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I have an outstanding debt with the fuel company N.Power. I am really zealous about paying off my debts, so I arranged a monthly repayment with them which they accepted and this has been paid for almost a year. The bulk of this is now paid off. Imagine my surprise this morning then when I received a letter from “Collections Direct” (essentially the N.Power credit control department)  threatening court action for a bill I am already paying them monthly.

I always think posting this stuff is useful. There are a lot of folks really struggling these days and they are easily frightened by these sort of tactics.  I am not a lawyer and people with severe debt issues should contact a reliable form of assistance.  The National Debtline is an excellent resource.

As a general rule I never discuss issues over the phone.  My number one piece of advice is this: write to them and tell them not to phone you and that you will only deal with them in writing.  This will stop all those awful telephone calls.  On this occasion I decided I would break my rule and telephone.  This is what happened.
Me: why are you threatening me with court action?
NPower: your payment came on the wrong day.
Me: It came on the 4th Feb, it was due on the 10th, why are you harassing me over an early payment?
NPower: the payment was on the wrong day so the plan failed.
Me: Early payments cause the plan to fail?
NPower: No, the one in January was 4 days late.
Me: And this one was 10 days early.  You still got your money.  If you take me to court they are going to want to know why, since I am paying you.  Regularly. Every month.
NPower: Oh we wont take you to court, only send it to a debt collector.
Me: So this is an empty threat, designed to intimidate and harass and upset people then?
NPower: um….
Me: Don’t bother referring it to a debt collector either cos I don’t deal with third parties, since I am paying you as agreed I intend to continue to do so.  I don’t have a contract with them I have it with you and I am fulfilling it.  I do not intend being harassed by thugs on my doorstep.
NPower: um….
Me: Right so no more threatening court letters and I will keep paying you.  OK?
NPower: Yes, OK.
Job done.  Arseholes.