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Thames water & dwp over billed vulnerable customer via fuel direct scheme -advise plz

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Some advice needed on next steps please regarding the following:


Request made by person to dwp for fuel direct deductions for water bill to Thames water


Tw & dwp agree rate via tel but a diff amount is deducted (dwp policy was FD deductions to be ascertained with tw via writing = failure of duty)


Tw & dwp don't have any paperwork proof of agreed deductions as done via tel so can't ascertain sole responsibility of failure of duty for incorrect deductions


Deductions incorrect for 4 years (accruing over £700 credit on tw acc)


No communication/notice from tw to person/dwp for 4 years


Person queried to dwp concerns due to large deductions for fuel debts inc tw resulting in living off next to nothing

& reliant on credit & social fund loans dwp but still mistake wasn't spotted

(accrued £500+ debt -exact amount uncertain beyond that due to lacking credit dates of individual creditors included in insolvency for that dated period)


Person began insolvency process & became aware of credit on tw acc & subsequent over billing


Acc was still in debt till 2011 leaving 1 year of clean credit accrual till 2012 when mistake spotted


Refund issued of credit on acc by tw once mistake spotted by person


Complaints process took 2years to ascertain all facts due to passing of buck between tw & dwp


Tw offer compensation for their part: failure to notify of bills/credit & not noticing incorrect error initially (ie acc not reviewed yearly)


Dwp refuse any failure


Person been through ccw, IRS, & ombudsman whom all refuse to accept dwp had any responsibility in matter due to the missing evidence needed.


ICE agree dwp failed in complaints process to ascertain evidence appropriately but no recourse to compensation for that entitled


No recourse to legal aid for litigation solicitor for court action. So far unable to find no win no fee to take case.


Citizens advise as good as useless = take £200 offer from tw and close case.


Person feels compensation offer is not whole due to dwp refusing any liability in error,

and any other investigation refusing to see the lacking evidence & resulting failure of duty was the reason error occurred to begin with,

and extenuating personal circumstances ignored,



person aware they are not alone in this kind of failure at hands of dwp but dwp seem immune to any accountability & questions why?


Any advise on next steps or avenues not already exhausted would be appreciated!


Is there a possible qualification for legal aid for court action on grounds of discrimination through vulnerability & failure of duty?

(Person has had to become detective to try to get truth but suffers from disability hence delay)


Many thanks!

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I had recently dealt with a similar complaint for a friend, this one was for gas and electric again over 4 years..... The customer was not even aware that they were being charged way over the agreed amount. This putting a severe financial burden on them.



Often defaulting on other bills. So my solution was to do a SAR to the DWP and the supplier and bank. To find out just how many charges were added to their account and put in a claim for these. A fight ensued got as far a the LBA before anyone would pay attention.



Sadly to say this is prolific within the industry and DWP. It may pay claimants and users to check the level of payments and what credit they may have and reclaim this from the supplier. Also what customers do not realise is that you can get payments from the supplier for each time they get the payments wrong...

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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