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BG have written this week to advise haven't replied to letters or received payment so they are applying for warrant to remove meter.

Have just spoken to BG and they say they actually applied for warrant the day before their letter is dated

 

Have several recent webchat transcripts with BG and have been paying £10/month due to hardship.

BG just say that's not enough as the debt is large - over £1k - and has been large for a long time.

Haven't been in the property for more than 2y and the debt is for usage up to that point.

 

The letter says 'what will happen if we don't hear from you' - that their 'application for warrant of entry will be heard at court.  You can go to hearing and make representations against their application'.

 

The letter also says you 'have the right to ask for a hearing to take place at a court in your local area....  If you wish to do this please call xxx within 21 days from the date of this letter or complete enclosed form and send it to .....   A local court hearing will be arranged.    If you do not ask for a court hearing the case will be heard in your absence without any further notice.'

The letter continues to say ' if warrant granted, it will allow them to enter your property to fit a pay as you go meter w/o giving you any notice.  From the date the warrant is granted we have 28 days to do this'.

 

The letter also states 'you can stop all of this happening if you call before 5pm the night before the warrant visit and pay what owe.

When you call they can also discuss ways to manage the account'.

 

The letter also has a section which says - if you are having trouble paying in full we can help.  call us as there are lots of ways we can help'

 

So BG just said they already applied for warrant on 18/07.  That is a Sunday and is the day before their letter is dated.

BG said the court hearing date - remote - is already fixed for 09/08 and the date for execution already set for 16/08.

 

This doesn't seem correct.

What can be done?

 

 

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let them do it? is the premises occupied?

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The property should be unoccupied.

The debt relates to arrears - my usage up to a date.

There should have been zero usage from that date.

edf and tw have been very supportive - I pay them nominal amount monthly. 

But BG have refused to allow me to set up a nominal monthly amount.    I just started paying them £10 without a payment plan just so they were getting some £s and to try prevent this situation.

 

Should I just let them remove it and fit a prepayment meter?    I would prefer they do not remove the meter - my absence is temporary, albeit extended.

But I do also see potential benefits.

 

If I could afford to repay in full now I would.   Reduced circumstances and covid lack of work prevents.

If they would allow me 6 months of nominal payments I would continue - with a view to hopeful changed circumstances which would allow to repay in full thereafter.   That is what I requested.   Interestingly their webchat suggested £165/m would work for them (altho thats impossible for me).   

Yet the warrants dept rep was very aggressive and said that is not possible - they just want to get the warrant and replace the meter.

Of course, they are making the situation worse by adding £160 costs to 'my' debt.

 

This situation is a tiny part of a much much larger issue.

The property should not have been occupied and no utilities should have been used.  The reality is that 'others' did occupy and use utilities, and worse, the property was completely destroyed - illegally and on purpose.   Its very complicated - but it is being resolved legally.  Hopefully with a positive resolution within 6 months.   

At which point the £ difference in between readings would be cleared by the other party.  And the compensation would clear my debts.  Which is why i have asked for  further 6 months.   

I haven't disclosed the larger issue as it would be too complicated and I just did not want to go there.  Its so (too) stressful.

I would just prefer to retain the old normal meter and in 2022 continue as before.

 

The potential benefit to allowing BG to remove existing meter and replace with prepayment is that the meter will remain in my name, BG will provide me with a prepayment key, and no-one else will be able to illegally use the supply until the wider legal issue is resolved.

Replacing the meter will crystalize the amount owed as of the removal date.  However, the amount is going to be much larger due to 'others' usage.   And that much larger amount - probably many 000s now - will be added to my debt / credit file  - until the wider legal issue is resolved....

 

I guess I am wondering if I could ask the warrant court hearing to grant the 6 months reprieve to allow the wider legal issue to be resolved?

 

 

 

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Let them install the prepayment meter, as the debt will be added to the meter.  if you are not there to use supplies, then you won't be paying toward the debt. 

 

In tbe future, if you are in a better position, then reduce the debt to a level where BG would not block any swtich and arrange new supply contract with another company asking for the meter to be changed back.

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the debt was apx 1500.

I suspect that it is probably going to be 5k+ usage by 'others'.  That amount will be added to my name.  

BG will freak when they see the real reading

 

Just as an aside - the meter is external.  There's a low locked gate and a few steps.  Would BG climb over?  Or would they use a locksmith to break the gate lock?

 

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if there is no external gas tap in the meter box to shut off the supply before they remove the meter and cap the feed pipe, then home would be entered . they typically enter the home too anyway to ensure that no gas central heating is present and shut it off 1st too.

 

external gates /gardens are not regarded as 'property'

 

if the warrant states as you have said removal , the above will happen regardless. i'd not go for a PP meter as that will result in standing charges. let them cap it. wont add to your bill going forward until/unless you wish to re-establish connection.

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Posted (edited)

Pipe, meter and lever are all external.

BG said intention is to replace existing with prepayment meter

Property is now alarmed.

Are you suggesting they may go inside anyway?

 

Edited by HP Mum
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i would inform BG that the property is vacant ALL gas appliances are disconnected from the gas supply or isolated/off, else they will force entry upon safety reasons.

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Gas appliances will be internally connected.

No-one should be inside and using any utility. But things are connected.

Not an expert on this - but years ago BG turned off the supply cos of a suspected leak.  They didn't turn off anything inside.  Why would they need to go inside if they have the ability to switch off the gas outside?

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I think they have to go inside to complete a safety check on gas appliances.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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correct

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The letter that you received was dated 19 July 2021, and was from British Gas Trading Limited?

 

Exactly who signed this letter?

 

Though I am not legally trained, the (19 July 2021?) letter that you described may be a legally-required and prescribed legal document, a Letter Before Claim (LBC), and learning more about the "Practice Direction on pre-action conduct under the Civil Procedure Rules" may be of some assistance to you.

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PAPLOC's are in relation to County Court and CCJ's , not magistrates warrant applications.

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Posted (edited)

The letter was just from "your BG team"

Their letter is covered by the rights of entry act "54

 

Property has full security and alarm. Will be interesting if they do force entry when meter is external...

Edited by HP Mum
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Please define "PAPLOC's".

 

The reason that I asked HP MUM, is that I am aware of grave legal irregularities which appear to have occurred involving such letters issued between 1 September 2020 and 26 March 2021, and it is presumed for quite some time after this.

 

If there is any chance that you, or anyone in your household, might in any way be considered "vulnerable" for the purpose of having your name/names added to the Priority Services Register of British Gas Trading Limited, I would strongly recommend that you act to do so immediately, and for a number of important reasons.

 

If you do so, record your telephone-call, and take accurate notes relating to your telephone-call.

 

If you research Letters Before Claim (LBC), sometimes known as Letters Before Action (LBA), and the relevant Civil Procedures rules as far as I am aware, the legal reasons for the letter being sent should become apparent.

 

(Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 as amended, it appears.

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PAPLOC  - pre action protocol letter of claim.

 

gas companies don't need to use the civil county court system, because as you point out the gas act gives them the power to disconnect or change meters in cases of persistent non payment under a magistrates court.

 

HP mums situation is somewhat complex...

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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My understanding is that there are a range of differing Civil Procedure Rules depending upon the type of civil court action, but I believe that these exist in some form in relation to all civil court actions.

 

If you choose to read some of the actual Civil Procedure Rules, you will see that the Letter Before Claim (LBC) letter of the type that HP MUM received is actually prescribed in form, defined if you will.  And copies of these legal documents are submitted to magistrates' courts because they are legally required to do so, or run the risks of suffering adverse legal disadvantages in one form or another.

 

The rules appear designed to lessen unnecessary litigation, and also unnecessarily protracted litigation, as well as to promote a sense of fairness.

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I would definitely recommend that HP MUM carefully scrutinises any and all energy meter serial-numbers that might be involved, all dates that any meters were installed on and removed on, and each and every energy bill matched to serial-numbers and patterns of energy usage.

 

Energy customers are being billed using energy meter serial-numbers that are not from their own meters, and are being billed using the serial-numbers of prior meters that were once installed and then removed, and are even being billed or charged simultaneously for two meters for the same fuel at the same time.  I have personally witnessed many of the above types of occurrences.

 

A Right Of Access Request (ROAR) (known to many as a Subject Access Request, or SAR) to receive a copy of all personal data held in paper and electronic forms pursuant to UK GDPR and the DPA 2018 as amended would be a good idea.

 

Also, asking to receive a copy of a record of all meter inspections that have occurred, and exactly when they occurred if they did, and seeking to explore the possibility that a meter might be out of calibration or might have suffered some fault or from some adverse network condition(s) affecting its accuracy, would be desirable to at least consider the possibility of.

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HP MUM, if you have or can get an online account with British Gas Trading Limited, copies of many past energy bills should become accessible to read and to download copies of individually.  And as mentioned, a Right Of Access Request (ROAR) might also be of use to you.  You can also request that British Gas Trading Limited posts you copies of all bills that have been issued, as quickly as possible to you.

 

I have found evidence of alarming entries, references, discrepancies, and omissions within a ROAR disclosure received by email only last month in July of 2021, and these issues have combined to profoundly and unlawfully affect the billing of the British Gas Trading Limited accounts involved.

 

If there has been any unusually-high energy usage that has occurred relating to an account, such as might be caused by a defective or otherwise inaccurate energy meter, this fact is often found written and highlighted somewhere on the energy bills issued, for example, there might be a statement indicating or describing that a 50%, 100%, or even higher increase in energy usage for a given fuel has occurred compared to the energy recorded as having been used within a prior year on an account.

 

If you do dispute the accuracy of account billing, or dispute that you actually used the amount of fuel alleged, and even if you are putting forward other issues in response to the energy company's communications made to you, I would recommend that you send as many emails as possible to as many email-addresses as are needed to prove that you are in fact responding to the concerns that have been communicated to you by British Gas Trading Limited, CC each email to many others to create an electronic audit-trail of your (quite possibly desperate) attempts to engage with your energy company.  I can supply additional email-addresses if you have an interest.

 

I do realise that this coming Monday, 16 August 2021, may be the day that a warrant to authorise entry is executed, or may be attempted, from what you have reported previously.

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more commonly known as SAR sar

 

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I prefer not to use "Subject Access Request" or "SAR" as these do not seem to appear as such within relevant Data Protection law.  But my understanding is that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) continues to allow their use.

 

I have used the following, recently, it seems to me to be far more precise:

 

"Right Of Access To Personal Data Request By Data Subject, Article 15 UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018)".

 

Adding "As Amended" at the end might be more precise.

 

"Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 as amended"

 

is also a more precise citation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made another call to BG to try resolve

This time I got, firstly, a sympathetic employee and, secondly, someone in the debt department who DID resolve with zero fuss.

 

The previous call I had last month I obviously caught someone having their own bad day who projected it on to me - they were vile and brutal.

 

Basically BG have what is known as an 'extended payment plan'.   They can string out your arrears over 5 years.

 

The key issue is that anyone with payment problems must pay and clear the standing charges.   This will halt angry action.

 

So - this nice person advised that NO warrant had been applied for - there had been no court date set - and there was no date organised for meter removal either.   The previous vile person had just been trying to make me "panic pay".

 

I now have a monthly direct debit for lowest possible £ amount set up for 5 years.  If things change then I can pay more in-between.

 

Of course - this payment plan only applies to my old consumption up to 2y ago. 

There should be no consumption now.  But I know there has been by 'others' - which will be subject to alternative (legal) action...

 

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