Author Topic: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense  (Read 485 times)

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« on: May 16, 2019, 02:13:35 PM »
I'll keep this brief;
-Moved into new flat 3 months ago, set up account with existing energy supplier OVO, monthly payments set, everyone happy.

-Over the first few months, many letters from OVO to 'the occupier' which when opened turn out to be regarding an outstanding amount from before I moved in, however as they're addressed to 'the occupier' and not a name I just assume it's a mistake or something and as it's nothing to do with me anyway I start chucking them without even opening them.

-Yesterday received a letter addressed to the ''current occupier or landlord'' from a credit company headed UTILITY INVESTIGATION, asking for my details, dates I moved in, landlords details and the name and address of the previous tenant if we know it.

Obviously OVO have sold them the debt and they're now chasing it but what strikes me as odd, and is making me extremely hesitant about getting involved in it at all was the OVO letters being addressed to 'the occupier' rather than the actual name of a previous tenant. I've googled a bit and found numerous examples (only anecdotal of course but still) of people claiming similar situations have ended up with the debt 'mysteriously' becoming attached to their account, and in some cases just paying it to make it go away and not affect their credit rating etc. Obviously I have a new account with OVO in my name, so at least it's something that their procedures clearly don't allow for my details to automatically be associated with mail regarding the old debt just through the address, but I'm still really dubious. Am I being too paranoid? Could forward it to the letting agents but then if they fill it in the end result will just be the same as me doing it. I'm tempted to just chuck it as I'm not under any obligation, but then I don't particularly want bailiffs coming round to take stuff off ''the occupier'' either.   

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 03:13:08 PM »
I would just phone them up and inform them of when the place became yours.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 03:51:32 PM »
I mulled over the idea of ignoring it and then producing a Perry Mason-style last-minute piece of evidence that destroys them in court but that seems way too stressful and time consuming.

Now I agree with thugler - assuming you have documentary evidence of when you moved in and an accurate meter reading from that date you might as well contact OVO - they have your details anyway as you're an account holder.

I would caution that you make sure you gave them the meter reading from when you moved in and that's recorded. I remember a former house where I got stung by a several hundred pound bill because the woman before gave a false reading and I was too naive / disorganised to set things up when we moved in.

Endicott

  • I've done no research
Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 03:54:47 PM »
Many many (well about 30) years ago an electricity company tried to saddle me with someone else's debt (I paid my landlord for leccy, he absconded with the money). I had to go to the ombudsman but they managed to help me sort it out.

I agree with the others though, just tell them.


Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 04:08:39 PM »
Yea - with (about 20 year's) hindsight I should have stuck to my guns and gone to the ombudsman but you live and learn. I did point out that I would have to be running a crematorium to use that much gas within two months and they reduced it slightly. I marked British Gas down there and then as a bunch of bastards and took great delight some years later when they had to replace a boiler based on a £40 insurance policy I had taken out.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 04:11:49 PM »
Fuck them off and go with bulb via my referral link.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 04:18:17 PM »
Fuck them off and go with bulb via my referral link.

If that's for me - thanks very much but changed to Bulb last year and happy with them - and quids in with a few referrals.

Did I read on here someone saying that the model is unsustainable - number of consumers is low enough for them to meet demand but they will end up destroying themselves by being too popular?

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 06:02:27 PM »
The likely scenario is that the previous account holder ended their contract and submitted a final meter reading, then you set up an account and (hopefully) gave them an initial meter reading, and that in between those dates either gas was used, or if prepay meters standing charges accrued, or both, and that is the debt being chased. Likely the landlord is liable.

If the previous account holder didn't end their contract, and if you didn't give an initial meter reading, then things could be difficult. You should clarify which period the debt was accrued in (start and end dates) and then provide some evidence if possible of your non-residence at that address during those dates (e.g. copy of tenancy agreement or letter from letting agent).

It's more likely to be a debt collection agency than actual bailiffs, but in case not, never ever let a bailiff into your property, and if you do then kill them instantly and burn the body.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 06:15:37 PM »
The likely scenario is that the previous account holder ended their contract and submitted a final meter reading, then you set up an account and (hopefully) gave them an initial meter reading, and that in between those dates either gas was used, or if prepay meters standing charges accrued, or both, and that is the debt being chased. Likely the landlord is liable.

If the previous account holder didn't end their contract, and if you didn't give an initial meter reading, then things could be difficult. You should clarify which period the debt was accrued in (start and end dates) and then provide some evidence if possible of your non-residence at that address during those dates (e.g. copy of tenancy agreement or letter from letting agent).

It's more likely to be a debt collection agency than actual bailiffs, but in case not, never ever let a bailiff into your property, and if you do then kill them instantly and burn the body.

that all sounds plausible, yes. you absolutely must get them to come & do meter readings the day you get the keys.

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 06:33:02 PM »
They are usually fine with you providing your own first reading, providing it's not too out of whack with the last one they got.

(I think this the most boring response I've made to any thread, which is really saying something)

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 06:52:52 PM »
They are usually fine with you providing your own first reading, providing it's not too out of whack with the last one they got.

(I think this the most boring response I've made to any thread, which is really saying something)

nah, make them do it, or take pictures at least.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 08:32:12 PM »
^ taking pictures is fine these days.

I think meter readers are becoming a thing of a past. If they do still exist they're pooled rather than belonging to a Ln individual supplier.

I shouldn't have to spell this out but for fuck's sake don't accept a smart meter. They're a shit show.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 07:33:09 AM »
^ taking pictures is fine these days.

I think meter readers are becoming a thing of a past. If they do still exist they're pooled rather than belonging to a Ln individual supplier.

I shouldn't have to spell this out but for fuck's sake don't accept a smart meter. They're a shit show.

Why are smart meters shit shows?

I've just moved into a flat with a prepayment meter. I've Arranged to have it taken out and replaced with a smart meter.

Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 09:16:49 AM »
They are expensive pointless buckets of shit. The only benefits they provide are to utility companies, namely they can sack off meter readers as they remotely phone home, they can introduce surge pricing (no utility company wants to sell you less of their product) and they can remotely cut you off.

Not to mention they are insecure; after analysis of one type of meter it was discovered they were using the same private key in every meter.

The stats on usage are going to be a gimmick to most users, something they'll be interested in briefly and then ignore. And if you're that interested in usage you can get yourself a clamp meter.

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: Petty life admin thread #94; Energy company nonsense
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 01:15:05 PM »
Cheers for the responses, yes I did set up the account with OVO within a week of moving in and did the gas meter reading sharpish but the first electric meter reading was a few weeks later as I couldn't get a key for the door to the meter, but that didn't seem to be a problem.
According to the letters for ''the occupier' the debt being chased is several hundred pounds and is for a time period from some time last year until I think January this year, and while I don't know exactly when the previous tenant moved out surely the usage can't be anything like that when the flat is empty, which makes it even odder that there's seemingly no name on the account, just 'the occupier'. I'd have thought if it was the previous tenant's debt it'd have her name on the letters.
Anyway think I'll forward them the details with a copy of my letting agreement with the date I moved in on and advise them to only contact the letting agent for any further discussion about it to keep it well away from me.

And yes smart meters aren't actually smart at all, they can't magically make you use less power, they just make you more aware of how much you're using with the idea being you'll use less as you're more conscious of it, watching it tick away. That news report a few months ago about how they were only saving consumers a few quid a year or something, well duh.