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Npower default my credit file for a deceased persons account


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Hello I am posted this enquiry on several forums to hopefully find people further along the line than me or legal representatives who have dealt with Npower.

 

My story is briefly that I acted as executor for a friend of, mine when she died.

I contacted Npower to advise of the death of the account holder. The Npower call centre rep said that she would make the account deceased that the service address would remain until the property sold when any final amounts would be due.

 

It was noted to be addressed to my name as they advised they cannot write to a deceased person but the address remained the service address of my deceased friend (ie not my home address) (Npower complaints department advise they have confirmed the date and time of the call, details of which I supplied, but have however lost the recorded contents of the call.

 

Npower claiming that account was put in my name but no letter has been received to confirm this and they are unable to supply any notification of this.and have lost the call content where the call centre rep discussed it.

 

 

Npower & probate advisory service (I believe instructed by Npower) issued different invoice amounts and the solicitor queried by letter (April 15) before settling the pre death account with a cheque from probate funds and instructing Npower to close the account. Npower acknowledge receipt (July 15)

Npower accepted payments of the final Pre death bill from the solicitor dealing with probate and deceased’s estate and noted the account on deceased status.

 

(Npower have retrospectively in March 16, after they had taken the final payment in early March, updated my credit file to show that I am account holder at this time and that the account is in default – see below)

 

They wrote to the service address to advise estimated meter readings and that there were amounts outstanding. Called Npower and they advised the bills were in error.

 

The property sold in March 16 and they advised there was an outstanding amount due which was originally £419 – I advised the property was shut down on death so there could be very little usage.

The call operator was very helpful and said she could see that there was an error and took of all the charges showing and came to a remaining bill of £180. (I have the letter showing the charges removed – addressed to the service address - )I paid this to zero the account and finalise my involvement.

They took this payment of £180 in early March 16 and asked for a correspondence address for the confirmation to be sent to. As the property was due to sell imminently I gave them my home address specifically for the purposes of this one letter. Up until March they were writing to the property address that the electricity & gas were supplied to

 

The did not close the account and have continued to charge to current time even though the property was sold in March.

 

In April 16 a month after the final account had been paid they updated my credit file to show me as the accountholder at my home address from the previous year and update 14 months of account information showing the account in default.

 

They are also still billing to my home address and I have received letters from Pastdue credit solutions. I have written to them to advise the property has been sold and that the billing is the new owners responsibility.

 

Interestingly no default notices were issued to the service address at any time.

 

I have spoken to the complaints team and made a complaint via Experian and they are forwarding my case this week for review to retract the entries on the credit file but the complaint case manager does not seem confident that they will retract it.

 

They have apparently found the date and time of the phone conversation where I was advised that no further charges would be applied and that the account would remain at the service address ( I do have letters with all requests going to the service address not my home address) but however the content of the call is missing, So are unable to prove that the call operator advised that the no charges will be made, although along the way the call centre rep agreed that is how it was set up and removed the charges, I still have the letter showing the charges removed.

 

The complaint manager said, he can see notes on file showing that the address was to remain the service address and not my home address and that there seemed to be a mix up on the account status. But Npower having lost the call content apparently does not help me as it is up to me to prove!

 

The complaints case handler just mentions that I can go to the ombudsman – he seems quite keen to push this. I note that a couple of post say to avoid this route and wonder if there is some trap I am falling into, or if this in turn rules out any legal action (any suggestions on this route appreciated)

 

I have read on a couple of posts that the cases referred to OFGEM are logged as dealt with on Npower’s listings and it prevents revisiting the complaint with Npower itself.

 

I now think I need to engage a solicitor and was considering one that has previous experience with dealing with npower. Has anyone engaged or consulted with a solicitor had any previous experience with them?

 

Reading the forums and post where people have had so many problems with npower is anyone aware of any collective action being taken against them.

I did read the telegraphs journalist report on it and it seems that the major papers have run reports on their customer service skills and fines.

Ok it would be great to see where people are up to with this frustrating company.

 

My business relies heavily on my credit rating and I am also in the process of re mortgaging and now it looks like I will have to put it on hold as I do not want a refusal based on a £21 current default (updated on my credit file yesterday and it’s the June bill of the new occupants)

 

Any pointers or experience gratefully received. Particularly interested in any details of legal representatives dealing with Npower cases

 

Thanks for reading such a long rant

Edited by honeybee13
Paras.
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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

We've heard lots of bad stories about Npower and yours sounds like a terrible mix up. I wonder why they couldn't have written to you as the executor of your friend, like utility companies have with my mother's bills.

 

I expect the forum guys will be along with advice for you later today.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I'm trying to distil your story into something a little bit more manageable.

 

I understand that you acted as the executor for a friend.

 

You started to deal with outstanding bills including one with Npower.

 

Npower have mismanaged the deceased person's account and have failed to close it down. Furthermore they are billing the account with various sums which are probably inaccurate.

 

Various Npower customer services people are admitting that there are errors but despite this this information isn't filtering through to the people who count.

 

They are now treating you as a debtor and they have placed entries against your own credit file.

 

Is this all correct? Is there anything important which I have missed out or have failed to understand?

 

First of all, as you are starting to understand – Npower are incompetent. Despite sanctions and criticisms, they seem unable to be to sort themselves out. The only thing that they really apply energy to is bullying their customers and standing in denial of their own errors. Their legal department in particular seems to be incompetent and we have had experiences of them where they have been prepared to spend an extraordinary amount of energy trying to recover very small sums and frankly writing any old thing on County Court statements of truth simply to intimidate their customers.

 

You seem to have received a lot of interesting information on the telephone but unfortunately I expect that you haven't recorded any of it – so that you have no evidence. You have already started to appreciate the extent of Npower mismanagement because you have already been told on more than one occasion that papers all recordings have been lost or accounts have been mis-allocated.

 

I would suggest that you start off by sending Npower an SAR. Do this now. I also suggest very strongly that you read our customer services guide and implement the advice there. Start making telephone calls to Npower – several of them – speaking with different customer service reps because as you are already understanding, you are likely to get a variety of versions. The important thing is to get all of this recorded. At the same time, following the advice in our customer services guide, you should try to insist that a proper screen note is made of the conversation that you are having. Also, at the end of the call log the elements of the conversation that you have had.

 

It is very important to start accumulating all of this kind of information and this evidence.

 

I should warn you that although your perfectly free to get a solicitor, you won't find a solicitor that is specialised in Npower or in this kind of stupidity. I'm afraid that dealing with Npower needs the kind of personal investment which only you can bring to the problem. A solicitor will be sceptical about the whole thing. A solicitor won't get involved in telephone conversations or go about gathering information and evidence in the way that I have suggested above. In fact your average solicitor will probably think that what I've suggested is somehow improper.

 

You can deal with this yourself but you will have to be dogged. If you think that you have the energy for this then we will be happy to help you all the way. On the basis of what you say, your chances of success are better than 95% and also you should be up to claim some compensation. Let me warn you, that in the UK, compensation awards for data protection breaches will only take account of your actual losses and awards are not made simply on the basis of stress. Therefore, if the damage to your credit history is causing you problems which of course you loss such as lost opportunities to purchase property or refusal or more expensive credit, then you may get a measure of compensation. However, it is generally quite moderate figure.

 

You may feel that you don't have time to do this yourself and that you would rather get a legal professional to do it for you. However, I can almost guarantee you that there will be an expensive and frustrating experience as well as extremely time-consuming with an uncertain outcome.

 

You will have to let us know what you want to do.

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Let me warn you, that in the UK, compensation awards for data protection breaches will only take account of your actual losses and awards are not made simply on the basis of stress. Therefore, if the damage to your credit history is causing you problems which of course you loss such as lost opportunities to purchase property or refusal or more expensive credit, then you may get a measure of compensation. However, it is generally quite moderate figure.

Excellent advice but I should add that the interpretationof the DPA changed a couple of weeks ago when Google withdrew their appeal from the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal ruled in Vidal Hall v. Google that not only was the claimant's personal data unlawfully processed but that the DPA did not conform to the requirements of the EU DPA Directive (it still applies at least until we leave). They disapplied the requirement in section 13(1) for a financial loss before a claim for personal injury to me made.

I have already just sent several LBAs to companies that have acted unlawfully under the DPA including incorrect the supply of credit reference data.

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Excellent advice but I should add that the interpretationof the DPA changed a couple of weeks ago when Google withdrew their appeal from the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal ruled in Vidal Hall v. Google that not only was the claimant's personal data unlawfully processed but that the DPA did not conform to the requirements of the EU DPA Directive (it still applies at least until we leave). They disapplied the requirement in section 13(1) for a financial loss before a claim for personal injury to me made.

I have already just sent several LBAs to companies that have acted unlawfully under the DPA including incorrect the supply of credit reference data.

thank you for this very helpful and useful information.

 

Now that Google have withdrawn, the Court of Appeal decision is the one which will have to be followed – but of course the matter is still at large to be brought before the Supreme Court by someone else sometime in the future. We will have to cross our fingers that when that happens, that the Supreme Court delivers a more European-style decision – even if we have left the EU

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It can only be overturned by the Supreme Court which woul dmean that it would have to go through the High Court, and the Court of Appeal before getting to the Supreme Court.

That would take several years by which time the DPA will be obsolete and its replacement should be implemented by 2018. Even if we totally leave the EU the financial institutions will insist that we have an equivalent to the new Directive which includes the same remedy as the original one.

Get the small claims in now! This includes personal injruy clams up to £1000 which should cover most cases.

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Actually, in a situation like this, the case could be leapfrogged and find its way almost directly to the Supreme Court – thus saving a lot of time and money – and uncertainty.

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Is this retrospective ?

 

 

Could Eversir bring a claim against nPower for the distress he suffered and at which hearing the Judge expressed regret that he couldn't award for distress ?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?436401-nPower-Mismanaged-account-County-Court-claim-issued-aganst-Npower/page16

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Yes I think so

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That would be good news :)

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Actually, in a situation like this, the case could be leapfrogged and find its way almost directly to the Supreme Court – thus saving a lot of time and money – and uncertainty.

Surely the point is that before it could get to that stage there would have to be a judgment that made npower's action unlawful under the DPA. Irrespective of whether a sum is awarded or not the facts determined by the lower court would stand i.e. npower acted unlawfully. Would htey then wish to publicise this by a Supreme Court appeal?

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Hello BankFodder

 

 

Thank you very much for the reply and the info, and sorry for the delay in responding.

 

Yes I have to pursue this as it has effectively stalled my business. Not the first fight and probably not the last, so yes have the energy for a long haul fight.

 

Ok yes so to clarify things as my previous post may have been a bit of a ramble.

 

I phoned Npower March 15 to Gave my name during the phone call but specifically advised that correspondence still to service address. ( phone call located by Npower but they have advised contents lost) the account at this time according g to them was placed in my name at the service address.

 

Solicitor dealt with probate for pre death charges - Npower paid on 15th July 15 ( after solicitor received 2 bills requesting different amounts). In the meantime the account in my name was apparently accruing bills

 

Npower continued to send bills to the empty service property but with my incorrect name on

 

March 16 I contacted to advise property selling imminently and give move out readings , they advised outstanding charges ( I assumed standing charges but they have it as energy usage) I paid amount to finalise dealing with Npower. Gave my home address for final letter as property sale imminent. No final letter received.

 

In March 16 they have re billed the pre death charges and credited pre death account.

 

March 16 all outstanding amounts clear. My credit file was unaffected and no Npower account showing.

 

Npower continue to bill, my name at my address on estimated bills.

 

May 16 Npower create a account for me on Experian and update a years worth of backdated defaults claiming the account was in my name.

 

I have now obtained all letters from the probate solicitor between Npower . I will submit a subject access request. The key to the account being put into my name lies in the phone call in March 15, do you happen know if In a subject access request covers phone conversations ? Or will I need to apply for these separately ? I have looked on the Internet and I can't find anything specific regarding phone conversations .

 

Many thanks for you help.

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Firstly, you have come in on a new user account with a different name. I have no idea why you should do this and it is extremely unhelpful to us. I have merged the two accounts into your original username. Using dual accounts to post in this way simply ends up causing difficulty and confusion – rather in the way that you are experiencing with Npower. We don't need it here and we don't have the resources to deal with it. I would have thought that you were fed up by now of having multiple identities.

 

An SAR refers to everything – including phone calls and their content. It refers to all personal data in any form, on any matter. If Npower now want to say that they have lost the recordings of the phone calls then they should be required to say so formally and in writing.

 

You seem to be suggesting that you haven't yet submitted an SAR. Why are you waiting on this? It takes 40 days anyway so you really should have gotten a move on. Also, as you have made no reference to it, I gather that you haven't yet set about following the advice in our customer services guide and then following the advice which I gave you in my first post on this thread.

 

I'm afraid that if you want to take control of this then you will have to act positively and not hang around.

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Firstly, you have come in on a new user account with a different name. I have no idea why you should do this and it is extremely unhelpful to us. I have merged the two accounts into your original username. Using dual accounts to post in this way simply ends up causing difficulty and confusion – rather in the way that you are experiencing with Npower. We don't need it here and we don't have the resources to deal with it. I would have thought that you were fed up by now of having multiple identities.

 

An SAR refers to everything – including phone calls and their content. It refers to all personal data in any form, on any matter. If Npower now want to say that they have lost the recordings of the phone calls then they should be required to say so formally and in writing.

 

You seem to be suggesting that you haven't yet submitted an SAR. Why are you waiting on this? It takes 40 days anyway so you really should have gotten a move on. Also, as you have made no reference to it, I gather that you haven't yet set about following the advice in our customer services guide and then following the advice which I gave you in my first post on this thread.

 

I'm afraid that if you want to take control of this then you will have to act positively and not hang around.

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Apologies to those that have answered already however, I must point out the fly in the ointment.

 

Sending a SAR will only get your details and nothing about the deceased person. If they do send you the details of the other person, they would be in breach of the DPA.

 

From what you have said, this seems normal practice for Npower. Incompetence from all levels. You would have thought they could start getting things right since they admitted their faults. It sounds like the small issues are getting resolved much quicker than before but anything that goes off script throws them

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Sending a SAR will only get your details and nothing about the deceased person. If they do send you the details of the other person, they would be in breach of the DPA.

 

if you send an SAR as executor, then you will get what you need. Send one on your behalf as well.

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if you send an SAR as executor, then you will get what you need. Send one on your behalf as well.

Did the solicitor act as executor and did his duties include the sale of the house?

If so then he is acting as the deceased personal representative and is responsible for the proper distribution of the estate.

 

It seems likely that Npower assumed that summer2016 had inherited the house so that the contract for supply passed with it. Do Npower have the right to do this or should they have a new contract with the new owner? If there is no contract they should not be claiming that the account is in debt let alone defaul.

 

In any case the latest "guidance" states that debts should not be entered on CRA reports after death. Even so it is arguable that utility debts should be entered which was brought in with the 2014 guidance that was issued by the CRAs. Sounds more like the foxes guaring the chickens.

 

As a speedy soluton is required and Npower have woefully failed in the handling of the account I would go through the small claims process which could also challenge the guidance on utilities being included of credit reports as they shoudl be treated as a pay as you go serivce.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras.
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NPower have you going in circles, even though you may have positive proof of things.. I did the Ombudsman route, following Npowers complaints provedures.. It seemed easy enough and they found in my favour.. make sure to ask for a bit of compo for the inconvenience/worry caused..

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