10:10 AM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago 20
Hello, I am being harassed by a debt collection company. They claim that electricity worth £882.60 was used at a house I let out as two flats, between 2013 to 2020, from a prepayment meter, and no payments were made to the meter.
I made the mistake of ringing them when a letter arrived at the house during a void, to ask what it was about. I fail to understand how a large bill £882.60 can be run up on a prepayment meter, and have put this to to the debt collection company. They say that meters don’t cut off when they run out of credit, at certain times.
Now, I have looked online and know at evenings and weekends, when it is hard to top up, meters can continue giving credit until the next day, BUT I thought that you needed to be in credit before these ‘friendly non-disconnection hours’ started.
I offered to help the debt collection company in any way I could, as they were asking for the tenants names, BUT I don’t believe I can just give them the names of all tenants who have been in both flats for nearly an eight-year period, Surely that contravenes GDPR on personal information? However, the debt collection company have been unable to tell me a tenant name, or even which flat.
This harassment started in early 2021, at that time they were pursuing the debt on behalf of Scottish Power. When I asked them to tell me a tenant name or even which flat, they said they would make inquiries and get back to me.
I received a letter at my own house a couple of months ago, to say they have now ‘bought’ the debt from Scottish Power and are again saying there is a debt of £882.60 owed, and as I have not told them who ran this up (?) they are attributing the debt to me. They claim they can do this as they assume I either owned the house when it was not tenanted or lived at the house myself. I did own the house for some time before this debt, it has always been tenanted in both flats, and I have never lived there.
They have supplied me with the meter number, and are asking me to inspect the meters in both flats to find out which flat ran up the debt. I am saying that it is their job. However, I have checked the photographs that we take between tenancies, of all electrics and meters, and although the purpose of these is not to show meter numbers, I don’t believe the meter number they give is in either flat. I am going to visit both tenants tomorrow to photograph specifically the meter numbers, and any previous ‘meter check’ labels that may be on them.
I believe that will prove that the CURRENT meters are not the one they are claiming, and probably a history of check labels back several years beyond their 2020 date. (Can I charge them for my considerable time and travel costs?)
This is not my debt, and to the best of my knowledge not any of my tenants’ debt, especially on prepayments meters. This is plain and simple harassment.
Does anyone have any ideas how to get these debt collection people off my back?