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Npower want £1000 from me for something I haven't done

(46 Posts)
nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:15:35

I moved into this house in July 2004 and the electric meter fitted was a pre payment card meter which was fine as i'd been on one already in my old property. Npower just sent me a new card and that was that. From then until April 2007 I put at least £10 a week on the meter, sometimes it would be two lots of £5 but it was still always a total of £10 a week.

In March I rang Npower about getting the meter switched back to a nrmal credit meter as I was sick of not being able to find a machin that worked to top up the card. They agreed and set a date for the meter to be changed.

On that day a bloke from them came out, knocked my door and said there was a problem and he couldn't change it, and that someone would be in touch. I thought no more about it until later that same day 2 blokes appear on the doorstep and start quizzing me as to how long I have lived her and then inform me that the meter has been tampered with, and so I haven't been paying what I should for my electric.

I immediatly said that I had never tampered with the machine, and wouldn't even know how to, but they said everyone says that. I said well surley i wouldn't invite you out to change the meter if i'd tampered with it.

They took pictures of the machine and said they had to take it away as evidence, and they would fit another pre payment meter and that they weren't allowed to give me a credit meter now under these circumstances. They gave me a number to ring to dsicuss it with Npower.

I rang Npower and explained the situation and the girl I spoke to checked my account and said that I had clearly kept the machine topped up since I had moved in and not to worry about it, and I heard nothing else. Npower also then agreed to change my meter to a credit meter.

Today I have recieved a letter from Npower stating that when they visited my property on 20/04/07 they found positive interference to metering equiptment and has a result had to replac e/repair the meter. As a result of the positive interference of equiptment they have decided to closley moniter my account and if they metering equiptment is interferred with again they will cut of my supply.

They have decided that I have to pay £460.59 for the cost of repairing/replacing the equiptment and £682.66 for unrecorded units of electricity they estimate I used between 21/06/05 and 20/04/07 (that date makes no sense to me).

I have rung them today and basically the guy I need to speak to isn't in until tommorow afternoon, but the girl I spoke to said tat they have no record of me ever paying any electric at all and when I said, I had never tampered with the machine, she said 'well they all say that'.

So basically they want over £1000 for something I didn't do to their machine and electric that I wasn't even aware I was using.

What do I do ??

sparklygothkat Mon 10-Sep-07 17:17:53

shock oh shit Nutty!! I remember this. I would go to CAB and ask for help.

Dropdeadfred Mon 10-Sep-07 17:18:07

Ask them to look at the accounts of the people who lived there previously and see if they paid anything? If not ou could point the finger towards them...

Nbg Mon 10-Sep-07 17:18:43

Ring them back and play holy fuck with them angry

What bastards.

So in effect they are calling you a liar.
Tell them you wont pay the £1000 for what they asking but you'd be happy to pay it to a solicitor for taking them to court for slander.

coppertop Mon 10-Sep-07 17:19:25

Put it all in writing, keep a copy yourself and send by recorded delivery. If they still don't respond to your questions then contact Energywatch and ask them to intervene.

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:21:35

I can't ring CAB until Thursday, but will defo ring them.

Their attitude seems to be that the machine was tampered with, I live here and thats that, that is all the proof they need.

Prime suspect really though aren't I, single mum on benefits, living on a council estate, must be guilty.

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:22:25

I did previously tell them to ring my HA and ask them exactly what the people who lived here before were like. They were evicted for christs sake, doesn't that tell them anything.

KD73 Mon 10-Sep-07 17:23:24

Where is the meter inside or outside?

What evidence is their to support their allegations? Google "he who asserts must prove" there is a latin name for it (sorry can't remember that bit} but if they are alleging you are responsible where is their proof?

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Mon 10-Sep-07 17:24:46

oh shock i remembered when they first came would they have evidence that you did put money on at the begining but now it has gone missing hmm sounds fishy!

not advice though sorry!

sparklygothkat Mon 10-Sep-07 17:25:24

I can't believe they are doing this to you, where is their prove??

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:26:34

The meter is outside in a cupboard that can be opened by anyone as it is broken and has been since I moved in.

I think the reason they are saying that I have never paid anything is because she was probably checking the credit account that I have now, which as yet doesn't have any payments on it, as it's new. My pre payment account must of been a totally different account.

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:27:17

They have no proof basically, but at the same time I can't prove I didn't do it.

coppertop Mon 10-Sep-07 17:29:07

According to this site the company has to have proof that you did it. It also advises going to the CAB.

Good luck.

coppertop Mon 10-Sep-07 17:30:24

The bit about meter-tampering is about halfway down.

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:31:49

Do you mean this bit

'The electricity supplier may disconnect your electricity supply by removing the meter if it has sufficient evidence that you have tampered with your meter.To prevent disconnection, you must convince the electricity supplier you did not tamper with the meter, and took proper care of the meter.'

Thing is, how do I convince them I didn't do it ?? I have already told them, and they obviously don't believe me.

coppertop Mon 10-Sep-07 17:34:08

You're innocent until proven guilty. They have to prove you did it. Saying "Well she must've done" isn't enough - especially as the meter is outside, and wasn't checked by them in the gap between the last person leaving and you moving in.

sparklygothkat Mon 10-Sep-07 17:34:18

bbut they said they could see that you were putting in £10 a week (which I also used to put into a prepayment meter) If you can get that prove you can prove that you didn't tamper with it, because you wouldn't put £40 a month into something if you knew that you could get it for free

bubblagirl Mon 10-Sep-07 17:36:03

you could call energy watch they help deal with disputes over electricity they helpewd us with ours although not same circumstance but they really did help though no company likes to be threatened with energy watch worth a try

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:37:38

Apparently they said that I wouldn't have got the electricity for free just cheaper.

The meter has been read whilst i've lived here by the way, and non of the meter readers ever noticed the wire hmm

I knew the wire was there, but I thought it was meant to be there. It was red wire coming out and going back in to an electrical machine, why the f**k would I a) know it shouldn't be there, and b) mess with it.

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:38:36

Oh and according to their calculations, aswell as the £10 a week I was putting on the machine, I should have been putting an additional £68 a month on it, so over £100 a month for electric ? I don't think so.

sparklygothkat Mon 10-Sep-07 17:39:46

mmmm hmm £100 a month!!??? The most I ever put in was £60 a month in winter, and that was a 3/4 bed house

nutcracker Mon 10-Sep-07 17:41:15

Exactly, they are nuts.

I just cannot believe this is hapening. I want to go and live on a dessert island and be left alone for the rest of my life.

LIZS Mon 10-Sep-07 17:45:50

The onus of proof must be on them, surely . If they failed to check the meter when you moved in then they can't possibly know if/when it was interferred with. Is it Ofgem who deal with complaints ? Definitely speak to CAB first. Might be worth establishing what others pay on average a week for similar size house, appliances etc, to establish whether £10 a week is reasonable usage. If so it may be hard for them to justify an extra £7 per week as "unrecorded".

coppertop Mon 10-Sep-07 17:45:52

£100 a month???? shock No way!

LIZS Mon 10-Sep-07 17:47:20

where does the £68 come from? By their "unrecorded" figures I got £31 a month

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