’ll try and keep this as brief as possible but I’ll need to explain a bit of background.
When I was in university I rented a room in a house with three other students that I didn’t know between July 2012 to June 2013. Npower supplied the electricity and gas. I gave the first meter reading in July and the first bill came in October and we each paid a fourth to the landlord and I thought this arrangement would continue.
However, towards June 2013 I contacted the landlord as we hadn’t got any more bills and queried what was going on he said he’d put the bills solely in my name.
I was amazed that this was possible and called Npower to refuse to be the only sole name on the bills but they said this was the landlord’s right. Shortly after that the other tenants all left and two of them half way around the world.
The bills at this point still hadn’t come to the house (although they might possibly have done so but one of the other tenants liked to take people’s mail…) and I gave a forwarding address and explained that as I was only one of four tenants they should only send me a fourth of the bill.
Instead they started sending widely varying bills (anything from £1300 to £2000+) and after talking to them on the phone failed I then wrote them a letter showing them my tenancy agreement saying that I was only responsible for a fourth of the bills, emails to and from the landlord where he took responsibility for paying the bills if we paid him.
Npower ignored all correspondence from me and the demands for payment became nastier and they and debt collection companies started sending letters to my parents as well calling them. I wrote them a cheque for over £500 which was a fourth of what they were asking for at the time.
The demands didn’t stop and became more and more frequent. It was deeply stressful and if I’d the whole amount I’d probably would have just paid but I didn’t; however, the demands finally abruptly stopped.
But, now more than four years after I paid Npower the £500 and the demands stopped a debt collection company called Wescot that Npower used before has started asking for money again.
I think this was because I just updated the electoral register to my new home. It’s a horrible and not to mention embarrassing to start life with my partner in our new home and to be threatened again by this very ruthless debt collection company.
I am not sure what to do next and was wondering if someone advise me what they make of these options?
Just pay the damned bill and all the nasty extra charges they added. Would this be the end of it? Would accepting it give them the right to damage my credit report?
Ignore it and hope it goes away like last time. It hasn’t affected my credit rating so maybe they don’t have enough information about me? And perhaps me going on the electoral register here just tripped some automated system?
Pay the bill but take the only other U.K tenant to small claims court for their share? Or even half would that be possible?
Threaten to refer their behaviour to some ombudsman or consumer body? Things like calling my parents and writing to them, calling on a Sunday, using aggressive and threatening language etc. Would this scare them enough to leave me alone?
Sorry for how long this post was and thank you if any advice you can give.