As sporadic and unpredictable as their direct debits may be, I have been impressed with the online account management on www.bordgaisenergy.ie for the last few months. It allows me to not only see the amount which will be taken from my account before I get to spend it, but also a rough, very rough, estimation as to when this will take place.
Needless to say, this is of great benefit to anyone who runs a tight financial ship, and to a lesser degree, anyone who enjoys spending money without the need for constant mental-tally.
I accept the nature of the internet being one of strange anomolies – crashes, login delays, cookies and script errors, but my experiences of the last two weeks have been less than satisfactory, to say the least.
It was with lightning speed and efficiency that my previous (Gas) bill was taken from my account. This is fine – this is what a direct debit should be – and my natural instinct is to check the electricity bill pending, in order to mentally allocate that amount (so I don’t have to do it while drinking). However, three days into the working week and not once could I get this magical and elusive number.
Out of sheer stubborness and allergy to verbal interaction, I will not phone this company.
When initially attempting to register my name as the account holder for this address, it took four, yes FOUR, phonecalls before any traction was gained. This doesn’t include the two phonecalls the previous account holder (you know who you are) had to make – two phonecalls after already removing his name from the account, which was confirmed by a letter addressed “to the occupier”, implying no name was on the account.
This resulted in a four-month delay between moving into the address and getting a bill, which, naturally, proved crippling. The same theatrics played out when, a month or so later, I felt mentally and spiritually prepared for another round of “we don’t want your money – we do want your money” with the lady down the phoneline. She was a nice lady, but still, should it be this difficult to give away money?
Now, the previous rant has been in my mind for some months, but all things going well, there it happily remained.
8 times today I have tried to log in to get the amount – correct email address, correct password, and I even got so far as the first menu once! Happy days!
But then, nothing. No numbers, no euros, and presumably, no electricity.
And before the thought ferments in your mind, I would certainly not class myself as unused to things Interwebs related – bread and butter spring to mind – it being mine.
Bord Gais – READ THIS – it is with a saddened heart and open arms that I suggest – implore – you invest in some user experience analysis for this pretty, mysterious hunk of a website. There’s really no need to show me cascading images of pretty mothers (who are clearly not the mothers of the children they’re pictured with – possibly not mothers at all), while all the time distracting me from the information I need – my bill.
Simplify the whole ship my friends. Give me a button to click – yes, an old fashioned button, from 2003 or the likes.
I will not pay you more if your website impresses me – I will not decide to go back to the ESB because they have prettier “mothers” in their background images, or because the animation in their dropdown menu is clearly cutting edge design at its best and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I have no desire for pretty things when checking something as mundane, necessary and depressing as the amount of money that shall vanish from my account some day in the near future. Stop trying to make bills and domestic utilities sexy.
Give me gas, I’ll give you money.
Give me electricity, see above.
Oh – and while I’m on a roll, why can’t you change the day of the direct debit (which, from experience, is an estimate at best) to one which coincides with the day my wages hit same account? WHY CAN’T YOU DO THIS?????? I’m playing ball, why can’t you??
I am of the belief that you CAN do this, but you WON’T do this, for fear of complicating your systems even further, to a point where not even your tech-support genius could keep track of the payments.
I like your gas.
I like your electricity.
I hate your website.