Lack of clarity masks incompetence

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I’ve just had a most revealing exchange with my electricity company. They wrote asking me to read my own meter. In the block of flats where I live, this meant I would have to arrange for the managing agent to let me in to a locked room.

One sentence in the company’s letter puzzled me. It said: “We may also have a meter reader in your area that could call to do this for you”.

If they had someone who could read a meter, why were they asking me to read it and why did the letter say he or she “may” be in my area? Didn’t they know?

It turned out they didn’t know, because they had sub-contracted the meter-reading to another company. I discovered this after hanging on to the telephone for quite a long time to speak to an adviser. The automated system had rejected my reading because the agent had misread it, but that’s beside the point.

The last straw was that the meter reader had indeed been in my area, so neither the agent nor I need have bothered to do anything at all.

Yet another example of an organisation saving itself money and wasting our time instead. And yet another example of woolly writing that blurred the issue but in the end revealed the incompetence of those involved.

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