Hi all, I've been told this is the very best place to come for sound advice, so here goes - it's a long convoluted story but I'll keep it as short as I can.
I live in a one bed flat that occupies the front half of a three story town house.
Last year, unbeknown to me, Scottish Power messed up billing on my account for electric (something to do with them changing their computer system to a new one). Then out of the blue I received a bill for £1100 - on top of what i had already paid / been paying. I questioned it (obviously!) They said the figure was correct and based on actual readings. I continued to question it and raised an official complaint.
I have no TV and use my washing machine once every 2 weeks. I have a desktop pc that is on all day and a fridge freezer. That's pretty much it apart from small items like LED desktop lamp, phone chargers etc. So there's NO WAY I could be using the amount of electric they claimed I was using.
So while this complaint was being processed by Scottish Power (A whole other nightmare!) I continued to pay £100 a month off the debt they said I owed. As obviously I would be using SOME electricity, just not the amount they claim.
Few weeks back, out of the blue, a debt recovery agent turns up at my front door, threatens me with all kinds legal fees, court costs etc if i don't sign his paperwork and agree to having a prepayment meters fitted. Feeling intimidated, I signed his paperwork.
This morning an electrician from Scottish Power turns up to fit my prepaid electric meter. He takes one look at my meter and says, "Can't change your meter, there's a problem". Well the problem, according to the electrician is that my meter has other stuff wired into it, which he guesses to be, the communal power for the entire building, hall way landing lights on every floor, fire alarm, AND another flat - again guessing it to be the little bedsit behind my flat, but on the same floor.
So my questions are:
Has a crime been committed?
Where do i stand legally?
What action should i take? (Can't afford lawyer - I'm on benefits)
What should i do about this money Scottish power still insists i owe them?
This whole situation has been massively stressful. I've actually developed Alopecia which I directly attribute to the stress of the alleged debt and the excruciating frustration of trying get coherent answers from Scottish Power. I don't need to tear my hair out, it's falling out all by itself!
All suggestions welcome and greatly appreciated.