I have in front of me at the moment a piece of notepaper with no less than 12
different phone numbers on it.
This all started out as what I thought would be a simple inquiry relating to the auto parts store in this thread
As I mentioned before, there are two unused services entering the premises from when the store was three separate units. It so happens that one of those old locations would be much more convenient for the rewire if it could be used (I've just had extras sprung on me, including a 7.2kW instant water heater which, of course, is the opposite end of the building to the existing service).
So I thought I'd try to find out how much they'd be charged to have the service transferred, bearing in mind that all the old cables are still in place and, I assume, still energized as far as the service heads.
It's been a while since I've had to do anything involving such a move, so I went through the local DNO's usual inquiry line, pressed the multitude of numbers to navigate their menus and eventually (after a 40-minute wait!) spoke to somebody there.
Not our department anymore. You need to call connections. Different number. I then went through so many places yesterday afternoon that I've forgotten the exact sequence, but at least twice it involved calling a number they gave me only to hear: "Boo, bee, bah..... The number you have called has changed....." or "The number you have called is no longer available...."
I finally managed to explain the situation ("No, we don't need the cables relocated, there are already two other services already in place, and one still has a meter there").
It turns out that the current supplier is British Gas so I need to call them. All credit to them, they have only one simple opening menu and only about a 10-second wait to speak to a human being. They can't say how much it would cost, because the old services aren't on their database and I need to contact the DNO (which for this area is EDF Energy).
Back to EDF, and another half dozen calls trying to find someone who actually deals with this and getting passed from one department to another. By this time it was turned 5 p.m. and the offices were closed.
I started again this morning, and was referred back to British Gas.
"Definitely up to them to get a meter installed if necessary and to do the changeover."
Called BG again and spoke to a very helpful fellow, who actually attempted to call EDF connections while I was waiting. He had about as much luck as I did getting through to someone, but eventually came back with yet two
more 0870 phone numbers for EDF connections and said that I needed to get confirmation from EDF because the existing service is the only one they have registered and they can't do anything about the others.
Back to EDF, yet again, and finally got through to a lady who said yes, I've reached the right department (funnily enough, it seemed to be the same department where I'd started). I explained the situation again
, she took the details, went off and checked, then came back and said "It would be in the region of ¬£500 to ¬£600."
I explained again that we don't need cables moved or a new service actually installed, just an old service re-instated and the existing one disconnected. I also made sure she understood that the store is current paying British Gas for its power.
"That would be the standard charge for your area, ¬£500 to ¬£600."
To be honest, I'm still not certain she quite grasped the situation, but I did explain at least three times.
Has this become the norm for such situations now that we have so many different companies involved?