Sorry I have not responded earlier, we had trouble in picking up your message.
The current claim is for £ 1902.61 but this amount takes into account £ 178.77 Atlantic owed us. We initially paid by direct debit of £ 29 per month but cancelled this when we changed our bank account, shortly before the bill was due and, we were alerted to the sudden change in metered charge. The claim from Atlantic is that we should pay £ 192 per month and have arrangements in place to do this by 13.02.14 or they will take proceedings against us for the total outstanding amount.
We have not refused to pay but said once the meter is proven to be either correct or not we would settle the outstanding. We have set up a sub account within our savings account entitled "Atlantic" to which we have paid £ 30 per month since the last payment of £ 29 per month was made to Atlantic under the Direct Debit, in September.
The solar panels have just returned a payment in the amount of £169 and we have kept a schedule of metered electricity since shortly after the dispute began. Our day usage is in the region of 30-40 units and night use around 45-50 units but has been as high as 78 units.
No proceeding have yet been issued just the written threat. Atlantic want me to call them and discuss the payment plan which, given the threat, I am unhappy to do. Whilst all their calls are recorded I do not have that facility. I do not believe they have complied with the Ombudsman's instruction. Should I comply with their instruction to avoid the case being forwarded to their appointed debt collector and pay the £ 192 per month, by definition, would I not be agreeing I am satisfied the meter is recording accurately?
Having taken the on-line survey from Atlantic, although it is unable to totally record the full level of insulation we have in the house, it shows an annual projected cost of £ 864.16 and recommends we lay additional mineral wool between the joists, upgrade heating controls and further insulate giving us a saving of £ 172 per year. What additional insulation we can have I cannot think. The loft is insulated as is the roof and the loft is boarded. The heating controls are computerised and factory set. I had thought of offering them £ 862.16 less the £172 spread over 12 months paid by Standing Order but, given their attitude to date, I cannot see them accepting this.
Neither my husband nor I have ever defaulted on any payment and do not wish to start now we have retired. Atlantic seem to want to frighten us into paying. Whilst Atlantic state they will review the account on receipt of the Meter Examiner's Report and hold the disputed balance on account they go on to say we are expected to pay for the ongoing consumption as detailed above. From my perspective, until the meter is tested the account will remain in dispute..
The last thing we need is for our Bank account to be subject to a Court Order and frozen. It is very worrying and, for my sins, I am suffering from Polymyalgia Rheumatica and not supposed to subject myself to any stress. Some chance!
What is it you want to achieve please?
I look forward to your views and in the meantime, thanks and best regards
Yes - what do you want to achieve?
We can do nothing until the meter has been proven to be correct or incorrect and we are not adverse to paying something however we do not wish to give Atlantic carte blanche over our account so they are able to help themselves to what they deem is owing. Nobody at Atlantic has take direct ownership of the problem and SGS who have been appointed to test the meter have not yet given a date as to when they will come. We have been given a period of between 6 months and 2 years, depending on who you speak to. If we pay what they are asking and the meter is proven to be incorrect with 2 months we would have paid more than we had been paying, annually, in the past years. Atlantic do not wish to put anything in writing other than demands.
Yes I would agree. I would set out in writing that you do not intend to pay the balance until it has been resovled.
If they try and issue proceedings then you can show what the Ombudsman has said and the fact there is a specialist looking at the meter.
The Judge will want to be satisfied that the meter is correct and the readings accurate.
In any event it would take them about 6 months to take you to Court and EVEN if they did win and you had a CCJ against you, if you pay within 28 days then it is cancelled anyway - so there is NO risk of a CCJ there
Can I clarify anything for you?
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX for the moment. I have to telephone the Ombudsman tomorrow and will draft a letter to Atlantic today copied to the Ombudsman (sent in both instances by Recorded Delivery). My background is international marine finance and I have had very little to do with UK small claims so I feel rather ignorant and therefore vunerable.
Yes I can imagine.
But a Court would probably stay proceedings pending the outcome of investigations anyway.
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Thank you. Sorry for the delay in coming back to you. Why is it that when you desperately need the computer to function properly it gives up on you?
Yes I know - happens to us all!
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