21 September 2010 (Tuesday) - Skint

This morning I read both the electricity and the gas meters. It’s usually about this time every year that I read the meters and then phone up the power company to ask for a refund of a few hundred pounds because their estimated readings are a little ambitious. But this year I wasn’t so sure. From my rough and ready calculations, I got confused. The on-line bill seemed to have far more tariffs than I was actually paying. So I phoned the nice lady at the power company to see if she would give be a refund. I read out the numbers from the meters. She seemed confused, and put me on hold. Then she announced that my electrical day rate reading is exactly the same as it was a year ago. She said she’d phone me back, and hung up. She phoned back – I’m getting fifty quid back off of the gas bill, and I’ve got to arrange with them to have a new leccie meter fitted. It wasn’t that long ago that they replaced the leccie meter because it was broken. I suppose fifty quid from the gas bill is better than a kick up the bum, but there’s no denying that I was hoping for a better result than that. And then to add insult to injury I received an email telling me that my gas meter reading had failed validation, and would I ring them back urgently? I’ll do that in the morning.

And then I checked my other mail. Four months after selling me a new car, Renault were trying to sell me another. And also were keen for me to take out anther loan as well. I suppose that is nice to know. I had a red reminder from the electoral register. That’s cheeky of them – I sent in their first letter and I completed the form on-line too. Nice to know their system’s not working.
A letter from the bank. I’d spoken with them a couple of weeks ago about increasing my overdraft limit. They agreed and were very clear that the only costs I would incur would be interest all the time I was overdrawn. Their letter said they’d charged me twenty five quid for setting up the overdraft. Cheeky beggars. So I phoned them up and spoke with someone who was helpful but didn’t actually speak English very well. He put me through to someone in Edinburgh who said she’d replay the tape recording of the conversation and would phone me back. She phoned back to say that they would waive the overdraft set up fee (this time) as a gesture of goodwill. That was kind of them. She also politely pointed out that I was actually rather more overdrawn than I thought I was going to be, and politely asked if I had plans to deal with this situation.

My mobile phone bill is five pence less this month than it was last time. Thank heavens for small mercies – every little helps…

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