Npower admits mistake and backs down after four years of bill demands from Mulberry Tree in Ipswich
A frustrated pub landlord has taken action after an energy supplier pursued him for unpaid bills for more than four years – despite the firm never having supplied gas or electricity to the establishment.
Des Scicluna, landlord of The Mulberry Tree in Woodbridge Road, took over the pub in January 2012, but has spent four years battling Npower and authorised collection firm PDP management Services, which claimed he owed them money.
“They have offered to send bailiffs around and they have been told quite politely that they have never supplied this business,” Mr Scicluna said. “They keep asking for money and they have sent people with clipboards who try to walk into the cellar and they have a letter to say they are cutting off power – they won’t take no for an answer.”
The situation has been made more baffling by the fact that all correspondence from PDP and Npower does not state the name of the pub or Mr Scicluna’s name, addressing the letter merely to “The Occupier”.
Remarkably the firm even admitted it had made an error on a previous occasion when Mr Scicluna contacted Npower, which said it would close down the account and stop contacting him.
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But despite acknowledging the mistake, PDP has still continued to demand payment from the despairing landlord, with a latest demand less than two weeks ago when a representative attempted to access a private area of the pub and spoke with Mr Scicluna.
The situation has become so exasperating that Mr Scicluna has issued a letter to the firm threatening legal action.
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“I cannot go away on holiday, I cannot do things in case they turn up and get bailiffs in. If this landed on an old pensioner’s lap this could cause some serious damage,” he said.
When contacted by this newspaper, Npower admitted it had made an error and had closed down all activity with the account.
A spokesman from the firm said: “We’re so sorry to read about this case. Unfortunately what has happened with this customer is that we put in a new supply at a similar address.
“However, we attached this customer’s address details to the new supply. Once we had realised the problem we started to amend the account, but unfortunately did not fully complete the process. This resulted in the debt collection activity.
“The account is now fully closed down and all bills/fees attached to it have been cleared.
“We will arrange for a gift to be sent as an apology.”