Property: a landlord considering joining UWDC? DON’T!!

Dear Landlords everywhere,

If anyone suggests to you joining UWDC, that’s the Utility Warehouse Discount Club – DON”T. Dear Christ, just don’t. Even if they tell you it’s easier to have all your accounts under one roof – it isn’t. Even if they tell you you’ll earn money – you won’t, it’ll COST you money cause you have to pay standing charges as a landlord. Even if they tell you the rates are cheaper for your tenants, they’re not unless you babysit your tenants and get them to request the ‘proper’ rate every time the tenancies change. Even if they say the bills are straightforward, they’re actually an utter nightmare and even their own staff can’t keep track of them, plus because they are monthly, they are always wrong and are never straightforward when someone moves in or out. Plus you can’t simply put an account ‘on hold’ when it’s empty or easily get a broken meter changed. I’m desperately trying to have the latter done at the moment and am banging my head against the wall now after THREE failed appointments. Felt the need to bang off an irate email……

Dear Susanne

Angry doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I’ve just had an unbelievable conversation with Jason from UWDC, the pinnacle of which, for me, was when he suggested that I had to start taking some responsibility for this situation. That’s the situation where I have had countless emails and telephone conversations trying to get a broken meter replaced by UWDC, where UWDC’s unhelpful and obstructive meter changing sub-contractors have refused to try and deal with the fact that this property is tenanted and therefore the meter section of the building is unoccupied. The situation where I am also trying to explain to two lots of tenants (old and new) why I have chosen to deal with a utility company which makes everyone’s life so difficult.

Is he having a laugh? I have been trying to sort this ludicrous situation out for 4 months, as with every stupid problem caused by UWDC on the 22 accounts I have with them. You are the only competent person in the organisation in my opinion, an organisation whose systems are geared so far from anything a landlord would want to have to deal with, that UWDC should actually be banned from accepting landlords accounts.

The engineer has apparently been and left again without ‘gaining entry’, even though my father was there in Flat 5 as I have stipulated in my email and my partner was in the cellars from 9.15am, at which time he sellotaped a large note to the front door with our two telephone numbers on it.

It’s a complete joke. To be honest I no longer give a monkey’s whether your engineers get in or not, and if they do want to get in, they will have to call me. I fail to see how UWDC can bill either tenant when you don’t have any meter readings.

My number, which you do have, is xxxxxxx

Sian Astley

Excuse the boarded door, I MUST get that reglazed this week, but how obvious is that note??!!

That’s it now, I can take no more, I’ve had enough of these headaches. E-on, British Gas, Scottish Power? I don’t care, anyone else will do!!!!!

12 thoughts on “Property: a landlord considering joining UWDC? DON’T!!

    • Bloody yes!! But you absolutely don’t, as a landlord. The trouble is to swap them all is a little over-facing, I know it would take months to get straight and I’ve just too much on to take the plunge and opt for another utility company 😦

  1. Just read your report. I am a Utility Warehouse customer and a tenant to a private landlord. In October the timer for the night storage heaters packed up and I had no heating completely. It took ages to get it sorted and why? Southern Electric, because they have sole responsibility for the meters. After reporting it, it took over four weeks for them to come out and I personally put it down to the fact that they don’t want to help anyone where they don’t actually supply electric. It stopped again and started charging the rads in the day. They weren’t going to come out stating ‘the repair was done by our engineer and any further fault is down to the electrics and need to get an electrician. I replied, ‘That’s fine. It works in the day, using more expensive electric so I’m not bothered.’ An engineer was out in THREE days. Strange how they find an available engineer quickly that time.

  2. What an idiot,
    The utility companies have nothing to do with the meters. They just bill >> Nope, Kev, you have to go through them to book the meter change
    The local electricity board looks after the meter for electricity and its or was Transco for the Gas >> Wrong
    Typical landlord looking to blame everyone else for his lazyness >> I’m a ‘her’, it’s laziness and I’m far from it.
    His tenant obviously “broke” the meter and he cant be arsed dealing with it so blames the utility supplier instead??? >> The tenants can’t get to the meters as they are in the cellar, fool.
    OOOPS might have to get that door glazed after all now hes took a photo of it. Probably been like that for months!! >> Didn’t I just say that?!
    >> Kev, you are a nob.

  3. I’m an electrician and I deal with the electricity company direct. I makes absoloutly no difference who the customer pays their bill to to me
    Sian: What are you talking about?!
    I DO NOT need to ask them or see their bill, I have no special powers, I ring the YEDL in my region and report a dangerous installation or “broken” meter”, or one that’s been tampered with and they are out within 2 hours FACT. Your problems have nothing to do with the utility warehouse, they just pass it on, so it really IS time you took some responsibility.
    Sian: UWDC said they wanted to sort it out and they would organise it, but failed miserably to do so for six months.
    Sorry for refering to you as a his, it was a generic term, no offence intended.
    The utillity warehouse is excellent. Monthly bills make your life easyer don’t they, wouldnt it be even MORE hassle if they were quarterly billed when changing tennants? I just dont get the rant. They GUARANTEE to save you money or they will pay you back double the difference – no brainer.
    Sian: You are very very wrong here. UWDC are appalling for landlords and have admitted that too me themselves on a number of occasions. Monthly bills make it very awkward when tenants move in and out. They constantly get bills wrong, change tariffs and cock things up. They also charge landlords standing charges for void periods, and often get those wrong too. Sweetie, you are a UWDC MLM convert and that’s fine, I understand your fanaticism but you are utterly misguided when it comes to UWDC’s ability to be the right utility company for landlords to deal with. Please don’t reply, I haven’t the energy 🙂

  4. Perhaps you should consider keeping your tennants a little bit longer… Just a suggestion. I’m a (private) Utility Warehouse Customer, and for me the bill is very easy to read and understand. It’s fully itemised, esch service has its own page etc… If the Utility Warehouse is oh so horrible, why are you still with them? Just out of pure interest, you know? You appear to me like one of those people who love to hear themself moan. No Offence.

    • Helpless with laughter at that comment 🙂 Vanessa is clearly a UWDC ‘rep’ / seller and that’s fine. I’ve said on many occasions that UWDC is fine for the homeowner but godawful for landlords.
      Rather than a moan, it’s a warning to other landlords not to get sucked in by the sales talk. Tenants do not understand the bills, it’s a nightmare trying to swap account from old to new tenants due to the monthly billing system and UWDC are unbelievably awkward with any out of the ordinary situations. As a landlord who swapped 22 accounts over to them in good faith, I’ve now got just two left with them, primarily because it’s impossible to swap more than 1 account over (which takes three months) without it taking ALL of you business time up.
      Vanessa, honestly sweetie, you have no clue what you’re on about x

      • No coz I’m a UW customer too, and I’ve never had any issues. And I’m a tenant. No complaints from me.

  5. I’m a customer who rents my own home, , not a rep..I have had problems and aso found it convenient too. i think all the companies are the same. Run by fallble bunch of humans who do sometimes well, sometimes not. My problems stemmed from the companies Utiity warehouse use..ie T Mobile for mobile contracts but i felt pissed off at UWDC anyway as i pay them..and etc etc.. I just like the convenience of the single bill and only one bunch of people to call..so i stay. and they do tell you how long you’ll be waiting which helps. What i dont get is..surely your tenants are customers? So surely it’s up to them to deal with their bills? If your choosing to deal with it all as a landlord managing bills for that many properties, i would imagine that who ever you’re with you’re biting off more than you can chew and will get in a right pickle what ever you do and who ever you’re with? They all sub contract to the same bunch of people anyway?

  6. I work in the energy sector and it seems that mountains are being made out of molehills here as the procedure for landlords should be similar no matter who is the supplier.
    When a tenant moves out the landlord should note the meter reads and inform the energy supplier that the tenant has left. The responsibility for the energy at the property then becomes that of the landlord including the standing charges until such time as a new tenant moves in. When a new tenant moves in they again note the meter reads and inform the energy company and the energy use and standing charges become the responsibility of the tenant. The energy company may request to see a copy of the tenancy agreement especially if they suspect fraud or deception. If a meter is faulty whomever is responsible for the energy use at the property at that time should contact the energy supplier and inform them. An engineer will then be sent to fix said fault at a time agreed with the energy user. It does require co-operation with all parties concerned. How could it be made more simple? Energy companies usually send confirmation of appointments with tandcs advising charges for failed appointments.

    • Haha, yes but UWDC do NONE of these things as simply as you describe, are utterly inefficient, never get stuff right and are impossible to deal with unless you are a homeowner. You are right, it shouldn’t be simpler, but with them it never is!

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