This text first appeared on RTL.de
On Tuesday I received an email from my electricity supplier with the title: Your new discount plan is ready. That's nice, I thought. Let's see whether the electricity price brake will have a positive effect on the discount. I buy green electricity, after all you want to protect the climate. I found a price of 53 cents per kilowatt hour and an annual basic price of 121.57 to be bearable in these times.
So I unsuspectingly opened the mail, went to my customer account and couldn't believe my eyes. "Your new discount without a price brake is 5722 euros per month," it says. And then: Hooray! With state relief, it is "only" 5687 euros. Mind you, per month!
Those are the moments when one part of the brain doesn't want to believe what the other part is seeing. I then started again from the beginning:
Was the mail to me? Yes!
Are the basic data correct (see above): Yes!
Does it really say 5687 euros? Yes!
Did I miss a comma in the numbers? No!
So the payment plan stipulates that I should pay 5687 euros month after month. That is 68,244 euros per year.
No, not surprisingly, I moved into a castle with a pool, indoor tennis court and personal sauna and wellness area. My predicted annual consumption is 3635 kilowatt hours. Due to the electricity price brake, my working price is reduced to 40 ct/kWh. I have counted it many times. But 3635 times 40 cents basic price divided by 12 months is 131 euros – and not 5687 euros.
So someone must have miscalculated, is my assumption – and hope! It's not that easy to get in touch with the supplier. As a precautionary measure, the website asks for patience when answering questions. The call then leads to a waiting loop. Then the computer voice talks to me. I patiently work my way forward until there is actually the question of whether I want to change my tee shot. Yes I would like to. So I name the realistic discount amount.
Is everything alright now? There is hope!
But unfortunately I have to say: There is still room for some uncertainty! Because all I get is an email promising that a "personal response is in the works." And that I shouldn't remind the provider that they have my request "on the screen". At 5687 per month, that's not a fully satisfying answer!
I have therefore already checked the legal framework for the revocation of direct debits. Looks good! If the supplier were seriously debiting 5697 euros, I would simply revoke the direct debit. I can do that without giving a reason. A good friend is a lawyer. I have legal protection insurance. This also helps both for a restful sleep at night. But I admit: I regularly check my e-mail inbox in the expectation that my electricity supplier will regret the incorrect calculation of the deduction.
If he pities her...