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Billed for a property I've never lived in

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MalachiConstantMalachiConstant Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Southern Water have recently tried billing me for a property in Southampton that I've never lived in (nor, indeed, ever lived in Southampton). They first billed me for this a year ago, and I explained to their customer services person that they had the wrong person and it was removed. It then appeared again on this year's bill. This time, they have placed the burden of proof on me to show that I have never lived there; Kafka would be proud of them. I initially consented and provided a copy of my tenancy agreement for the period in question. Now, not only do they say they don't have that, but are now demanding copies of my council tax bills going back 12 years to prove where I lived, although by their own admission that proves nothing as you could be responsible for more than one property as they stated when I gave them my previous addresses to show where they'd been billing me in the past. They say that they have to demand this information as they have a call on record from my grandson saying that I was responsible for this place - of course, I have no children and certainly no grandchildren.

Can I just tell them to get stuffed? It's a lot of palaver for me to procure and provide this information for an obvious error on their side, or am I somehow obligated to provide this? Surely the onus should be on them to prove that I did in fact live there, and that they should have signatures, bank records etc. on their end?

Thanks.

Replies

  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
    3.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    WRITE a letter to SW headed Complaint, setting out the history of these communications and point out that harassment is actionable in law, and that if there any further demands for information and/or payment you will escalate the matter to the Consumer Council for Water
    ( 12 years history ? - Any demand for back payment going back more then 6 years is Statute Barred, so as well as SW's hearsay evidence, they really are flying a kite legally )

  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    Welcome to the forum.
    As above, although it almost sounds like a wind-up. However are you sure this new bill hasn't come from a Debt Collection Agency(DCA) as it sound exactly like their tactics.
    Take the action suggested by dogshome above and check that a 'black mark' hasn't been put on your credit record.
  • wild666wild666 Forumite
    425 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    To check credit scores use clear score this will tell if any black mark is on your credit history from the company. 
    Someone please tell me what money is
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    45.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
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    With such a common name as Malachi Constant, it's easy to understand why they confused you with the one who lives in S'ton...
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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