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Anglian Water Court Summons


Moluc
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Got a Court Summons from Anglian Water on the 31st of October

saying that I have been summoned to court due to my water bill being in arrears.

The bill was due on the 1st of October.

I never received the bill.

 

 

I called them to inform them that I never got this bill and that I was willing to pay what I owed, which was £285.

But was told that I could no longer pay that amount because I have now been summoned to court

and there are court charges of £50 -solicitors fees and £15 for court fees.

 

 

On the same day, i contacted the court to enquire if this has been officially logged or submitted to

then on the said date (21st October) or even on the day that I called them, which was on the 31st of October.

I was advised that no such court summons were on their systems.

 

I am willing to pay the £285 which I owe, but will never pay the extra charges which amounts to roughly 35% of my bill.

 

Now, I have written to Consumer Council for Water, who submitted my letter to Anglian Water complains dept.

This was there response...

Moluc

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Letter sent to Nationwide 5th/09/06

Statement Recieved 20th/09/06

 

 

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We’ve recently been contacted by the Consumer Council for Water following your email to them. They’ve asked that I investigate further and reply to you directly.

 

I’m sorry for any distress caused by the debt recovery action that’s been taken. As I’m sure you’re aware, we notify our customers of the date that their payment is due here by on the bill. If we’ve not received payment within fifteen days of the original bill being issued, then a final notice is sent out automatically. The main aim is to remind people that their payment is overdue, and to encourage those experiencing difficulty in paying to contact us.

 

If payment isn’t received or no contact made to set up an arrangement then our debt recovery process will continue and further letters will be issued. If payment is made but then missed for the subsequent bill, our debt recovery process will now start from the point where it stopped previously rather than returning back to the very beginning. Customers need to contact us if their payment is not going to reach us by the due date to enable us to put a hold on the account and prevent debt recovery activity taking place.

 

In February 2001 we issued the bill for this financial year, which was for £569.64. As mentioned on the bill you had the option to pay the whole amount or the first half by 2 April 2011. When payment wasn’t received and we hadn’t heard from you regarding setting up a payment arrangement, a final notice was issued on 13 April 2011. This asked for payment of the overdue amount, £284.81. I can find no record of any other bill being issued in April, as referred to in your email.

 

We received your payment of £284 on 18 April 2011. The second half year bill was issued on 3 September 2011. When payment wasn’t received by the due date, the next step in the recovery process was to issue a legal action notification letter. This was sent on 5 October 2011.

 

As Oonagh mentioned during your conversation on 31 October 2011, we’ve sent out a number of debt recovery letters over the last few years as we had not received your payment. We place our correspondence in the post in good faith that it will reach its destination in a timely manner. I’m sorry if you’ve not received some of them.

 

I’ve checked our records and we’ve had none of the correspondence returned as undelivered by the Post Office. As we have no alternate address for you, they should have been delivered to your supply address. If you’ve not been receiving your post, you may want to contact your local sorting office to tell them that your mail is not being delivered.

 

We’ve also contacted Northampton County Court Bulk Centre, who produces all of our claims regarding your claim. They’ve confirmed that this claim was issued on 21 October 2011. When you called the local Northampton Court , they would not have any record of the claim as this would only be passed to them to deal with any Post Enforcement action.

 

I’ve spoken with our debt recovery department and they tell me that as this has now progressed to summons, the fees remain payable. If you can pay £350.64 in full and this is cleared onto your account before 25 November 2011, we can avoid Judgement being granted. Therefore, this will mean that the summons will not have any impact on your credit rating.

 

They’ve explained that if you only pay the balance of the bill, leaving the court fees on the account and you don’t defend the claim or complete the admission form then we may be granted Judgment by Default on the amount of £65.00. I must tell you that Anglian Water has followed its normal debt recovery procedure and not issued this summons in error.

 

I appreciate that this may not be the reply that you were expecting but I hope that I’ve explained the situation clearly for you. If there’s anything else I can do for you, please call 01522 341 418. I’ll be happy to help.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Diane Walker

Customer Relations

Moluc

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Letter sent to Nationwide 5th/09/06

Statement Recieved 20th/09/06

 

 

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Dear Moluc,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

It would be best for you to pay the sum of £350.64 as soon as possible.

 

Although you did not receive any information in relation to being in arrears, it would be your responsibility to make sure that the bill in the sum of £284.81 was paid within a reasonable amount of time.

 

I appreciate that you are prepared to pay £284.81 now, however you were aware that you would have to pay the first part of £569.64 by 2 April 2011 and the remaining amount thereafter. This was stated in your bill in February 2011.

 

Should you choose to defend the Claim, you are unlikely to win in Court, since you have not paid for a service which you were provided with. In addition, Anglian Water are entitled to claim £50 in lawyer and £15 in Court fees from you, because you were given plenty of time to pay £284.81, prior Anglian Water starting the Claim.

 

I believe that the best course of action for you would be to call Anglian Water as soon as possible and pay the full sum of £350.64.

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I am willing to pay the £285 which I owe, but will never pay the extra charges which amounts to roughly 35% of my bill.

 

 

That would be exactly my attitude and I would be prepared to risk (risk not definite) the extra cost of defending which you must do if your above words are not just bravado. Otherwise thay will got a 'not defended' default judgement against you which will have an effect on your credit rating if not paid PDQ. CCJs are only entered by CRAs if not paid within 2 weeks.

 

I would go about this thus

 

Pay the money you owe (£285) immediately. This will leave them only claiming costs which is not so likely to succeed considering your story

 

Acknowledge the claim (Northhampton should have sent you a form) saying that you wish to defend the costs part of claim and that you have otherwise settled the claim. The case will then be sent to your local court and Anglian will be put to the trouble and expense of actually attending court (otherwise the claim fails) which for £65 rather unfairly levied they may not do.

 

Up to you - you may well decide that howardhewit's capitulation is best.

 

I was a bit confused when you say that 'you received a court summons from Anglian'. Only a court can issue a summons so presumably this was a copy of the Northampton court summons? Have you received a summons from Northhampton? when was it dated? Curious that when you rang on 31st October Northampton knew nothing of the claim and summons. Some debt collection agencies send out mock sommons to intimidate debtors but surely not Anglian. Anglian says that their claim went into court on 21st October and that Northampton confirms this. I might be interesting to give Northampton another ring.

 

If you do decide to defend then you must stop talking on the phone to Anglian and insist that everything is in writing.

 

We’ve also contacted Northampton County Court Bulk Centre, who produces all of our claims regarding your claim. They’ve confirmed that this claim was issued on 21 October 2011. When you called the local Northampton Court , they would not have any record of the claim as this would only be passed to them to deal with any Post Enforcement action.

 

 

 

This is nonsense and I cannot even begin to fathom what she means.

 

You seem to be paying Anglian on either the old water rate or assessed system - have you thought of getting a water meter?

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Thanks to you all for your support and advice.

 

@Pelham9; I will have to re-examine that court order again. but when I checked it was from Anglian Water. all they did was just fill out the details and post to me.

I really do not want them to run away with my hard earned money. I think I will go ahead and pay only what I owed. I will need to contact the courts and inform them that I intend on defending this in court.

You mentioned that I may have been charged based on the old water rate or assessment system. Can you shed some light on this so that I can ask them what methods was used to assess me?

 

@Howardhewit; thanks also, but honestly as much as it looks indefensible, I really want to stand my ground...

Moluc

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Letter sent to Nationwide 5th/09/06

Statement Recieved 20th/09/06

 

 

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This was my response to their letter.

 

We’ve recently been contacted by the Consumer Council for Water following your email to them. They’ve asked that I investigate further and reply to you directly.

 

I’m sorry for any distress caused by the debt recovery action that’s been taken. As I’m sure you’re aware, we notify our customers of the date that their payment is due here by on the bill. If we’ve not received payment within fifteen days of the original bill being issued, then a final notice is sent out automatically. The main aim is to remind people that their payment is overdue, and to encourage those experiencing difficulty in paying to contact us.

 

If payment isn’t received or no contact made to set up an arrangement then our debt recovery process will continue and further letters will be issued. If payment is made but then missed for the subsequent bill, our debt recovery process will now start from the point where it stopped previously rather than returning back to the very beginning. Customers need to contact us if their payment is not going to reach us by the due date to enable us to put a hold on the account and prevent debt recovery activity taking place.

 

{At this point, there were no reminder letters received by me. I believe Anglian Water has my details, including my Email address, telephone and Mobile Numbers on their system. I have been a customer for the past 7 years and have been contacted in the past via email and phone calls on both my Telephone and Mobile Numbers.}

 

In February 2001 we issued the bill for this financial year, which was for £569.64. As mentioned on the bill you had the option to pay the whole amount or the first half by 2 April 2011. When payment wasn’t received and we hadn’t heard from you regarding setting up a payment arrangement, a final notice was issued on 13 April 2011. This asked for payment of the overdue amount, £284.81. I can find no record of any other bill being issued in April, as referred to in your email.

The Bill that was issued in February never arrived. I only received a reminder in April , which I paid.

 

We received your payment of £284 on 18 April 2011. The second half year bill was issued on 3 September 2011. When payment wasn’t received by the due date, the next step in the recovery process was to issue a legal action notification letter. This was sent on 5 October 2011.

 

{This second half bill was never received. There is a great possibility that your system may have my address details incorrectly.}

 

As Oonagh mentioned during your conversation on 31 October 2011, we’ve sent out a number of debt recovery letters over the last few years as we had not received your payment. We place our correspondence in the post in good faith that it will reach its destination in a timely manner. I’m sorry if you’ve not received some of them.

 

{There is a great possibility that your system may have my address details incorrectly. So far there is a trend of late payment on my side, but You have only sent me one reminder this year and you also sent me one reminder last year. As far as I know, I made my payments on time last October (Can you send me a receipt of that payment, which included the time and date that I made that payment)}

 

I’ve checked our records and we’ve had none of the correspondence returned as undelivered by the Post Office. As we have no alternate address for you, they should have been delivered to your supply address. If you’ve not been receiving your post, you may want to contact your local sorting office to tell them that your mail is not being delivered.

 

{{I know that you are very much aware of the way royal mail conducts its business regarding delivering letter. The only letters that are most likely to be returned are Recorded delivery letters, letters that are address to the wrong person (usually there is a not on it that says "please return to sender") and letters that the postman can not deliver due to wrong address. In between these letters are letters that the post man has accidentally delivered to the wrong house. At this point, my letters could have been sent to the wrong house and me not knowing about this.}}

 

We’ve also contacted Northampton County Court Bulk Centre, who produces all of our claims regarding your claim. They’ve confirmed that this claim was issued on 21 October 2011. When you called the local Northampton Court , they would not have any record of the claim as this would only be passed to them to deal with any Post Enforcement action.

 

{I myself have contacted Northampton County Court Bulk Centre, on the following dates, 31st October, 1st November, 2nd November, 3rd November and finally on the 4th November. The Northampton County Court Bulk Centre informed me that there were no records of the court order on their systems. Although they do receive a lot of court orders, but not this one and was advised that the court forms that I received did not come from them.}

 

I’ve spoken with our debt recovery department and they tell me that as this has now progressed to summons, the fees remain payable. If you can pay £350.64 in full and this is cleared onto your account before 25 November 2011, we can avoid Judgement being granted. Therefore, this will mean that the summons will not have any impact on your credit rating.

 

{I am an honest man, who earns an honest living trying to raise and feed a family of 4. As of the 31st of October when I called Anglian Water, I was willing to pay what I owed, which was £285 and some pence give or take. There is no way I will pay anything more than that. I believe it is very unfair and unjust for a company such as Anglian Waters who is also a part charitable organisation that is tasked with the duties of providing the most essential commodity to mankind in the Midland, which is Water, should be acting in this manner like other any other profit orientated company.}

 

They’ve explained that if you only pay the balance of the bill, leaving the court fees on the account and you don’t defend the claim or complete the admission form then we may be granted Judgment by Default on the amount of £65.00. I must tell you that Anglian Water has followed its normal debt recovery procedure and not issued this summons in error.

 

{The excess of £65 that is being levied on my amounts to 36% of what was owed. Even my credit card company don't charge that high for one month late payment.}

 

I appreciate that this may not be the reply that you were expecting but I hope that I’ve explained the situation clearly for you. If there’s anything else I can do for you, please call 01522 341 418. I’ll be happy to help.

Moluc

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Letter sent to Nationwide 5th/09/06

Statement Recieved 20th/09/06

 

 

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Sorry did not mention that my answers were in the curly brackets.

Moluc

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Letter sent to Nationwide 5th/09/06

Statement Recieved 20th/09/06

 

 

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Water meters.

 

You can ask for a water meter to be fitted and if it is possible to do so Amglian must fit it free of charge. All new properties (since 1991) must be fitted with meters. Older properties are either charged according to the old rateable value (which is now not updated) or an assessed charge if a meter cannot be fitted or is found to be too expensive - this can be appealed to the regulator. Most properties pay less on meters but this depends on water usage and this may be high with four children! You need to do the sums and do some research on Anglian's website.

 

Creditors make claims.

 

Courts issue summons.

 

Courts make orders after a hearing - County Court Judgement orders or CCJ for short.

 

The CCJ will be a default order if not defended.

 

The Northampton County Court bulk centre deals with a large number of claims from all over the country and issues summonses. The majority of claims are undefended and default orders are made. If defended the case is sent for hearing at the defendant's local court (which may be the Northampton County court!!). You can get information on your case if indeed it is there if you go to the MCOL website -google for it

 

Anglian say that they sent their claim against you on 21st October. Confirn this with the bulk centre -you may have been ringing the local court who will know nothing about it until a summons has been issued and you have stated your intention to defend and you live near Northhampton. I would have expected the local court to refer to or refer you to the bulk centre but who knows.

 

I think that what Anglian sent you on 31st October was a copy of their claim that they had sent to the NBC. It could not have been a summons or an order which can only be issued by a court.

 

If no summons was issued before 31st Oct it is nonsense for Anglain to claim any costs. You are in dispute with them and have been since 31st October. It is considered by OFT, OFWAT, and indeed the courts to be wrong to threaten court action with the added threat of costs when the amount outstanding is offered and any 'penalty' is disputed .

 

If you have not yet paid your £285 odd debt do so at once. Anglian would be in all sorts of trouble if they then claim court costs and I would be pretty sure they will not persue the matter.

 

It is not uncommon for utililities to have wrong addresses on their databases. Curiously they can send correspondence to a customer at his correct address and bills to a wrong address. Was by any chance your property a newbuild in say the last ten years?- this is a potent source of a correspondence address and a meter address (and hence billing address) being different. Are they using your correct address on the copy claim they have sent you?

 

My experience of utilities is that if they have returned mail (eg bills) marked not at this address or no such address etc they often do nothing but destroy them and there is no record.

 

It would be of interest to see what copy (order summons or claim!!) you received from Anglian on 31st Oct. If you can scan it the easiest way is to convert to a PDF file and attach to your post. It is wise to black out anything that can identify you.

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@Howardhewit; thanks also, but honestly as much as it looks indefensible, I really want to stand my ground...

 

I fully understand, however I am not sure how you will proceed to defend the Claim. You would like to pay the money owed, however you do not wish to pay the additional costs assosicated with Anglian starting the Claim.

 

I do not know if this is a Small Claims Court Claim or otherwise, however if we assume that it is for the moment, should Anglian win the case you (the defendant) will be required to pay court fees.

 

In terms of solicitors fees, in most cases the Court will not order the loosing side to pay them in the Small Claims Court, so if Anglian instructs solicitors to act on their behalf they will have to pay the solicitor costs themselves.

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It would be of interest to see what copy (order summons or claim!!) you received from Anglian on 31st Oct. If you can scan it the easiest way is to convert to a PDF file and attach to your post. It is wise to black out anything that can identify you.

 

As pelham9 mentioned, it will be very useful for us to see Particulars of Claim.

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