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  • FIRST POST
    • HelloHello123
    • By HelloHello123 19th Apr 17, 3:08 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    HelloHello123
    Southern electric have sent me a bill from 3 years ago...out of the blue!
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 3:08 PM
    Southern electric have sent me a bill from 3 years ago...out of the blue! 19th Apr 17 at 3:08 PM
    Can I get some help/ advice please – SSE/ Southern electric have just chased me for a payment I was unaware was outstanding from over 3 years ago.

    A few weeks ago I received a letter out of the blue from Advantis (a debt collection agency) saying I owe £375 towards an energy bill for a property that I rented for 6 months over three years ago. This is the first I’ve heard about this and it seems strange that they have taken 3 years to get in touch with me about this. As it was such a long time ago I can’t remember what I paid at the time and what information I gave the estate agents after moving out. It seems really strange that they are suddenly chasing me for an old bill that I have heard nothing about until now – which makes me quite untrusting of how much they are saying I owe.

    They are also saying that I owe them a fee as they had to use an agency to find my current contact details, however I know I would have left the estate agents with a contact address after moving out of the property. I’ve been able to get the meter readings from the estate agents which match up with what I’ve got from SSE/Southern electric. Assumming SSE got these meter reading from the estate agents, shouldn’t they have also passed on my new address details so that they could contact me?

    Has anyone had any experience of this? Or can anyone pass on any advice?

    Many thanks in advance!
Page 1
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 19th Apr 17, 4:14 PM
    • 2,893 Posts
    • 1,468 Thanks
    dogshome
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:14 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:14 PM
    I'm afraid the advice is to never ever rely on a third party when dealing with an energy supplier, paticularly when it comes to meter readings.

    It's you who always becomes indebted to the supplier and have to pay the bill, the Estate Agent only cares about themselves, the Landlord and profit made

    I guess from your post that the EA said they would report your tenancy and Start Meter readings to SSE when you moved in, from which you assumed they would do in reverse when you moved out - Which is Problem No 1
    Unless you checked, you have no way of knowing if the start reading was correct - See No.2

    Problem 2
    When you moved out, responsibilty for paying the Utility Bills reverted to the Landlord/Let Agent until a new tenant moved in, so they were very interested in what your Final Meter Read was and would have quickly informed SSE.
    Though the Landlord/Let Agent also had your forwarding address, unless they wanted to make a claim on you for damage to the flat, they had no interest in it whatsoever as there was no profit to be made.
    Also there is the possibility of the Landlord/Let Agent 'adjusting' the Start Reading for the next tenant who they offer to sort out the Energy supplier and meter readings for.

    ALWAYS deal with Utility suppliers DIRECTLY and ALWAYS take your own meter readings

    There is a slightly bright side in that when searching for the new address of the ex.tenant of a property, the Letting Agency should be the first port of call, and yet SSE have spent 3 years and the services of a tracking agency searching for something they could have found in 24 hours.
    Put in a written Complaint about this, which will hopefully lose the additional charges
    • macman
    • By macman 19th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
    • 41,290 Posts
    • 16,954 Thanks
    macman
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
    /\ What he said. And check your credit report...
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
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