Request for meter readings should be stopped (or see below) for customers who are unable to read their meters

  • 23 September 2020
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This is prompted by post here, a customer who fills out the PSR where it’s flagged that they can’t read their meter(s) should either

not receive reading requests
or
their reading requests should be bespoke / dismissable. (for example just to let you know  we will be reading your meter in the near future)

This is so they don’t worry about having to provide readings as happened in the that post.


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I’m not sure how that can work.   Without readings the amount owed can get out of control.. estimates are not good enough to rely on.

 

Reducing the frequency.. maybe readings 4 times a year.. but removing them entirely isn’t possible without smart meters.

 

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@TonyHoyle 

maybe I haven’t made this clear enough, the suggestion is that those who are on the PSR and who rely on PP to organise the reading of their meter, should not receive worrying messages. It has no bearing on when or if PP read their meters.

Yup, fair point @woz, I know the email winds up my mum as she struggles to get down to see the meter.

Hey @woz @TonyHoyle @25 quid 

Thanks for this feedback. It’s very interesting and definitely something we can look closer at.

Right now our Members on PSR get meter reading reminders because many of them do, in fact, like to send meter readings. But there’s a comfort that if they can’t, for whatever personal reasons which mean they’re on PSR, they know that a meter reader will do it for them. 

There aren’t different ‘levels’ of PSR as such. If we switched them off, some of our PSR Members wouldn’t like that very much.

Smart meters will really help with this as @TonyHoyle as pointed out. When they’re more widespread and (of course!) reliable, then at that point we’d also look at reducing those meter reading reminders.

There’s also options we’re looking at whereby reading reminders can be delivered by app notifications, or text messages, and we’d like Members to be able to choose their fav options, to have control over those.

And just to complicate things we’re also obliged by regulatory bodies to try and get meter readings regularly from our Members, to make sure their account is on track and they’re not falling into loads of debit or credit (which sorta links in to the first point about PSR members who want to be reminded).

Simple, eh?! But yes it’s a good point and an interesting service challenge. 

My mother says “why do they keep asking for a reading when they know it’s hard and I’m on the PSR?”. She gets agitated each month and risks hurting herself struggling to get back up after getting down to a reading.

I take your points @Marc, but maybe there’s some middle ground where folk such as my mum don’t feel under pressure every month. Old folk sweat the small stuff.

  • Perhaps alter the wording to reassure them that an estimate is fine
  • Maybe don’t ask every  month (3 months or 6 months would be less stressful)
  • Say that a meter reader will arrive periodically if no reading is sent (for 9 months)
  • It makes no difference to the payments unless the account is due a review

Can you time reviews to coincide with actual meter readings for people with few reading?

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