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Electric company wants £50,000 after six years taking "wrong" meter readings

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I run a small restaurant in a which I moved into in 2004. When I moved in,

the electric company installed a new meter and for the last six years, they

have been sending people around, taking meter readings and sending me the

bill. I have paid this promptly, without fail, for the last six years. The

charges to my mind were fair, neither strangely high or strangely low - they

were roughly what I planned for. Two months ago, the electric company sent

me a letter saying that the bills that they had been sending me were wrong

because they were 'based on a five digit meter' when in fact I have a 'six

digit meter'. As a result, they had refunded my last six year's bill

payments to my account and that I now had an outstanding balance of minus

£50,000 (give or take a negligible amount) and that I need to pay in full,

now.

 

After a couple of desperate phone calls, they told me that I could pay

£2,000 per month over the next two years to settle the debt.

 

The sort of custom that I receive might bring me £2,000 every quarter.

'Times is hard!' Their suggested repayment scheme will bankrupt me before

the end of the first quarter - bankrupt for their error. (I haven't been paying £180 per week for 6 years, that's six years worth of £180 per week on top of what I was paying)

 

Anybody out there have any thoughts on this, or any suggestions, pointers to

help?

 

Thank you..

 

Gary

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are you running the restaurant as a sole trader or as a limited company?

 

Firstly I would make a written complaint to the company, advise them of the situation and that insolvency will result from their mismanagement; escalate the complaint to the ombudsman if you don't get any joy.

 

If nothing comes out of that and you still have to pay ridiculous amounts, look at an IVA/Administration

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Hi Gary

 

Welcome to CAG

 

I would follow notts advice, I would also send the electric company a SAR Request with £10, they have 40 days to provide you with all the data they hold on your meter and on you. That may well throw up some information that may help you support your case. The crucial fact here is that they sent meter readers to read

your meter, with the SAR request you will have dates and times.

 

Hi Gary, I think it might be an idea to get a legal opinon on this problem, I can see why they refunded the payments you made.

 

Keep us posted.

 

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Energy-giant-s-error-Bristol-shopkeeper-business/article-976372-detail/article.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1258449/Power-people-How-energy-giants--p--h1--b.html

 

How to complain

 

First complain to the energy company.

Consumer Direct will talk you through the complaints process and how to take your problem further.

If you are a vulnerable customer, such as someone with young children in the house or who is disabled, you will be passed to Consumer Focus, which will help with your complaint and make sure your supply is not cut off.

The energy company has eight weeks to resolve the problem. You should be given a copy of its complaints procedure.

After that time, you can go to the energy Ombudsman, to sort it out for you, on 0330 440 1624 or 01925 530 263. Or you can use the online enquiry form available at http://www.enso.org or write to PO Box 966, Warrington, WA4 9DF.

The Ombudsman should come to a conclusion within six weeks. If you are not happy with the decision, you can go back with any further information you feel is relevant. The service is free to you.

It can award you compensation up to £5,000 but this does not include billing errors.

The Ombudsman's decision is binding on the companies.

 

They have 28 days to put the situation right after you have accepted the decision. If they don't, you can contact the Ombudsman's office again. You always retain the right to take your case to court.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1258449/Power-people-How-energy-giants--p--h1--b.html#ixzz10Z53CtWi

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Hi Gary

 

Also don't take it on face value that the £50,000 is correct, Hopefully you will only have to pay 12 months

but what every you have to pay get it checked out independently, don't trust the energy company. Also

don't let them bully you into paying. Build your case, it's strong on the face of it.

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I run a small restaurant in a which I moved into in 2004. When I moved in,

the electric company installed a new meter and for the last six years, they

have been sending people around, taking meter readings and sending me the

bill. I have paid this promptly, without fail, for the last six years. The

charges to my mind were fair, neither strangely high or strangely low - they

were roughly what I planned for. Two months ago, the electric company sent

me a letter saying that the bills that they had been sending me were wrong

because they were 'based on a five digit meter' when in fact I have a 'six

digit meter'. As a result, they had refunded my last six year's bill

payments to my account and that I now had an outstanding balance of minus

£50,000 (give or take a negligible amount) and that I need to pay in full,

now.

 

After a couple of desperate phone calls, they told me that I could pay

£2,000 per month over the next two years to settle the debt.

 

The sort of custom that I receive might bring me £2,000 every quarter.

'Times is hard!' Their suggested repayment scheme will bankrupt me before

the end of the first quarter - bankrupt for their error. (I haven't been paying £180 per week for 6 years, that's six years worth of £180 per week on top of what I was paying)

 

Anybody out there have any thoughts on this, or any suggestions, pointers to

help?

 

Thank you..

 

Gary

 

Gary

 

Over 6 years your contract rate would have changed maybe on 1, 2 or 3 year cycles or perhaps variable depending on your contract/tariff. hence the £50k now demanded may or may not be correct. It might be that your original billing was correct.

 

Take a photo of your meter now before it's changed as part of the Smart Meter rollout process, so you have photographic evidence of a 5 or 6 digit read (the crux of the case)

 

As part of the calculations is the only thing they've changed being to add a digit, or ave they changed the consumption pattern? Have they changed the unit rate? Do you agree with their new calculations?

 

You don't say whether the meter is actually a 5 or 6 digit read.

 

Do you qualify as a microbusiness? Do you have less than 10 employees AND a Turnover of

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does not the billing code play a part here, they can only demand the last 12mts?

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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does not the billing code play a part here, they can only demand the last 12mts?

 

dx

 

No - for a business supply they can go back 6 years under the Statute of Limitations Act

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