Jump to content


HP Mum

£6000 Electricity bill for 6yrs !!

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3382 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

Hi

 

An electricity bill just popped through the door for £6000 !

 

At first I thought it was just one of these silly computer print mistakes.

But on close inspection of the bill, I see they have backdated it to 2004. They have given an estimated start reading in 2004, then estimated consumption all the way through to end 2009, to come up with the figure of £6k.

Within the period of 2004-2009, they have then cancelled more than £2k. But have estimated £4k still needs to be paid. Apx £600 appears to have been estimated for the last quarter alone...

They have given no reasons for the £2k cancellations.

 

The property has been tenanted on and off throughout, sometimes the landlord has been responsible for all bills; sometimes the tenant.

I have no idea if anyone from the electricity supplier has ever read the meter - certainly not during my residency. Bills have always been addressed "The Customer" and quarterly bills received have always been estimated and paid (Apx £100-150/q).

 

Now, I am not sure how to deal with this situation.

 

I am aware of the "Billing Code of practice" and their ability to only back date for 12m, but it appears they have no start/end readings to bill accurately even within the last 12m.

So should I just write a very simple letter outlining the Code and telling them politely to get lost, explaining about the tenancies etc ?

Or should I just send back a copy of their bill and say there must be some mistake and wait for the explanations of their calculations ?

And should I write to put the account in Dispute to prevent any threatening letters from them or dcas etc ?

 

Just before Christmas this is the last thing I need :Cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they cannot do it passed 12mts and they must read every 24mts.

 

seems like someones got their knickers in a twist.

 

dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if bills keep being sent to the customer, then your supplier are billing. If they have attempted to read the meter (even if there was no access) then the billing code will not apply, not the suppliers fault if neither landlord nor tenant informs them of the change of tenancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NottsLad - I disagree.

The current tenant or Landlord cannot be liable for other's consumption. And in a 6 yr period there are only estimates from the supplier. There is no possible proof of current resident's consumption...

I think I have read elsewhere that you work for an energy supplier...so we are bound to disagree...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well notts is always very good in helping so i'd plumb with that TBH.

 

he is not biased infact i've always though the other way.....ehich is why he remains anon.

 

if the supplier does not know the tenency has changed then well.

 

its this 'the customer' bit i'm not sure on

 

dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure if you sent the supplier a copy of the tenancy agreement, they would be more than happy to amend the account. There is a mutual responsibility to provide readings, I'm sure the supplier's bills will have requested "the customer" to call with a meter reading.

 

We who work for the suppliers, believe it or not, don't sit there with crystal balls and can only act on the information we are told. If you've been receiving all these bills, why have you not contacted them to advice of the chane in tenancy?

 

And thanks dx, I try to remain impartial, working in the industry, I know how often cock ups are made, and can often help to resolve them, but I can't see the supplier is at fault here, un;ess they have never attempted to read the meter, in which case the billing code of practise will apply

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over a six year period there have been multiple tenants and records have not been kept of all the tenants. Majority have been from overseas too. In addition the property has been empty for some periods.

 

I certainly am unaware of any attempt of supplier to read the meter.

Apart from one occasion this summer when a tenant advised that some one had come but the reader could not locate the meter... I think they meant electricity, but I guess it could have been gas...

 

In 6 years, surely the onus is on the supplier to find out who the customer is and to read the meter ?

 

And surely they can not suddenly bill for a 6yr period which is completely estimated from start to finish ?

 

And they have included cancellations of part of the alleged bill, with no indication of why and what calculations they have used to cancel part of the bill. Why would they cancel part of it ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

err actually they can. the responsibility is down to the person using the electricity or gas, and as a landlord surely it would be responsible to keep a record of the tenants you've had in there, for tax purposes if nothing else!? If you personally haven't been living there then you wouldnt be aware of the attempt to read the meter.

 

If the supplier hasnt been able to get a reading then they can estimate the account. Also if as you say they have been sending bills to the occupier, they havent only just suddenly sent a bill have they!

 

looks to me like they may have had a meter reading causing them to re-bill the account for the entire period and send a revised bill covering the account history in order to explain the bill - could be a very large catch up bill as a result of underestimation.

 

Have you contacted the supplier concerned yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But is a landlord responsible for multiple tenants consumption, which the supplier has estimated from start to finish ?

 

Perhaps, you are right that this is a huge bill due to under-estimation of previous bills, but how can the supplier prove exact consumption if they have not provided a start reading ?

 

Can the supplier legally pursue a landlord for their recent bill, despiite not being resident ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

unless you can prove that there were other people responsible for payment of the supply by providing tenancies covering the period then yes.

 

Guess in future you should ensure you take meter readings when tenants move in and out and provide the details to the energy supplier to prevent anything like this happening again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if a new tenant took over the property in July he should have given a reading then. If he didn't and is resident now and writes and tells the supplier that he is only liable since July what then happens to the previous years billing demand ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it would probably default to the landlord, unless the landlord can prove otherwise. The supplier would also want to see the tenancy agreement for the person writing the letter, I know I would if there's a debt of this amount involved

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly it is not a proven debt.

The supplier has no start reading. And no end reading either.

 

Secondly, there is still the issue that they have not sent anyone round in the last 24m to read the meter.

 

Thirdly, doesn't a supplier have a legal obligation under the Billing Code to regularly review their estimated bills in line with what they consider appropriate for the size of property/occupancy to prevent such huge potential debts ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but as you say, you havent been at the proeprty, if the meter is inside then the supplier may have been round and not had access to read the meter.

 

If whoever has been responsible for the supply has not provided meter reads at the start of the account (ie at change of tenancy or supply) then there is no wonder its estimated.

 

There's no obligation under billing code to review estimates - just to request readings - its very likely on all of the bills sent to "the customer" if they were estimated that there would be a statement message requesting reads, and letters were probably sent to request a read.

 

From what I can see on here, and after 10 years of working for an electricity supplier, this really does not strike me that the electricity company have done anything very wrong with this account, obviously without seeing the account itself I cant be 100%, but they have fulfilled their obligations, it is very very rare that no attempt is made to read the meter, this can be checked by calling the company, or perhaps emailing them if you want a permanent record, wouldnt reccomend posting purely because of the time it will take to resolve anything

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone else have a view on this ?

 

Nottslad, you have said the alleged debt would "probably" default to a Landlord. But the supplier can not prove the level of the consumption in the first place. The landlord could prove residence elsewhere. Are you stating this with legal background knowledge or just an assumption of how you would act working within an energy company ?

I just do not understand how a supplier can guess a property's energy usage and be considered in the right to back date a bill almost 6years...

 

Also a tenant is obviously only liable from a certain recent date.

If tenant writes to supplier and advises move in date, retrospectively, the supplier can not hold new tenant liable for consumption prior to move in ? If supplier only has "The Customer" on their database, and no name then I would wonder how they can even hold the absent and unnamed landlord liable for an alleged debt ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am speaking purely from my experience and am only trying to help by giving the best advice i can based on knowledge gained through working in the industry.

 

Whilst the landlord could prove residence elsewhere through providing utility bills etc, the supplier can prove liability through information held by the Land Registry - ie the landlords name.

 

We keep going round in circles that the supplier will have more than likely attempted to read the meter and it is not their fault if the DC cannot gain access to get a reading - if you disagree with the level of consumption, give them a read, simple.

 

Ask the supplier why they have suddenly re-billed the account for this period of time, and whewther they did attempt to read the meter; depending on their response, there may be some other points that we could come up with to prevent any further action and to get this debt minimised

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NL - from your experience then, why would a supplier cancel more than 2k of an alleged debt without showing any calculations or reasons within the framework of the alleged bill ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

possibly for incorrect prices, or to apportion charges more fairly over price changes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nottslad

 

but I can't see the supplier is at fault here

 

You are a very useful contibutor to this forum as you give us the lowdown as to the ways that the utililities try to get out of there responsibilities with regard to the Billing Code and meter reading. But you do tend to accept their excuses too readily as if your company's policies were correct and honest.

 

Meter reading over six years has been nonexistent in this case. In these circumsances it is common sense that something more than sending a meter reading 'who cannot gain access' is required. The average person (or judge) would not be be impressed by 12 six monthly non access meter reader visits. The obvious question would be ' What did you do about it?'

 

Clearly the utilitty has been receiving payments from someone but somehow they do not know who that person was! It is in this kind of situation that the utilities should do visits to find out the proper persons to send bills to. Only a utility could consider it reasonable to supply for six years without knowing how much they have supplied and to whom. It is the utility who is to blame for this mess not landlord or occupiers - they should have sorted this long ago. To do otherwise and seek to blame others is complete mis-managememt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and at who's expense should these visits be made?

 

I know for a fact the bills will have had a message requesting a read, and after 3 consecutive estimates, a letter is sent requesting a read, and quite often letters are sent on accounts requesting details where the account is simply in the name of "the occupier"

 

At the end of the day, both parties seem to be at fault here on that one, but how difficult is it for "the customer" to put a note in with their cheque with their details, pick up the phone with a meter read, or write a letter.

 

I openly admit when companies have done wrong, and try to empower customers to get it sorted, without giving away my identity (which i wont do for obvious reasons) i would love to say ring me on this number, this extension and we'll get it sorted...

 

Put it this way, eon don't supply me, and I am all for the normal person, not the company as i work with the union as well, and one of our bug bears is policies that force customers into fuel poverty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HP Mum

 

I am presuming that -there are indications in your post - that you have been a tenant for two years at least? I presume that your landlord is not responsible for paying the electricity bills? What I am saying will not be correct if my presumptions are wrong.

 

You will not be responsible to pay for any electricity before your occupation. Your occupation can be proved in many ways but a copy of the tenancy agreement is the simplest

 

Though it is sensible to give a meter reading to your supplier when you move in there is no compulsion to do this - it is up to the supplier to read meters and to confirm the occupier.

 

It is not your responsibility to send interim meter readings though you save them money if you do so. It is there responsiblility to read the meter at least 18 monthly - it is not sufficient to send a meter reader who cannot gain access - they must then make special arrangements.

 

If this large bill is the only one that YOU have received during YOUR occupation you are responsible for only the last year and subsequently - the Billing Code does apply.

 

The amount of the bill is ludicrous and you must challenge this. Make sure that you have a meter reading immediately and take regular monthly readings from now on so that you have an average reading* - all your meter 'readings' are estimates so an average reading is the only fair way but do not allow them to do this for you, There is in fact no proof that you have used any electricity at all but I think an amicable agreement is best - but remind them of this if they start to talk about court proceedings!

 

I would advise you to to communicate with them only in writing and keep copies. Do not talk to them on the phone particularly to customer services as this tends to make more muddle because more than one person will deal with the matter. You will have more time to think about their respnses and there will be a proper record of your negotiations.

 

If you have not yet done so you must make a formal complaint enclosing a copy of the bill.

 

Keep copies of everything.

 

*It would be sensible to economise on your usage during an averaging period ! If you were on holiday during the preceding year make sure that you do not pay an average usage when you were not using anything. Watch that they do not charge you VAT for the electricity you are not paying for - prior to one year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Pelham for joining what seemed to be purely a 2way discussion !!

I am the Landlord !

I have been in and out the property for years. I have had it tenanted - some short, some long; sometimes it was empty, sometimes I lived in it. I also had it managed , or mismanaged, by a company that does not exist anymore. I did not receive the bills, did not know they were addressed to "The Customer" or that they were all estimated ; I just paid what the Management advised to pay and thought that I was covering for the periods of my occupancy. I was not aware that tenants had not notified the energy supplier. I do not have the tenancy agreements as the management had them.

So this is why I am worried about the responsibility of the landlord.

 

I am resident for a short period at the moment, hence why I received this bill and why I am trying to sort it out now.

 

I guess, as you say, I have to write a simple letter stating the account is in dispute, and asking them to forward all the info they have on the account to help me get to the bottom of all their figures and calculations. I will take readings as you say.

But after this explanation, what would you now suggest is the best step forward (attack) ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and at who's expense should these visits be made

 

Who else other than the utility and their shareholders?

 

In the old days before deemed contracts when leaving a property an occupier had to inform the utility (otherwise he continued to be responsible for usage) who would send an operative round to turn off the supply and read the meter A new occupier on moving in would get his supply switched on immediately on ringing the utility. At this visit the operative would check the meter again and then sign up the new customer. All the problems (no end or start readings and unknown accupiers) we now encounter with deemed contracts did not occur.

 

Now this old fashioned service is expensive requiring dedicated personel to run efficiently and so it is not surprising that the utilities with an overriding profit motive wanted to end it - so they did. The problem is that they have not instituted the necessary checks that the changeover required and the result is a mess. There is some advantage to the customer in not having a switch off hiatus but the overriding advantage is with the utility who did not make this change for the benefit of the customer as they repeatedly claim but to increase profits. The assertion that is the responsibility of the customer to keep the utility informed is just untrue.

 

The same applies to meter reading. This is expensive so they do it as little as possible and then blame the customer if they estimate over a prolonged period - we ask the customer to phone in their readings on an expensive profit making number!

 

The regulator has recognised these problems - hence the Billing Code and meter readings at least 2 yearly. Previously, estimated readings were not allowed and the utility did not get paid until the meter was read so meters were read 3 monthly and there was no nonsense about 'unable to read meter' - they came at weekends and evenings or a week or too later if the known occupier was away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HP MUM.

 

Polite aggression is best with these people. Everything in writing from now onwards. Make sure you do not fall for their 'kidology'

 

If you cannot get infornation from them that satisfies you do a SAR - look ellsewhere on CAG for this.

 

You need from them

 

a)a copy of any written signed contract they may have with you or your agent. They almost certainly do not have one but if they have you will be reponsible for the whole acccount.

 

b) A full account. This must include all meter readings estimated or otherwise and of course any paymrnts you have made. No doubt they will wish to show the £2000 they have taken off the bill. Check everything very carefully particularly the VAT on that £2000 you will not be paying.

 

It is very likely that there is no written contract so they will be forced to rely on a deemed contract with the occupier -this will be you except when one of your tenants was in occupation.

 

They should bill your occupying tenants for their usage and you for the rest. The tenants may be able to pass the bills to you if that is in their tenancy agreement but you have no direct responsibility to the utility for your tenant's usage.

 

While you are waiting for their replies it would be sensible to write down a chronology of the tenants (names and present addresses) and your payment history from records or memory. Did your agent leave you completely without information?

 

At some time in this dispute they may well try to put pressure on you by referring you to a DCA -at first their in house DCA and then other(s). Tell the DCAs in writing that they should refer the matter back to the supplier as there is a significant dispute outstanding. Then ignore them totally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...