Those readers who believe that death will finally deliver them from the attentions of utility companies are advised not to pop their clogs in Ireland, or at least not in County Kerry. That's the lesson to be learned from a letter allegedly dispatched by Electric Ireland to "The Occupant, Killiney Graveyard, Castlegregory, …
Here in France it made national TV news when a letter with a fine was sent by the authorities addressed to someone's grave in a cemetery. Apparently being dead wasn't an acceptable excuse for not returning his income / tax declaration form on time. Some mindless bureaucrat had actually found out the guy had died and where he was buried to send him the letter.
This is one of the reasons I never do direct debit with any energy company. They are fast to claim the money and slow to return. We pay it manually each time and just accept the small penalty (or punishment) for not doing DD. On more than one occasion we found they would have over charged us by well over £75 over the amount due and we corrected them each time.
Never trust any unpredictable amount on direct debit.
Wonga is the wrong comparator.
Your electricity company probably gives you a "prompt payment discount" if you pay your bill within the due date. So the interest rate they charge is calculable as (prompt payment discount %) per (period between invoice date and due date).
Charge them interest back at the same rate. That's fair.
"Typical NPower, took 4months to get a refund on an overpaid direct debit"
Take it up with your bank, not npower, if the amount is incorrect then they'll refund the money immediately and then you can take it up with npower. I've done this on numerous occasions.
From the guarantee;
If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society
If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when the organisation asks you to
Luxury. In Spain the electric companies are judge, jury and executioner when deciding if meters have been fiddled with. Over the past year or so there's been a load of people paying 1,500€ and above in fines, but there's no way they can prove anything because the company walk off with the meter and then start charging your bank account for the amount that they think you have used, which apparently is worked out at 6 hours a day every day for a year using the maximum power that your supply can give.
The big suppliers are not taking deregulation very well.
The day that happens to us is the day we use solar because at €1500 solar panels will quickly pay for themselves in no time. Energy companies unless they can ban self powering houses need to play it safe in that if they become to expensive, people will search for alternatives.
Granted the UK is not the best place for solar power efficiency considering the weather nearer the autumn and winter months but even so they can produce quite a bit of usable power if you can store it.
Right now, with us correcting our energy company each month, we find it sort of works out cost effective(ish) to just continue paying for the power and using it carefully.
For Spain, just use solar since you always have good sun even in winter (except for the nut-job that thinks she owns the sun)
And here in South Australia, the solar power take-up is so large that the grid are trying to get though a surcharge on every house with solar panels because 'they are costing the grid more in servicing them' (i.e. They aren't giving us enough money, even though they are also supplying us with free power - yes, a lot of the retailers here won't give you a cent for any solar-generated power fed back into the grid).
If a retailer in South Australia isn't giving you at least 5.3c/kWh for solar energy you feed back into the grid, they're breaking the law.
You do know that in Spain, if someone takes money from your account and you disagree with it, within two weeks you can go to the bank and have the payment returned to your account and the company blocked.
I paid my wife's car insurance by bank transfer a couple of years ago, this year at renewal time because they had my account details, although they had no DD permission they took the renewal fee from my account.
I think the clerk in my local bank thought I was going to have a ragin' fit, he was very helpful, explained everything to me and sorted it on the spot.
With regard to other Utilities; a farmer friend of mine in the early '90s was getting fed up with arguing with the water company who were insisting that his farmhouse in the middle of his farm should be billed seperately as domestic and not agricultural. This, in spite of all and sundry working on the farm would use the kitchen and even shower there on occasion.
He started to collect all the rainwater from roofs and even parts of the yards, the water company then took him to court for stealing water from their catchment area.
Happily they lost after opposing my mate who had the Farmers Union behind him as well as an EU commisioner.
@Dan 55 That's because most people in Spain have fiddled with the meter since that's pretty much the only way tog get a usable power feed so 80% of the time they will be correct.
I think the only place I lived in Spain with a decent power feed was when I was staying in Torrelodones in a home built by someone who knew General Franco ..
"Some mindless bureaucrat had actually found out the guy had died and where he was buried to send him the letter."
Not totally mindless then. The American IRS wanted to dig up a body for an interview:
> "You've got to be Irish. As far as I can tell we're pretty much the only people that can look at people, names & architecture and tell their religion!"
'guess the religion of the next person to come in the door'
Is/was quite a popular pub game in the North of Ireland.
"Shall I say that the voice was deep; hollow; gelatinous; remote; unearthly; inhuman; disembodied? What shall I say? It was the end of my experience, and is the end of my story. I heard it, and knew no more. Heard it as I sat petrified in that unknown cemetery in the hollow, amidst the crumbling stones and the falling tombs, the rank vegetation and the miasmal vapours. Heard it well up from the innermost depths of that damnable open sepulchre as I watched amorphous, necrophagous shadows dance beneath an accursed waning moon. And this is what it said:
“YOU FOOL, YOU ARE NOW DISCONNECTED!”
It has been many years since Soap learned how to correctly write a letter, as I recall it if you address the recipient "Dear Sir/Madam" then don't you sign off, "Yours faithfully"? Or is that not a thing anymore?
Too many, or perhaps you mistyped. The convention is to use Yours faithfully with an impersonal address and Yours sincerely with a personal address but you are probably correct that it isn't much of a thing any more for most people.
Reporter Dan Grimmer is puzzled by the letter from the City Council's licensing department which was sent to the closed public convenience at Wall Lane, Magdalen Street, about a licensing application. Picture: Denise Bradley
They should talk to British Gas who claim the ability to contact the dead.
Some six months after my father died I received a letter addressed to him from British Gas. In it they said that as he had failed to keep a pre arranged appointment to inspect the gas meter they were now going to seek a warrant to force entry to his house.
I phoned British Gas and asked how and when they had contacted my father. The person said by phone and gave a date about a month previously. "Really?" I replied. "Could you tell me what number you called him on?". At this point the person asked why I wanted to know so I answered "Because he died six months ago, I never got to say good bye and it would be really nice to talk to him one last time".
Cue stunned silence followed by desperate search for excuses.