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Other Can't pay anyone for the electricity - what would you do?

Discussion in 'General' started by boiled_elephant, 18 May 2020.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    My mother's in a funny situation, right. It's not unheard-of. Basically she switched energy providers, and fell through the cracks, and neither the former provider nor the upcoming provider would ever accept her as a customer.

    She tried repeatedly to pay either company, contacted them several times by phone and in writing (as much to cover herself legally as anything).

    This has been the situation for - honestly - decades now.

    Legally they can't backdate more than a fairly small amount of that, and I think she's covered herself quite well by attempting to find a way to pay them, in writing. But ethically, where does she stand? Does she have to keep reattempting on a regular basis forever? She can't move out. She can't switch provider. The grid doesn't seem to think she exists. But the electricity still works.

    My response, while I lived there, was simply to run F@H on as many machines as possible. May as well turn the free power into cancer cures, right?

    But now what?

    And on a technical level, what can she do to get out of this hole?

    And is any possible solution likely to land her with a huge bill? I read online that there's legal precedent forbidding providers from backdating more than a certain amount, but I don't know how doggedly the providers might try to push against that and charge her more if she managed to draw attention to it again.

    I can't imagine what would happen if she moved out and someone else took over the property. Free energy forever? Bafflingly huge bills? Duplicate bills?

    :eyebrow:
     
  2. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    My Godparents had that exact situation with their water. They kept trying to find someone to pay the bills to and kept getting told they weren't customers/couldn't become customers without a previous bill/didn't exist etc. It didn't get resolved until they moved out of the house after 20+ years when they notified Yorkshire Water of their change of address. At that point Yorkshire Water lost it's **** for a couple of months and investigated them, then agreed to waive the presumably enormous water bill for a nominal fee of a couple of hundred pounds. The people who bought the house signed up and got their bills as normal.

    Frankly I have no idea what your mum should do, but it's definitely good to keep as much proof as possible that she is at least trying to pay someone.
     
  3. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Cat Lies Down on Broadway

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    Might be worth having a word with someone at Ofgem.
     
  4. Pete J

    Pete J Unemployed dole scum

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    I think you're right to worry about it, but what's made you choose now? Just curious :happy:
     
  5. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Well-Known Member

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    Fit fake solar panels and pretend all is ok.........

    But a more constructive suggestion, keep making some effort, put money aside each month and don't worry too much
     
  6. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/...gy-bills/energy-backbilling-guide-your-rights

    Ofgem seems clear, if its more than 12months ago its on the energy companies head unless you've been obstructive.

    Morally you should probably correct the error but lets be realistic, for most of these companies your bill is a teeeny tiny weeny itsstty bitttssy small bit of their income.

    It would cost them more in admin to sort out than its costing them so enjoy the free elecy.
     
  7. Pete J

    Pete J Unemployed dole scum

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    To be honest, I'm a bit biased about this: feck the companies.

    Every time I submit a new meter reading, they have to 'adjust' my bill - always upwards. This includes when I used to work down in Bristol for a year and a bit and was only going to my house on average every other weekend. Care to explain that, EON? :eyebrow:
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2020
  8. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I'd keep trying to get it resolved.

    I'd suspect that they would, should they ever change their mind, argue that not trying made it suddenly her fault and thus she owed every penny that they could imagine, which I assume would be a lot at this point.
     
  9. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    A call once a year to say you're not charging me should cover that off.
     
  10. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Make that a registered letter to remove any chance of them denying receiving the message.
     
    boiled_elephant, liratheal and MLyons like this.
  11. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I'll make sure she's still trying. I think she does so every few years.

    It's come up now just because I suddenly remembered about it and was in a thread-creating mood, no other reason :) I haven't lived there for years.
     
  12. Byron C

    Byron C And now a word from our sponsor

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    Sounds like the right thing is already being done. Effort is being made to rectify the situation and no one is willing to help.

    Had a similar situation with the gas supply in our old flat. British Gas supplied our energy (kept them when we moved from the previous flat), but a month or two into the tenancy I noticed we weren't getting billed for gas. The gas supply worked but suppliers and Wales & West kept telling us that our meter didn't exist. Even when I'm stood there looking at the gas meter while I'm talking to them they were telling me that it didn't exist. Other flats in the building were not paying over over the odds (we checked many times), so they weren't paying our share. Our meter appeared to work fine. I kept raising it and I kept getting ignored. This went on for about three and a half years until the tenants downstairs moved out, and we were contacted by British Gas and Wales & West shortly after they moved. BG and Wales & West acknowledged that there had been a massive cockup but didn't attempt to back-date our bill one penny. A new meter was installed and we were billed from that point on.
     
  13. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Keep a folder & record of all attempts to rectify, perhaps with monthly meter readings as well along with a standby fund that in the unlikely scenario that a provider demands the last 12 month of payments she can prove usage and has the ability to cover it.

    Other than that sounds like she has already gone out of her way to try to fix the situation, so personally I'd just fall back to giving them a periodic poke and forget about it outside of that.

    In around 2003-2004 IIRC I had a refund for all electricity bills from a flat when requesting the final bill on moving out, stating that the provider realised they weren't actually the provider after all. I jumped through all sorts of hoops and really went out of my way to find out who actually was the provider, but nobody was interested in helping because it was seemingly outside the scope of the "how-to" guides the call centre were supplied with. In the end just stopped, and that was that.
     
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