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Green Energy Direct Debit threats

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Hi there,

 

My first post so please be gentle! :)

 

The usual story, lost my job, got into debt with several companies, of which they are all mostly cleared now.

 

I still however owe Green Energy over £800, incurred during the winter for heating and from previous missed bills . I have massively decreased my electricity usage since getting into trouble to around £30 per month, and started paying them back £60 per month. However, they wanted me to setup a Direct Debit for this which at the time I said was fine and to send me the forms. However since then I had several large unexpected bills that automatically went out via direct debit, and pushed me back in debt and caused me overdraft charges.

 

As a precaution and to prevent a repeat, I canceled all direct debits and now pay manually and informed Green Energy that I would pay manually before the end of each month after they started chasing me for DD forms. They are aware I am on extremely low income, and I informed them that I could not guarantee when cash would be available in the bank for automatic payments, and could not risk further overdraft payments making me fall even further in debt.

 

The reply I got back from them basically threatens me, and they are trying to force me into automatic payments. My question was, is it legal for a utility company force you to use a DD even knowing that it could cause you even more debt? Can they refuse a payment plan by me not paying by DD? I understand they are just trying to make it easier for themselves to collect payment, but it really will cause me hardships if I go into overdraft again as I can barely keep up with current outgoings.

 

 

Below is a copy / paste from the relevant parts of the email:

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"I did make the agreement of £60 per month on the understanding that you keep your usage under £30 per month and that you make your payments by direct debit. As you do not wish to pay by direct debit I am afraid the agreement we made is not possible.

Your current arrears is £834.36.

If you can make a lump sum payment of £400 by the end of August then I can accept monthly payments of £60 per month via any payment method if your usage remains low.

If you cannot commit to this a direct debit will have to be set up by Friday 30th August and I will require a manual payment of £60 by then to cover August’s usage. The direct debit can be on 15th or 25th of each month with effect from September.

If you fail to act on either of the above the full balance will immediately become due.

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Thanks

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Hi and welcome to CAG. Sorry you were missed.

 

They can in ask you to pay by DD but if that is not a suitable option for you, they should be able to sort a different method for you.

 

I suggest you raise a formal complaint for the way you have been treated so far. This gives them 8 weeks to reply to your letter before you can go to the energy ombudsman.

 

If you have internet banking, you could set up a direct payment system where you do it as and when you have the funds. You will need their sort code and account number along with your customer reference number


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