV licence, electricity/gas… all the things I’m not paying for here any more. And when she finds out she no longer has free AA membership…

Yesterday I tried to set up an account for electricity (the flat has no gas unless I make another baked bean Madras). Simple, you would think.

Okay. I checked around and phoned one. The call centre is in Cardiff so the accent was no problem for either side. A good start. I finally managed to convince them that I have no boiler, combi or otherwise, because I have no gas supply.

We went through all the usual stuff, again all okay. They reckoned on about £100 a month but it’ll be less than that. I can take quite a bit of cold. I like the cold, it means I’ll keep longer, and I have new knitted woolens on the way courtesy of the new family 😉

I’ll also get some halogen and fan heaters to use instead of those storage heaters. Anyway their estimate is a lot less than the £250 I had for one month last winter.  All good so far.

Address, no problem. Last readings, no problem. The flat has two meters… oh. This is where it started going downhill. It has an old meter and a new one and both are active.

Well, I have the serial numbers of the meters. Will that help? Apparently it’s really helpful, they can look it up on the National Grid and take it from there. So they did.

The meters are located in another flat in a different building. One that seems to not actually exist.

The phone man was apologetic. I was about to fall down laughing. It was never going to be that easy, was it?

I checked the meter serial numbers last night and they are indeed correct. I have someone else’s meters running my flat and to me, that means someone else can pay for them. Naturally this will never happen but in the meantime I have electricity so I care nothing for whether the flat actually exists or not. Maybe it’s a Tardis.That would be fun.

The poor harassed call centre man will call me back today. His life is just going to get stranger.

Today I’m going to try setting up phone and broadband and I have no idea of the flat’s phone number. And I haven’t put a plug-in phone in there either.

If you work for a phone/broadband call centre, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Here I come…


20 thoughts on “Life is… interesting

  1. “The meters are located in another flat in a different building.” – which means of course, that the meters actually located in that other flat in the different building will be thought by some erk, to be in your flat.

    Have you taken photos of the meters’ indexs? If not, I’d suggest doing so, noting time & date)

    I’m puzzled that one flat has 2x meters. Is there a meter that has two dials – one for ‘daytime’ (Normal) usage, and the second for ‘nightime’ (Low/offpeak) usage?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A thought – if they’re two separate meters – is one a ‘secondary’ meter off the ‘primary’ meter?

      For example, a block of flats might have one ‘Primary’ meter, that the ‘leccy supply company bills the Landlord. But the supplies to the independent flats are each supplied via ‘Secondary’ meters, so that the main bill can be accurately apportioned.

      Liked by 1 person

    • After a couple of hours of phone calls over two days, it transpires that one meter is solely to run the heating system.

      The mystery building is the previous name of this one and two previous big flats became three smaller ones. The old supplier had the details right but had never updated the National Grid database.

      I’m sure this sort of thing happens to everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ” ….one meter is solely to run the heating system.”

        So that’ll be at off-peak (lower) charges. Not all that much use for you, ‘cos it’s serving a separate circuit.

        Modern building have just the one meter but with two indexes serving a single circuit. This means that ‘leccy used between (say) 11pm & 6am is charged at a much lower off-peak rate. Ideal for night-owls such as yourself. It may be worth asking if your supplier will fit one (for free???)

        If they will, it’ll save you a fortune; particularly as you have a mis-synchronised body clock. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. XX The meters are located in another flat in a different building. One that seems to not actually exist.XX ??

    How can that happen?

    Which flat is responsible for the bills? Something stinks here. Is this other building/flat adding to your bill, or are they being billed for yours?????

    I would be STRIGHT down to a solicitor on THAT one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like things are well underway! If you get stuck waiting for phone and internet grab a cheap 3mobile dongle off eBay and for £15 a month you can get a reasonable amount of data to be able to keep your eye in. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m shocked you’ve been quoted £100 a month electricity. I pay Eon £45 a month for duel fuel and I’m quite lazy about conserving it. I have my computer on a lot, the tv, the washer, the oven etc and I take a hot shower every day and I’m still only paying £45. Does seem fishy….

    But at last, freedom! Oh to be a fly on the wall when ‘her indoors’ finally cottons on…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never opt for a monthly assessed payment. I pay the bill when I get it. Better in my account than theirs.
      I sometimes get an estimated bill because they don’t read the meters every time in France. But they always over estimate, albeit not by much.


        • I always get back what I have overpaid, or at least knocked off the eventually read payment, although it is never very much.
          But that isn’t the point. This money stays in my bank account until I write the cheque. They aren’t taking it out half way before I actually need to pay it.
          There is absolutely no advantage to the consumer to agree to a monthly payment. The advantage is only theirs.
          Why pay them before you have to?
          However, I do pay the telephone bill by direct debit. The telephone bill is static. And I never use the telephone.
          Water and all the other rubbish, I pay on demand.


      • That is my point. Whoops, we charged you too much. But don’t worry, we will knock it off the next twenty or so bills. It will, of course, take them at least a year to work out what you should actually be paying. Meanwhile, they walked off with your money.


        • I pay an estimated bill and then once a year they see how much I’ve used and return the money to the account the month after if there’s been paid too much.


      • You can always submit your own reading (Provided you & your supplier have agreed which meter(s) you’re responsible for!!).

        You could do it pro-actively if you’ve been given an account number AND a meter number. Takes ~5 minutes.

        You’re correct that a first estimate will be a guess – they ain’t got any consumption history for you.


          • They would much rather owe you money. And from what I have experienced they don’t actually return it to you. They knock it off succeeding bills.
            My neighbour, who was away from his house for quite some time, and was owed a huge amount, had hells own job for months. I am actually not sure if he ever did get a repayment.


          • Perhaps you might ‘misread’ the dials when you submit your own reading.

            Any over/under estimate will always self-correct eventually.

            As EM states, the credit/deficit is added to the next bill.

            Anyone who’s away from a house for a long time (and remembers to switch the heating & hot water off!!) can always notify the utility that consumption will change. If the meter is external, then it’d be read anyway. If the utility bill was paid via direct debit, then that could have been reduced.

            The utility is legally bound to repay overcharges, at annual settlement if paid by direct debit.


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