Identity Fraud ? Utility Company changed without authority.

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    Identity Fraud ? Utility Company changed without authority.

    Hi Guys,

    Been doing this landlord thing a few decades now and I thought I would mention this as it feels a little sinister. Not seen it before.
    Our utilities on an HMO were changed to another provider by the referencing company our agent uses.

    The agent referenced a potential tenant through Vouch. They have an "agreement" with British Gas that they can notify when a property is on void (as an agent for the landord I presume) and British Gas stop the bills. 1. This makes no real sense for anyone. 2. We aren't with British Gas so either they or vouch transferred the accounts there.

    Paying by DD means we haven't check the bank in a while and now I received a "red letter" threatening court action and disconnection. But 3. Addressed tot he Agent not us.

    So if I hadn't of picked up the letter at the property we'd have been cut off and a agent pursued for non payment of the bills. All instigated by a third party who have no reason get involved.

    Our provider didn't check or tell us we had been changed Vouch are now saying it will be free (guilty of something) and changed back in 6-8 weeks.

    Has anyone heard of such a thing before?
    I'd be interested in any viewpoints on where we stand, it feels like ID fraud at worst and extremely sloppy procedures at best.


    Thanks

    #2
    Try telling Vouch that unless they cover the cost of the Energy used and switch it back to the original tariff and provider you were with before (unlikely but worth asking due to rising energy prices) you'll report them to Action Fraud and issue them a LBA for court proceedings.

    I'd assume they were on a 'tidy' finders fee from BG. Sounds like their incompetent at best if everything you've said is the case. Have they said why the changed?

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds like a cock up to me, someone somewhere's pressed a wrong button and transferred the account without meaning to.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        ah British Gas involved again.

        I once approached a broker to ask about best tariffs for a commercial property.

        Before any utility company would discuss our usage with the broker, I had to sign my agreement - no problem so far.

        However - call it my stupidity but I prefer the term conned - the brokers 20-point "agreement to discuss the account", there was under point 9 or 10 my agreement for them to transfer my energy account too.

        I then found myself on a 3-year fix with British Gas, paying a higher tariff than I could have sourced myself.

        Of course, the broker claimed I had given my permission for them to move my account - and BG also claimed I had done the same.

        I was stuck with British Gas for 3 years and also had LOTS of issues with them during that time.

        I will NEVER use British Gas again !!!
        My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

        Comment


          #5
          Never say never. I said the same long ago about BG but my utility provider went bust last week (I was £350 in credit) and I've had my account moved to ... British Gas!
          Assume I know nothing.

          Comment


            #6
            [QUOTE=red_boots2;n1170734]Try telling Vouch that unless they cover the cost of the Energy used and switch it back to the original tariff and provider you were with before (unlikely but worth asking due to rising energy prices) you'll report them to Action Fraud and issue them a LBA for court proceedings.

            Vouch have said they will cover bills and convert back..no argument. I'm not really looking for more just worried that it was done and how to stop it.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              Sounds like a cock up to me, someone somewhere's pressed a wrong button and transferred the account without meaning to.
              I agree but seems too easy. Imagine if I wanted to cause some pain and I transferred your accounts into a third party ID and you get cut off / lose any deals you have. ...just saying

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by landlord-man View Post
                ah British Gas involved again

                I will NEVER use British Gas again !!!
                , my only problem with BG is they accepted an instruction without any authority from an unrelated third party.


                Comment


                  #9
                  Tell the energy ombudsman, they're there to prevent this type of fraud.
                  Another BG hater here, if they were the last supplier left I'd use candles instead. They got elderly FIL to sign up to them, he had no idea he was changing supplier. Ombudsman sorted them out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hooper View Post
                    Never say never. I said the same long ago about BG but my utility provider went bust last week (I was £350 in credit) and I've had my account moved to ... British Gas!
                    Mine went yesterday (Avro) and its likely BG will be appointed to take over.

                    I'm actively looking to see where else I can switch to right now.

                    Problem is Avro have £800+ of my money that I don't really want to lose by "messing the system" lol.

                    From reading Ofgem updates it could be were moved to BG on a tariff agreed between Ofgem and BG (not me) and I may not even know about it for a month or two.

                    The whole thing stinks.
                    My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm being moved to British Gas, which isn't my favourite company.
                      But right now, I think it's easiest just to live with it because anyone cheaper than BG is likely to go bust before they do.

                      I suspect the days of good energy deals have gone completely for the next few years.
                      No one has the kind of cash reserves that can hedge them from offering fixed price deals when the cost to buy the energy in goes through the roof.
                      The ceiling on tariffs adjusts automatically, so the limit on what energy companies can charge is going to increase every six months for a while.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Update, Ombudsman says its just one of those things. People move house and ring up for a supply so Utility company accepts the instruction.
                        That said , sharp practice by Vouch, probably on a kick back so complain to both companies and if they don't respond then the ombudsman will get involved.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Anyone can ring up a Utility Company and get a supply put in their name without an Identity Check.
                          I had a Commercial Building where the Water Supply was on a Sub-Meter which I read and sent them a bill.
                          The tenant was behind with their water payments and rang up the Water Supplier saying that she had bought the place and would they put the bill in her name which they did.
                          I was living overseas and they would not put the water bill back in my name as they would not have an overseas address as a billing address. (although they had accepted it when I notified them I had moved overseas)
                          A few years later I returned to the UK and had the Bill put back in my name.
                          They decided that as the supply was mine all along, they refunded all the payments the tenant had made (who had gone into liquidation) back to her and sent me a bill for the entire time I was overseas, which was over £3000.
                          I complained to Ofwat who cancelled the charge.
                          Apparently if someone rings up a Utility Company and asks for the bill to be put in their name , they accept it without finding out if its correct.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Also had bad BG experience in the past, trying to sue me as freeholder for a defaulting leaseholder but I do think they've improved.
                            40 years as a landlord tells me they are the only ones who can provide effective boiler cover and now at reasonable rates too (with service included).
                            As Igloo have now gone bust I may now find out what their gas burns like as well. ....

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I avoid BG. Got moved to Octopus couple of years ago. Extremely happy, good admin processes, almost all online, cheap.

                              Suspect they're going to keep growing. They license their software - KRAKEN - to other suppliers UK & worldwide. Just got £438m funding from Al gore related mob, now valued about same as Centrica, owner of BG. Recommended.
                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

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