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Everything posted by pelham9

  1. How did you pay? If as is likely you used a bank account or credit card there will be a record for you to prove the payment.
  2. Talk Talk are trying it on - if they get their money early their profits are higher. They have taken two payments early and you must write to them and protest aand claim the £15 bank charge from them. Personally I do not use DDs as this kind of abuse of the system is sadly only too common. It is much safer to set up a standing order from bank account with the payment on the 7th - your bank will stick to that date. If Talk Talk will not agree to this method of payment and pay you the bank charge then go elsewhere.
  3. If you decide to compare the direct debit system with quarterly in arrears do not forget that most utilities allow a prompt payment discount on quarterly arrears payments. I do not know what SP do but EON pays 3% which is half the DD discount so in effect the DD discount is only 3%.
  4. If you forego the convenience and the financial discipline of the direct debit system you will save these hassles and very likely be better off ! The direct debit discount which seems to be a gift is largely illusory. Certainly anyone paying interest on a credit card or overdraft will be better off not accepting the DD discount and insisting that payments are made quarterly in arrears. A large part of the running capital of utilities is financed by the DD system. DD customers make loans to them in the following ways. a) DD plans start in spring before the high useage winter period so the account is in credit continuously. If they find that an account is in debit they will (as you have found) put up the payment amount very smartly. They make it very difficult for you to lower a payment amount. b) They say the payments are set so that there is a zero balance at the end of the year. Tell that to the marines - their systems are programmed to overestimate. When as is usual there is an end year credit they suggest it is carried over to the next year without reducing the payment amount. They make it difficult to get a refund and delay payment of a refund for weeks. c) Outside the direct debit system bills are quarterly in arrears with a two weeks grace for payment. This means that payments are 2 months, 1 month and 0 month each plus 2 weeks in advance every quarter in the direct debit system. In addition customers forego any prompt payment discount if paying by direct debit. Most utilities collect their 'standing charge' by a complicated decreasing block tarriff - a system of charging extra for 'first' or tier one units. For the customer who uses only a small amount during the summer quarters this may mean a saving on the standing charge. The direct debit customer where the account period is annual rather then quarterly cannot benefit from this. Some five years ago after moving house my dual fuel rendered a final bill for over £600 and took it immediately by DD. I reversed this at my bank and the bill was revised down to £32. This experience made me look at the sense of allowing the utilities (or anyone else) freedom to dip into my bank account at will. It also provoked me into doing the sums and I now totally refuse to countenance a utility direct debit plan.
  5. Orphean. A) if the meter will only take a maximun of £85 a year at the high tier one rate then it is necessary to know when the year starts and ends. Have you any information? B) If in fact the tier one rate is used to pay the the daily standing charge it is necessary to know what the daily standard charge is. Do you have any information? and C) If because of no or low usage the standing charge is not paid on any one day is this then transferred to the next day and so on? I ask you these questions because the Tier 1/2 system applies not only to prepay meters but also to credit meters and I can find nothing in the utilities blurb that explains how they do the sums. There is always an arbitrary amount taken using Tier 1 rates on every bill.
  6. As the claim will be uder £5000 the case will be heard in the small claims court. Have ypu paid the £285?
  7. Water meters. You can ask for a water meter to be fitted and if it is possible to do so Amglian must fit it free of charge. All new properties (since 1991) must be fitted with meters. Older properties are either charged according to the old rateable value (which is now not updated) or an assessed charge if a meter cannot be fitted or is found to be too expensive - this can be appealed to the regulator. Most properties pay less on meters but this depends on water usage and this may be high with four children! You need to do the sums and do some research on Anglian's website. Creditors make claims. Courts issue summons. Courts make orders after a hearing - County Court Judgement orders or CCJ for short. The CCJ will be a default order if not defended. The Northampton County Court bulk centre deals with a large number of claims from all over the country and issues summonses. The majority of claims are undefended and default orders are made. If defended the case is sent for hearing at the defendant's local court (which may be the Northampton County court!!). You can get information on your case if indeed it is there if you go to the MCOL website -google for it Anglian say that they sent their claim against you on 21st October. Confirn this with the bulk centre -you may have been ringing the local court who will know nothing about it until a summons has been issued and you have stated your intention to defend and you live near Northhampton. I would have expected the local court to refer to or refer you to the bulk centre but who knows. I think that what Anglian sent you on 31st October was a copy of their claim that they had sent to the NBC. It could not have been a summons or an order which can only be issued by a court. If no summons was issued before 31st Oct it is nonsense for Anglain to claim any costs. You are in dispute with them and have been since 31st October. It is considered by OFT, OFWAT, and indeed the courts to be wrong to threaten court action with the added threat of costs when the amount outstanding is offered and any 'penalty' is disputed . If you have not yet paid your £285 odd debt do so at once. Anglian would be in all sorts of trouble if they then claim court costs and I would be pretty sure they will not persue the matter. It is not uncommon for utililities to have wrong addresses on their databases. Curiously they can send correspondence to a customer at his correct address and bills to a wrong address. Was by any chance your property a newbuild in say the last ten years?- this is a potent source of a correspondence address and a meter address (and hence billing address) being different. Are they using your correct address on the copy claim they have sent you? My experience of utilities is that if they have returned mail (eg bills) marked not at this address or no such address etc they often do nothing but destroy them and there is no record. It would be of interest to see what copy (order summons or claim!!) you received from Anglian on 31st Oct. If you can scan it the easiest way is to convert to a PDF file and attach to your post. It is wise to black out anything that can identify you.
  8. That would be exactly my attitude and I would be prepared to risk (risk not definite) the extra cost of defending which you must do if your above words are not just bravado. Otherwise thay will got a 'not defended' default judgement against you which will have an effect on your credit rating if not paid PDQ. CCJs are only entered by CRAs if not paid within 2 weeks. I would go about this thus Pay the money you owe (£285) immediately. This will leave them only claiming costs which is not so likely to succeed considering your story Acknowledge the claim (Northhampton should have sent you a form) saying that you wish to defend the costs part of claim and that you have otherwise settled the claim. The case will then be sent to your local court and Anglian will be put to the trouble and expense of actually attending court (otherwise the claim fails) which for £65 rather unfairly levied they may not do. Up to you - you may well decide that howardhewit's capitulation is best. I was a bit confused when you say that 'you received a court summons from Anglian'. Only a court can issue a summons so presumably this was a copy of the Northampton court summons? Have you received a summons from Northhampton? when was it dated? Curious that when you rang on 31st October Northampton knew nothing of the claim and summons. Some debt collection agencies send out mock sommons to intimidate debtors but surely not Anglian. Anglian says that their claim went into court on 21st October and that Northampton confirms this. I might be interesting to give Northampton another ring. If you do decide to defend then you must stop talking on the phone to Anglian and insist that everything is in writing. This is nonsense and I cannot even begin to fathom what she means. You seem to be paying Anglian on either the old water rate or assessed system - have you thought of getting a water meter?
  9. Curiously the fact that the APR quoted is the same as the annnual rate can mean that they are being totally honest see a) below . However it is very common that the the eqivalence is covering a small APR S.cam see c) below They say that they will calculate interest daily and add interest at the end of each month. As the interest is applied monthly it is being compounded monthly so a monthly rate of interest must be calculated from the annual rate. Three ways of doing this are possible. a) Use a compound calculation method. For 27.9% the monthly rate will be ((1+27.9/100)^1/12 -1)*100 = 2.0718....%. Reversing this calculation to get the APR will give 27.9%APR The monthly rate is therefor honest. b) Divide the annual rate by 12. 27.9/12 = 2.325% monthly. This is considerably higher than in a) and is totally dishonesst. It is known as the simple interest S.cam - the APR is in this case 31.759...% - wow!. c) The APR S.cam The APR can legally be rounded to one decimal place. So an annual rate of 27.9499... can be shown as 27.9% APR. They actually charge an unlawful 27.9499... % but fob you off by pointing to the correct APR. When they do this they usually show only the monthly rate and APR and not the annual rate. The monthly rate derived from 27.9499....% per annum is 2.0754..... This is not much more than the honest a) but it pays their bonuses!! NB. The above only applies for loans where the only charge is interest as here. If there are other charges the the APR will be considerably more than the annual rate. The APR is not the annual rate.
  10. You are not a sole witmess. Your wife was in your car recoerded the other number plate and dialled 999. The police surely have her evidence?
  11. Just one thought. Moorcroft have said they are acting as agents for Santender i.e. they are working for them. The debt has not been sold to them. I personally would put the whole matter back to Santander stating that you will not communicate in amyway with their incompetent agents.
  12. . Thankyou for the correction - they have not yet had time to receive and reply to petitioms. Absolutely. If these councils cannot raise the funds for chancel repair then they can and have asked English Heritage for help to repair these listed buildings. Up to now English Heritage have declined to help whilst there are lay rectors who have liability to pay. Do we then have to wait until the religion no longer owns and uses these buildings? If the owners/users cannot preserve them would it not be sensible to so do so before they are in ruins? I used to subscribe to English heritage but now no longer do so because most of the religious buildings (e.g. Stonehenge, abbeys and monasteries) are ruins and are of less interest to me. Freedom of religion does not depend on buildings and one wonders why the C of E does not erect cheap ( and comfortable!) 'huts' alongside the expensive to maintain ancient church which Emglish heritage could look after when it is ruined. Blackmail is probably not the legal term to use but you know exactly what I mean. The blaclmailed are those landowners who have perceived a threat to their financial security. There is certainly a threat ( you think threat is minimal) and this threat has been increased by actions both the C of E and the government. There is a risk which has attracted insurance companies who have reason to maximise the threat. So the blackmailers are the government, the C of E and the insurers in any order or proportion you care to suggest. In my veiw as abolishing chancel repair liability requres legislation our government is the principal culprit. Curiouser and curiouser !!
  13. I am an atheist with no connection to the C of E but I have no doubt that these buildings with their historical and cultural heritage are worth preserving. The C of E is no longer the financial power it once was and it is my veiw that they should be relieved of this burden and that the cost should fall to all of us. I for one would welcome the small amount of extra tax I would have to pay rather than bear the cost of insurance. The people and the C of E want out of this ludicrous situation but the goverment will not play ball. Why not? I am sure that Joncris is right that if chancel repair liabiity was abolished then the cost to repair these heritage churches would fall on English Heritage and hence the government. Rather than pay up the government with their tansitional provision order has made it almost inevitable that insurance against this risk is necessary. So a very large number of people have to fork out for insurance where a high proportion (about 8o%) of the premiums goes into administration and profits rather into the C of England coffers. These premiums are a stealth tax and a very inefficient one at that. The chancellor at the time was Gordon Brown. The Church of England I am sure is not pleased how things have turned out. They have wanted for years to give up their chancel repair interest simply because it interferes so obviously with their mission and pastoral duties. Our present government will do nothing and are urging people to insure. The threat is that the C of E may register all properties before 2013 and so that chancel repair liabilities are retained. If enough people insure then the C Of E can get their repair bills paid by insurance companies and will not then be so reviled but until then it would appear that they are blackmailing us into insurance when it is our government who is to blame for the situation . Incidentally there are many aspects of the Wallbank case that suggest to me that this was a test case not only to clarify human rights issues but to put pressure on the government to see sense. Has the PPC involved actually enforced the court judgement?
  14. Sorry, Joncris for quoting your post out of the context of your subsequent remarks but I have used it because my solicitor said exactly the same to me yesterday and it it is inaccurate and a lot of solicitors are using only the sense of your paragraph withourt as it were reading on. I have done a lot of research! The law has changed somewhat not because of the ruling in the Wallbank case but because of a transitional provisional order introduced after the Wallbank ruling. Up to this order the church had an overriding interest in the land involved in chancel repair liability and still does so until 2013. This simply means that after 2013 the interest must be registered to be effective for those to whom it has not applied previously - an overriding interest does not have to be registered. so a) as in the Wallbank case where the liability is in the title deeds it will still be effedtive on both present and future owners of the land. They all have to pay if requred to do so. b) If the church does register their interest before 2013 the liability is effective on present and future owners of the land. They all have to pay if requred to do so. c) If the church does not register an interest before 2013 then they lose the right to levy the liability on future owners of the land only. Present owners will have to pay if required to do so. People in a) and b) still may have to pay and may still suffer conseqential loss of property value. Those in c) may still have to pay but their property value will not be eroded No wonder Joncris uses the words in brackets. The previous government gave very little putting the onus and odium onto the Church of England.
  15. Thanks Davehsug, The last last time I rang NG (9 months ago) they were able to confirm my electricity supplier even though they were not my local electricity distributor according to the map shown in the following link. http://www.energylinx.co.uk/electricity_distribution_map.htm I wouild sttill advise the OP to ring NG - if they will not give him the information he requires they will be able to redirect him - unless they are disdposed to be difficult. Can you give some informattion as to when NG ceased to be the main electricity distributor keeping a record of suppliers? It seems to me that the stance that many suppliers take that they have not committted a Billing Code error if an occupier has not contacted them is unrealistic if their is not a simple way of determining who the supplier is.
  16. Clearly your energy suppliers are in a muddle. This is not uncommon so it is sensible to do some checking yourself. All suppliers and the National Grid (the distibutor) have not yet evolved self checking computer systems and their databases can contain errors Ring National Grid give them your address and request the following for both gas and electricity. Do not tell them who you think are your suppliers and do not tell them your meter numbers if you have them a) the suppliers b) your meter numbers c) your meter point reference numbers (MPRN) Make a careful record of these. You may find that NG cannot trace your address and if this is the case post again and skip the rest of this check. If they ask for your meter number do not give it nor tell them who you think are your suppliers. If NG can give you the information a) b) c) above you must check the bills to make sure that the meter readings are being taken from the meter numbers that your suppiers are using for your bills - the meter numbers will be on the bills somwhere. Finally you should check that the meter numbers given by NG are in fact for the meters supplying your flat and that the suppliers have your correct meter readings. To do this you must have access to your meters. If they are in your flat there is no problem. In many apartment blocks they are in meter rooms containing all the meters for all the apartments. Sometimes they are outside the apartment in outside boxes. If this is the case you will need keys to access your meters which you should obtain from the letting agents - they often do not supply them. Even if you have acccess these rooms can be in a fiendish unlabelled muddle and it is often difficult to tell which is your meter. If you can locate the meter as on your bill you can do a simple switch off test to check that the meter is actually supplying your flat - it is not uncommon for meters to be mixed up. Everything may check out fine but you may well find surprising differences between NG, the supplers and the actual meters. Let us know what you find !
  17. Please quote the Statute Law or regulations for this statement. The customer is not responsible. The utilities are responsible for sending accurate bills to the occupier at correct address. I am beginning to think that your presence on this forum is to put foreward the utilities' case. They would dearly love to pass these resonsibilities to the occupier. It would be helpful if you would tell the OP how he should attempt to find out which utilities are supplying him.
  18. . That is what the utilities like to think but it is not true. I suppose as 'an industry insider' you have been brainwashed into this way of looking at things. The utility can request a customer to send a reading but the customer has no responsibility to send it. There are instances where customers have no access to their meters (particularly in apartments) and there are people who cannot read and have no numeracy. In the 'inefficient' old days the energy companies could not send bills if their meter reader ( or agent) had not read the meter -no estimated bills were allowed. So to get any money out of a custimer they had to get a meter reading - and a customer reading would not do either. Meter readings where the customer was out or on holiday had to be made by appointment organised by letter or phone - there were always ways roiund the problem. But this was a costly system and the utilities made more profits as soon as estimates were allowed. Even now they cannot use estimates for longer than two years. I do not allow estimates on my bills but always send my reading if an estimate appears but I have no resposibility to do so and I am aware that many people are just not capable of this kind of action. Progressively the utilities are divesting themselves of all responsibility for billing accuracy blaming the customer when things go awry. It is however still the case that they are responsible for accurate bills.
  19. So very true- but do not make the mistake that the utilities instituted the voluntary code of practice because they are benevolent organisations. They did it voluntarily rather than have it imposed by the Regulator who was very much one of the 'outside agencies'. Before the code was introduced tthe Regulator was inundated by complaints from utility customers that they were being put into financial difficulties by huge bills - to correct errors made by suppliers - and being subjected to draconian collection methods. It was clear to the Regulator that the errors were caused by poor billing systems and that the utilities needed to spend money to improve matters. The major suppliers went away and produced the billing code. The penalty in this code for not improving the billing systems was high - forfeiture of all charges except for the last two years (now one year) when the utility was in error and the regulator must have felt that there was plenty of incentive for the utilities to put things right. At the time the regulator hade a 'light touch' approach - do not regulate if the utilities could be persuaded to regulate themselves.* So he accepted that this matter did not need to go into the regulations. The result of this is that there has been very little effort to improve billing systems and this has cost the utilities dearly. So they are attempting by a new interpretation of the term 'error' in the code to blame ther customers for their errors and thus avoid the code in 95+% of cases. * Light touch regulation does not work. Look at the effect of light touch regulation of the banks by the FSA and light touch regulation of DCAs by the OFT. Self regulation of hard headed businessmen is a fallacy.
  20. . Precisely. So you agree that not getting a meter read from the property either by a meter reader or tthe customer is not a reason for sending no bill at all. No bills at all is what the billing code is about
  21. It seems that you have 'spoken to' United Utilities. That is nearly always a mistake as you will be dealt with by a customer services rep who answers by script and has no discretion. You should write a letter of complaint so that the case will be properly considered. Where do the 'court papers' come from? I expect MCOL Northampton?
  22. Then you acknowledge the claim saying you wish to defend - this can be done online - you do not need to give your defence at this stage. The case will be transferred to your local court and you will have plenty of time to write to Yorkshire with a dispute letter. Upto the actual hearing of the case their is nothing to stop you from negotiating wirh Yorkshire who I am sure are not anxiuos to go to a local court to put their case. Once you have settled with and paid Yorkshire they will withdraw their court claim.
  23. Then you acknowledge the claim saying you wish to defend - this can be done online - you do not need to give your defence at this stage. The case will be transferred to your local court and you will have plenty of time to write to Yorkshire with a dispute letter. Upto the actual hearing of the case their is nothing to stop you from negotiating wirh Yorkshire who I am sure are not anxiuos to go to a local court to put their case. Once you have settled with and paid Yorkshire they will withdraw their court claim so no CCJ. The reason that the utilities use the Northampton online facility is that most people chicken out and pay what they ask and it costs very little (certainly not £50). As soon as people say they are going to defend then the costs for them rocket and they will be happy to negotiate.
  24. Not being able to get into a property to read meters is no excuse for not sending a bill - estimated readings suffice. Their computer systems are c**p. Is it the customers error that this is so? The record for no bills on this forum is 10 years !
  25. The interpretation of the Billing Code that you can now find on the ERA website says that only if the utility is in error will the Billing Code apply. That is a correct interpretation but their definition of an error now makes the Billing Code ineffective in 95%+ of cases thus The utility is not in error if 1) the customer has not informed the utility of his occupancy. 2) the customer has not informed the utility that they are not billing him. (wow!) 3) the customer has been asked for meter readings and has not given them. Can anybody think of ANY situation where the code might apply. The Billing Code is now 95% ineffective because the 'billing code' on the ERA website is not the Billing Code at all but an interpretation that suits the utilities. The utilities have always been the judge of whether the Billing Code applies and now the utilitiy's ERA has published a 'billing code' which the utilities will quote in all their judgements. My veiw is that it is the responsibility of a utility to bill its custtomers and if they do not do so they are in error. The must not be allowed to blame their inefficiencies on their customers. Leaving the newbuild situation aside there is absolutely no excuse for not billing for one whole year - a total of 4 bills. They have the meter number, the MPRN number and the postal address. If they do not send any bill to anyone that must be their error. If they do not get paid on that meter for one whole year having sent bills to the wrong person or the wrong address , how can it be the customers error that they do not investigate? What are their computer systems doing? Bill sent -no payment - either a non payer or billed in error- their problem and they are at fault if the problem persists for longer than one bill let alone 4.
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