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Energy websites crash as customers rush to submit their meter readings - DON'T panic, you have time

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  • Ultrasonic
    Ultrasonic Posts: 4,235 Forumite
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    I wouldn't want my energy company to be wasting money trying to ensure everyone could submit a meter reading on the same day. 
  • Armengar
    Armengar Posts: 223 Forumite
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    so EONs first action is to lay the blame on someone else. Octopus energy first action is to put a huge notice saying dont worry you have an extra couple of days or simply email them in and they will honor them for a week.

    Glad im on octopus.
  • Silverbird65
    Silverbird65 Posts: 419 Forumite
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    I submitted mine via shell . They had a link to just put your readings on and sent pics of meters. Managed to get on this morning but readings not showing yet. Should I put today's on?🥺
  • The_Green_Hornet
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    k_man said:
    Don't panic says the website that helped cause the panic in the first place.

    It has highlighted a couple of things though.

    1) The suppliers' websites are woefully under specified for traffic volumes
    2) Customers don't regularly submit end of month meter readings
    Designing a system with enough capacity for the spike of traffic today would be overkill for the rest of the year.

    Especially when the traffic increased again, as a result of the MSM coverage of this, as previously unaware users rush to submit before the perceived deadline.

    The next price cap rise may include a line item for increasing system capacity to cope with the next rise date!

    With hindsight the message from MSE should have been to make a note of the meter reading, just in case, rather than make sure you submit today (which is actually a day early anyway).
    And the power companies should have sent out a message in anticipation.
    A simple queue management system would suffice during peak demand. No need for overkill.
    That in itself would be overkill, and would cost customers more.
    No it wouldn't but we will have to agree to disagree.
  • The_Green_Hornet
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    1) The suppliers' websites are woefully under specified for traffic volumes

    Try obtaining tickets for Glastonbury or other major events.......... 
    Or booking a Tescos Christmas delivery slot.....
  • The_Green_Hornet
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    Carrot007 said:
    Carrot007 said:
    Don't panic says the website that helped cause the panic in the first place.

    It has highlighted a couple of things though.

    1) The suppliers' websites are woefully under specified for traffic volumes
    2) Customers don't regularly submit end of month meter readings

    1. Not at all. You do not provision for once in a lifetime panic nonsence. UNness of course you want a further increase ;-)

    2. Surely most bills would be aligned to the day you sign up, not month end. All mine have always been. And seldom monthly. Never been on monthly billing either.

    1. I disagree. A well designed IT system would provision for exceptional events, especially if failure to do so would have an impact on your brand. A simple queue management system would suffice during peak demand plus I doubt this will turn out to be once in a lifetime. Expect further mayhem on 30 September.

    2. ZOG produced a monthly statement based on a month end meter read. Other providers generate a bill at anytime you give them a reading. There is no standard methodology. Personally, I have been taking monthly meter readings for well over a decade so that I can update my energy usage spreadsheet.

    1. AA queue management system still needs a non queue site with the capacity to accept requesst to join the que. It is not a simple thing. And yes I expect further chaos. Still not in the suppliers interest to incest when they are making a loss (on everybody on the SVT) is it?

    2. Sounds a silly idea to me, better off to have different people billed at different times. Maybe bad descisions like that are why they are gone.

    What comapnies could do is ask for reads when such big chages occur and give you a timeslot. I got mine to bgas using the app as the website was worse (they put less effort into the real website nowadays and want you to use the app one (which is still a web site 99.9% of the time)). But of course why should any company pay momney to lose money?
    1. Queue Management Systems are generally outsourced to specialist companies and can be implemented quite quickly as was shown during the first Covid lockdown when the supermarkets encountered a similar issue with excessive traffic. It is in the suppliers interest as it costs them more fielding phone calls and other media interactions when their web sites / apps are down.

    2. Each to their own.

    Telling a customer when they can and can't access their account seems a bit silly to me but again each to their own.
  • The_Green_Hornet
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    I wouldn't want my energy company to be wasting money trying to ensure everyone could submit a meter reading on the same day. 
    What about customers who want to access their account for other reasons who find that they can't because the website has crashed due to excessive traffic?

    Why some posters are defending poor customer service is baffling.
  • November2
    November2 Posts: 1,109 Forumite
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    Is it really necessary to give readings?  I've not had any communication from BG at all asking for them, is it just scaremongering? I keep reading about estimated bills being overcharged but I read my meter and send my readings in when my bills are due which isn't until May as I pay quarterly.  
    (Just in case I do need to send them in) I've just been on BG and they have a form to submit readings however they are asking for my gas and electric account numbers, the only numbers I can find are on my payment confirmation emails which are described as ref numbers, are they the account numbers?  
  • Plasticman
    Plasticman Posts: 2,504 Forumite
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    The suppliers have had their heads in the sand here. It was obvious that this was coming and they had options to take technical measures to mitigate against the impact (as OVO appear to have done) or change user behaviour. I appreciate that some will choose not to do the first due to technical constraints or cost but there's no excuse for the second. A simple message over the past few weeks explaining to people that they have a week to submit readings, giving alternative ways to submit readings (as Shell Energy did but with no communication) etc. It might not have stopped their systems crashing but it would have eased a lot of the customer frustrations.
    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -Thomas Jefferson 1802
  • [Deleted User]
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    I think BG compounded the problem by sending out texts asking for meter readings. I had 3 yesterday but I still have 18 months on my fix.
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