I really need help on this one, I need to switch and I don't see how

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
13 replies 1.2K views
Tom_SmythyTom_Smythy Forumite
7 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Hi guys,

I know that some of you are not going to agree with what I'm going to ask, but I came here because my financial situation isn't easy.

A bit of history: I've been living with my wife on this 1-bedroom apartment in South London for about a couple of months. We have never registered on the current energy provider, npower. We've been told that the previous tenant was using a dual-tariff.
The reason why we haven't paid our bill is because my wife got her boss to lose her contract with the client, so it was up to me to support everything because she lost all income. We got married in March so we spent the entire credit card limit on the honeymoon and house stuff. Things should be better for June since she recently got a full time job, but I am not in a position to pay the past bills without borrowing from friends, which would be very humiliating for me. Not to mention that I have no idea how much did we spend, and definitely run the risk of being overcharged by npower because of the previous tenant.

A while ago I got a letter from npower addressed to the previous tenant and I opened it. It had the energy bill from mid-November to mid-February. I panicked when I saw a bill of over 200£. I didn't have the money then, and wouldn't be having it anytime soon, so I just hoped things would improve somehow. Sometime later another one arrived, thanking him for paying monthly and stating that the bill would be 76£ monthly. That didn't make me happy either. It was just far too much money to pay monthly. I doubt he was paying it either.
I never opened another letter for him. I have about two or three unopened, which I plan to return to sender. I called today to Southern Energy to switch to them so that I try to run away from the debt that both the previous tenant should have and the one I have. The problem is, they say I have to call npower and register with them so that I can be migrated to Southern Energy, about 28 days later.

My questions to you all are:
1- Can I not call npower at all?
1.1- If I have to, will I only pay the bill of June, since I'd say I just moved in? Would I be able to get away with it?
2- If they deny my migration to Southern because of the previous bills or any other reason, what can I do to go ahead with the migration?

3- What is the best way for me to do the migration to Southern? Uswitch? Call them directly? Other?
4- Can I still get the prices capped for dual fuel until 2011 with Southern?
5- Is there something else I should do/know? What is your advice?


Apologies for these kinds of questions, but this is the first time I am in charge of setting up and paying the bills and it wasn't the best of starts. I don't even know where the meters are in the flat...
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Replies

  • frugalmacdugalfrugalmacdugal Forumite
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    Hi,
    Tom_Smythy wrote: »
    I know that some of you are not going to agree with what I'm going to ask,

    correct, you've got to pay for what you get, looks like you think that if you

    switch you can avoid paying for electricity that you've already used.

    Simple reply is that you'll not be able to switch until you are clear with your

    existing supplier, so you will need to get that sorted out first.

    Find your meter and take a reading, then get in touch with your supplier and

    tell them when you moved in they will have to estimate your usage, as they

    will not have an accurate meter reading from your date of entry, so could be

    more or less than what you have used.

    You will not be liable for previous occupiers bill, he should've notified supplier

    that he was leaving and provided a meter reading, have a look at that bill

    again and see if it was an actual reading or just an estimate.
    Y'all take care now.
    happy0207.gif

  • SwanJonSwanJon Forumite
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    If you try to leave, npower will object and stop the transfer as the debt is over 28 days old.
    If you say that you have only just moved in you would be asking the previous tenant to pay for your use (is this fair?) - this will come out and they will eventually ask you to prove when you moved in and they'll catch you.
    You would need to clear the balance to transfer, either in one go, or over a period of time. If you don't sort it out, they'll come round and fit a prepayment meter eventually.
    Once you have sorted out npower & the balance, switch with a cashback site.
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    You are making the biggest mistake that many people with money problems make .. they try to hide from their problem. At some point you have to face up to it and the main people that can be of help are those you owe the money to. I am not going to advise as to what to do but a trip to CAB may be worthwhile since they may be able to offer debt counselling as well.

    NPower may come to an arrangement that allows you to pay off the debt over a period of time, they may even insist on a prepayment meter being fitted, they may not allow you to move supplier at this point, they may even be able to offer you their 'First step' social tariff (which might reduce costs) .. however, despite people complaining about the big bad companies, always remember it is not in anybodies interest to put you in a position were you can not afford to live. You do however have to face up to your creditors.

    Ivan
    Ivan has left the building ... but reserves the right of reply!
    Use PM to keep in touch
  • Thank you for your input guys, it is really appreciated. I will think about what you said right now, and make a move.

    Am I still on time to get the price fix until 2011 with Southern? Can I get it from a cashback website? Which one is best?
  • Right, I called Southern Electric and they said that they are not giving any price fixing at the moment, but I asked the lady on the phone if they were likely to have any price fix deal in the near future, and she chuckled a "yeah". So there you have it.

    I'm now feeling inclined to postpone my call to npower until Southern turns the offer public.
  • frugalmacdugalfrugalmacdugal Forumite
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    Hi, again,

    as I said in my first reply, there is no way you will be allowed to switch

    supplier untill you are clear, paid up, with your supplier now, even though you

    have not signed up with them.

    You may think that you can run and hide, but, sorry no escape, pay your

    bills.

    Makes me kinda wonder now, do you pay council tax, or are you just gonna

    move about abit and leave a bundle of debt behind you, do you get a lot of

    stuff from club books, and then move on?

    Seem like a bit of a fly man to me.
    Y'all take care now.
    happy0207.gif

  • Hi, again,

    as I said in my first reply, there is no way you will be allowed to switch

    supplier untill you are clear, paid up, with your supplier now, even though you

    have not signed up with them.

    You may think that you can run and hide, but, sorry no escape, pay your

    bills.

    Makes me kinda wonder now, do you pay council tax, or are you just gonna

    move about abit and leave a bundle of debt behind you, do you get a lot of

    stuff from club books, and then move on?

    Seem like a bit of a fly man to me.

    So far I have paid for everything, except the energy bill. Everything is going to sort itself out, I'm positive.
  • PlushchrisPlushchris Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Tom_Smythy wrote: »
    So far I have paid for everything, except the energy bill. Everything is going to sort itself out, I'm positive.

    Well I'm sure Npower will be happy you have everything other than the energy bill paid and happily let you switch away then. Npower are nice like that! :rolleyes:
    Missing Tesco R&R since Feb '07 :A & now a "Tesco veteran" apparently! ;)
  • Emmsie21Emmsie21 Forumite
    93 Posts
    I am sorry that you are struggling with your finances and the price of electric and gas is obviously not helping the situation. However, I have to agree with the other posts. You should have notified the supplier when you moved in and then you could have set up some form of payment arrangement and thi situation need never have arisen. It will be a case of having to pay for what you have used. If not, they will be able to get a warrant (even if they do not know you are at the property) and they will be able to fit a prepayment meter(s) and apply the debt to it. The best thing you can do is call Npower and advise them of the situation and see what options they can give you to help. At the moment you are only guessing how much you will need to pay, it may not be as bad as you think.
  • Emmsie21 wrote: »
    I am sorry that you are struggling with your finances and the price of electric and gas is obviously not helping the situation. However, I have to agree with the other posts. You should have notified the supplier when you moved in and then you could have set up some form of payment arrangement and thi situation need never have arisen. It will be a case of having to pay for what you have used. If not, they will be able to get a warrant (even if they do not know you are at the property) and they will be able to fit a prepayment meter(s) and apply the debt to it. The best thing you can do is call Npower and advise them of the situation and see what options they can give you to help. At the moment you are only guessing how much you will need to pay, it may not be as bad as you think.

    I'm actually thinking about calling them and try to pay a quarterly bill on 30th June or later. In this case I'll have nothing to worry about because both me and my wife will have a full-time salary. You see guys, what happened to us was really something of really bad luck, but we're going to overcome it.

    Thank you all.
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