“My husband died and Octopus Energy gave me cheaper bills, flowers and an electric blanket”

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dear Katie,

You frequently and quite rightly call on appalling corporate customer service, but I would like to draw your attention to the opposite, which I’ve been experiencing lately.

Almost two weeks ago, my 47-year-old husband returned home from the hospital knowing he had no further treatment available for the cancer he was diagnosed in February.

After realizing that whenever energy prices are discussed on television, customers are advised to inform their energy supplier of any change in circumstances, I called our supplier, Octopus Energy. I explained the circumstances we were in now and my concern that our energy consumption would increase due to increased heating and washing etc.

The customer service rep I spoke to was called Neekesh and couldn’t have been more helpful. He said he would check our rate plan to see if something more suitable was available and email me.

True to his word, an email arrived later that day to let us know that we had been upgraded to a cheaper rate through November 2023. We already had a balance of over £100 but with the new tariff retroactive the total was now over £400 and as a further gesture of goodwill Octopus had added a further £90 to our account. It also said that a free electric blanket had been ordered for us and is now on its way.

To say I was amazed by all of this would be an understatement. However, there was more. Later that same week there was a knock at the door. It was someone from Octopus who brought a beautiful flower box and wished me and my husband well.

– Attention, by e-mail

Dear Reader,

The way you have been supported here by Octopus Energy has been nothing short of exemplary. They received a free electric blanket to keep the neediest customers warm as part of a wider corporate program. You were absolutely right that you received one and that you were redirected to a better rate. The flowers were an added touch that really made you feel cared for.

In addition to a top-notch grieving process, Octopus Energy appears to have the magic talent when it comes to hiring client advisors.

I have informed management of Neekesh’s excellent care and have been assured that he will receive a special reward based on your feedback.

You are going through the worst time of your life – and yet you took the time to write this story to me. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart and of course express my deepest sympathy for your loss, since your husband has unfortunately passed away.

I hope every CEO in the country reads your letter. It illustrates the impact companies can have on people at the crucial moments in their lives. The power to get it right cannot be overstated.

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