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  • FIRST POST
    • dan_makaveli
    • By dan_makaveli 8th Sep 17, 11:06 AM
    • 4Posts
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    dan_makaveli
    Npower 3-year nightmare
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 17, 11:06 AM
    Npower 3-year nightmare 8th Sep 17 at 11:06 AM
    Hi all - I'm new to the community so thanks for having me and my problems :-)

    I have no idea how to keep this brief, so I'll just concentrate one a very loose overview and one key point for advice and keep it as brief as possible...

    In short, my Npower bills rose from around £60 per month to over £500 per month at the end of 2014. They withdrew over £1,000 form my personal account via this (unlawfully increased) DD in the calendar month of December 2014, therefore I cancelled the DD and this has been in effect since. I only discovered by chance as I would not check my bank balance if I knew my spending was 'ok' ... Anyway, after asking and researching, there was no explanation and no notable change in consumption. Over this time Dec 2014 - Present, I've had deadlocked complaints and unsuccessful attempts to deal with it through the Ombudsman and a trip to the Magistrates Court to put my case forward against a warrant for entry to the property.

    I showed up in court (Dec '16) fully suited and with a file full of documentation and evidence of the case and what I would call 'unsatisfactory' behaviour, explanation and attempts at resolution from the company. I remember on the day, there were representatives from the 3-4 major providers, covering 100s of cases and I was the ONLY person there to represent their individual case. I hadn't realised what a 'normal' process this seemed to be.

    Jumping ahead, the Magistrate honestly was not really interested in my 'soliloquies' on the matter and I was cut off on multiple occasions. In the end, we didn't seem to be getting anywhere but the Npower (Meterplus) representative basically said if I agreed to pay the amount of (just over ) £1,000 they would close my dual fuel account and allow me to move supplier with immediate effect.

    Ok, now this is the part which has absolutely bemused me. The Magistrate asked if I was agreeable and having made some rough prior estimates, £1,000 seemed like a fair amount, especially to enable me to put this stressful situation to bed N.B. They were originally asking for £3-4k I think. The closing remarks / ruling went along these lines ...

    Magistrate 'Ok Mr Makaveli, I'm giving you 7 days from now to make this payment in full.'

    Me 'Yes, that's fine.'

    Magistrate 'I must inform you that if you fail to make this payment, you will be in breach of my formal ruling and you will be arrested.'

    Me 'I understand and I will certainly fulfil my responsibility.'

    Magistrate 'However, this is also legally binding for the energy provider (to the Meterplus guy) Do you also accept this ruling?'

    Npower rep 'Yes, I understand and agree.'

    Okay, I was certainly taken aback by the threat of being arrested, but that was acceptable as I knew I would pay. Following the hearing, I fulfilled my obligation and made a phone call to Npower in order to see what I needed to do to move on, only to be told I couldn't as there was 'an outstanding balance of over £1000 on the account'!!

    Since them, I have again gone around in circles for 9-months. The court says they can do nothing, and an only suggest going to the Ombudsman (again) which I am loathed to do after prior experiences ... I've been told there was NO recording of the hearing, were NO court notes and I had to spend weeks calling and e-mailing just to get a written confirmation of what was agreed, based on the Clerk tracking down the Magistrate on the day ... I was questioning how I could be threatened with an arrest for not complying but Npower are allowed to make a complete U-Turn wit no consequence .... What is the point of a legally binding Magistrates hearing?!?!

    I'm completely at a loss with the whole thing and it has led to bouts of anxiety and depression, for the first time in my life. I can't count the amount of valuable hours I have wasted attempting to deal with this too. I am aware this is now quite a long post, but I have genuinely only scratched the surface.

    Just based on the situation around the court hearing alone, does anyone have any practical advice or similar experiences to share that may help??

    Yours hopefully

    Dan
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 8th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
    • 26,811 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    When I have been to the small claims court both myself(plaintiff) and the defendant have received a written verification of the Judge's judgement.

    I am no lawyer but I fail to understand how the judge could threaten you with arrest for a civil debt, but perhaps you need to check that on one of the forums dealing with legal proceedings.
    • dan_makaveli
    • By dan_makaveli 8th Sep 17, 9:06 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dan_makaveli
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:06 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:06 PM
    Thanks Cardew ... that's why I'm totally bemused ... It was said and re-iitterated that it was a legally binding decision ... but how can you do that and not keep a record?!?

    Hindsight is great, but I totally regret not recording the audio on my phone.

    I guess I'll look around the legal forums too and possibly re-post. I hope I can find it :-)
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 8th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • 26,811 Posts
    • 12,994 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    I think the possible answer lies in this statement of yours:

    I showed up in court (Dec '16) fully suited and with a file full of documentation and evidence of the case and what I would call 'unsatisfactory' behaviour, explanation and attempts at resolution from the company. I remember on the day, there were representatives from the 3-4 major providers, covering 100s of cases and I was the ONLY person there to represent their individual case. I hadn't realised what a 'normal' process this seemed to be.
    My first case was quite complex and against a big organisation. Likewise there was a huge number of cases before the court and they were 'dealt' with very quickly because they were 'cut and dried'.

    When my case came up the Judge clearly hadn't read my claim and when he realised it wasn't simple, he deferred the case to a later date. Then it was dealt with by the judge in private chambers and took about an hour, and he had clearly read my claim carefully.

    I wonder in your case, and the multiple cases on my first visit, if the judge or his staff even bothered to document the proceedings.

    On my second case, where the defendant didn't attend, but submitted written evidence, the Judge wrote out his Judgement 'longhand' and read it out to me. I got that in writing, and received a cheque from the 'absent' defendant quoting the judgement.
    • dan_makaveli
    • By dan_makaveli 8th Sep 17, 9:36 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dan_makaveli
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:36 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:36 PM
    That's interesting thanks ... I think part of the issue was that the specific reason for the hearing surround the granting of a 'warrant of entry' , though I had prepared more for a civil case actually. That said, the Magistrate did not simply say something along the lines of

    'This is not the time or correct context. I will decline the warrant of entry but you must make steps to get this sorted ASAP...'

    He said what I originally posted and that it was legally binding .. honestly, I totally thought .. 'finally, it's sorted.' just for the rug to be pulled again ...

    Also, I could not find any other topic / section in this forum that seemed relevant for the legal stuff, only the Citizens Advice area which has not been active for years by the looks of it ...
    • dan_makaveli
    • By dan_makaveli 19th Sep 17, 1:47 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dan_makaveli
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:47 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:47 PM
    Anyone else have any tips for me on this? They would be most welcome :-) ...
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