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    • Just an idea, why not have a wind turbine and some solar panels installed and produce your own energy, even get paid to put some back into the national; grid!   I'm happy to pay the water companies for providing clean drinking water direct to my house, otherwise I'd have to go down to the river, collect some water, then cart it back home and then treat it in order for it to be safe to drink.   Same goes for my gas and electric, electrickery is a dark art, I'm not even sure how I'd begin to make that least of all contain it?   And I'm far too lazy to dig into the earths crust to extract my own gas, so I'm happy to fund someone else to have that headache and provide me those resources.
    • the company is parcelbroker.co.uk  some of the problems were caused by brexit over Christmas but there were so many problems it became a comedy of errors! I really just want my phone charges repaid. i contacted EE and they have agreed to repay £30. I think its reasonable for Parcel Broker to pay the other £50. it was never made clear when calling them that it was a premium rate number. They never rang me, I ALWAYS had to ring them..
    • I wouldn't be tipping them off about anything that could be one of a very narrow range of issues with things.
    • I am being harrangued for a debt I don't owe whilst in hardship by EDF, who was given this household's supply by OFGEM when it closed down several small companies in 2019. Unbelievably, this is happening during cold months and a full strict lockdown!   I consider that this is a crime on several counts: 1) fraud by nondisclosure, as per 2006 act: that free energy exists and that patents have been suppressed to help us use it, thus giving the illusion that energy can only be supplied by for profit companies (the same is true of water), when it is a naturally occurring, God-given free resource which has been harnessed and sold back to us, and it's hard to avoid or find alternatives 2) the energy industry is a form of modern slavery as per 2015 act, holding us in lifelong custom: something we need, can't easily find an alternative from or not use. This supplier took over without consent or knowledge or warning and will not relinquish me without paying them; but the amount grows as they continue our abusive relationship 3) as utility acts such as the 1989 and 1990 clash with inalienable natural Common Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and various other laws, some to be listed anon, that the so-called powers given to energy companies to gain money and bully are not lawful 4) removal of energy takes our rights (as in the UDHR) to eat, wash, be warm, work, communicate, and have leisure and enjoyment. Particularly, it can cut those off who rely on the internet and battery operated phones, thus making them vulnerable, and causing a snowball effect 5) cutting off, or the fear and bullying around doing so and 'recovering debts', causes mental and physical suffering, as well as great inconvenience and loss. a) These are recoupable in monetary terms of the claimant (ie customer's) choosing b) this amounts to constructive demise or manslaughter  - including attempt and conspiracy to commit this serious crime (attempt and conspiracy apply for all the others below) 6) asking for money in a way which is upsetting, intimidating or distressing is another criminal offence under the Prevention From Harassment act of 1997 - and most debt demands fulfil this, and are not incidental, but designed to cause fear in the way they are worded, in the design of the 'red, urgent' envelopes, in the vagueness of who and where the collector is, offering a generic phone number; bluffing about their powers and a warrant; coming to the door with hand delivered envelopes to embarass in front of household members and neighbours; and the way they appear at your door to actually collect or tamper with supply 7) There is Aggravated Trespass under the criminal justice and public order act of 1994, where if you have given written notice that implied access to your property (I include remotely, in the case of smart meters), to enter the premises (including outside areas) without written permission and especially with ill-intent, is a further summary, ie imprisionable offence 8) this is also exhortion and blackmail 9) it is an aggressive sales technique, no different from drugs barons and loan sharks 10) a prepayment meter is just another way of forcing debt repayment, and as the customer doesn't set the amount, if they do not have resources they are still left without power and heat 11) this is closely related to the data and surveillance and weaponised energy of 5G via smart meters, and so this is a) espionage b) mass experimentation under the Nuremburg code of 1948 c) biowarfare 12) it is also breaking and entering, if they force or pick locks 13) any physical abuse has other crimes - such as battery, grevious bodily harm, assault 14) lying or tricking to gain entry is also a crime 15) their involving your neighbours breaks confidentiality, such as asking about you, getting them to let them in. This is against their industry code and 16) during lockdowns and other restrictions related to covid, they break the coronavirus act 2020. Utility workers are only classed as keyworkers when they are keeping a supply running and safe. They are not permitted to work or travel to harass and cut off - this is especially reprehensible during an extended pandemic when so many are anxious have weakened immunity, and financial difficulties. When most of us are not meant to see loved ones, especially indoors 17) if the operatives are masked - this includes a locksmith or any enforcement with them - this heightens the offence as, despite covid guidance, it is done with criminal intent and knowingly a) makes them look sinister, thus adding to fear of the customer b) hides their identity and obfuscates justice 18) any persons involved, including administrators and the judge who created any warrant 19) to exaggerate one's legal powers is also an offence   Furthermore, utility companies send out - and sell out - debts and debt collectors who have no knowledge of the communications between the company and the customer; such as whether they are misbilled, or even the right person. I also believe that poor service, such as being ignored or bullied, means a rebate on the 'bill'.   The ombudsman have consistently exacerbated and failed to put right, and OFGEM's policies have added to this too.   We need to take the power back into our hands; to choose our energy source and provider; to harness free, safe energy.   I am putting EDF staff on notice for all these.   Has anyone else had any similar trouble for this, especially in the last year? I would like to know the extent of the problem   I am considering class action. An expression of interest in no way commits you, especially financially.   You may be interested in my piece at https://elspethr.wordpress.com/2020/08/22/expulsion-from-the-garden-its-time-we-took-our-energy-back/, via which you can get in touch  
    • No, there is no ombudsman for this kind of thing. It's a huge industry with a lack of regulation which is why it broadly speaking does what it wants without a lot of regard for customers. You haven't addressed the question which I put to you in my last post.
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    • I sent in the bailiffs to the BBC. They collected £350. It made me smile.
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
        • Thanks
    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
      • 1 reply
    • Natwest Bank Transfer Fraud Call HMRC Please help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428951-natwest-bank-transfer-fraud-call-hmrc-please-help/&do=findComment&comment=5079786
      • 33 replies

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Hi Folks,


I changed supplier 2 months or so ago, savings will be huge in the long term - £60pm.

As soon as I recieved a letter confirming the change over, I logged onto swalec to see how my account stood. I was in credit for electricity but in arrears for gas.

Overall the debt stands at £200 ish., don't dispute this.


I contacted swalec immediately asking if I could repay the debt over a long time as I was broke, and needed to sort out my overdraft etc before I could make payments.

Told them they could transfer the electricity credit to the gas account.


Initial response was ok they offered either £17/12 mth or £9 over 24mth.

Replied saying I needed time before I could decide how much I could pay, need to avoid bank charges etc.


On the 18th November I received an email which really annoyed me as I had been in contact with swalec and they are aware of my situation:-


"We're concerned about your Final Bill which is unpaid. Most of our customers would have paid by now, so we need to know if there is a problem or if you need more time."


Since then there have been numerous emails/letters and I have replied stating that I wished all future contact to be in writing only.


On the 29th December they emailed saying that they would need to speak to me to arrange a payment plan.

Replied saying that I have health issues and cannot deal with stressful matters over the phone, again asked that all communication be in writing.


Email recieved saying that unless the bill is paid within 7 days, they will instruct debt collectors, and will add a 15% recovery fee to my account. Can they do this?.


Latest email asks for very personal information I believe thay have no right to ask for:-


I have reviewed this account and can see from the notes on your account that you have contacted us regarding this matter on at least 4 occasions to date. Due to this, I have raised a complaint on your account in order to come to a suitable resolution as quickly as possible. I have reviewed your account in details with my manager and we would like to refer this for further assistance to a specialist department, with the view to clear the debt amount outstanding if possible. In order to do this I will need to create a case for you. To help me do this, I would very much appreciate your assistance. At your earliest convieiniance, can you please confirm:


- The total household income.

- Details of all benefits you are in receipt of.

- Details of any health concerns you currently have.

- Any other information that may assist me in building a case to clear this balance.


Please could you call me within the next three working days (by 8 January) to confirm the above information. Please be aware that without this information I am unable to take this matter further for you. If I don’t hear from you by then, I may send you up to two further letters asking you to contact me. We’ll not contact you about the arrears on your account until that date or until we’ve heard from you (whichever is the earlier).


If you’d like to read our full complaint handling procedure you can search for ‘complaints procedure’ on our website, or ask us to send you a paper copy free of charge.


I look forward to hearing from your as soon as possible and will ensure I give this matter my utmost attention.

I have replied asking for details of the "specialist department", and told them I will not call them.

As I have advised swalec it's going to be a few months before I can pay, and I can only assume that things are going to get worse.

Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.





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Just send them a simply Budget summary and I&E . Its normal for them to ask for proof that you are in hardship, but you dont need to go into detail.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..



If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks


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Sorry but I don't believe supplying an I&E will be an end to the letters, I'm getting letters/emails from different departments and the chances of them knowing what each others are doing in slim.I've had emails stating that they will suspend recovery action until xxx, but still had emails demanding payment from another department. When I queried this I was told no emails had been sent.

Unless I start to pay immediately which I can't, they say the recovery action will continue.

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You first make a complaint to their CEO detailing what happens, and you include that basic summary. If they continue, then you get a formal complaint into the ombudsman as well.


I would just start paying them at a rate you can afford. You dont need their permission to start a repayment plan. Sure they dont have to agree to it, but they sure as hell cant refuse to accept any payments towards an outstanding amount.


Pay the debt as you can while the complaint is ongoing, and theres not much they can do at all apart from accept the offer.


Think of it this way. If they were to do court action ( they wont), it would go like this.


Court: So tell me whats going on


Swalec : He wont pay his bill at the rate we demand


You: But ive been paying what i can afford like i have told you in multiple emails, and been passed from pillar to post. I have been paying, have never avoided paying and have evidence to this fact.


Court: show me


You show the court your evidence, plus your full I&E and they kick swalec into touch


Court: why did you bring this frivolous claim swalec when y ou can clearly see he cant meet your stated proposals


swalec: we want more and think he should pay more


Court: tough luck, he can only pay this amount. No more.



Sure you might get a judgement, but swalec know theyre in the wrong. Just get a Formal complain off to the CEO and head it formal complaint to start the statutory 8 week timer. Keep paying what you can afford during that time, and youll get the resolution you want.


regarding the letters, almost all of them are automatically generated. Even the ones that appear to be written as if a human sent you it. Theyre designed to scare you into paying and doing what THEY want you to do.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..



If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks


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