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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I keep getting debt letters from Scottish Power. I have

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Hello, I keep getting debt letters from Scottish Power. I have explained that they have the wrong address but and they say they have changed the address but I am still getting letters.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In England (Harrow)
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have called them several times and spoken to different people.The supply address is a flat, the company name is ***** ***** agent but the address is ours
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The property used to belong to my late father-in-law but was sold by the agent I believe in 2018. The due date for the bill is 31st July 2019.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

It sounds like human error on their part. However, there is a solution and you can avail of the Ombudsman scheme here - which should resolve the dispute.

It is free to use and quicker than court action - you have to first make a complaint to the energy company, wait for their final response and then go to the Ombudsman. The initial complaints should take up to 8 weeks and the Ombudsman can take up to 16 weeks for a decision to be made.
In the meantime you should dispute the bill. They should not take any enforcement action for the duration of the complaint investigation.

You must now make a formal complaint and if that does not resolve the matter ask them for a "deadlock letter", which is a letter giving their final response.

The complaint to Scottish Power be made here: https://community.scottishpower.co.uk/t5/Complaints/ScottishPower-Complaints/ta-p/37

Once you have the deadlock letter the next step would be to escalate this to the Energy Ombudsman - they will investigate and liaise with the energy company which would hopefully result in a cancellation with no bill to pay. They can order the energy company to make a financial award for inconvenience if they have acted poorly.

Further, debt collectors are not bailiffs - they have no powers as such. They will simply try to collect the money their client thinks you owe. You can turn them away if you dispute the debt and they visit you - they can’t enter your home and take goods. They would report back to their client they were unsuccessful and it’s then up to their client whether to take matters further.

They will send a letter before action to you if their debt collection attempts fail - which is required under the pre action protocol to give you the chance to avoid court action. They usually give you 14 days to pay before they will take civil court action. I doubt they will do this until the outcome of the Ombudsman's decision is known and I believe the Ombudsman will uphold your complaint - which should resolve this for you.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi thanks, ***** ***** follow the steps you suggest and get back to you if I need further help. Much appreciated.

My pleasure, I am sure it will be resolved soon. Have a good day.
Jim

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