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debt collectors

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Well I live in a house share with 4 other people and all the bills are in 1 persons name apart from the phone bill which is in my name. Anyway on saturday I got a letter from debt collectors saying that british gas had appointed them to collect and outstanding bill ammount. As far as I know the bills are up to date and aren't even in my name so don't know why I got this letter. Any suggestions on what to do?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i would ring british gas or the debt collecting agency..not sure which one first but i'm sure if you ring one and it's the wrong one then they'll point you in the right direction.

    hope you get it sorted. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    find the most recent bill, then phone british gas, you may find whoever was supposed to be paying them has been hording them and not paying!

    I thought they'd just cut you off and send letters before calling the debt collectors...?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I phoned the debt collectors agents and they said they didn't know why it was in my name.

    I then phoned British gas and was put through to 4 people who couldn't help me as their system was down and phoned again and their system is down again.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't worry about letters from "debt collection", I've got enough of those to wallpaper my house. You'll find that the "debt collector" is nothing more than British Gas plc with a different letterhead and a nasty-sounding name. They're about as dangerous as a knife made out of marshmallow, and because they are about as dangerous as a knife made out of marshmallow they shout really loudly so that people don't laugh at them.

    They've probably messed up, but DO NOT RING THEM. If you ring them they have your telephone number, and will use it to harrass you. Write to them saying that you do not have any bills in your name, and that you do not owe them a penny. They can't deny that you told them if you sent a letter.

    As for the collective house, you are not the billholder, you have been paying money to them, and you are not liable.

    As for disconnections, they threaten it straight away, and whilst they have certain rights to do that, it is only ever as a last resort.

    Edited to add: don't ring them again. Your calls will not be recorded. They company will lie in court and say you never rang them. Debt companies- private ones or ones part of the utility company- are liars and can never be trusted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We haven't been threaten to be disconnected though. Will my credit rating or anything not be affected then if we don't pay this so called amount?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your "credit rating" isn't a fixed thing. A default would be noted by the major credit agencies, and would make you more likely to fail a credit check run through these agencies, but it wouldn't prevent you getting credit.

    If the bill is not in your name then you do not owe money. It is likely that this is an administrative error on the part of British Gas, and you should WRITE to them explaining your position as the presence of your letter cannot be denied, but telephone calls are frequently denied. You could ring to find out quickly if it is an administrative error, but do ensure any agreement is written.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    what about recording your telephone calls too, is that a good ideA?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you can- most people can't.

    DCAs will always lie if it makes them more money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Either ring or write or email them again (hopefully system will be up) and keep it simple, you've got this letter and you don't get gas from them, so have no idea what they are on about, can they take your name off their system as they will find you don't but gas from them, thank you very much, good bye.

    Chase down the person who pays the bills though and make sure everything is up to date just for your peace of mind.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They will try bully your money out of you, regardless of if the bill is in your name or not. Don't give in!

    They tryed it with me, when someone frauded in my name. :mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Would it not be easier to deny a letter than an email? I mean a letter can disappear, but a email will always be on the computer, so there should always be a record.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ~kaz~, I've just PM'ed you...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Would it not be easier to deny a letter than an email? I mean a letter can disappear, but a email will always be on the computer, so there should always be a record.

    Emails disappear too. I'd sent a letter by special delivery-they can't deny receiving it then :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe it's an owed bill from a previous address and they have tracked you down?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is my first place that I have lived in since moving out of home
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Take kermit's advice, because he's right. Try not to worry about it, if you KNOW you owe nothing then they can't do anything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would suggest gathering some facts... find the proof that the bills have been paid, bank statements, British Gas statements etc etc... sounds like at the moment you are not even sure what position you are in with regards to payments...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Emails disappear too. I'd sent a letter by special delivery-they can't deny receiving it then :thumb:

    According to the law a letter is deemed to have been received by the other party one day after being sent by first class post. Special/recorded delivery is not needed if you get a certificate of postage (which is free) from your post office- the postmaster just fills out a little form to say you posted the letter to x address on x day through his post office, and he takes the letter from you and posts it.

    If the OP is not on the bill then she does not owe the money, provided that a resident of the property is on the bill. If no resident of the property is on the bill then the OP may have a "deemed" contract, but it seems unlikely in this case if her flatmate set the account up. In any case, for there to be a "deemed" contract the supplier must clearly bill you.
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