Seven steps to solving any problem
Download our problem-solving guide as an easy-to-print leaflet Seven steps to solving a problem (291 KB)
Advicenow believes there are seven steps to sorting out any problem. In this guide, we’ll show you the tricks of the trade advisers and advocates use to solve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Don't stress about it - success is just seven steps away!
"I got a massive gas bill just before Christmas. It's never that high, so I checked the meter reading myself. It was completely different to what it said on the bill! I called customer services and tried to explain, but the woman I spoke to didn't believe me. They said it was so different it couldn't have been right. I felt like they were accusing me of tampering with the meter. To be honest I lost my rag a bit. I ended up shouting at her that it was their mistake, and they should sort it out.
A few weeks later I came home to find a red bill from them for the same amount. When I phoned up to complain again, they said I should have contacted them if I had a problem with my bill! It was so infuriating! I tried to explain that I had, but she said there was no record of it and asked who I had spoken to. I couldn't remember, so I went through it all again. This woman said she'd put a note on the system so someone would come round and "verify" what I said about the meter.
They must not have sent anybody. Over the next few weeks, I got more letters talking about "Pre-Payment Meters" and even telling me they'd get a warrant to come and cut me off if I didn’t pay up. I ignored these, assuming that somebody was still on their way round and that they would recognise their mistake soon enough. I wasn't going to waste any more of my time phoning them up! I didn't hear anything more from them for a few weeks, and to be honest, I forgot about it. That is, until I got home one day and went to make dinner to find my gas had been cut off!"
We've all made these mistakes. But in an ideal world, Sean would have handled the situation a little bit differently.
Sean should have:
- Tried not to lose his temper
- Written down who he spoke to and when, and what they’d agreed
- He shouldn’t have ignored the other letters, even though he’d already explained the situation
- When he wasn't getting anywhere, he should have got some advice.
If he had, it would probably have been a very different story.
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