Hassled over debt I’d already paid
Four months ago I changed my gas and electricity supplier away from Extra Energy. I paid the final £83.52 bill and Extra Energy cashed the cheque two weeks later. Since then I have received daily phone calls requesting payment.
I was able to quote the cheque number and amount but was not believed. For three weeks I was hassled relentlessly by Extra Energy. After that I began receiving phone calls from a debt collection agency. I then asked my building society to trace the payment that was registered on my online account. In due course it sent me a letter indicating that the bill had indeed been paid. KEN BLACKWELL, LANCS
The building society confirmed your £83.52 had been correctly sent to Extra Energy’s bank, together with other payments for Extra Energy amounting to £21,068 in all. It gave the account number the money had gone into.
You sent a copy of this to Extra Energy thinking that was the last you would hear of it. Instead the calls from the debt collection agent continued unabated.
When the debt collection agency denied any knowledge of the letter from the building society, you sent it a copy by recorded delivery. Even that did not do the trick.
You are 77 and recovering from surgery and treatment for cancer. The added stress has not been good for you. Further to my involvement, Extra Energy admitted the final bill payment had not been applied to your account when it should have been. It now confirms there is no debt on the account. It promised to give you £75, which seemed on the mean side given that, clearly, Extra Energy had failed to prioritise this. However, some three weeks later, this payment was still not with you. As you said, when we discussed this latest development, this failure to keep a promise is a step too far. I called Extra Energy again and it upped the offer to an underwhelming £100, which has been paid. now 79 and have been drawing benefits since I was 65. PD, BERKSHIRE
I left several messages on the number you gave in your letter. When someone finally answered, it turned out no one there had heard of you. So we have not been able to discuss this. I also wrote you a note that was not replied to.
Aon Hewitt states that the benefits for two services were originally combined. After that, individual policies were set up for each. Inadvertently though, at some point later, another policy was constructed, which is the one at issue.
You disputed there had been this duplication but, I understand, had been unable to prove your point.
Evidence could include copies of correspondence from the trustee or the administrator discussing what scheme and period of service this extra pension relates to. This could be in the form of a joining statement, an annual benefit statement or a statement of benefits on leaving the scheme.
The sum in question is a £1,796 annuity you have been receiving all this time and a £6,095 lump sum payment made at the beginning of the period.
Aon Hewitt had been asking that all the money be paid back. However, this overlooked the time provisions which, with my involvement, it then accepted this meant you only need to refund the amounts you received over the past six years.
There remained questions, though, about what exactly had happened. Now I learn that you have come to a confidential arrangement with the trustees that I believe is favourable to you.