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Revenue protection charge

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  • Revenue protection charge

    Hello,

    My story is a bit lengthy and hopefully someone here can give me some advice. I'm really desperate at this point.

    I have moved to new flat in December 2020, before I always lived in all bills included flats so it was my first where I had to take responsibility over my bills. I've called up my energy supplier for all electric flat with prepayment meter an I received new key for the meter and welcome pack. I quickly realised how much I'm paying for electricity, it was coming from £4-5 a day for one bedroom. I raised it first to my landlord which I have emails about it, then I called the Utility Warehouse to ask about the rates, why my usage is so high, if I'm not paying off someone's debt on the meter (as someone told me that could be the case). They confirmed everything is alright and perhaps I might want to consider swapping to the smart meter for better rates, therefore cheaper prices. I arranged first visit of their engineer which came and said he is unable to install the meter because of the unsafe installation in the building. Then I got the call couple days later asking if I'm still considering this smart meter and if I want them to send an engineer to me to investigate what was the issue. I agreed to that as I wanted to pay less. I started receiving letter from company called Haste Ltd stating that they tried to get in (without ever calling me to arrange visit, they were coming when I was at work). Eventually 2nd or 3rd letter was stating they will apply for a warrant to enter the property. I got spooked so I called them and they asked when I can be home so they can come. I took a day off and engineer came. He said all he has to do is unplug the meter, take it apart and put it back to see if they can install smart meter. He came after few minutes saying I can ring Utility Warehouse to install smart meter. I did so and scheduled visit of 3rd engineer. Meanwhile few days after visit of the engineer from Haste Ltd I received a letter stating that my meter's seal was broken and meter was tampered. They added £1000 to my bill and want me to pay it. I tried resolving with them explaining everything, they won't listen, they want the picture of the meter dated before I moved in, showing that meter was in that condition before I moved in. They are in process of producing deadlock letter so I can go to ombudsman but I've heard they are often in favour of utilities companies. I have for my defence: emails between me and landlord where I complain about high electricity costs, I have some of the receipts, but I also requested top-up history (for period 16 December to 30 May it's £595 for 1 bedroom flat, heating only in the room I was currently sitting) and I have bank statements that can back up that it was me paying kon that dates and these amounts. I have logical argument that I myself requested them to investigate it and change my meters, so if I would be the one tampering it, I wouldn't have done that.

    Have anyone been in similar situation and came out winning? I'm really so sad and anxious that I need to pay £1000 and my credit history will be damaged because of some ridiculous charge that has nothing to do with me...
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Lisciasty

    Firstly thing, try not to worry. When the Haste Engineer was at your property, did he say or suggest that the meter had been tampered with? (did you notice anything suspect about the meter after you moved in?). So the first time you were aware of the allegation was when you received the letter is that correct?

    I don't know what Haste's policy is when their engineers carry out work, but with modern technology readily available, i.e. smartphones, I would expect a before and after picture of the meter, especially as the engineer will be taking the seal off to take the meter apart. The way things have 'unfolded' i.e.threaten with a warrant etc, then the allegation of tampering sounds suspect (on the part of Haste).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by echat11 View Post
      Hi Lisciasty

      Firstly thing, try not to worry. When the Haste Engineer was at your property, did he say or suggest that the meter had been tampered with? (did you notice anything suspect about the meter after you moved in?). So the first time you were aware of the allegation was when you received the letter is that correct?

      I don't know what Haste's policy is when their engineers carry out work, but with modern technology readily available, i.e. smartphones, I would expect a before and after picture of the meter, especially as the engineer will be taking the seal off to take the meter apart. The way things have 'unfolded' i.e.threaten with a warrant etc, then the allegation of tampering sounds suspect (on the part of Haste).
      They never said that they suspected anything. They said they were unable to install smart meter because of safety issues of the installation at the property. I then contacted my landlord which she can confirm on paper and I should have WhatsApp messages that I raised it and asked her to investigate what's the safety issues to solve it so I can have my smart meter fitted. Then out of the blue they started calling to send engineer which I was happy about. They just didn't say why he is really coming and as later on the phone they told me they purposely didn't tell me because there was ongoing investigation from their side. I have a lot of evidence that I wasn't purposely tampering it, even if it was, I even found an email that day before I moved in I have asked about this Meyer to be changed because I got the keys day before I moved in and I've seen there was 0.80p charge overnight when nobody was at the flat yet.
      ​​​​

      ​​

      Comment


      • #4
        So they used a 'cover story' to gain entrance to the property. If they are saying 'there was ongoing investigation from their side', does the investigation pre-date the date you moved in?

        I would send via email to both Haste Ltd and Utility Warehouse a Subject Access Request (check their website for their Data Protection Department), they have 30 days to respond -

        https://legalbeagles.info/library/gu...ccess-request/

        Continue to seek the 'Deadlock' letter from Utility Warehouse, make sure all your communication is in writing (email).

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm grateful for your help. I have requested photos of all their visits from engineers and I'm wondering if its possible to ask for recordings of my calls. I want to gather as much evidence as possible for it so when it goes to ombudsman they can have clear vision that even if the meter was tampered in any way, I was only trying to resolve the issue, not cause it. Then the price for my electricity was £595 for not even 6 months, I appreciate it were the months when I had heating on, but as mentioned I only was heating one room at the time and their own quote for me when I was changing for smart meter was around £400 per WHOLE YEAR. I'll keep you updated on what's going on. I think this huge misunderstanding will cause me a lot of wasted time, energy and stress and I don't wish anyone being accused of something they haven't done. Can't imagine how people feel when they accuse them of more serious crimes...


          ​​​​
          ​​​

          Comment


          • #6
            When you send the Subject Access Request emails, ask for 'recordings' for specific dates, if you know the date, if unknown for the period that is relevant. Get as much info as possible to make your case.

            Comment


            • #7
              Below is what they wrote in their dead lock letter. Would you advise to wait for them to send me pictures before I go ombudsman or should I do it as soon as possible to resolve it quickly. They will damage my credit score and I wanted to take car on finance so it would be best for me if I resolve it quickly.

              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


              Iím sorry that you're unhappy with charges on your June bill for the revenue protection. This was due to when our engineer went to replace your traditional prepayment meter with a smart credit meter on 09/02/2021 found a loop in place and sent requests for an investigation to be done by our revenue protection unit. The investigation found that the meter seals were missing from your meter.
              The evidence of the missing meter seals show your electricity meter had been tampered with and led us billing you £855.94 for the revenue protection charge and unrecorded usage of 679 KWH at 17.81 pence per KWH plus daily standing charges 28.00 pence for 54 days = £142.85.

              Our engineer changed your meter after the investigation on the 16/06/2021 to a smart meter.

              Revenue Protection Unit is involved in detecting and dealing with meter tampering and the theft of gas and electricity. Both the energy supplier and Distribution Networks have licence conditions requiring them to prevent and detect energy theft.

              We have offered to spread the revenue protection and unrecorded usage charge off £998.79 over a period up to 60 months as an affordable payment plan, however you've declined this.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Lisciasty

                You can do both at the same time, ask them (Utility Warehouse) to send you the pictures and start the Complaint with the Ombudsman. In your Complaint to the Ombudsman state that you are awaiting photographic evidence from Utility Warehouse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi, I know some time have passed, but I wanted to give you an update. I made complaint with ombudsman and when the time for Utility Warehouse to upload their evidence has come, they contacted me directly and said during their investigation they agree that charges were unjustified and they will remove them. I told them I wasted so much time and energy on this I'm not happy anyway so they gave me £75 credit. Not too much but better than nothing. Few weeks later I received their subject access request data they had on me, zero evidence, all conversations with me where they can clearly hear what it the issue. I might need to bring case back because I still have problem with them when I want to switch supplier it says my meter is still prepayment even though its been smart meter for the past 3 months. Thank you for your help!
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the update.

                    You need to complain to them first, as it's a different issue, get a final response, then take the matter to the Services Ombudsman.

                    Comment

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