Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    I moved into my new place home.
    Contacted the utility providers.
    The electricity company sent someone to read the meter.
    I then receive my 1st bill as expected.
    What I didn't expect, was for it to be dated *prior* to my ownership of the property.

    I contacted the company and identifiedthe mistake.
    They accepted I was a new customer but,
    They said there was still an outstanding amount on that meter.
    I said, contact the people that owe you the money and take my name off *their* bill.
    They said they dont have *their* details and until I provide them with a name and address I'm liable for the debt!

    I think this is very unfair and have sent them the legal stuff to show when I 1st took over the property.
    They have since separated the two accounts to enable me to pay what I do owe, yet they have not removed my name from the other bill.

    I can probably track down the new address of the previous occupants but given the way they have treated me I don't feel like doing their work for them.

    Am I obliged to provide this information?


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    They have absolutely no right to charge you for power used prior to you moving into your home. That is almost similar to theft by false pretences. Send them a recorded or registered letter stating that you do not accept responsibility for power used prior to moving into the premises and it is not up to you to find out who the previous occupier is as to get this info may involve someone breaking the Data Protection Act.
    At the same time start looking for a new supplier as obviously you can't trust the current supplier who are only interested in ripping you off. EDF have a good deal on electric at present and Eribco on gas. We change suppliers about twice a year and save a lot of money. BTW make sure that the meter serial number is the same one against the one on their bill and keep a note of this meter serial number.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfer01 View Post
    They have absolutely no right to charge you for power used prior to you moving into your home. That is almost similar to theft by false pretences. Send them a recorded or registered letter stating that you do not accept responsibility for power used prior to moving into the premises and it is not up to you to find out who the previous occupier is as to get this info may involve someone breaking the Data Protection Act.
    At the same time start looking for a new supplier as obviously you can't trust the current supplier who are only interested in ripping you off. EDF have a good deal on electric at present and Eribco on gas. We change suppliers about twice a year and save a lot of money. BTW make sure that the meter serial number is the same one against the one on their bill and keep a note of this meter serial number.
    That's an interesting point you raise about Data protection.
    I'm sure if I wanted details of previous occupants, they would decline, stating Data protection.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Definitely write a letter to their complaints department sent in recorded delivery... may I suggest something along the following lines:
    Dear Sir/Madam (or address to the director of customer services if you can find that info)
    After moving into my property on --/--/20-- I contacted you to let you know I had took up residence of the property and was to become responsible for payment of the utility services to the property from that date, I have even sent you legal documentation to prove my date of purchase, I enclose another copy for your attention.

    I do not accept liability for any charges incurred by the previous occupier, I do not have their details and do not believe it is my responsibility to provide you with this information.

    The meter reading when I moved in was xxxxx and I will only pay for charges incurred after this meter reading. Please remove my details from any recprds that you have giving rise to charges before this meter reading and confirm in writing to me that this action has been taken.

    Should your company still pursue me for this inaccurate debt, I will raise the matter with the Energy Supply Ombudsmanicon, Watchdog and local and national press, who I'm sure would find this matter very interesting.

    Yours sincerely


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Not sure why my post has disappeared???


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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfer01 View Post
    Not sure why my post has disappeared???
    I noticed I had put the orginal thread in the wrong section under media. I copied your post over to the new thread. Sorry for the confusion, bit of a newbie mistake.


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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Secondsout.

    I have merged both your threads and unapproved two posts.

    Regards.

    Scott.


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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Quote Originally Posted by nottslad View Post
    Definitely write a letter to their complaints department sent in recorded delivery... may I suggest
    I like the wording of your letter, very concise! - cheers.

    Does anyone know if you are legally required to pass on the details of previous occupiers, upon request by an electricity company? statute?


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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    Definitely not as how are you to knwo who the previous occupier was unless you opened their mail etc?


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    Default Re: Being made to pay someone elses electricity bill

    yeah you're not legally required to pass on the previous occupiers details, it isn't a breach of DPA for you to pass them on as the supplier has a vested interesticon in the property, in cases of rental properties, you very rarely know who the previous occupier was.

    Where you have purchased the property it is good practise to advise who the vendor was but it is not a legal requirement by any means



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