Harassment from Southern Water

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I moved from the UK to Sweden in Feb with my husband and I'm being pursued by Southern water. Only, Southern Water have taken it upon themselves to harass my elderly grandparents at their address with letters addressed to me and my husband. I have no idea how they got their address seeing as I never lived there nor did I use it, or give it out, for anything.

I've emailed the CAB and there is a Trading Standards investigation ongoing, I believe. I initiated this after the first credit company harassed my grandparents with almost daily letters. I also wasn't informed my information was being passed onto creditors, which I believe to be illegal but I can't get a straight answer anywhere for that? I told the creditors I have moved to Sweden, forgetting to include my husband, thinking it would be obvious we moved together. They emailed me back, didn't apologise and said they'd returned the account to Southern.

Today, my grandparents received a new letter from a new credit company working for Southern and I foresee more harassment in their future. Cheekily, southern have removed my name from the bill and only included my husband's name. I've emailed the new credit company telling them that we both moved to Sweden, told them of the previous complaints, told them to stop harassing my grandparents and to contact me at the correct address that I gave to Southern.

I'm hoping this new credit company will return the account like the company before did, but surely Southern will just keep giving the account to different creditors, meaning endless hassle for my grandparents? My grandparents are so frightened they're going to get bailiffs at their home, even though I've reassured them there has to be a court order, so they're living in fear and that is making me irate.

What can I do?
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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,041 Forumite
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    What can I do?


    Pay what you owe?
  • Double_V
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    You moved without paying ?
  • GingerBob_3
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    Regarding mail to your grandparents' address, contact the Information Commissioner's Office. Regardless of any debt, the water company is out of order sending letters to their address. Your grandparents could send them back marked as "Not known at this address". if they keep coming, it could be regarded as harassment and you may need to involve a solicitor.
  • cuddlyclementine
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    Cardew wrote: »
    Pay what you owe?
    Double_V wrote: »
    You moved without paying ?

    I don't owe them a thing. Before I moved I called every company I had a direct debit for, including Southern Water, and asked if I had an outstanding balance. All the companies said no, including Southern, so I cancelled my direct debits and left. Five months later they started harassing my grandparents for no good reason.

    I didn't include this, thinking it would be obvious I paid everything before I left the country??
    GingerBob wrote: »
    Regarding mail to your grandparents' address, contact the Information Commissioner's Office. Regardless of any debt, the water company is out of order sending letters to their address. Your grandparents could send them back marked as "Not known at this address". if they keep coming, it could be regarded as harassment and you may need to involve a solicitor.

    Thank you for your advice. I'm starting the Information Commissioners Office thing now and will tell them, in the future, to return the letters with not known at this address on. I'm not sure how I would going about seeing a solicitor.
  • geoffken
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    Why not ring Southern water and ask what it is all about.
    ICO will not investigate until S water procedures are exhausted so YOU get it sorthed and not leave it to grandparents>
    Do you have a final balance bill from S water????
  • cuddlyclementine
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    geoffken wrote: »
    Why not ring Southern water and ask what it is all about.
    ICO will not investigate until S water procedures are exhausted so YOU get it sorthed and not leave it to grandparents>
    Do you have a final balance bill from S water????

    I have called them, several times, and when I insist that I have paid the line gets all quiet and one person even hung up on me. It costs me an absolute fortune to call from Sweden, this is their mistake, why should I pay to call them?

    I don't have a final bill. I called them a few days before I left to make sure everything was paid in full, was told I was so the final bill would have been sent to my old flat. If I'd of known they were going to be like this I would've kept better records...
  • geoffken
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    How much per minute.
    I doubt if it is a FORTUNE!!!
    Try a land line or even a letter in writing not email with proof of delivery if YOU are certain you are right.
    IF you are you will be compensated for your costs.
  • GingerBob_3
    GingerBob_3 Posts: 3,659 Forumite
    edited 24 September 2015 at 11:32AM
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    geoffken wrote: »
    Why not ring Southern water and ask what it is all about.
    ICO will not investigate until S water procedures are exhausted so YOU get it sorthed and not leave it to grandparents>
    Do you have a final balance bill from S water????


    They should investigate the issue of letters being maliciously sent to the wrong address, regardless of any complaint to SW.


    OP - tell SW to desist immediately from sending letters to your grandparents' address. If they don't, then contact the ICO.
  • geoffken
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    And I suppose S water just guessed about the address of grandparents???!!!
    They must have had some method of linking OP and grandparents address other than Mystic Meg
  • cuddlyclementine
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    geoffken wrote: »
    How much per minute.
    I doubt if it is a FORTUNE!!!
    Try a land line or even a letter in writing not email with proof of delivery if YOU are certain you are right.
    IF you are you will be compensated for your costs.

    I called as soon as the lines opened and had £10 credit on my phone. It was gone within 5 minutes, before I even got to talk to somebody. I have also tried the land line but it is just as expensive. I'm currently living with my in-laws and I don't want to take the !!!!. I've also tried Skype, which is where I've had the most success as it's cheaper but the people I've talked to at Southern either stop talking or hang up on me.

    I'm not sure how to go about doing proof of delivery here, I don't speak the language well and I don't even know where to get that done in the UK, let alone bloody Sweden!
    GingerBob wrote: »
    They should investigate the issue of letters being maliciously sent to the wrong address, regardless of any complaint to SW.

    OP - tell SW to desist immediately from sending letters to your grandparents' address. If they don't, then contact the ICO.

    I already have sent them several letters, and called as stated above, but they've done nothing. So I'm in the process of writing an email to the ICO. Hopefully this will sort things out.
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