When will my Shell Energy smart meter become smart again?

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My gas and electricity smart meters became strangely uncommunicative with Shell Energy just days before the 1 April tariff increase.

Shell’s reply to my question about when it expects my smart meters to become smart again seems to suggest there’s a major “industry wide issue” and it is unable to do anything about this. The letter suggests Ofgem is aware of a problem that it is affecting a great many other households. But I don’t remember reading or hearing anything in any news outlet about this. Is this true?
LD, by email

We get the occasional letter from readers whose smart meter has lost its ability to be read remotely, but have not seen a big increase in recent weeks. That said the smart meter programme has been a bit of a disaster so I wouldn’t be surprised if what you have been told is true. The regulator Ofgem said it was “not aware of any issues affecting connectivity or the communications of smart meters”.

Shell Energy also backtracked and now says that your smart meter inquiry could have been handled a lot better, and that it’s “sorry for the incorrect information” you were provided with.

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On a positive note it has now promised to get to the bottom of your meter problem and has been in touch. In the meantime have others similarly suffered a loss of smart-ness? Email the usual address.

And finally, part one …

A letter praises the little known French shoe manufacturer Arche, which has just resoled reader BM’s rubber soled sandals for a second time – the only thing it cost her was the postage back to France. “They offer a service to resole most of their shoes for free, which I find good and very ecological. It’s a great service,” she writes.

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And finally, part two …

This is my last Consumer Champions column for a few months as I am taking an extended period of leave. My excellent colleague Zoe Wood will be holding the fort in my absence – email your letters to the usual address. I am sorry if I have been unable to publish your complaint this year. Sadly, we can only deal with a fraction of those sent in.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions

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