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indebted

Utility Companies

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Good morning HPC-ers :)

I'm hoping you can help me with a quick bit of advice please!

Does anyone know how far back utility companies can go with their bills? My cousin is having a running battle with her gas, elec and water company over this matter. They have failed to send bills to her - in one case for 2 years! No chasing has been done by these companies until now despite meter readings being submitted on time etc. (can't imagine that the local council would be so lax if it were for council tax <_< )

The legal bits I've uncovered seem to conflict with each other (I thought utility companies could not go back further than 1 year for bill/payments??).

Cheers!

Indebted

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Good morning HPC-ers :)

I'm hoping you can help me with a quick bit of advice please!

Does anyone know how far back utility companies can go with their bills? My cousin is having a running battle with her gas, elec and water company over this matter. They have failed to send bills to her - in one case for 2 years! No chasing has been done by these companies until now despite meter readings being submitted on time etc. (can't imagine that the local council would be so lax if it were for council tax <_< )

The legal bits I've uncovered seem to conflict with each other (I thought utility companies could not go back further than 1 year for bill/payments??).

Cheers!

Indebted

I'm pretty sure that 2 years is about the limit. Any more than that and you can tell them where to go.

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Not sure 100% about residential customers but I think it's 1 or 2 years but for business I believe they can go back 7 years.

A lot of the billing data the companies have is a complete crock (I know coz i've worked for them).

If you haven't been billed for 2 years the chances are you never will (unless they upgrade systems and go through some data cleansing process).

I've heard stories of new build houses where the contractors have never bothered passing the meter details onto the electric companies and so they don't exist on their systems and you'll never get a bill.

A guy I worked with who had a new build spent several years chasing a bill and eventually gave up. After about 6 years he moved house having never paid a penny for the leccy in this time. Sweet !

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Good morning HPC-ers :)

I'm hoping you can help me with a quick bit of advice please!

Does anyone know how far back utility companies can go with their bills? My cousin is having a running battle with her gas, elec and water company over this matter. They have failed to send bills to her - in one case for 2 years! No chasing has been done by these companies until now despite meter readings being submitted on time etc. (can't imagine that the local council would be so lax if it were for council tax <_< )

The legal bits I've uncovered seem to conflict with each other (I thought utility companies could not go back further than 1 year for bill/payments??).

Cheers!

Indebted

Generally for civil claims the statute limit is six years after the error was discovered (this is not the same as the error). There may be specific limits on utility companies enacted by parliament.

Failing that you could ask Cleggy to include it in his "Terrific Reform Bill".

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Failing that you could ask Cleggy to include it in his "Terrific Reform Bill".

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Not sure 100% about residential customers but I think it's 1 or 2 years but for business I believe they can go back 7 years.

A lot of the billing data the companies have is a complete crock (I know coz i've worked for them).

If you haven't been billed for 2 years the chances are you never will (unless they upgrade systems and go through some data cleansing process).

I've heard stories of new build houses where the contractors have never bothered passing the meter details onto the electric companies and so they don't exist on their systems and you'll never get a bill.

A guy I worked with who had a new build spent several years chasing a bill and eventually gave up. After about 6 years he moved house having never paid a penny for the leccy in this time. Sweet !

I concur with this, any time you have Change Of Tenancy it causes no end of problem, especially when there has been de-energisation of the meter or a change from half-hourly metering to non-half-hourly, etc.

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A guy I worked with who had a new build spent several years chasing a bill and eventually gave up. After about 6 years he moved house having never paid a penny for the leccy in this time. Sweet !

Happened to me, with gas only. Moved in 2001, and I kept chasing Transco to tell me who was supplying our flat, but no joy. After 3 months of letters and calls I thought, sod it, I'll wait for a bill to turn up. It never came. :rolleyes:

Free gas for 5 years - toasty - and the thing was, I wasn't the first owner, the flats were converted in 1997! The new owner is probably still getting free gas.

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Thanks for the replies guys!

Luckily my cousin has kept records of the meter readings and the prices for gas & elec at the time! She has money put away for the costs too. I'm just staggered that the companies weren't more on the ball with issing the bills!

Does anyone know if the "1 year back for bills only" also applies to the water companies too?

Cheers!

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The problem with utilities and their retrospective bills, due to incompetent meter reading and billing, is that they've got you over a barrel as they can easily get magistrates to rubber stamp cutting off your supply. This is a benefit they retain from their nationalised days and I don't actually think private companies should be able to deny supply providing you are paying for current usage going forward.

These retrospective claims could then just be dealt with through the small claims court if the two sides can't reach a mutually satisfactory agreement beforehand.

I'm pretty sure that almost all the utilities are balance sheet insolvent when the mountains of plainly uncollectible debts are removed.

Edit to add: Might be a potential grey area if you've been paying something and supplying meter readings. Might be possible to argue that's acknowledging the debt's existence. To take advantage of be no longer pursued for debts once statute barred there has to be no acknowledgement of the debt by the debtor.

In the last recession loads of people were being pursued for mortgage arrears after being repossessed and the sale not covering the debt. They then dropped of the radar, electoral role etc,, for six years until they could no longer be pursued.

The theory goes that the Tories, who they held responsible for the recession, benefited in the '92 election as this group couldn't vote without popping up on the electoral role radar. By the '97 election they could no longer be pursued for the arrears so they went back on the electoral role and punished the Tories.

Have to say this could have been propagated by Kinnock apologists to explain their dismal '92 election performance.

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I find these utility companies just seem to be a law unto themselves! Can't believe how disorganised they are when it comes to issuing bills!

With regards to the water company, I know that they can't disconnect because of non-payment and as one of the bills relates to waste water I'm pretty sure they won't be round to block up her sewer! Then again, some idiot might just have that idea!!! :lol:

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The problem with utilities and their retrospective bills, due to incompetent meter reading and billing, is that they've got you over a barrel as they can easily get magistrates to rubber stamp cutting off your supply. This is a benefit they retain from their nationalised days and I don't actually think private companies should be able to deny supply providing you are paying for current usage going forward.

These retrospective claims could then just be dealt with through the small claims court if the two sides can't reach a mutually satisfactory agreement beforehand.

I'm pretty sure that almost all the utilities are balance sheet insolvent when the mountains of plainly uncollectible debts are removed.

Edit to add: Might be a potential grey area if you've been paying something and supplying meter readings. Might be possible to argue that's acknowledging the debt's existence. To take advantage of be no longer pursued for debts once statute barred there has to be no acknowledgement of the debt by the debtor.

In the last recession loads of people were being pursued for mortgage arrears after being repossessed and the sale not covering the debt. They then dropped of the radar, electoral role etc,, for six years until they could no longer be pursued.

The theory goes that the Tories, who they held responsible for the recession, benefited in the '92 election as this group couldn't vote without popping up on the electoral role radar. By the '97 election they could no longer be pursued for the arrears so they went back on the electoral role and punished the Tories.

Have to say this could have been propagated by Kinnock apologists to explain their dismal '92 election performance.

The limit on mortgage debt is twelve years - so that theory's blown out of the water. Any other gems you feel compelled to share?

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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