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Could anyone help my daughters please.

 

They have lived in a small 2 bed flat since December 2015 and have been paying a £75 monthly direct debit to First Utility since they moved in. They only have electricity in the flat. They have not been reading e-mails and didn't realise they had to send meter readings (their fault).

 

First Utility took £660 out of their account with no notification and of course they rang them and have now sent a meter reading. They gave back to money and took it again last Thursday and they keep getting bank charges.

 

First Utility now say they owe another £2,000! This seems very high to me and to them. As far as I know they do not use electricity excessively at all. First Utility said it would be best if they sign up to a different package which is £189 a month but they can't afford to.

 

They have been told to send another meter reading at the end of this week. I am worried because one girl has bi-polar and the other suffers from panic attacks and they are stressed about this. Do these amounts seen feasible in view of the fact they have been paying a substantial direct debit every month to owe this amount on top of it?

 

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Edited by Andyorch
Paras

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Own thread created..please continue to post here to your thread.

 

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Has the DD definitely been taken every month since they moved in?

 

Heating an all electric home is fiercely expensive....

 

I think the first thing to do is to check the start meter reading against today’s meter reading and do a quick cost calculation against that. Then you can compare your estimate to their demand.

 

More knowledgeable folk will surely be along soon...

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check the meter number they quote on bills IS their meter number

you quite often find in blocks of flats that its wrong...

 

else when was the last time the supplier checked the meter, could someone have 'tapped-in' to their supply to run one of these grow farms at their expense?


..

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Thanks for replies.

 

They don't think anyone has been using their electricity as they do have a separate cupboard.

 

They rang First Utility today and they said they owe over £4,000 and want a S.O. of £342 per month plus the £75 direct debit they normally pay.

 

They said they couldn't afford that and would take legal advice and FU changed their tune and said the computer had generated an estimate of usage of £2,225 and now want £92.72 S.O. plus monthly dd.

 

They said they are on a high tariff but this is what FU recommended when they moved in.

I have told them to get a full written report of the account which we could take to CAB and also tell them they will go to the Omsbudsman with the complaint of twice taking money out of the account without so much as a by your leave.

 

Is there anything else we can do please?

its a small 2 bed flat.

They don't use a tumble drier and have showers and the odd bath, it doesn't seem excessive use.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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did you check the meter number against the one listed on the bills?

 

you say they share, so is the neighbour or some other toe rag running a cannabis farm off their supply in the attic..I've seen that numerous time

can you not go around there and check these VERY simple things...

stand at the meter and kill their consumer unit master switch, does the meter stop incrementing?

if it doesn't something is very wrong...


..

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Yes, I will do these things you suggest. Not sure exactly what to do - where a consumer unit master switch is! May also ask the Landlord and Estate Agent if they can shed any light on this. Thanks.

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they should have an electric cupboard in the flat with a consumer unit

the old thing that used to have fuses in...

they now have resettable trips and a large all off red one

 

drop that one down and that should kill all electric in the flat

they see if the meter stop reading...

whilst you are watching the meter

check its number against the one quoted on the electric bills


..

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Have you checked to see which plan they are on? Do you know what rates they are paying?


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how many flats in block?

Is it PB or a conversion,

 

if the latter is there a main meter with others spurred from it or all separate meters with the leccy coming in from the street.

If it comes into a bus bar then how is this accessed as somone may be willing to risk electrocution to tap the supply.

 

have you identified their meter yet?

It will have a meter number on it and that should be checked against the number on their bill.

 

Once the main fuse has been pulled or supply switched off then take a reading and then again an hour later.

It should be exactly the same.

 

If it isnt then something else is being run from that meter that isnt in their flat and they should be ripping into their landlord something rotten.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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Thanks for all advice. The flats are purpose built. There are about 20 flats. I will check all the points brought up at the weekend.

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