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I moved into my current flat in 2016 and was advised by my management company to pay all my bills through One Utility Bill which I did - basically you pay them a set amount every month and they pay your water gas and electric direct to the suppliers.

 

I provided them with regular meter readings but they were rubbish (made numerous mistakes, charged random amounts, non existent customer service) so in October 2019 I left - they claimed at that point they needed to increase my bill by £40 a month due to excessive water consumption as there was a leak in my property - this was simply not true, so at that point I terminated my contract with them.

 

They have now sent me a closing bill of £654, backed up by a statement issued by them. I have asked them for statements from the energy companies to back this up but they are unable to provide them. They are saying I now need to set up a payment plan with them or they will pass on my details to a debt collection agency and I'll get a CCJ.

 

I have looked at their reviews on google and this seems to be their standards practice. I don't believe I owe this money so how can I contest this? As they are not an energy provider they are not regulated by the Ombudsman.

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debt collection agencies are not bailiffs and are totally powerless on any debt

let alone one they do not own.

 

did you send them an SAR or simply 'asked'

 

dx

 


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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Thank you! I have just told them I want to make a formal complaint and that I will be making an SAR so am waiting for them to let me know who to contact and then I will do

And thank you for the info - they've said they will be passing on my debt to Daniels Silverman if I dont pay it or set up a payment plan before the 20th Feb xx

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Bless! Waiting for them to contact in order to be informed as to who to make suitable complaints and to make statutory demands against them.

Haven't you understood yet that you can't trust these people. If you haven't understood it from your own direct experience then surely what you have read around the Internet should inform you.

Send them an SAR immediately. If you deal with on the telephone then read our customer services guide first and implement the advice there. However the SAR must be sent to them in writing – by recorded delivery and tracked mail so that you can establish that it has been sent.

Take control.

Maybe now is time to realise that this system effectively puts a wall between you and the utilities suppliers so that you have really no idea what is going on and you have no control. You don't know what the real bills are. You have no recourse to a regulator. You have no protection from the back billing code. Send the SAR and tell us what you find. Who are the energy companies? Send SARs to them as well. You need to break out of this trap that you are in.

You say you were "advised" by the management company to pay your bills through One Utility. I can't imagine that there is a contractual obligation to do this. I can imagine that the management company may even be receiving a commission from One Utility.

You say that you have left. I take this to mean that you have left one utility – not that you have left the property. You have said that this is your current property.

 


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The management agents usually do have a commission or some sweetner in that scenario so maybe they need a  question or two .


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Yes you should specifically ask them about any commissions that they are receiving. You need a direct answer. Do not stand for anything that seems to be evasive.


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I am still living in the property. I have spoken to my management company and they said they are not taking commission from them.

I will send them an SAR tomorrow by recorded delivery - I'm not speaking to them on the phone.

I realise now I can't trust them - when I moved in my flat was going through a horrible divorce and not thinking straight and they seemed like a hassle free solution to paying all bills in one.

They won't tell me who the energy providers are, I have asked them but they have ignored, feel completely trapped. What is the worst they can do if I don't pay?

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How many other residents are there in the building? Have they had any experiences with this company and what they say about it?

If they didn't want to take you to court then I think it would be very easy to force them to disclose all sorts of information including the identity of the energy suppliers. Presumably you have a meter. I'm sure there is some service which is able to inform you who your supplier is. Maybe somebody will come to this thread and tell us.

 

What is the name of the management company?


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Have you actually changed supplier now?


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Yeah I've been with EDF for gas and electric and United Utilities since November.

There are 7 other flats apart from mine, I know the other tenants so gonna ask them if they're with them too. The management company is Pantheon Property Services.

Can they take me to court for this? I've been reading reviews on trust pilot and loads of people have had the same experience with this company

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Okay, so you've moved away and that means that nobody can threaten to cut off your supply or anything else silly.

Yes they'd could take you to court – and I don't know what their policy is on this – but I think you are entirely reasonable asking for a full account and if they did take you to court then we would help you and you would defend on the basis that they were refusing to disclose any information as to the actual bills or even as to the identity of the energy suppliers. That is extraordinary and I'm sure that a judge would not be very pleased about this.

This extraordinary lack of transparency – in fact, secrecy is calculated to undermine trust completely and one can only draw very negative conclusions about Pantheon Property Services.

You say that you have seen other comments around the Internet about them. Please would you post links to them here on this thread.

We better get a picture of what this company does and what their reputation is.


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Is this the company we are dealing with https://pantheonpropertyservices.co.uk/

 

 


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Was this the company the managing Company pushed you towards https://oneutilitybill.co/


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Yes that is them on both counts.

Reviews here

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/oneutilitybill.co?languages=en&stars=1

All similar to my experience 

And on google

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_en-gbGB865GB865&ei=FIkgXu2OOdCX1fAPr62XyAI&q=one+utility+bill+&oq=one+utility+bill+&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l10.2793.2793..3497...0.2..0.66.66.1......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71.1O7KP7AgU7w&ved=0ahUKEwjt6M6dv4jnAhXQSxUIHa_WBSkQ4dUDCAs&uact=5#lrd=0x487e70b013a9daa9:0xea10c7c9f1d4e059,1,,,

 

Thank you for your support! If they could justify it I'd pay it but I don't believe that over three years I've accrued that much - always kept up to date with monthly payments and it's a 2 bed flat just my daughter and me and we're at work / school all day.

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keep us updated re SAR, these companies need checking out for sure, there are some shenanigans going on there for sure.  If they did try court we can help you challenge them, there should be plenty to undermine any case they think they have. 


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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I'm going to write the SAR tonight and send it tomorrow. Am I right in thinking that once I've sent them the SAR and formal complaint we're in dispute and they can't take formal action? And thank you again!

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no I'm afraid that that is not necessarily the case.

 

if you were able to make a complaint to the ombudsman then this would certainly interrupt any proceedings.it seems to me to be extremely unfair that you can't go to the ombudsman and I would suggest that you also write a letter directly to the ombudsman and say that you are being prevented from approaching them about unfair practice and that you're not being permittedto know the identity of your energy supplier.

 

also I would send an s a r to the management company and in a separate letter I think you should write to them and tell them that you are being treated unfairly by the company which they recommended and that they will not even allow you to know the identity of the energy supplier or to have sight of any bills.

 

haven't you been supplying them with meter readings?

 

 


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Yes I supplied them with regular meter readings through their online portal. They were never able to tell me what my usage was when  I queried it and told me they would only know this when I closed my account with them. I will write to the Ombudsman as well then.

I also told one utility they are not allowed to backbill but they told me that as they're not an energy provider they can bill what they want. I presume any payment plan they want people to set up includes interest obviously

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as they would be chasing a debt, they would be required to follow the pre action protocol. this means they have to give you 30 days notice and you have an opportunity to reply in which case they will have to reply again and you have another 30-days notice. I think that you can stretch it out for up to 90 days. check the pre-action protocol.

what I'm getting out here is that there is no need to worry. nothing will happen without you knowing about itand having time to make proper decisions with our advice.

 

meanwhile if I were you I would go around the internet and start adding your own experience to all the reviews that you are reading.

 

 

You say that they have made errors in the Handling of your affairs. have they caused you any losses?


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Thank you so much!

And yes one of my next steps was going to be adding my own reviews.

And thank you for saying that you are getting there is nothing to worry about - my stress levels are through the roof!! 

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\try this to see if you can find out who your current energy supplier is.

 

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/find-my-supplier/

 

do you have a record of all your meter readings?

Is your water metered?


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Thing is now you are taking control, so the stress will reduce, they are the ones who will be in difficulties shortly.


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Make sure that your reviews you are very clear that you have asked them and they refused to let you know the identity of your energy suppliers. Emphasise this. it's very important


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14 hours ago, BankFodder said:

 

You say that they have made errors in the Handling of your affairs. have they caused you any losses?

 

Please would you respond to this question

 

Do you have it in writing from them that they won't tell you who the energy suppliers are? Or is this simply an unrecorded phone call?

If you don't have it in writing then I think that you should write to them in a separate letter (not part of the SAR) asking them to tell you which energy companies are supplying the gas and electricity.

Send the letter by tracked delivery so you are sure that it has arrived. I think this is a very important step. Also, I'm now assuming that you are going to start recording your calls, phone them again and ask them again who are the energy suppliers. If they refuse to tell you then you will have it recorded.

Once again, I would like you to tell us whether there errors with your account have caused you any losses


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I've just had a very interesting chat with somebody who's been in the water industry for a large number of years.

First of all, the kind of situation you have – a company such as One Utility undertaking the management of the utilities bills is not uncommon with blocks of flats and in fact the utilities companies rather like it although I understand that at least one or two water companies have started become rather cautious about it and have started to withdraw from these arrangements. However, the advantage to the utilities companies – as you can imagine – is that they don't have to be bothered chasing lots of tenants who may come and go and the bills unpaid et cetera. That then becomes the responsibility/legal liability of the utilities management company such as One Utility.

My source tells me that it is absolutely normal for these companies to be receiving commissions from the utilities companies that they are dealing with and also to have negotiated a favourable rate because they are effectively making bulk purchases. I'm sure the latter is true of One Utility. I don't know if they are receiving any commission – apparently they have told you that they are not.

On the water issue, I have been advised to ask you certain questions.

How many other tenants are there in the block of flats?
Is the water supply to the block of flats metered?
The assumption is that if it is metered then there is simply a single meter to the entire block –?? It would be extraordinary if there was a separate metre to each flat.
Has the £40 increase been applied to each one of the flats?
If you are the sole person to have received this £40 increase then how would One Utility know that it is your flat which is using excessive water if the water meter simply measured water consumption for the whole building?
If on the other hand there is no water meter then it means that each one of flats would be charged water according to its rateable value. This means that they would be a flat annual charge and any excessive water consumption caused by leakage or a change in living culture – or alternatively a reduction in water usage for any reason, would not be reflected in the water bill. It would be a static unchanging water bill.
Also, if you are being held liable for a £40 per month leak – you are talking about a deluge. Apparently one would expect your normal consumption to be just over half of the £40 so if they are trying to charge £40 on top, then you have better by some scuba gear.

 

I expect that this is your water supplier https://www.unitedutilities.com/ and if you look around the website your probably find there is some way of calculating what your normal usage should be in your circumstances.


So please could you give us some answers to the above? Also I still would like to know if the errors which have been caused by One Utility have caused you any losses. This is an important question because if they have then this might give us a little opening to a possible line of action.


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