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Chased by UDS for Eon 'debt' of four-years ago


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Hello all,

 

I hope someone can help me.

 

Utility Debt Services (UDS) have out of the blue started calling and texting me several times a week on my mobile regarding an 'outstanding' electricity bill for £215. The bill is in my name and the name of the person I was living with four years ago and with whom I am no longer in contact.

 

As far as I remember, we settled our bill with Eon when we left the property. What concerns me is that I no longer have any records regarding that period and can't prove we settled the bill and I can't dispute whatever meter number they give me since it is so long ago. It feels like their word against mine. I haven't given UDS or Eon my new address or contact details. I have also since married and changed my name - I didn't give them this information either. The only way they can contact me is via my mobile number - which miraculously is still the same as four years ago. They say they have sent me a letter to my old address of four years ago to recoup the money I supposedly owe them.

 

Given I can't prove I settled with them when I left and can no longer contact the person I used to live with to half the bill, should I ignore UDS's texts and calls and wait another two years until, according to the OFT, the six-year deadline for persuing bills lapses? Or should I try to settle with them in case they manage to track me down! Obviously this would grate as I feel like they would be tricking money out of me.

 

Many thanks.

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Moved to the Debt Collection Forum.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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If you're sure you settled up when you moved out then why the worry? A cynic may suspect debt evasion, where you know there was money owing and now they've caught up you don't want to know - but, being CAG users, we give the benefit of the doubt and offer to help if we can.

 

The thing to do is ask them to prove that you owe any money. There is a letter in the templates library that should suit (top of page, look in brown menu bar for green 'Library' and follow the links). Quite simply, they have to show that you owe them money. They can't just say 'here is a bill, pay it' - it's quite possible your name was left on the account after you moved out, which happens a lot.

 

You would know when you left the property and they should have notes on you settling the bill at that time. It may be a case of sending a SAR, which will cost you £10, to get a copy of their records. You should then be able to go over that information and satisfy yourself that it is correct, or not as the case may be.

 

Ignoring them for another 2 years is not really on if you're sure you settled the bill, it achieves nothing taking that route. You either face up to them and sort it out or they'll continue to chase you.

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I'm with British Gas. Ironically, I was with Eon for a short spell a year ago. They never mentioned anything then.

 

Btw, thanks Hillards for the advice and details of letter link. One further quick question, if it isn't a mistake and monies are owing, am I liable for the whole amount even though it was a joint bill with my former flat-mate?

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if it isn't a mistake and monies are owing, am I liable for the whole amount even though it was a joint bill with my former flat-mate?

It would be up to you to sort that out, the DCA won't care who pays as long as they get the money owing - or you can come to a deal with them.

 

Quite often they will settle for less than the full amount, but make sure you get a proper 'full and final' agreement out of that, so another DCA can't chase you again for the same bill - it happens!

Be good to those who give you advice that helps - click the star to give them your thanks by way of a reputation credit.

 

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Isn't the time period a utility company has to contact you about a bill a lot less than 6 years?

 

Yes it is 12 months.

Which is why I asked who you were now with, as if you were still with E-on then they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, their argument could now be that they had to trace you to your current address, therefore that 12 month window won't apply, BUT, I am inclined to think that this won't be the case, they knew where you were all along, and they have now decided that they will attempt at fleecing you out of money you don't owe.

 

I'm not too sure whether their is a company rep on here from E-on or not? Actually no, come to think of it is Scottish power.

 

DCA's should be ignored, your agreement and contract is not with them., deal direct with E-on, the sooner people refuse to pay third party clown outfits, the sooner there will be no need for them.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi Petersham2011

 

I'm sorry it's taken so long to contact you about your former property.

 

When you left the property 4 years ago, did you contact us with a leaving date and meter readings?

 

If you did, your account will have been closed down to this information and a final bill sent. Did you receive this? If you did, was this the account you settled 4 years ago?

 

Don't worry if you no longer have access to this bill. After 4 years, it's quite understandable if you no longer have it. Give us a call and ask for a copy of the bill we are basing our demands on. We'll be happy to send you this.

 

We will also have a record of the payments you made so will be able to tell you this.

 

Make sure the charges relate to your time in the property. Tell us if they don't and let us know the dates of your occupancy. We will need to amend the charges to reflect these dates although we may ask for proof like a Tenancy Agreement or mortgage documents.

 

Also, don't worry if you didn't give us meter readings at the time. We can estimate these from the history of your usage whilst you lived at the property.

 

Again, sorry it's taken so long to contact you but hope this is useful. Let me know if you need any more info as will be happy to help.

 

Malc

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Sorry Malc! Welcome aboard, thank you for your time and assistance, I hope you will be just as good as the SSP rep and Vodafone rep.

Over to you.....:thumb:

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Many thanks to everyone who helped me on the site. I did contact Eon directly, asked to speak to a manager and emailed him using the template in the library. He investiaged my complaint and this was his reply from yesterday:

 

I have now investigated this account further and found that the cause for you receiving a statement for energy usage in 2008 is due to the meter details for this property being crossed with another property. The resolution of this issue caused you to receive an amended statement. I have submitted this information to our billing code (also referred to as Back Billing Code) team who are investigating in more detail and will be contacting me within 10 working days with a report confirming their findings.

Once I have received this report I will contact you via email straight away to confirm our next actions. I would like to apologise to you for receiving this bill and I hope this hasn’t caused any stress or worry. I would also like to reassure you that you will receive no follow up regarding this until you are happy with the resolution of your complaint.

I hope that this will be the end of the issue - but it does show mistakes can occur and it was actually very stressful to receive calls from a debt collection agency for something I knew wasn't my fault.

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Being a former customer of E.On, I can tell you from experiance that they will do anything to try and fleece money out of customers who have left them. I still get them and UDS sending threatograms demanding money I don't owe them! They believe the regulations put in place to protect the consumer from their cowboy ways is just a technicality for consumers to hide behind and they can ignore them. E.On is one of the worst for this.

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I had the Ombudsman involved and they lied to him over all the facts. They were then told to provide me with certain information and I'm still waiting five years on. So whenever they or any DCA get in touch demanding money I just tell them to go and play with themselves.

Edited by cerberusalert
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Must admit I used them for one month last year, never again! Still you live and learn..

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Many thanks to everyone who helped me on the site. I did contact Eon directly, asked to speak to a manager and emailed him using the template in the library. He investiaged my complaint and this was his reply from yesterday:

 

I have now investigated this account further and found that the cause for you receiving a statement for energy usage in 2008 is due to the meter details for this property being crossed with another property. The resolution of this issue caused you to receive an amended statement. I have submitted this information to our billing code (also referred to as Back Billing Code) team who are investigating in more detail and will be contacting me within 10 working days with a report confirming their findings.

Once I have received this report I will contact you via email straight away to confirm our next actions. I would like to apologise to you for receiving this bill and I hope this hasn’t caused any stress or worry. I would also like to reassure you that you will receive no follow up regarding this until you are happy with the resolution of your complaint.

 

I hope that this will be the end of the issue - but it does show mistakes can occur and it was actually very stressful to receive calls from a debt collection agency for something I knew wasn't my fault.

 

Hi Petersham2011

 

Crossed meters do occur in the energy industry and can cause considerable problems, particularly where there are multiple properties involved.

 

I have to say, it happens quite a lot with new builds where the developers give us the wrong details when advising of a change of responsibility. I'm not saying this is the case with your old place but it's something that does happen. To be frank, these can take a while to sort out.

 

However, now it's been recognised as a crossed meter and a manager is handling your complaint, this should reduce the time taken to sort it out. He's also involved the Billing Code Team which is a positive step.

 

Also, as he says, there will be no follow up whilst there's an open complaint on the account.

 

I'm sorry you've had to suffer all this Petersham but glad it's now in the right area and is being sorted. Give me a shout if you need any more info from me as will be happy to help.

 

Malc

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