According to a report in the Mirror, a number of npower customers who fell behind on their energy bill payments have received letters from Collections Direct, a made up debt collection firm.
The letters were sent to households in arrears and were branded “Collections Direct”. The letters informed customers that they were in line for a court summons due to a non-payment of bills. The letters also warned that inaction could result in bailiffs being sent to the property.
A common technique?
npower is not the only company found to have been masquerading as debt collection agency or independent solicitors. A number of banks, including HSBC and NatWest, as well as the Student Loans Company, have been found to be carrying out similar practices.
npower released a statement: “We use these letters after we have made four attempts to communicate with the customer, three of them using the npower logo and letterhead – the other by phone.”
Complaints about npower and ScottishPower double
A new survey from Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland has shown that complaints regarding npower and ScottishPower have doubled in the first quarter of 2014. Complaints for German-owned npower, rose from 306.8 for every 100,000 customers to 592 and from 100.5 per 100,000 customers to 197.7 for ScottishPower.
The complaints are linked to each supplier’s problematic implementation of a new billing system. Ironically, the reason for the surge in complaints is that both suppliers have managed to get their billing systems working again, which has led to a large number of overdue bills being issued, and consequently a raft of complaints.
npower is currently last in Citizens Advice’s complaints table, followed by ScottishPower.