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Electricity - what can they do to me

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Trying to keep a long story short (7 years long!). Atlantic Electricity - I was paying £100 a month, they demand £200 a month. I increased to £135 a month which is the most I can afford but they are demanding £200 or else "regrettably our collections procedure will continue". What can they do if I only pay the £135 a month.

7 years of hell - more than 2 years without a bill even with meters being read and when eventually received 4 years ago there were many thousands of pounds of overcharging (partly due to economy 7 nightime rate being charged at full rate). 4 years of stress and fighting they eventually gave me a "correct" bill for £3500 outstanding. I still complained that my £100 per annum loyalty discount had not been applied. Yet again they went thru my bill and still found errors amounting to a further £2000 thus reducing it to £1600. This years loyalty discount still had not been applied so I pointed this out and suggested that they wipe off all of the oustanding amount to compensate me for the stress I encountered over that last 7 years from them. They replied ". As we have already cleared a total of £2026.08, we feel this is adequate for the errors made." (they reduced the bill by the amount that they should not have charged in the first place!)

Always by DD, I was paying £100 a month. They attempted to take £400 a month so I cancelled the DD. I increased to £135 a month manual payment but they are still insisting on £200 for 4 years. I am a pensioner disabled with COPD and live on £89.57 a week state pension plus a small private pension of £30 a week. £200 a month for 4 years is impossible to acheive.

If I continue to just pay £135 what can they do to me? I suggested that they take me to court becasue I believe that a court would set a fairer amount but they ignore my suggestion and simply say "our collections procedure will continue" which doesn't tell me much. Can they cut me off (especially at wintertime) or can they simply go to court?

Theres more, much more - including lots of lies from them - but this posting is long enough already.

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i can believe that

i have had dealings with them over my father in his 80's years ago.


can you confirm one thing please


you say you have have no bills in the last 12mts?


is this true?



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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I have had bills in the last 12 months but they have all been severely overcharging me. For 2 years (mid 2003 to mid 2005) I had no bills at all (excuse was the company changed ownership) and when I got them they were overcharged and showed over £5000 outstanding. I have without fail paid the DD which covered my use but it has been years of arguing to get to this point where it shows £1500 outstanding. So many mistakes, excuses and apologies.


3 years ago they sent a ghost to test my meter - well it must have been a ghost because no-one called on the appointed day that I know of (I'm always in to answer). Yet the "tester" submitted test results that showed my meter was accurate within allowed limits. Someone got paid for that job!


However, the phantom test did make them realise that I had been overcharged for nightime cheap economy 7 being charged at daytime rate. That was sorted in 2007 - so they told me - but in August this year (2010) the same overcharging was found to have continued.


The cheek they have got to claim that I should be grateful for reducing my bill when they should not have charged it in the first place.


They have no idea of the stress it causes to have a bill of £5000 then another reducing to "only" £3000 and then to be told that they will be taking £400 a month from me when that is almost my total income. At least it is down to £1500 now but £200 a month will still make it impossible to live.


If all they can do is go to the county court I am happy for that to happen becasue no judge will make me pay so much that I have no money left to live on. and I may even get a reduction if I'm lucky once I show all the complaint letters that I have written over the past 7 years.

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Are Atlantic aware of your situation re your age and illness and also your income and expenditure?


I would suggest making a written complaint to them, something along the lines of:


Dear Sirs


I write to you today to seek your assistance in resolving an ongoing issue regarding payment of the outstanding balance on my account.


On numerous occasions I have attempted to negotiate with your staff over the payment of the balance on the account, which I do not feel is correct.Three years ago you arranged to test my meter for accuracy. A report came back to you stating that the meter was accurate within Ofgem agreed parameters. I do not believe this to be the case as no such appointment went ahead; perhaps therefore you could arrange for a meter operator to fit a check meter on to my existing meter to finally clarify whether my meter is recording accurately.


Furthermore, I would ask that you investigate my account for compliance with the Energy Retail Association Code of Practice for Accurate Bills (Billing Code). Over a number of years your company has made a catalogue of errors, I therefore feel it appropriate that you conduct a full review of my account to ensure the billing is accurate.


With regards to the level of payments being made, I simply cannot afford to pay more than the £135.00 per month I currently pay. I am a pensioner and also disabled. My income is limited, and I am willing to provide you with details of my income and expenditure to prove that I cannot pay more.


I believe that £135.00 per month is more than adequate to cover my energy consumption and repay the outstanding balance. The balance has accumulated due to your errors in billing my account, provision should therefore be made by you to offer an extended repayment period.


After seeking advice from those with a thorough knowledge of industry standards, I am confident that if my complaint were to be escalated to the Energy Supply Ombudsman they will find in my favour. As a vulnerable customer I automatically have the right to contact the Ombudsman regarding my complaint, therefore I urge you to take the actions outlined above and accept my offer of repayment.


Yours faithfully






Hope this helps!

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thanks notts



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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

I may be able too render some advise from the fence here Atlantic will submit your debt to a magistrate court not a county court and all they have to prove is that the bills are not up to date and have offered you payment plans and can ask for a warrant to be issued to fit a pre payment meter. The Magistrates have no power to state a recovery amount se to the account the usual maximum is around £15.00 if in receipt of benefits would be set at a recovery rate of up to about £3.50 as long as you can provide proof your on a income support based benefit.


Your only way to stop the warrant is to prove that you have a valid dispute on the account to prove this pleaseread on.

You would need to prove you was making the average payments to your account ongoing and that your payment have never stopped. Also that you have done everything within your power to supply accurate reads to allow you to be billed correctly. (It is not the responsibility to read your meter monthly or quarterly they are only required by law to ensure a meter is read every 2 years). If you stopped payments during any period then it may be deemed that you fell in to debt on your own cause. you can attend court and put your point across but please do not be under the illusion they will fall on your side the law is loaded on the suppliers side and can be very upsetting. Always remember to supply evidence as they work on cool hard facts. Feel free to ask any questions always willing to help

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