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Hi i have an ongoing dispute with Npower since April 2013 when they turned up at my rented property with a warrant and a bailiff and removed on of two meters. (its a large house that i rent out to multiple occupants).

 

i found out they were chasing a debt between 20011-2013 when tenants were occupying the premises.

 

Tenants claim they contacted Npower, but Npower deny it. Tenants deny Npower ever came for a meter read and i believe them as the meter is locked away in a cellar behind a number of locked doors. only one tenant has key to this.

But by Dec 2012 i personally had been contacting npower at least 3 times with proof and meter reads, though i never had sight of any bills.

When the meter got taken i discovered to my horror that they were chasing a bill for £14000. They only informed me of this a week after taking the meter and doing calculations.

 

By December they gave me reproduced bills and now these total £17000 with interest and collection charges.

there has been communication from both sides over the last year and over the last 4 months i heard nothing from Wilkin chapman and i changed address. lo and behold, i check my credit file on the weekend and discover a default ccj for not replying to their court summons last month.

The ccj papers have not arrived yet and i have a form N244 with me to send off imminently to get the case infront of a judge hopefully asap.

 

When i am writing my defence it is running to 3 pages and i wonder....

 

Do i write my complete defence with appendices in the n244 or will all this be requested off me at a later date?

 

my main points for the n244 are that i never received the papers so am replying now requesting a hearing.

 

my main defence from npower billing stems from two points, firstly their claim of a deemed contract and secondly..back billing clause.

 

i can be more specific later but just to summarise, they claim i am on a deemed contract, yet i never had sight of any bills or any communication addressed to me eventhough by dec 2012 i have recorded delivery accepted letters from them which had all my details and details of tenants.

The tenants have also written to them to change account in their name, i have copies of letters.

 

They have charged me double the rates when normal bills are around £1500pa in this rented property.

 

All the bills including the warrant were addressed to a tenant who left in 2010 even though they started a new account shouldnt it be in the name of "the occupier".

They then rolled over the deemed contract at double the market rates at the time..i thought they were allowed to only roll over for a year..

 

They call it a micro business but now have reverted to a residential property account and in some cases VAT of 20% has been adjusted..but in others it isnt.

 

Either way interest and charges have increased so i am no better off.

But surely now there is more stringent legislation for a domestic consumer that i can rely on?

 

Next i am claiming for Back Billing..

the bills were only given to me in April 2013 or rather dec 2013 (they took 6 months to calculate after they removed one of the meters)

 

When i looked at the bills i discovered that the meter reads were 99% estimated and VAT applied at 20%.

 

I contacted them and they removed the 20%vat for a micro business but there was no reply on the meter reads.

I noticed the meter reads were inaccurate, often going backwards and two meter reads being mixed up causing apparent spikes in consumption.

 

This has been verified by accurate bills from the supplier who took over from them.

i have copies to post with the n244.

 

The warrant they applied for was in the name of the former tenant but still they barged their way in and took the meter.

They took the meter that was for the adjoing property (they are linked) so took the wrong meter and left tenants in the house without gas or heating/cooking facilites for a few days till i could get it sorted.

 

They never responded to these parts of my query..surely this is negligence.

 

Anyway, i am now sitting on a n244 and i know to send it with a fee of £155 for it to go back to court but am wondering..how much detail can i put in the form..

shall i enclose all their bills that show estimated reads..and show where the discrepancies are? or leave it to directions hearing or a further witness statement?

 

if you could please advise a little that would be really appreciative..i would of course be hiring a solicitor as well but i think this n244 is urgent.

thanks

Edited by BankFodder

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Welcome to the topsy-turvy mixed up world of npower.

 

Please monitor this thread for a much fuller response later on.

 

In the meantime, do not send off your N244 or do anything else until we have gone through it a little bit and given you some advice.

 

However, what you should do immediately is to send an SAR to npower. You should send this get it off today. This is urgent because you will need lots of information.

 

Also please read our customer services guide and implement the advice there in case you get involved in any conversations with npower – or anyone else for that matter – over the telephone.

 

In any event, you should not do anything until you get the court papers. You say that you're waiting for the papers – does this mean that you have called the court and asked them for copies?

 

Have you call the solicitors and tell them that you have received anything and you want for copies? – Do this and make sure that you are following our customer services guide.


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On the subject of the SAR, in principle you should not have to do this but time is of the essence.

 

Npower will probably request you fill in one of their forms and provide forms of identification in response to your SAR. This is likely a delay tactic. Don't give them the opportunity.

 

Follow this guide for your initial letter to them:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?387306-Full-Subject-Access-Request

 

Re-word it slightly to say you are enclosing two copies of identification documents in order to satisfy Npower as to your identity. Include photocopies of your driving licence / passport / recent bill.

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Thanks ive got the details for sending off for the SAR to Npower now and will send off right now but it takes 40 days. is Npower Business (who used to supply) the same team for SAR for Npower Domestic?

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When they turned up with the warrant was it under s1/2 of the act Gas act 1954 rights of entry or under the 1986 Act to fit a prepayment meter both are different, one allows forced entry one doesn't. They use one to gain entry with an unlawful reason (safety) then use the other to try to change the meter to a prepayment meter.

 

 

Unless they applied for the correct entry warrant then they have misled the Courts to gain it. On the other warrant they must ask permission to gain entry if refused they must leave. Either way they may have acted illegally by obtaining the incorrect warrant in the first place. There are numerous videos about this on a well known sight and well worth watching...

 

 

You as landlord are not responsible for a tenants debts, unless the supplier have entered your name as the responsible person for the bill....


If I have been of any help, please click on my star and leave a note to let me know, thank you.

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When they turned up with the warrant was it under s1/2 of the act Gas act 1954 rights of entry or under the 1986 Act to fit a prepayment meter both are different, one allows forced entry one doesn't. They use one to gain entry with an unlawful reason (safety) then use the other to try to change the meter to a prepayment meter.

 

 

Unless they applied for the correct entry warrant then they have misled the Courts to gain it. On the other warrant they must ask permission to gain entry if refused they must leave. Either way they may have acted illegally by obtaining the incorrect warrant in the first place. There are numerous videos about this on a well known sight and well worth watching...

 

 

You as landlord are not responsible for a tenants debts, unless the supplier have entered your name as the responsible person for the bill....

 

When they came to the property, i wasnt there. They had a warrant, but didnt fit a prepayment meter. they just went into the cellar and took the meter out leaving the tenants without heating or cooking facilities. The warrant was in the name of a tenant who didnt live in the property since 2010. they continued to correspond with this tenant right up to the point of removing the meter in April 2013 despite having all my details and the new tenants details beforehand. I can prove this.

is there a case law i can use in my defence to say they acted illegally and negligently?

Also isnt there legislation somewhere that says they should be addressing all correspondence to the occupier?

 

What i dont have is the picture of the warrant papers. nor can i get the warrant papers from the court. they only keep them for a year.

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Thanks ive got the details for sending off for the SAR to Npower now and will send off right now but it takes 40 days. is Npower Business (who used to supply) the same team for SAR for Npower Domestic?

You'll be lucky if you get it in 40 days - but send off the SAR anyway.

 

Keep copies of everything you send and also get a dedicated book and start keeping a full dated log of everything you do. Sounds crazy but it is necessary. Npower are inefficient and incompetent and also obstructive to the point of being deceitful. There legal department seems to be out of control and acts in any way it can simply to frustrate any customer who starts to rise up against them


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Your story is pretty long and so we will have to try and get a sense of what it all means.

 

Firstly, I hope that you can see that I have been in and put in some paragraph spaces.

 

If you continue writing in large blocks of text, we will lose interest because it's really just too difficult to read that kind of stuff especially on a computer screen.

 

So, to start off – please will you start being careful about your spacing and punctuation. Please use capital letters for the beginnings of sentences otherwise it just gets too confusing

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 

 

  • The first thing I would like to know is – what was the tenancy arrangement? Were the tenants buying the energy themselves? Or was it you? In other words, who's the contract with. Who was responsible for paying the bills?

 

  • Next thing is, are you still on good terms with the tenants and are you easily in contact with them, and are they prepared to get involved in this?

 

  • Also, start reading up our advice on applying for a setaside

 

  • Do the back billing rules apply to business customers as well as to consumers? I don't know the answer to this. Can you check this – or maybe somebody else who is reading this thread can do that

 

  • Who was occupying the premises at the time they came in to execute the warrant?


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The first thing I would like to know is – what was the tenancy arrangement? Were the tenants buying the energy themselves? Or was it you? In other words, who's the contract with. Who was responsible for paying the bills?

 

As per the tenancy agreements the lead tenant is responsible for paying the bills. There is one tenant who is the managing tenant and he is the liason person as he/she is on site. i am hours away. That was the way it was until this mess started but now i just keep all the bills in my name as i switched from Npower when this mess started in 2013. until then all the bills were coming in the other lead tenants name and he had arrangments to pay them.

Next thing is, are you still on good terms with the tenants and are you easily in contact with them, and are they prepared to get involved in this?

 

With the most recent tenant who as been there from 2012 yes she is still living there and we are on good terms. she was there when they came to execute the warrant and she still resides there. With the previous tenant I don't know his whereabouts.

 

Also, start reading up our advice on applying for a setaside

 

Will do.

 

Do the back billing rules apply to business customers as well as to consumers? I don't know the answer to this. Can you check this – or maybe somebody else who is reading this thread can do that

 

Its been with Npower residential since 2013. They were good enough to address this issue straight away. So the backbilling should apply as to any other residential customer. Only, Vat on some bills is still 20% hence the high bills. And the meter reads are still estimated and incorrect.

.Who was occupying the premises at the time they came in to execute the warrant?

 

The tenant who is still residing there now. She informed me on the day as the bailiff came looking for previous tenant. We had to divert gas from the adjoining property so that we could have heating and cooking facilities.

Edited by abzaa1

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Backbilling for microbusinesses:

 

http://www.npower.com/idc/groups/wcms_content/@wcms/@busi/documents/digitalassets/voluntary_standards_for_backbi.pdf

 

For Npower, the maximum back bill length is 1 year for both gas and electricity - as long as the customer has fulfilled their responsibilities (detailed in that same document).

 

I'm confused as to why you were on both the micro business and residential account tariffs at different points in time? Surely it should be one or the other throughout?

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Thank you.

 

Have you read our customer services guide and do you understand what it means and will you implement it?

 

Have you read our advice on getting a set aside?

 

On the basis of what you say, it seems to me that npower's contract were residential contracts and were with the previous tenant.

 

Presumably they must know the name of that person. How long was that tenant there? Have you any idea if they ever paid any npower bills?

 

Now you're going to find yourself in a bit of a conundrum because you are going to send npower an SAR and they may eventually supply the disclosure to you – although they may have to be forced to do so by means of a court action – or else they may say that part of the data that you want actually doesn't relate to you, it relates to the previous tenant and therefore there not entitled to let you see it – under the Data Protection Act.

 

If they say that, – which would be quite a reasonable thing to say – then they effectively shoot themselves in the foot because that amounts to admitting that in all likelihood the contract was with the previous tenant.

 

Is your present tenant with npower? If she is, then I think that she ought to send an SAR immediately as well. Will she be prepared to do this? You should probably offer to pay for it.

 

There is also the issue of trespass of course and it will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the visit from npower and how they executed the warrant, whether they showed it to her, whether they named the previous tenant, and what she said about it to them.

 

I suggest that you get a full written statement from her as soon as possible – meaning – – Now.


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Also, do you know who your member of Parliament is? Please follow the link to the list of MPs, get their email address and write to them and give them a brief explanation of the problem and ask the MP if he/she would be prepared to write to npower and also to the regulator in order to query what is going on and to ask for their comments about this disgraceful behaviour


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Have you read our customer services guide and do you understand what it means and will you implement it?

 

yes.

 

Have you read our advice on getting a set aside?

 

Yes but i feel i need to get them the N244 asap otherwise their solicitors will be back in court to apply for bailiff asap.

 

On the basis of what you say, it seems to me that npower's contract were residential contracts and were with the previous tenant.

 

They were with the previous tenants name from 2009-2011. Then they started a new contract from 2011-2013. they kept the name of the previous tenant until they came knocking on the door to remove the meter. Thats the first i heard about it, though i know the tenants at the time were concerned that 12 months or more had lapsed and they hadn't received a contract or bill so they started contacting npower and i did too more forcefully from Dec 2012. I have proof of this. so do they as everytime i contacted them i gave them meter reads which went down as "c" but they applied them to the wrong meters hence the spikes in the bills.

 

Presumably they must know the name of that person. How long was that tenant there? Have you any idea if they ever paid any npower bills?

I dont know what happend to his account. it was written off and as its prior to the date of 2011 its no longer relevant to the case. The relevant bits are some of the amounts seem to have magically ended up with the 2011 account and now retrospectively they've changed the name on the letters so all the letter have come addressed to me after march 2013. I have to stress that no contract terms have ever been given to me or later tenants.

 

Now you're going to find yourself in a bit of a conundrum because you are going to send npower an SAR and they may eventually supply the disclosure to you – although they may have to be forced to do so by means of a court action – or else they may say that part of the data that you want actually doesn't relate to you, it relates to the previous tenant and therefore there not entitled to let you see it – under the Data Protection Act.

 

you've hit the nail on the head. Somebody at Npower has applied the old tenants name to everything that could be of relevance to me. Only the names on the invoices have been swapped from 2011 onwards. so all the documents that the new tenants have sent and the wrongful summons will all be in the name of the old tenants name which they will refuse.

 

If they say that, – which would be quite a reasonable thing to say – then they effectively shoot themselves in the foot because that amounts to admitting that in all likelihood the contract was with the previous tenant.

 

I think so to but they keep insisting that because it was a deemed contract, ultimately as the property owner I am liable.

 

Is your present tenant with npower? If she is, then I think that she ought to send an SAR immediately as well. Will she be prepared to do this? You should probably offer to pay for it.

 

No we left Npower straight away in 2013 when all this happened and i've paid first utility and happily been billed only 1500 a year. A little cheaper than £14000 for 2 years.

 

There is also the issue of trespass of course and it will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the visit from npower and how they executed the warrant, whether they showed it to her, whether they named the previous tenant, and what she said about it to them.

 

Well I was on the phone constantly to her at the time it was happening. she sent me a photo of the papers it was in the name of previous tenants. We called the police and they didn't do anything. Then the bailiff barged in and went straight to cellar and took it. I think the locksmith with him broke the lock. She will obviously write a statement as for a few days while it was snowing outside the tenants were shivering with cold with no water or anything. They will all write statements if i ask.

 

But the timings center upon the submission of the N244. I dont want to delay submission of this as i am worried it will escalate further. But of course i dont want to mess it up either and im worried about how much detail to go into at this stage.

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Don't worry about the setaside. We are getting to that.

 

Do you have the solicitors email address - and do you know who is dealing with the case and do you have a case reference number?

 

By the way, you seem to know a lot of what they are saying. You obviously have some correspondence and information.????


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Don't worry about the setaside. We are getting to that.

 

Do you have the solicitors email address - and do you know who is dealing with the case and do you have a case reference number?

 

By the way, you seem to know a lot of what they are saying. You obviously have some correspondence and information.????

 

Yes i have all their details and yes I've been emailing and writing (not calling) them since 2013. would you like copies Do give them to you on a PM? I only received the full bills in Dec 2013 so it was a good six months before i could even begin to reply.

 

At first I went through consumer focus but i quickly felt that they were mismanaging the issue and not getting to grips with the central points..acting as mediators so to speak and just passing on all that i said to them to Npower. i appreciate their input but received no real guidance and this was very much before i had sight of the bills.

 

Since then whenever i write a letter i put in as much detail and evidence as possible but they simply ignore my points such as inaccurate readings or tenants details and stick to their point about a deemed contract. i've been at a wits end with them. The last email i got was in Feb and i thought they got bored of writing so we will just email each other but they've gone straight to judgement.

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When you say "they", do you mean the solicitors or npower?

 

Also, how come that you have been corresponding with them and yet you didn't receive the court papers? Did you receive any letters saying that they would sue you?

 

Have you spoken to the solicitors on the telephone at all?

 

Also, are you a customer of npower now? Have you ever been?


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One further question, have you ever been resident at the property? If so, when was it and who supplied your power?


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When you say "they", do you mean the solicitors or npower?

 

Ok, I dealt with Npower until about May 2013 awaiting recalculated bills that only arrived in Dec 2013. By the time i responded to the bills everything was directed towards Wilkin Chapman. I presume the debt has been passed on as the bills that came had a reference (BCW...Buchanan Clarke and Wells?) Since then its been Wilkin all the way.

 

Also, how come that you have been corresponding with them and yet you didn't receive the court papers? Did you receive any letters saying that they would sue you?

 

I changed address 6 months ago which is why i missed the court papers when they arrived at my address a month ago and suddenly the judgement appeared on my credit file which i only discovered when i was checking my report online. Then i drove to my old address and picked up all the papers. I have the county court application to which i should have responded by early June but not the default Judgement papers yet.

 

Have you spoken to the solicitors on the telephone at all?

 

Not once.

 

Also, are you a customer of npower now? Have you ever been?

I am a current customer of Npower at another property. But not at this property.

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One further question, have you ever been resident at the property? If so, when was it and who supplied your power?

I've never been resident at that property in question.

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Did you receive any letters saying that they would sue you?

 

Every few months or so I have been waiting for the county court papers as all their letters to me had the demand to reply within 14 days or they will apply to court. But i would reply and get their answer about 4 months later where they would simply ignore what a wrote and make a demand for payment. Finally i got letters by email so i presumed they were saving on stamps and i stopped going round to my former address so frequently to collect mail. The last email was in Feb. The court papers were served in late May. Between that time, nothing.

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So you have the claim form.

Please will you post it up here.


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Also, do you know who your member of Parliament is? Please follow the link to the list of MPs, get their email address and write to them and give them a brief explanation of the problem and ask the MP if he/she would be prepared to write to npower and also to the regulator in order to query what is going on and to ask for their comments about this disgraceful behaviour

 

yes i am seeing him on Wed

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So you have the claim form.

Please will you post it up here.

 

Yes but as a private message or for every forum reader to see? It has my name and details on which I'm not comfortable for everybody to see.

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yes i am seeing him on Wed

Good. Please find the Npower thread belonging to user Eversir

 

He has already written to his MP and had a very good repsonse.

I think that Eversir may have posted the response there. If so, please download and print a copy if his letter and give it to your MP>

Tell your MP that Npower is a huge problem for a large number of people despite being the subject of criticism and sanctions from the regulator and also despite being criticised in the House of Commons.

Tell your MP that you and hundreds of others need help with this.

Tell him/her that Npower have even denied that they owe duties to take care over accounts or over billing.

Tell your MP that we can supply Npower correspondence and court documents which show this clearly.

Tell your MP that we are happy to assist them in any way.


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Yes but as a private message or for every forum reader to see? It has my name and details on which I'm not comfortable for everybody to see.

Just remove the identifiers


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