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Southern Electric Gas response 02

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Scottish and Southern
Grampian House
200 Dunkeld Road
Telephone: 0800 0483 500
Facsimile: 01738 453837
Email: natalie.mclean
15 April 2010
Our ref: 435231221

Dear Mr & Mrs Keeling


Thank you for your reply dated 20 March 2010. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

Regarding the points you have raised I have detailed my response below..

  • Atlantic provided your name to Buchanan Clarke and Wells after non payment of account number - 183320221. Debt is passed onto agents for non payment for an account, when we have followed our collections procedure without response to letters being issued. We had followed the registered procedure and for this reason do not require authorisation to recoup the debt via the agencies.
    It is clear that we made the error during our collection procedure and the correspondence sent was not to your new address, but we did not breach any rules in our pursuit of the balance.
  • When the account was changed into your name on 9 January 2009, from the landlord's name, your billing address was not updated on the account. It appears the letters were sent to the landlords or letting agents. On 11 May 2009 there is a note that states that we received a call from the letting agents to update the billing address to your new address.
    The last correspondence sent by Atlantic was dated prior to this date. I accept that once the address had been update, a copy of the bill should have been issued to your home address. However this was not done and you were never provided with any details by the letting agent/landlord. As there was no contact regarding this, we passed the debt onto the agents to pursue on our behalf.
  • Although we use Buchanan Clark and Wells to help recover our unpaid debts, we are not responsible for the letters sent and have no input regarding the wording used in their letters. I can confirm that they work within the legal standards required for sending letters and contacting customers.
  • I have a note on the account dated 18 February 2010 which refers to communication between Buchanan Clark and Wells and Atlantic. The note advises that the correspondence received, advises that you do not wish to provide documentation, as the final bill has been amended and paid. Buchanan Clark and Wells have contacted us with the account number that the debt is applicable to in order to check this information. This account number is not the same as your old account number; therefore the amendments and paid bill amounts could not be seen. Our final accounts team have advised Buchanan Clark and Wells that this bill has not been amended; no payments have been received against this account and to pursue the debt balance.
    With regards to your comments regarding the behaviour you encountered from this company, I will make our debt liaison team aware of your comments and trust they will seek clarification on these points.

Atlantic Electric and Gas did make an error and failed to check the historical accounts, which would have prevented this situation arising and I can only apologise for this. Feedback has been provided to the team concerned to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

I understand the concerns you have but cannot agree to your request for £400 goodwill. I have applied a further £70 to your account, making a total of £100, which I consider this to be a fair and reasonable offer. I have arranged to have this amount refunded directly to your bank account.

I trust the above information is clear and addresses the points raised. Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on the above freephone number, between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely

Natalie Mclean
Customer Relations