21 August 2017

Don't pay the energy bill

A few years ago I was contacted by Southern Electric, who had been my energy supplier in Plymouth; there was an issue with an overdue bill. I told them I had moved house twice since. It wasn't me they were after! The bloke accepted my answer. Case closed?

No. Recently I got a letter from a debt collecting firm. Guess what? It was about an energy bill from August 2014 to August 2016. At my old address in Plymouth. I have lived here in Wales since April 2014! Don't they know who they supply energy to? Clearly not.

I phoned the debt collector and was answered by the moodiest woman I ever had the displeasure to have on the phone. What a shit conversation that was! She told me to email proof of my residency somewhere other than Plymouth. The next day I did just that: a council tax receipt, some documentation of my letting agency in York, and a string of energy bills. From someone other than Southern Electric. At my current address. They didn't accept that. They wanted a signed letter from my Plymouth letting agency stating when I had left. That letting agency does no longer exist. I pointed that out to them. They mailed back pretty much saying I had to provide it anyway.

I decided this was a bloody nuisance and I sought online legal help. Some friendly chap pointed out they can't legally do anything if they have no evidence it was you who incurred the cost. Put up enough resistance and they will let it drop; it is not worth taking this to court. But things would get more complicated than that.

I received a second letter. This one threatened with Southern Electric registering a default against me which would affect my credit rating. They can do that! I know people who had that happen to them. You can challenge that but I don't want to have to. What a nuisance!

My plan is threefold: contact the bloody debt collectors, contact Southern Electric to tell them to back off, and contact the legal chap again to see what he has to say about that default. I don't want to do this, I just want to get on with my job! But I suppose I have to fight this. I don't want to be bullied into paying a bill that is nothing to do with me. Wish me luck!

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