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Southern Electric - great to do business with as long as you have your husband's permission

(50 Posts)
TCOB Wed 18-Sep-13 10:50:04

Totally raging so at great risk of being incoherent but will do my best...just had a conversation with Southern Electric in which, despite being the only person who has ever had dealings with them, despite them never having had contact with my DH EVER, they have defaulted by account into the name Mr TCOB and will not speak to me without my husband's permission. I am furious. Furious. And I know this is standard practice. But I am still left knowing that in 2013 I have to get my husband's permission before I am spoken to, NOT because he is the account holder (which I would totally understand) but because by mistake or default they have conveyed power to him because he is a man. He's baffled and appalled too. I know this is not earth-shattering but it is insidious and has infuriated me.

HazleNutt Wed 25-Sep-13 12:41:18

Not only in the UK - I booked a holiday through a big German travel company (TUI). I booked, I paid, with my credit card. DH and DS were put down as additional passengers. Just got the vouchers, addressed to Mr John Smith, c/o Hazle Nutt and thanking Mr Smith for his business.

Of course if it would have been a surprise trip then that would be ruined. But more importantly, how difficult exactly is it to send the documents to the person who actually ordered them??

alexpolismum Sat 21-Sep-13 19:15:20

I have had this sort of thing happen to me too.

I went to the bank, where I happen to have a joint account with my husband, to open a separate account in my own name for a specific purpose. I went in by myself, I filled in the paperwork, they even photocopied MY passport.

And then of course when I received the first paperwork in the post I saw they had automatically opened it as a joint account, with DH as the leading name. I closed that account and the other joint account and took my business elsewhere. (Actually, I took it to the Bank of Cyprus, which has since turned out not to have been my best decision ever!)

mistlethrush Fri 20-Sep-13 16:05:01

Banisters - funny - at school we were told (by the very proper head mistress) that we should only hold the banister if we were injured or otherwise unable to move up and downstairs safely without holding on grin

A friend at work was told by a double glazing company that they couldn't come and give her (the main wage earner and person that would be choosing, ordering and paying for the new windows) a quote for windows unless her husband was there too.

eurochick Fri 20-Sep-13 16:00:19

I've had that as well grimble. I booked a holiday for us and paid for it using a credit card in my name. The hotel and transfer vouchers were in a sealed envelope addressed to him.

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:59:50

British Gas did this to me too. DH has nada to do with any household bills, insurance, mortgage, etc.
I called them to complain, they did nothing, so I switched to E-on who always address me correctly.

grimbletart Fri 20-Sep-13 15:57:51

It's ubiquitous. DH and recently went away for a few days. I searched the web. I found the hotel. I booked it using my card for the deposit in my name. When we checked in, sure enough, they passed over the booking form in Mr Grimbletart's name. I am so old and so used to it now that I think "whatever".

TCOB Fri 20-Sep-13 15:57:13

Ecotricity sounds like a promising contender... smile

TCOB Fri 20-Sep-13 15:55:33

Sorry for not posting earlier - just catching up now. Just to be clear: I set up the account and had made payments so it should have been set up in my name. My issue is that not only did they ignore this and set it up in my husband's 'name' by which I mean Mr TCOB (they didn't have his first name as they had never dealt with him) but they then proceeded to go down the humiliating route of calling for his permission to talk to me. I sadly therefore have NOT had a good experience with them. Eye-opening to see the other probs others have had - and deeply depressing.

EeyoreIsh Fri 20-Sep-13 15:04:52

lloydstsb insurance changed it so that our contents insurance was in DH's name. Despite me setting it up with them and it coming out of my (not joint) account that's with lloyds.

cheeky buggers. I took my insurance business elsewhere.

On the plus side, ecotricity have never done this to me. But then they are the best electricity suppliers there are (thinks back to the gift hamper of chocolate I got when moving to them).

Kamchatka Fri 20-Sep-13 14:57:35

I don't blame you Lovecat.

I have just remembered that I opened a bank account last year, in my name with just me as account holder, only my details on the application. We have a joint account with the same bank so they hold data on both of us, but still, I was incensed when DH got a call on his mobile asking me to call the bank to clear up a tiny problem with MY account.

DH knew about my bank account. No secrets. BUT I made sure to tell them that if I had been opening the account to prepare to flee an abusive marriage I would have been fucked. All they could do was apologise but there was no explanation offered.

I took it at face value at the time but I can see now it's part of a much wider picture. There are no words really, this is beneath contempt and a HUGE issue, isn't it? How the FUCK can we fight this?

MikeLitoris Fri 20-Sep-13 13:45:06

As an aside, SSE are hugely twonky to work for. They have staircase monitors and staff are given a warning if they don't hold the bannisters when walking between floors (I have a few friends who work there).

Talk about treating your staff like children. It would give me the rage.

This is just the start of it lots more interesting safety policies that sse have, although they no longer do the stair monitors (camera instead)

basil no offence taken, I'm not sure this is the best place to post with this name grin

Lovecat Fri 20-Sep-13 13:34:17

Really, Kamchatka. I got very shouty blush.

Like you say, can you imagine if you were fleeing DV/abuse and your husband just rang and got things changed into his name?

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Fri 20-Sep-13 11:50:47

This happens to us all the time.

I've lost count of the companies but at the very least Southern Electric, British Gas, Virgin Media, Severn Trent, Bank of Scotland. They've all defaulted to my DP's name despite the fact that I've set up the accounts, I'm the I lay one who ever deals with them and they've got my signature on contracts etc.

Curiously, one of the ones who doesn't do this is the car dealership we bought our car from. They always write to me and call me when the service is due despite the fact that DP always takes it in. I wonder if they think I'm more likely to succumb to their attempts to upsell oil in the service...

Kamchatka Fri 20-Sep-13 11:44:16

Fucking hell, this thread is an education. Really, Lovecat?
Good god, how does this sort of shit complicate the lives of women trying to escape from abusive relationships? (For example, and never mind that it just SHOULD NOT HAPPEN in the first place.)

mysterymeg Fri 20-Sep-13 11:42:12

mysterymeg Fri 20-Sep-13 11:39:49

Very similar thing happened to me recently on my home insurance - when I called to change my name on marriage they deleted me off the system! I started a thread - now to try doing a link! (Not done one before, bear with me).

BasilBabyEater Fri 20-Sep-13 10:35:21

Oh the name didn't cause offence, just suspicion.

Sorry Mike, had just been reading a thread with one of the usual suspects on it and was over-sensitised, apologies.

What's this business with bannisters? What sort of bannisters, you mean up and down the stairs? Are the warnings on loudspeakers? grin

tethersend Fri 20-Sep-13 10:16:50

"They have staircase monitors and staff are given a warning if they don't hold the bannisters when walking between floors"


That is hilarious grin

kim147 Fri 20-Sep-13 10:14:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meglet Fri 20-Sep-13 09:52:53

As an aside, SSE are hugely twonky to work for. They have staircase monitors and staff are given a warning if they don't hold the bannisters when walking between floors (I have a few friends who work there).

Talk about treating your staff like children. It would give me the rage.

3birthdaybunnies Fri 20-Sep-13 09:47:21

Get a doctorate, even better get one for dh too - that really confuses them! Try tweeting them, it is outrageous customer (dis) service.

tethersend Fri 20-Sep-13 09:39:56

Sorry little, I was asking the OP- I know she said that all dealings had been with her, but I wondered whose name the account was in.

littleomar Fri 20-Sep-13 09:38:41

not sure if that was to me but account in both names (but I don't think they asked - just sort and account number)

tethersend Fri 20-Sep-13 09:35:11

Whose name was the account in?

And why all the hmms to Mike, Basil? Are you new?

littleomar Fri 20-Sep-13 09:30:49

I have had many, many dealings with SSE over the last year. They were completely, utterly incompetent, which is why it took a year to actually get the account properly set up.


despite all the problems, everyone I spoke to was unfailingly nice and I never had this problem (account in my name, which isn't the same as husband's name, and payments coming out of joint account).

just sayin.

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