03 August 2017

Eneco or an example of terrible service

Eneco is one of the biggest energy company in the Netherlands. I’ve been using their services for quite some time. It was alright except phone calls from private numbers with offers to renew a contract (I bet there is a better way to do it). But recently they sent me a bill which questions competency of their workers and the company in general.

A few days ago I received a bill for more than 200 euro for ‘boiler check’ from Eneco. That really surprised me as they had claimed it would be free.

Many apartments in the Netherlands have a boiler for hot water and heating. My apartment isn’t an exception. But last winter the boiler started to have an issue. Not the boiler itself, but the drainage pipe coming from it. This pipe got partially clogged. I remembered an advertising from Eneco for ‘boiler maintenance’ (mistake number 1 - should not have come to them in the first place). I checked their website. They provided 3 options:

  • KetelComfort Basic
  • KetelComfort Comfort = Basic + free work
  • KetelComfort Top = Basic + free work + materials under 250 euro.

I decided to sign up for ‘KetelComfort Top’ option (mistake number 2 - should not have signed up). Eneco said that the first check would be free unless something is broken. I had the pipe clogged and I was ready to pay for that. Plus it would be ‘insured’ for future issues.

Eneco maintenance guy came quite fast after the call. I showed him the boiler and the clogged pipe. He almost immediately said that he would not know how to unclog the pipe, but he could try one thing. Anyway the guy started to check the boiler as it was the primary purpose of the visit. I made him tea and offered candies (mistake number 3 - never do it, apparently time matters and it will be used against you).

After some time he said that the boiler did not have any problems. He also used a stick to see if there is something in the pipe (nice try). Obviously the problem was further down and he said he did not know how to fix it. I also showed him a leaking pipe in a bedroom hoping that maybe he could fix it (mistake number 4 - time matters). As expected he said that he would not know how to fix it (or he did not have materials).

Bottom line, he verified that the boiler was fine and could not fix any of my actual problems. He promised to ask Eneco for a quotation to fix my issues. Never heard anything from him. It was quite annoying that I still had to find another company and pay them to solve my issues.

Fast forward to ‘a few days ago’. I received a quite surprising bill for more than 200 euro (!) for the ‘boiler check’. I immediately called Eneco to fight it. I said to a lady that the guy did not do anything and now he was trying to charge me for 2 hours of work?! We were talking for ~15 minutes and she constantly said that the only information she had was that he had spent 2 hours at my place. Apparently the boiler check is not free if it takes longer than 45 minutes. I doubt that the guy spent more than 45 minutes checking my boiler (but I don’t remember for sure). But even if he did than it just shows how incompetent he was:

  • spent more time checking the boiler
  • did not know how to fix any of my issues
  • charged me for 2 hours (!) despite the fact that such work usually takes under 45 minutes

I am going to keep fighting this issue. But based on my experience I don’t expect anything good coming from this. I would recommend to stay away from Eneco and their incompetent workers.

Update: I’ve got a call from Eneco and they proposed to drop half of the bill. Better than nothing, but less than I hoped.