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Afternoon all,

 

Could really do with some advice if possible. It's a bit of a long story but I will get through it as quickly and accurately as possible.

 

On 13th June 2013 the wife, the kids and myself moved house (we rent with a HA).

 

When we moved into the house we already knew, through speaking to one neighbour, that the property had been empty for a while due to flooding.

 

Our Housing officer informed us that electric was supplied from Southern Electric,

we took meter readings and phoned Southern Electric up.

There is no gas supply to the property (or to the village for that matter - very rural).

We set up a direct debit for £65 per month.

 

For the first few months living here any post that came for the previous tenant we would bundle together

and hand into the HA once we were going past (we had no forwarding address).

Once it got past about 6 months we just threw the letters in the bin tbh.

 

About 3 weeks ago we got a letter that was addressed to Miss D xxxx/current occupier, so I opened it.

 

It was a letter from a debt collection agency (face 2 face) operating on behalf of Ovo electricity, demanding £2150.50.

 

I called Ovo to explain that we don't owe this debt, we are with Southern Electric.

The guy said to me that was fine and that he would update their records immediately.

 

However, Monday, we were away on holiday and didn't get home until Monday evening,

a doorstep collector turned up at our house and obviously as we were not there put a card through the door to say that he called. Again,

 

I called Ovo to complain, saying we didn't owe this debt and that we are with Southern Electric.

 

However, at this point the chap turned around and said, no you are with Ovo.

 

They, as it turns out do supply our property with electric, not Southern Electric, and have done since December 2011.

The chap said there was a request from Southern Electric back in March 2013 to take over supplying the property,

but Ovo denied it as there was debt outstanding.

 

It turns out this was our HA asking Southern Electric to supply it when they were doing the necessary work on the property when the last tenant left.

 

I phoned Southern Electric to check this out, and after about 30 mins of investigation

they confirmed that indeed Ovo do supply the property, not Southern Electric.

 

The lady I spoke to said she would raise a formal complaint on my behalf, but this could take a few months to sort out.

Obviously Southern Electric have about £750 of my money.

 

Which leads me on to Ovo.

 

After all this I gave the chap at Ovo our current meter readings.

It turns out since we have been here we have used £1650 of electric,

so we were massively underpaying Southern.

 

The reason Southern didn't spot it earlier was because all there bills/statement were estimates.

 

The chap at Ovo said to cover current consumption we would need to pay £135 per month - that's fine.

 

However, he also said the debt of £1650 needs to be cleared in 12 months.

 

There is no way I can do that.

It would push my bill up to about £275 per month (until I get the refund from Soutern), then down to £220, which I just can't afford.

 

The guy did say the only way they will extend the debt is through pre-pay meters,

but they just are not practical where we live.

 

Our nearest pay point shop is nearly 7 miles, and even in this winter, which wasn't that bad by all accounts,

we couldn't get out the village for about a week in total through flooding etc.

 

I did, in another conversation, ask them to fit a smart meter as you can top them up online which would be fine,

but he said our meter isn't compatible, and as they didn't have to do it until 2020 or something they wouldn't do it.

 

I have told Ovo I can afford £175 per month, but they won't accept.

 

So, what do I do?

I have left it that Ovo are going to call me next Wednesday to set up a repayment plan of £275,

which in all good conscious I can't do because I can't afford it.

 

I have called Soutern god knows how many times to sort out getting my money back (and compensation)

and just get told it is going through the complaints system.

 

Southern are trying to push the blame onto Ovo, saying they should have contacted me well before now.

 

I feel we are being right royally screwed here, and don't know where to turn!

 

Thanks.

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if they didn't come read the meter that's THEIR PROBLEM NOT YOURS.

 

you shouldn't have to pay for THEIR MISTAKE.

 

i'd be taking this to the energy ombs

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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