npower

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[User Deleted]'s complaint against npower

[User Deleted]

23/05/2015

Npower pushed me into a financial blackhole

Complaint against npower

I had an outstanding arrears of £500 with NPower which I had been struggling to repay due to unemployment. I had discussed this with Npower customer service and collection team on numerous occasions. I had been following a debt management plan with Stepchange but still struggled to maintain a payment arrangement of £20/month with NPower due to other outstanding debts which resulted in a monthly deficit of £550 after all of my out goings. Even after discussing this with NPower they still found it necessary to instruct Wilkin Chapman LLP to issue court proceedings if I was unable to pay the full sum within 14 days. Again I explained my situation with Wilkin Chapman and produced a full income and expenditure document showing my deficit. There was no question of a doubt that they were fully aware of my circumstances. In February 2015 I made a token payment of £50 leaving a remaining total of £450 and was bullied into making another payment arrangement of £20/Month as they said their client (NPower) would not accept anything lower than this and would follow through with court proceedings if this was not paid. In March 2015 I advised Wilkin Chapman that I would not be able to meet my payment arrangement for that month due to family bereavement and the fact that my invoices from work had not been paid. This they now claim they have no reference of. Wilkin Chapman followed through with Court proceedings in April; and as soon I received the court documents I called and made an offer to pay something to avoid court but they refused payment and advised that in order to stop court action I would have to pay a total of £538. I was unable to pay this so believed my only option was to return the an admission form back to them. I both emailed and posted the forms back to Wilkin Chapman on Friday 1st May and have receipt of both being delivered and signed for on Tuesday 5th May. On Saturday 15th May I received a CCJ (Default due to non response) from the Court asking for an immediate payment of £668.65 forthwith. Wilkin Chapman had failed to forward my admission form to the courts which resulted in this default. Wilkin Chapman have explained that their client (Npower) had advised them not to return the documents to the court and quoted the following: "You will note that we requested Judgment forthwith due to the minus disposable income showing on the form. The Determination of Means form is based on the figures you provided on the Claim Form and assessed by the court. As advised yesterday by my colleague, the Judgment has been obtained electronically although our request was also sent manually with the attached documentation. In any event, Judgment forthwith would have been obtained in order to secure the Claim for our client." Trisha William Senior Paralegal Wilkin Chapman LLP The Court, The Citizen Advise Bureau and StepChange have all stated that the solicitors should have sent my admission form back to the court and allowed the court to come to a decision if one could not be made by the claimant. Wilkin Chapman LLP have now asked me to forward a sum of £693.21 to be paid immediately. Although the original debt was for £450, with the interest added brought it to £538 and court costs total £130 bringing the forthwith sum to £668. NPower customer service team have advised that NPower have sided with their solicitors behaviour and accept that they may have acted illegitimately forcing me into further financial hardship. NPower have refused to accept a sum of £668.65 to clear my debt (my next door neighbours have kindly rallied together to help me out of this debt) and to add insult to injury ended the phone call with "if you fail to repay the amount of £693.21 we will proceed with collection measures." I am a single parent who has struggled financially for a few years, due to non payment from work and outstanding debts from university. I have never refused to pay towards my debts or disputed that I owe any of them. I have always tried to keep on top of repayments and do my best to communicate when I sincerely have to choose between eating and debts. I have merely found it difficult to keep up with a few repayments but have contributed larger sums than agreed towards the repayments agreements when I have been able to. I am furious that NPower have treated me this way, I have not committed a crime I was just unable to meet a payment arrangement for 32 days! For the sake of £450 NPower have made my life a misery, I am taking antidepressants and after months of years of being jobless and looking for work that pays on time, I am now having to take time away from my new job due to the stress this is causing me. I am happy to clear the debt of £450 but I really can not accept any additional costs. I have been more than compliant with NPower and Wilkin Chapman without the same being offered in return. I would also like to bring this to the attention of the CEO, Mr Paul Massara. These underhand tactics and measures that NPower and their solicitors are taking to force people like myself and possibly people more worse off into financial ruin is absolutely callous and ruthless and it needs to be highlighted and stopped immediately.

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