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Hi Folks,

 

I notice that I have a mark on my credit file for circa £250 from British Gas!

 

The default was posted Mid 2013.

 

I have had a couple of emails from some DCA saying that if I pay they will reduce by 50% and update my credit file etc, however as a current British Gas customer (and have always paid my utilities) I thought I would contact them direct to discuss this because I am pretty sire that I don't owe this or even know about the £250 alleged outstanding.

 

Normally when you move / change address they update internally blah blah.

 

So.... I email British Gas and they tell me it's for a previous property back in 2011, however this is when it gets confusing:-

 

Bill date December to March 2012 and invoiced to the wrong address and wrong postal code (property around the corner) I was in a new build.

 

Bill date was January 2013 when I had been moved away from the property for over 6 months. They are telling me that it don't matter that the address is wrong because the bill matches the property's Gas Meter Point.

 

I said I understand that, however how can I know about a bill if it's years ago, invoiced to the wrong address and a property that I don't reside at anyway?

 

I explained I am still a British gas customer and in no arrears, however we are still going round in circles...

 

I said that I will pay the alleged bill and dispute later if I feel it's invoiced wrong (I need to dig back and see what provider I was with etc) on the basis that they remove default from my credit file (they manage to get that address right!) and then invoice me at my current address for the consumption at the correct old address.

 

Do you think this is fair? Should I take this further?

 

Thanks,

Flappy

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if it was as a result of their mistakes

them it should be removed.

 

 

either complain to the ombudsman [ofgen is it?]

or the ICO that wrong info has been registered.

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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Hi Dx,

 

The address on the credit file is 100% correct, the address on the bill is incorrect.

 

I asked for it to be removed and they said that they can only ask internally for this once the bill has been paid.

 

Thanks,

Flappy

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yea my left foot

 

 

something smells here bigtime.

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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If they have caused the error because of incorrect billing, then I wouldn't pay them anything. You will have an enormous difficulty getting it back from them.

 

By contrast, if they have missed build you or if they have made an error in the way they have so the bill on you – and that appears to be the case here, then you can benefit from the back billing rules which means they can't pursue you.

 

In fact in view of their error, they should admit their mistake and they should delete the entry from your credit file altogether.

 

They won't want to do that. These people would rather do something very nasty to their grannies than remove an entry from a credit file.

 

You will need to force them to do it eventually.

 

I suggest that the first thing you do is that you write out a concise and detailed account was happened. Make it short and readable – not too wordy – and send it to them.

 

Tell them that clearly this is a matter in dispute and that they should instruct their debt collector to return the file. Tell them furthermore that at the very least the back billing rules will apply and therefore they should stop trying to pursue the debt. Tell them that you on this in writing.

 

Finally you should tell them that because the error is entirely theirs, that the entry on your credit file does not reflect the truth the matter and is therefore a breach of the principles contained in the Data Protection Act. Tell them that as a result of that you want all references to this matter deleted from your credit file.

 

Send them that letter.

 

Let me tell you that British Gas will not be very impressed by this letter and they may will do nothing at all. But it is important to get it down on file so that is clear that they know about the matter formally.

 

Secondly, I would suggest that you have conversations with them on the telephone after having implemented the advice in our customer services guide. This is just to get additional confirmation of what has gone wrong and what their attitude is to it. You never know what inadvertent admissions may be made over the telephone when they think that they won't later on he held to what they say. Get it all down.

 

Finally, although it's a nuisance, I would send them an SAR to get all information you can and hopefully the reason for their error will be explained. You will later on be able to use this information against them.

 

Once you have the information you need, then you can either contact the energy ombudsman – who will be next to useless – particularly in respect of your credit file or you can start a County Court claim.

 

I would favour a County Court claim – but as you are still receiving your energy supply and it is not a large sum of money, you may as well waste little bit of time and try the energy ombudsman and see how that goes.

 

On the other hand, if you happen to need a clean credit file urgently – because you are trying it alone or mortgage then I would probably go directly to court without passing go.

 

It would probably be a good idea also to write to the debt collector and put them on notice that this whole matter is subject to a dispute and may go on to be subject of court action and that they should return the file until the dispute is settled and if they fail to do so then they might find themselves involved in the court actions well.

 

Who are the debt collectors?


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By the way, writing to the ICO will get you absolutely nowhere – and if you hold off taking other action pending a response, then you will simply be wasting your time.


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