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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I wish to end an agreement with a utility company

Resolved Question:

I wish to end an agreement with a utility company Extraenergy for a host of reasons. The Ombudsman has achieved answers and even agreement but of course they have implemented the agreement.
They have denied receiving a series of registered(tracked letters from me and claim they cannot access the recorded conversation by which the original contract was created.
The bills have been irregular to say the least and excessive to an amazing degree.
The new contract was imposed in a letter sent to the wrong address. Whether the right address was provided was to be settled by listening to the original recording but....
I cannot chnge if they do not accept notice and persist in denying receipt of my correspondenc. I would like to leave before the end of this contract(October 31) if I could.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long was the original contract for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Original 1 year from 1st November 2014. Contract imposed 1 year from 1st November 2015
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have to give notice by I think 1st of August but history says they will ignore communication.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Good morning and thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I correct my first paragraph. Extra energy have not implemented the main aspect of e agreement. We will probably need to talk in due course but I cannot help remembering that it was a phone call that got me into this mess.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If you wanted to terminate the contract early then ideally you would be looking to rely on a breach of contract by the energy company. What has happened so far could in some ways amount to that, although at the same time it could be just bad practice and poor customer service. So you need to look at whether there is something serious enough to justify your early termination of the services. Late correspondence will probably not be enough but if they have been overcharging you or not charging you in accordance with your agreement then that would be a more serious breach.

In any event, you do not wait for their approval to end the agreement. If they do not think they have anything wrong or serious enough, they can just maintain that you should continue. An early termination will usually be without the other side’s consent. Whilst they are unlikely to be happy about it, it does not mean there will necessarily be repercussions. The only way for them to force you to pay for the early termination would be to take you to court and win. Whilst there is no guarantee of that happening, you will have your say and you can put across your side of the story. That is when you identify as many of the issues as possible to justify that the termination was reasonable in the circumstances. No one can guarantee who will win but you certainly have grounds to defend any potential claim by them.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice. I am sure I can substantiate a breach of contract. The billing has been accurate once but delivered at an odd time, the site by which I can monitor my account is defective, the billing address has been scrubbed certainly once but probably twice, they claim to be unable to reach the recorded telephone conversation which set up the contract but failed to acknowledge this until it was wrung from them by the ombudsman, they deny my contact registered and tracked as it was. I could go on. What is the process however. No other company will take on my supply until extraenergy concede. I have sent a letter giving notice this week but expect no response or acknowledgement.
I volunteer that none of this seems credible and seems pointless as all must be exposed in the end but above are the facts.
Were you really up at 2.00am to acknowledge my initial inquiry?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will of course rate you. Forgot the mention that above.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, yes I was working a bit late as catching up on the work I had accumulated during the day. I’d rather clear the backlog even if late in the eve so if a customer is up early they can still get it first thing, rather than wait for it later on the next day.

But anyway the mechanics of changing supplier are not a legal matter so I cannot tell you how you can change to a new company without the consent of the current one as that is an industry-specific issue rather than something relating to law. However, it may be best to continue negotiating directly with them and perhaps taking a more defiant stance, in a sense that you make it clear that you are treating their general behaviour as a breach of contract and request that they consent to the early release otherwise you will simply have to stop payment and involve the courts to issue an order compelling them to allow your release. This would obviously not be interest of anyone involved as it would incur costs, but you can make it clear that you will make them liable for such costs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again. You clearly do work all hours. Your original reply was timed at 2.00am.
I am rather desperate and the charges they have sought to impose are so swingeing I have to contemplate expense to get away from them. I stress again they have clearly lied when that lie is bound to be exposed.
Do I apply to the county court for and order to end the contract and if so how do I do that. I am blank here.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Do not go for court straight away - try the direct resolution with them, give them an ultimatum and try to push them into agreeing the termination.

If you were t apply to the county court then you would do so by completing form N1, available online, but for the process you may need to seek further advice, either y asking a question here or approaching a local solicitor in person

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think it is time we spoke and I will hit that button when ready. I would ask you to consider your advice onthe basis that this company will not implement the agreement with the Ombudsman, will not moderate their charges, will not acknowledge my contact and will not agree to a release. I am at the stage where I need to describe the precise process by which I will end the agreement whether they like it or not. My opinion is they will simply ignore the notice as they have everything else and I will have to proceed. It is that on that process that I am seeking your advice.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

on this basis you should still consider contacting organisations which can force them to do something before you go to court. I am talking about Trading Standards for example. Also Ofgem do have enforcement powers so it is not just a matter of them making a decision and waiting for the company to implement it - they can force through their decisions if necessary. In terms of court steps then you are looking at form N1 as mentioned but the whole process is a completely new issue which cannot just be described in a few exchanges on here, hence why I said you would be better off getting a solicitor in person to help you with that as out assistance online will be limited in that respect

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