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Shell letters saying I owe money- never been with them or associated companies

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Hey,
I am in process of purchasing a property and I've been informed by the seller that for the last few months he has been receiving letters from Shell energy addressed "owner/occupier". They are saying over 400£ is owed however he has never been with Shell or their associated companies.
There is no name and they don't have the serial number for the meter. Furthermore the one meter is on pay as you go ( with swalec) so he can't be in debt anyway.
My concern is Shell is not being helpful when he has called them and apparently they won't confirm he doesn't have an account even though they cannot provide any basic information regarding it. Understandably my solicitor wants this bottomed out but it's been going on for a while and I'm eager to get into the property and at present were both stuck.

Any advice on what he and I can do.

Thanks 

Comments

  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    edited 19 January 2023 at 6:01PM
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    It's not relevant, and your conveyancer should know that. You don't inherit the debt, even if it's genuine. On occupation, you contact the existing provider and open a new account and give opening reads. Any existing debt is not then your concern.
    The letters don't say you owe money, they say that a former occupant allegedly owes money.
    It is possible to have debt on a PPM, but every bill should carry the s/n of the meter.
    Swalec ceased operating as a supplier many years ago, it was bought by SSE, so now under OVO.
    Check who is the registered supplier:
    https://www.energynetworks.org/customers/find-my-network-operator
    Make sure you register and request a new key or card on day one, as there may be debt on the meter that you will otherwise be paying off.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,505 Forumite
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    As above. Any letters that the current occupant is receiving are no business of yours. In fairness it sounds like they are no business of the current occupants either, and that this is likely to be some sort of error, but either way, it won't affect you.

    If once you are there, the letters continue to arrive, pop them back in the post to Shell with a note on the outside saying "sent in error - I have never been a Shell customer" if you don't feel comfortable simply popping them into the bin.  
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  • Emz_Meyers
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    Thanks all. I'm likely to go with a different supplier anyway and get the pay as you go changed over to meter. 
    I'm give my conveyancer an email tomorrow asking for progression.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,906 Forumite
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    edited 19 January 2023 at 6:28PM
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    Thanks all. I'm likely to go with a different supplier anyway and get the pay as you go changed over to meter. 
    I'm give my conveyancer an email tomorrow asking for progression.
    You need to register with the existing supplier before you can initiate a move to a different supplier, so make sure you follow the guidance above, register, set up an account and then you can change meter types or move supplier afterwards. There may also be a substantial wait to get a new meter fitted, unless it is a smart PAYG meter which they can switch over remotely. 
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    You still need to register with the existing supplier first before you switch, though there's no point in switching at present.
    Request a smart meter and then you can have it changed from PPM to credit mode remotely. Otherwise you'll be charged for the change.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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