Kudos to Scottish WaterRSS feed

Posted: Saturday 13 March, 2004

by Dan at 7:45am in Anything goes No comments Add your own

Our past experiences with utility companies have not been positive. When we bought our cottages the electricity company were adamant that we were in possession of a spare meter, even though we had stood and watched one of their employees remove it just a week before. At one stage they suggested that the only way to end the dispute would be for us to report the meter stolen! They must have discovered their error eventually because everything went quiet after about a year.

The gas company were no better. They wouldn't accept that they were supplying us with gas, despite the fact that one of their work crews had been out the week before to re-route the supply into our front hall, and our heating and cooker were defeinitely burning something. They didn't charge us for gas for over a year, despite repeated attempts by us to get them to do so.

I shudder to think how long I spent on the telephone to these companies.

So it was with some trepidation that last month I tackled the issue of emptying our septic tank with Scottish Water. The initial call was encouraging, but the lady on the other end of the phone didn't inspire confidence. She couldn't tell me much - when the tank was last emptied, when it would be emptied this time around (within 28 days was the closest we could get which was fine because the 28th day would be the Friday before the pigs arrived), how much it would cost and so on. She assured me however that the job was now in their system and that we'd be contacted in due course. 3 weeks passed. No contact from Scottish Water.

The complication was that the cover to the tank is located in the pen where the pigs are going to be resident from Sunday. We had to get it emptied before they arrived - I had visions of the poor wee souls falling into the tank and being sooked up the big hose into the bowser - a most unpleasant demise. So on Monday past I girded my loins and called Scottish Water. I have to say it was a most uplifting experience (as far as phonecalls to public utility companies can be).

No, the tank wouldn't be emptied before Friday because the 28 days were working days they told me. News to me, I told them. I have pigs arriving on Sunday, it needs to be emptied before then!

Well, they pulled out all the stops for us - the tank would be emptied on Thursday, the driver will call 24 hours before to confirm (which he did), and if we go onto a contact we need only pay £99 instead of the £168 we were going to pay. And everything happened just the way they said it would.

It hasn't restored my faith in customer services in general, which in the UK at least are on the whole consistently poor, but it was a refreshing experience to feel that the company were doing their best to provide a service which met my needs.


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