That communication arrived several days after I kicked EDF out of my life after trying fruitlessly to contact them for several weeks with a query about my bill.
Staggered at their cheek in claiming the unclaimable, I kept on reading – and the bluster got worse (or better if you enjoy blatant distortions of reality).
‘’In a recent survey by uSwitch, we came runner-up for both best overall customer satisfaction and best customer service,’’ continued the letter.
Had it said '‘customer disssatisfaction’', I might have found it almost believable. Because a company that keeps callers waiting interminably to speak to a member of staff is going to satisfy nobody.
It was bad enough that my dual January bill for gas and electricity went through the roof. What blew my top was that I could not contact anyone at EDF to query it – because they simply would not answer the phone.
OK, that’s not quite as bad an experience as being cut off without warning – which Spanish utility companies are all too quick to do if direct debit payments don’t go through immediately on demand.
But, paying the price for continuing to maintain homes in both countries, I tried at all times of day to contact EDF by phone. And whilst I listened for up to 25 minutes to recorded messages telling me that all operators were ‘’very busy’’, I never once got through to a real person.
In despair, I fired off an angry email to their complaints department threatening to switch suppliers and giving them three days to contact me to answer my queries.
Two weeks later, I was still talking to a recording machine. So, 11 days after my three-day ultimatum, I sent EDF a ‘’goodbye’’ message and transferred my allegiance to Eon, using a cashback website that offered me a £50.50 perk for making the switch. (It’s well worth looking at registering on the site – there’s money in it for everyone. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll point you to it).
Ironically, EDF finally contacted me the same day – via a lady called Ann based in Sunderland who had just accessed my ‘goodbye’ email. Her garbled excuses quickly convinced me that I had made the correct decision in pulling the plug.
Why had my initial email complaint not even been acknowledged? That would be because the company was locked in part of a reorganisational programme which prevented anyone accessing it as yet. So that’s OK then – even if the explanation made no sense.
As far as my bill query was concerned, yes, admitted Ann, there WAS a problem getting through to an EDF operator. But that would be sorted out once the reorganisation was completed.
Right, so that’s OK as well. It’s all part of the company with the Best Customer Service. Just go missing and everyone is happy.
Thanks for all that, EDF. You’ve made me very happy. I’m £50.50 better off (in addition to the considerable savings Eon assure me I will make on my bills). And now hopefully I will actually be able to speak to someone when I call their service line.
Ann, I wish you well with your reorganisation up in Sunderland. I just hope you still have some customers left when it’s sorted. And if you ever go missing again, it might also be an idea to ask your bosses to form some sort of contingency plan to keep people like me aboard. Like not going missing at all.
But I will concede one point to EDF – and indeed to every UK utility provider. At least they don’t cut customers off without plenty of warning.
Spanish suppliers tend to operate instant blackouts if direct debit payments don’t go through immediately.An thereby hangs another tale...