Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Pushy salemen

A few weeks back, while I was waiting for my Mac to arrive, a salesman from npower turned up on our doorstep. Apparently at some point in the past someone in our house had been an npower customer, but had moved away (we’re with British Gas for our gas and electricity – the landlords sorted it out, not me), and it was his job to try to get us back, apparently. He was really pushy, not taking no for an answer. Eventually I lied to him by saying that I was about to go on holiday and therefore wouldn’t be able to cancel within the 14-day cooling off period if I changed my mind, at which point he finally gave up (this was after about 15 minutes).
Anyway, fast-forward to today and I’m paying our first bills from British Gas. After seeing this BBC news article I decided to see how much we’d probably save if we had switched to npower. According to the tool on Energywatch’s site, we could have saved a whole £12 per year – or 2% of our annual bill. Considering the hassle of switching it’s not really worth it.
British Gas were the most expensive option but the most we could save is £66/year by switching to Powergen Online. In any case I’m not going to bother.
I’ve heard some scare stories about npower’s customer service – when npower took over from Yorkshire Electricity a few years back a colleague of mine did not receive an electricity bill for 6 years, and was then sent a bill for over £1000 with only a month to pay. At least with British Gas they’ve sent us bills two months into the tenancy with managable amounts.


  1. If you’re going to switch use uSwitch through this link, it earns me money 😀 .
    We are on Scottish Power.

  2. I used to work for an Npower company, and you are right. Stick with British gas, and keep a pointy stick ready for door to door salesmen.

  3. Ha – Snap – NPower and I do not get on – to the extent that I involved the watchdog and let them sort it all out – they really haven;t a clue. BG may be more expensive (esp. now) but at least you get a smattering of quality customer service. Which is in the UK, with people who understand English accents. 🙂