How not to bill customers

I recently decided to move my Gas and Electricity supplies to one provider rather than 2 – estimated savings of about �200.

I was with NPower for my electricity. I’ve been paying by Direct Debit for years.

Anyway we got the final bill from them… for just over �55. At the bottom was the usual:

If you do not query this bill by 20/12/2006 it will be paid by Direct Debit on 27/12/2006″

So I happily did nothing.

On Friday (22/12/2006) I get a letter from NPower dated 19/12/2006.

Outstanding amount: �55.

If you have recently paid this you may disregard this letter

Errr Excuse Me??? Outstanding amount – on a Direct Debit that isn’t actually going to be taken until 27/12/? Letter send out the day before the last day I’m allowed to query the bill… I DONT think so.

So I phone their customer services… I’m told that you haven’t paid your last bill
I point out that I pay by Direct Debit and read out the details off the bill and that the DD doesn’t go out until AFTER Christmas. I’m told There are no Direct Debit details for your account so you can’t pay by Direct Debit

I read out the bill AGAIN – the BILL says I pay by Direct Debit, I’ve paid by Direct Debit for years so why am I being sent letters telling me that I’ve not paid.. especially when the DD isn’t due yet.

I’m told once again You don’t pay by Direct Debit as you don’t have any Direct Debit details for your account

So I ask – who deleted them then?

I’m then told Oh, you’ve left us – moved to a different supplier.. so that is why the Direct Debit details are gone

I point out that although I’ve left them I haven’t paid the last bill, that last bill was to be paid by DD on 27/12. So obviously they dont actually want my money.

I’m told but you have to pay – its money you owe us.

I said that I wanted to pay, the computer systems wanted me to pay and I was happy to pay but as they had deleted my details the company obviously didn’t want me to pay… person on other end of phone was not happy.. told me I had to pay.

So I’m in two minds – they can’t cut me off and I suspect that deleting my payment details before they’ve taken the money could legally be argued as them not wanting my money…

I might send them a cheque (second class post of course) in a couple of days.

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