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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Npower is my gas and electricity supplier. In the past they

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Npower is my gas and electricity supplier. In the past they hadn't sent me bills few months (around 6 months or even more, not very sure now). Meanwhile I was not paaying any amount power used. However, when they sent me bills finally it was a huge amount and I started paying £200 each month hoping to reduce the arrears. I was unable to pay one month after the huge bill that was sent to me. I was hoping that they will agree with me to set up a fixed amount of money each month which will be higher than the monthly bill but lower enough not to make it a burden as my resources are finite month. Now they have threatened with pre-paid meter install ment meter which I do not want. They say they have got court permission to do it. I will it unfair and wrong because they by not sending me bill each month contributed to the situation and now they are acting against me. I am ready installment pay of all my debts. Their argumenyt is that I didn't keep the dates of payment . Do I have any rights to challenge this. I do not want pre-paid meter set up. i am not able to pay all outstanding amount (around £700) at one go
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
how can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

st Friday was on 26 and not beofre 21st. I received my pay of 26th january and I paid them on 27th and requested them to make the promised instalment payment arrangement remaining sum. But they were busy to attend me and asked me to leave my contact number and that they would call me back. But nobody contacted me again on that day.

Now two days back I got another letter saying that they are going to have this pre-paid meter set up in my house and that they have all necessay permission from the court. I contacted them yesterday (03-02-2015)saying that it is not right from their part to take such drastic step as they themselves had contributed to debt creation as they were not sending me bills regularly. I also told them that i do not want pre-paid meter system and that I am ready for instalment pay of all debts. They then said that I didn't keep my word to pay the£200 agreed on 21st and that I am late and have made delayed payments even before. I protested that I am still paying £200 every month and that I do not use energy worth this amount each month, meaning I am making an effort to pay back the debts as much as I can. But they wouldn't listen to any of these. The lady I was talking told me that the plan to fix the pre-paid system is in place and so nothing can be done now. I told them that that is not fair and I do not want it and will not allow and that I will take legal course of action . She then discussed the matter with someone else and came back and told me that it can be taken out if I pay upfront all the dues (that means I should pay £538.24 yesterday at around 7.45pm) I said It is impossible to do that but i am ready pay as it was agreed upon. But she refused that saying that has been withdrawn as i didn't honour the understanding to pay £200 on 21st January. i then asked her how could she tell me that if I pay all the debts now it could be withdrawn while a few minutes before that she said the system is inplace to and fixed and cannot do anything now. She , however, didn't give any reasonable answer.

I then asked to speak to her manager and she tried and couldn't find anybody at that time which was almost 7.55pm but she took all contact details told me that someone (manager) would contact me between 12-14 hrs today (Wednesday). i waited till 3pm but nobody contacted me. Today evening around 7.15 i called them up again and enquired about the promised communication arrangement. The lady who took my message, certain Linda or Debra, I think apologised and put me through to a line manager. We talke time but in short he told me they pre-paid sytem is fixed and it would stay and will not be changed. I told him Iwill seek legal aid to find fiarness and justice and that they also have contributed to this situation and that they now blame me that I am only at fault. He told me to go ahead if that is what I want.

Now I don't understand well when they say that it is fixed as pre-paid. I do not see anything fixed on my meter in my house. My au-pair who looks after my child told me that two men had come on Tuesday and said that they are coming to fix something here. tomorrow (Wednesday) or later in the week. I didn't see anybody today (Wednesday and I was in house most of the day except goind out few minutes to collect my son from the local school.

My question here is how can I prevent pre-paid sytem being set up if it is about to be set-up as i do not want it. I am not able to pay the whole money at one go but willing to pay in staggered fashion.

Don't I have any right to show to the court that though I had not paid all that money I was paying them as much as I could and I am also willing all debts in a time bound manner in future. After all I myself suggested to Npower in the first place (in August) that I will be paying £200 every month till I clear all debts. What i want is that I am still ready and willing to pay all debts reduced amount though, (not £200 every month but more than the average of every month, my monthly usage is around £100).

I am sorry but I am not sure I can give you good news.
Come what may, there is a debt. Whoever is to blame matters not really. They didn't send you bills but then, in fairness, you knew you were not receiving any and didn't chase it up I presume. Either way, the money is due.
Sometimes you can persuade them not to seek a warrant by paying a large amount sufficient to deter them. Clearly the amount that is being offered is not acceptable to them.
They do have to give you notice of a hearing warrant. You can attend and make representations to the Court. I used to prosecute electricity warrants fairly regularly and the Court will often give people time to pay but usually they are looking at time periods of six months to clear everything. If you are hoping to achieve that then you need to keep paying in the meantime. It gets easier to convince a court that you will pay if you have been doing so already.
They will not just turn up. They need to get a warrant allowing entry from the Magistrates unless, of course, you agree to it.
Sorry if that is bad news but I can only give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything ?
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