You’ve arranged to work from home or taken the day off, popped the kettle on and are ready to go for 9am when the smart meter installer promised to come round. They’ve agreed to turn up within a time slot but as that window closes, your rage rises. Is this a familiar story?
All that waiting around for nothing! And what’s more annoying is that you now have to arrange it all again.
If the smart meter installer, builder, plumber or electrician were a gas or broadband engineer, at the very least you could pocket some compensation for the hassle.
But as it stands, only two regulators make companies cough up for the inconvenience caused by missed appointments.
Under Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards, customers must be paid £30 whenever a meter reader missed their four-hour time slot. And then if the energy company doesn’t pay up in 10 days, you can claim an extra £30.
And, thanks to the little-known rules, last year British Gas had to pay up £1.1m to about 12,000 customers for missing appointments then failing to pay compensation for doing so.
Similar payouts will apply if your broadband engineer doesn’t turn up in time. Back in November, we celebrated the great news with you and our broadband campaign supporters that finally the regulator agreed to introduce compensation rules for shoddy broadband.
Ofcom agreed that it’s frustrating enough to deal with your broadband going wrong, without ‘having to fight tooth and nail’ to get it repaired. The changes have a 15 month implementation period, so the providers who signed up have until February 2019 to comply. The regulator announced five of the biggest broadband providers – BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin and Zen Internet – agreed to new compensation requirements.
A colleague recently aired her frustrations about her experience with a water meter installer – she’d arranged to work from home the first time the installer promised to sort their water meter, but they failed to appear. Then after arranging the second appointment, the person came and went without so much of a call so as it turns out she could have been in the office the whole time.
Sounds like a whole lot of hassle for no reason.
Another workmate also suffered at the handy hands of smart meter installers. Last summer she agreed to a four-hour time slot with her energy supplier for installation and started to lose hope as the deadline started to close.
After waiting for hours, the engineers finally turned up with 15 minutes to spare then took about 45 minutes to install it – all up costing her about four hours of her time. She told me a more realistic time slot would have been helpful and that doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
In my perfect world, I’d be able to track my appointment on an app like a food delivery so I’d know roughly how long I had to tidy the flat and pop the kettle on…
Have you had someone failed to show for an appointment? Do you mind waiting around or do you find it annoying? Do you think you should be compensated for missed appointments?