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Kerry curly

British Gas letter applying for warrant - help!!

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Hello

I received a hand delivered letter today stating that British Gas are applying for a warrant to enter my premises.

 

I have a cafe which is supplied by NPower however British Gas are stating that I owe them £16k.

I have never received a bill

 

when I spoke with them to say they had made a mistake they would not accept it.

 

Can anyone please advise?

 

is there any way to stop the warrant given that I don't owe them any money?

 

Thanks.

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Well you will at least need the date of the application and the location of the court to which they are applying and you will need to attend.

When they apply for these warrants it is extremely cursory. Someone turns up with a huge bundle of files and they are basically rubberstamped. You need to get there on time – in fact early and you need to get to the clerk of the court and you need to flag up the fact that you are there and you will be objecting to the warrant – because most people don't. In fact most people don't turn up.

Have they given you any details of the application and when it will happen?

Secondly, you should get all the evidence you can from Npower to show that it is they that you are supplying you and you have been paying their bills regularly including during the period for which British Gas say that they are the creditors.

You should also ask British Gas to provide you all evidence of any bill including the billing period, readings – et cetera. You need to do this quickly. If you do anything by telephone then you should record the call. Read our customer services guide.

Confirm everything in writing.

Make a formal complaint to British Gas – in writing – and make it clear to them that they are not your supplier and tell them that the matters in dispute and you want it referred to the energy ombudsman as soon as possible.

At the very least you will be laying down a paper trail so that they can never say that you didn't tell them.

I'm afraid you're probably going to have to be trying to contact British Gas relentlessly – persistently – regularly – almost daily until you get somebody who understands the situation and listens to you and takes note of what you say.

Once again read our customer services guide about dealing with these people on the phone. It's a frustrating business and you could be talking to a new person every time who may express sympathy for your position and then will do nothing.

You desperately need to get to the court on the day that the application is made

 

The next thing is to understand why British Gas may have formed the impression that they are your suppliers and also why you apparently owe them so much. You say that you run a café. Are there other people or businesses in the building? Are they supplied by British Gas?

How long have you been at that building and how long have Npower been your supplier and who was the supplier before – either to you or a previous tenant? You need to start doing a lot of careful research

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Thank you so much. I pay rent to the landlord and own the business. The landlord owns the building which comprises of my cafe then around ten rooms upstairs that are rented as holiday lets. I've been there for around 16 months and in order to run the cafe I had to get three phase electric supply which NPower fitted and continue to supply.

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9 minutes ago, Kerry curly said:

Thank you so much. I pay rent to the landlord and own the business. The landlord owns the building which comprises of my cafe then around ten rooms upstairs that are rented as holiday lets. I've been there for around 16 months and in order to run the cafe I had to get three phase electric supply which NPower fitted and continue to supply.

 

Probably an obvious question, but if you have gas as well as electricity in your café - I guess you do - are nPower supplying both and do their bills to you show clearly that they supply both?

 

If you have only been there 16 months is it possible British Gas are claiming money is owed to them for the period before you took over the café? If so when you go to court make sure you have the documents to prove when you became responsible for the bills for the café premises, the lease etc

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Hello

I only have electricity, no gas in the premises. Thanks for the advice. It's so frustrating trying to speak to British Gas and now they have done this. Makes you feel powerless about something that is not my responsibility. I'm in the process of selling as well and this could ruin the sale. 

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Do as Bankfodder suggests,  and send them a Formal complaint, it's possible they have mixed you up with the supply to the flats above, they are that inept often where there is a HMO with different tenants.

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Suggest you speak to NPower to find out whether they are aware of any issue regarding energy supplies at the address.  NPower will have access to a central energy industry database, which may reveal what the issue is. Perhaps if your supply is getting caught up with a separate issue involving British Gas, NPower will urgently get in contact with British Gas on your behalf. There are industry operation staff at energy companies, that can talk to other energy companies on their customers behalf to register disputes and seek resolutions.

 

The possible issue here, is that someone has illegally connected the flats up for electricity supplies which are not registered.  Unfortunately, where the energy supply has been split between a shop and flats above, this type of situation can arise. Which is why I suggest that NPower as your supplier should be helping you to resolve. But as Bankfodder advises, opposing the warrant at court is advisable, otherwise your electricity supply may be cut off, while the supply issue is resolved.

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We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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Yes, the advice from UncleBulgaria above is very important. We have had several instances on this forum of people in the same kind of situation as you who have eventually discovered that in fact they are paying the power for the entire building. I think you could certainly get an electrician in to inspect the metre and to give you an opinion.

Although you have been advised to get Npower to do it, it will probably be much quicker to get a qualified electrician to inspect it – although that will cost you a fee of course – but it sounds to me as if you need to be in a bit of a hurry.
 


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