Hello, thanks for requesting me - unfortunately this is a question which is not within my area of law. I will open to it to all other experts and someone will hopefully pick it up soon. Please do not reply to this as it will just lock the question back to me. Many thanks
I will try to help you with this. Have you actually written to Scottish Power and asked them for a copy of the agreement whereby you agreed to have these meters in place and to pay the charge? Obviously, they don’t have one but have you asked? Have you been trying to deal with this on the telephoneor in writing?
The first thing to do is to get the meters taken out. That will stop the standing charge.
I find it absolutely bizarre that whilst their internal guidelines are not legally binding, they haven’t provided you with them.
If you don’t pay the costs, obviously, they will cut the electricity off which doesn’t bother you because you don’t use it.
They will then take you to court and will be for the court to decide.
The ombudsman decision is binding on the electricity company but it’s not binding in law.
In circumstances like this, it might be an idea to write to the to tell them that regardless of what the Ombudsman is said, you have no intention of paying the standing charges and that if they feel that you are obliged to pay it, they should take you to court and you will defend the action and the judge will ultimately decide whether there is an agreement in place or not.
If you don’t do that, this matter could go rumbling on for years.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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In my opinion, you haven’t agreed to have these meters in or to pay the charge and there’s been no benefit for you in having them and hence, you should not be required to pay.
They can throw all the terms and conditions that you that they like but if you’ve not agreed to them, then you are not bound.
The highlighted part of their own dated June letter 2015 quite clearly says “if you use any energy”. You haven’t used any energy and hence you can’t have accepted the terms.
The second page of that letter says that the deemed contract will start on the date you begin to take a supply of gas and/or electricity from them.. You say that you haven’t taken any hence,they are contradicting themselves because their own documentation confirms that you don’t do any money.
However that seems to contract their general terms and conditions 6.1 because 6.1doesn’t mention using any energy!
Further, clause 2 requires a whole load of things before they will supply none of which are satisfied.
I would highlight all these points to them.
If you wanted to have real fun, you could tell them that you want the meters removed and that by then continuing to have them in place they are deemed to accept an agreement to pay rent to have the meters in place! it wouldn’t stand up in court but it does put the shoe on the other foot
You can actually pay ScottishPower what they are asking for to get rid of this and then sue them in the Small Claims Court on the basis that you only pay the money under intense pressure and that you don’t believe that you owed it and hence, you paid “by mistake”.
Alternatively, tell them firmly that you have no intention of paying this unless they take you to court and win. I would be inclined to do this latter course of action. the worst that can then happen is if you have to pay plus some small legal costsas this will be Small Claims Court.