Monday, June 15, 2009

Impossible, I hear you say. Not so, says the cuckoo

You are never, ever going to believe this.
Our business electricity is on a monthly direct debit, and generally every few months someone comes to read the meter, and we get a corrected bill from Scottish Power ( SP).
Except I haven't seen a bill recently, so I phoned and said where was it.
" Your account was closed last October sir"
"Er, so why have you been taking £700 odd per month from our account?"
" Oh that won't be us sir, that's the people who took over your account ."
Now I know I'm getting old, but I also know I hadn't changed the supplier of electricity to our premises.
Some further investigation in " the database" was able to show that the account had been taken over by Scottish & Southern Electricity ( SSE) and a phone number was produced.
So I phoned them and they assured me that they could only speak to a Mr. Bloggs who was the account holder. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I managed to get out of them that Mr.Bloggs owed them £4000 for electricity up to June 4th, but all the readings ( including, it seems the starting point one) were estimates. I gave them the current reading, which threw the poor chap into paroxysms, as the bill would have been £40,000, not £4,000. I opined that it might be a good idea to get a technician out. Yes definitely - that'll take 3 weeks...Oh, and no, we've never had any money from Mr. Bloggs, or indeed you, sir. Er, and the initial reading was an estimate sir.
Now the one bit of information that I could link to anything is that we have a tenant within our buildings whose name is Bloggs.
So I phoned him.
Yes he knew SSE. Yes he had asked them for an account on a flat he owned in Johnstone. Yes he had used his office address as a contact address. And no, he hadn't heard from them since he had asked for it.
So I called SSE back and put all the above to them.
It would appear that somehow, Scottish Power, without any signature or indeed contact from anyone, had transferred away the account to SSE - who had then done nothing to actually service it. SP closed the account and kept taking the money.
So actually, if we get the money back from SP ( Bank says no problem), we could be quids in as SSE will be unable to prove we ever asked them for an account, or even issued us with a bill. Or even took a reading...
I'm quite looking forward to this.....