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Pre-Payment meters


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Hi all,

 

I'm in the process of selling my house (I moved into the girlfriends back in august). now, EVERYTHING is off, no power to anything (and nothing trying to draw power). there's no credit on the meter (there hasn't been for about a month).

 

Just been into the house to pick up my mail (actually some CCA requests, not there of course, 4 DCAs in default tomorrow :) ). I've checked the meter and it's reading -£15.14!!!! it's not using anything! so where's it going?

 

going to do more investigations, as I've just accepted an offer a few weeks ago, so hopefully the house will be sold just before or just after christmas.

 

This meter has, somehow according to NPower, racked up over £140 in debt while it's been in (the account was clear in January 2005)

 

time to write a letter me thinks, to ask them to justify how the debt has accrued.

 

Has anyone any ideas on what I should send them?

 

Regards to all

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If you owe money on your account (prior to the pre-payment meter being fitted) the meter will charge this at a fixed rate to clear the debt over a period of time. Just because you aren't using any electricity at the moment doesn't stop the meter charging for money owed.

 

If you were using any power you wouldn't notice the extra charge being applied.

 

At least that's how they used to work when i was out fitting them, it may have changed but i doubt it.

 

Check with your supplier if there is any outstanding monies owed before exploding on them :-)

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Hi Flappy,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

The house has been on a pre-payment meter since the 80s. There was money owed by my dad, but NPower cleared that when he died.

 

It took a letter stating that if I hadn't taken on the account and had moved to another supplier at that time, they wouldn't be able to chase me for the money owed in his name. so they may as well write it off anyway :) So the account was reset to a £zero balance.

 

despite them updating the meter regularly, the debt started to and is still building. I was living on my own at this address and was in the pub most of the time, so I hardly used any leccy, so I was only putting maybe £5-10 a fortnight on to it (using the silly little white card things!)

 

Surely the idea of a pre-payment meter is to pre-pay for what you use?

 

One of the arguements they used originally was that the meters were "not really that accurate". wish I'd kept the letter that actually stated that!

 

anyone know if you can S.A.R a utility company? maybe they still have it!! :lol:

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Just a thought, when NPower cleared your Dad's debt did they zero the meter at the same time (requires actual visit to the meter) or just write off the money owed at their end?

 

The old meters had gumpf programmed into them whereas the later ones (inc. digital) read all info from the payment card.

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They came round about a month later to read the meter and he said he was resetting the meter to another tarriff as well. They've done regular meter readings since then all upto the last 2 readings, which are estimated (If I write a letter I will update to the latest reading, they can recalculate it then)

 

As i've said, there's no credit on the meter, so the electric is off. I haven't switched the power of at the main breaker though. could it be something to do with that?

 

But surely if the meter is out of credit, the power off at that point, then it wouldn't allow anything that could possibly draw power to do so?

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As well as being used to clear outstanding balances, ie you pay a higher rate to recoup any outstanding balances. They are also used to collect the power companies "service charges"

 

Effectively, just as described, you can have the power turned off at the mains, using no powere whatsoever and still run up a bill.

 

Been there, done that, My argument was how can you apply a service charge when the service isn't wanted, needed , or in use - it worked

 

Need to complain very loudly

Hope this helps

 

 

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The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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As well as being used to clear outstanding balances, ie you pay a higher rate to recoup any outstanding balances. They are also used to collect the power companies "service charges"

 

Good point, i did mention i USED to install em!

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Thanks for all the replies. I'll have to nip up to my old place and check what level it's at now.

 

I also think I'll write a letter of complaint. Hey ya never know, it might just work :)

 

I'll let ya know how it goes,

 

regards to all

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It's the standing charge. If you told the company you have moved out then you wont be liable however if you haven't then they may be able to recover it.

 

The meter will reset when someone else moves in and puts their new card in

All my posts are made without prejudice and may not be reused or reproduced without my express permission (or the permission of the forums owners)!

 

17/10/2006 Recieve claim against me from lloyds TSB for £312.82

18/10/06 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

03/02/07 Claim allocated to small claims. Hearing set for 15/05/07. Lloyds ordered to file statement setting out how they calculate their charges

15/05/07 Lloyds do not attend. Judgement ordered for £192 approx, £3 travel costs and removal of default notice

29/05/07 4pm Lloyds deadline for payment of CCJ expires. Warrant of execution ready to go

19/06/07 Letter from court stating Lloyds have made a cheque payment to court

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It's the standing charge. If you told the company you have moved out then you wont be liable however if you haven't then they may be able to recover it.
Damn! I haven't informed them!

 

Just thought it'd be fine letting the money run out.

 

I'll get on the phone to them tomorrow once I've called in and got the meter readings.

 

Hopefully I should swap contracts soon anyway. I'll pay them out of the money once it has.

 

Still don't think it will hurt to try it on though - "ya don't get, if ya don't ask" my mum always said :D

 

regards to all

 

EDIT: They should come under the DPA shouldn't they, since they process customer details? so a S.A.R. should be ok?

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Yes they have to comply with a SAR within the 40 days specified.

I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.

1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.

2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

 

Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.

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If the account is in your name and even though as you state, you haven't actually used any power, then because you didn't notify them then the service charges would be payable by the account holder.

 

this being the case, it would appear a bit of an uphill one methinks

Hope this helps

 

 

If you feel that this site has helped you in any way please leave a donation if you can afford to do so.

 

If you feel that have been helpful please feel free to tip the scales.

 

 

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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Once you show them proof you ceased to be responsible for the supply then they will remove the standing charge.

I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.

1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.

2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

 

Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.

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Worth mentioning that even though the meter may show a debt you may not owe money.

 

Pre payment meters in some instances will be set to a slightly different tariff to your actual tariff as some meters will only allow certain values for the standing charge and unit rate. In this case your final bill will indicate if an over or under payment has been made (when I last left British Gas, they owed me £90 odd quid)

All my posts are made without prejudice and may not be reused or reproduced without my express permission (or the permission of the forums owners)!

 

17/10/2006 Recieve claim against me from lloyds TSB for £312.82

18/10/06 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

03/02/07 Claim allocated to small claims. Hearing set for 15/05/07. Lloyds ordered to file statement setting out how they calculate their charges

15/05/07 Lloyds do not attend. Judgement ordered for £192 approx, £3 travel costs and removal of default notice

29/05/07 4pm Lloyds deadline for payment of CCJ expires. Warrant of execution ready to go

19/06/07 Letter from court stating Lloyds have made a cheque payment to court

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pre payment meters are indeed set to a different tariff, and are, i believe the most expensive way to pay, although the easiest as you can pay weekly/monthly etc.

This does sound like standing charge build up.

just a thought, though, have you also got pre payment gas meters too, because you'll have the same problem with that too if you dont inform them.

Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.

 

 

have a nice day !!

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I pay electric by prepayment and it is slightly cheaper than if I were paying cash/cheque quartlerly.

Depends on your useage, if your an high user like me with 4 kids and wife at home all day then it is worth paying the standing charge to take a drop in the pence per unit. But your right an average user does not use enough units to justify the standing charge hence paying more on prepayment.

I am a consumer helping other consumers. Together we can and will make a differance. Please double check any information or advise I may give as I like yourself am learning as I go along in life.

1) give a small donation to this site to keep it going because without this forum I would know nothing.

2) Use your experience to help somone else on another thread.

 

Please do not PM me, my mail address is my username at this site address . I will not under any circumstances give out advise or help through mail, only on the open forum, however feel free to mail me to point me towards your thread and general talk etc.

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Hi everyone.

 

first of all, thanks for all your replies. I need to contact them to sort it, so I'll probably give them a ring in the morning.

 

Just checked my meter and it's now readin -£18.54.

 

I'm on gas pre-payment (quantum meter) and it's at £0. nothing at all.

 

I'll have to see what they say tomorrow, but obviuosly if it's the standing charge and because I didn't inform them, I doubt I'm going to get anywhere but having to pay them. just need to S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) them to try and figure out why I still actually owe them as much as I do!

 

regards and cheers for now.

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