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Anglian Water T & Cs - Court Claim

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Hi.

 

Ive received a MCOL claim from AW for approx £200.

 

Ive been paying them monthly by Standing Order, prob not quite enough each month so arrears have arisen.

 

In September 2016 I received a letter threatening court action for arrears, I phoned them and agreed a payment plan, which I've been paying since.

 

Couple of questions, what or where can I find the T & Cs relating to my contract with AW, where can I find the payment terms ?, are there any ?

 

My original bill says

"A payment of £33.10 is due on 2 Apr 16 and further payments are due monthly from 2 May 16 until further notice. The bill amount shown above is included in the installment plan.",

 

 

is this the legally binding payment plan ?,

this appears to me to be just information sent to me as opposed to being something I've agreed with, also as the term is April 2016 - March 2017, am I paying in advance, again, where does the T & C point to this ?

 

Also the above paragraph could be read as the first payment is £33.10 but others may vary.

 

The Claim Form is somewhat vague it states

 

 

"The Claimant claims the sum set out alongside being the amount due and outstanding from the defendant",

is this really good enough ?,

should I make an application for further info (CPR 31.14) ?, make an embarrassed defence ?,

 

 

I aim to make an SAR to get hold of payment dates, and transcripts of phone calls.

 

Would a judge think it acceptable for a company to start a claim where the defendant is making monthly payments,

has contacted the company and arranged a payment plan ?,

for example if following the above 'plan' of £33.10 per months, Id be only £70 behind this.

 

Final question,

Court Fee is £25,

Sol Fixed costs (on commencement) £50,

 

 

now reading CPR 45 I think Im correct in saying there can be no further costs even if the claimant wins with the exception of default/summary judgment costs or possible travel costs ?

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Just on the issue of the instalment plan and the claim, do understand that you had an instalment plan in place – agreed with them and that you kept to its terms?

 

Do I then understand that without any good reason, they sent you a letter before action and that you responded by calling them and agreeing an increased payment plan in September?

 

That despite this second payment plan, they have now issued a claim?

 

Can you tell me what evidence you have got for the existence of the first payment plan and the second one?


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emb defence most certainly not , very old hat.

 

as with most water companies, they are governed by the water act.

and are not a priority utility

so anything you owe them is just like any other debt. ie credit card or loan.

as they cant cut you off, hence they use a CCJ

 

they set the terms of payment

which is usually 2 lump sums one at the start and one a few months later.

if you entered into a 12mts payment agreement then yo must have failed it or it was not enough PCM

and yes they can add costs.


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks.

 

Ok.. The only evidence I have of 'first' payment plan is the mention of £33.10 in the original bill (although Ive got this from the AW website, this bill is a PDF, and almost certainly was not sent anything like this by post, by lets assume I did), I never paid the amount of £33.10, but paid about £15, and later £25 then £35, I didnt miss any months.

 

As for the second payment plan, I have evidence I phoned them at beginning of Sep but not as to the actual discussion, my recollection is that an agreement was for £35 per month and that is what I paid in Sep, Oct and Nov 16 (the court claim is dated the day before they received my Nov payment).

 

I received no correspondence that the £35 was wrong/incorrect/not enough, so was very surprised to find the claim papers, especially for such a small amount.

 

As for costs, yes I know they can add them as per Fixed Costs CPR 45 BUT I cant find any reference to the fact extra costs can be added upon Judgment ?

 

CPR 45 says

 

Costs on Commencement

 

Where –

the value of the claim exceeds £25 but does not exceed £500

Costs are £50

 

(Clearly the above applies)

 

But if the case goes to trial and I lose, will there be any further costs ?. I dont think so, all I cant find are Costs on Entry of Judgement (Table 2) > https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part45-fixed-costs (But these only apply to default/summary judgements).

 

There appears to be no allowance for extra costs above the £50 and therefore not much risk of defending the whole claim ?

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emb defence most certainly not , very old hat.

 

as with most water companies, they are governed by the water act.

and are not a priority utility

so anything you owe them is just like any other debt. ie credit card or loan.

as they cant cut you off, hence they use a CCJ

 

they set the terms of payment

which is usually 2 lump sums one at the start and one a few months later.

if you entered into a 12mts payment agreement then yo must have failed it or it was not enough PCM

and yes they can add costs.

 

Thanks.

So I refer back to my first question, WHERE are these terms of payment ?,

there is certainly no mention of two lump sums,

ALL I can find is the paragraph from my first post referring to £33.10 per month,

 

 

they may be able to set the terms of payment,

but surely they have to tell me what they are and the consequences of not paying (i.e like most contracts/debts),

I didnt ENTER into any agreement, the standing order was set up and payments made.

 

Does anyone know if the Water Act does contain info about payments ?,

its huge and dont want to wade through the whole thing :)

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The irregular payments that you made originally suggested me that there was no plan in force – or if there was, that you weren't abiding by it. This is a shame.

 

On the basis that you can show that there was the second plan in force, then I would suggest that you plead an estoppel – meaning that they agreed not to take any legal action against you if you would enter into an agreement and if you would stick to its terms.

 

On that basis, I would file an acknowledgement in order to give you extra time.

 

Then when the time comes for the defence, I would suggest:

 

The claimant's claim is denied

 

On the such and such a date XXX, the defendant entered into an instalment plan with the claimant whereby in return for a promise not to sue, the defendant agreed to increase the payments that he was already making towards the alleged debt to £35 per month.

The defendant made the agreed payments in September, October, and November 2016, but despite this the claimant issued their claim towards the end of October 2016.

The claimant is estopped from reneging on their promise not to sue

 

 

I'm afraid that I'm not able to answer your specific water industry questions.


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BF. Yes..thanks, claiming estoppel was pretty much my thought too.......

 

I can prove the phone call and that payments were made of £35 after although may find difficulty proving the conversation but it may have been recorded.

 

Incidentally found this thread that has some useful info. > http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?438601-Anglian-Water......Court-Papers&highlight=anglian+water especially from kjun, pity the thread just ends !

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You should send off an SAR immediately. You should also have recorded your calls – but you knew that didn't you


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your water bill was for £33.10 for 10 monthly payment starting in Apr 16

thus the total bill was £331 for the year

 

at the date of the claim

regardless to what you/they latterly agreed too..

you were that figure behind on the account

- wih regard to their "charges scheme" that was raised in april pursuant to the Water Industry Act 1991 (s) 142 to 144.

 

 

post 6 http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?438601-Anglian-Water......Court-Papers&highlight=anglian+water

in that thread you pointed too


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hi Andy

I know a bit about the Water Industry Act and firstly as rightly pointed out by DX

charges are statutory so there is no contract or agreement you will have signed,

you are liable by virtue of benefitting from and using the service.

 

The charges will be payable as per AW's charges scheme raised pursuant to the Act.

 

Are your charges measured or unmeasured (ie have you a water meter) ?

 

By your post I am guessing they are RV based charges

which means a bill is raised for the whole year then you have 3 options,

pay in full,

pay one half April and

other in October

or as DX again rightly states 10 monthly instalments.

 

A little like council tax if an instalment is missed the whole balance becomes due but it is not clear if you have missed an instalment?

 

If not then I cannot see any success in their claim to be honest

so your payment plan and history of payments is your first place to look to see if there are any discrepancies.

 

I am guessing this is a CCBC bulk issue claim so costs would be £25 for claim issue and £50 solicitors costs.

 

Only other permitted costs are usually a hearing fee if it goes than far and you lose the case and perhaps parking and travel expense for the AW representative (judges never in my experience award the Judgment fee despite it being a claimable cost )

 

So Defence wise depends on whether a payment was missed or not

as if not then I can't see any problems

 

 

however if yes then I would suggest settlement at mediation stage which prevents Judgment and ask they waive the sols costs which they might as I wouldn't want a hearing for that small a sum.

 

Anything else specific please ask :)

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Ok so an update to this.

 

I did Acknowledgement of Claim via MCOL.

 

Then like a right lemon forgot that I had to send defence within 28 days, so judgment issued against me.

 

So thought Id apply for set aside, filled it all in attached my defence, got to the end..£255 ??!!.. you what !?, so its not worth paying that.

 

Phoned Anglian Water to ask how I pay the debt and costs (now £100), said I could pay monthly just chnage ref number, whilst chatting I mentioned all the above.

 

Not long after guy phone me back and said he'd looked into it and yes all the above was true, I had an agreement and Id stuck to it, theyd messed up but he would now remove the £100 costs and set aside the judgement.

 

So thanks to Anglian Water for phoning back and admitting this mistake, also dont cock up the MCOL stuff !..didnt realize set aside fee was so high.

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