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Shell Energy Debt Collectors active despite coronavirus agreement

UK energy firms using debt collectors despite coronavirus agreement

The government and energy firms had agreed that no customers should be cut off during the lockdown. Photograph: David Burton/Alamy

Britain’s energy suppliers are continuing to use debt collectors to chase unpaid bills after promising to help households during the coronavirus pandemic by offering payment plans to struggling customers.

Under an agreement with the government, energy suppliers are expected to identify customers who might be in financial distress and offer to reassess, reduce or pause bill payments to help “reassure” homes during the coronavirus lockdown.

But many households and small businesses with outstanding balances on their energy accounts may still be targeted by debt collectors with warnings that action may be taken against them if they don’t pay their bills.

A letter sent by a debt collector on behalf of Shell Energy, seen by the Guardian, warns one customer that arrangements may be made for a doorstep collector to visit their home in order to chase an outstanding balance of £78.51.

It warned that Shell Energy would share the account holder’s details with credit reference agencies which could hurt their ability to switch energy supplier, apply for a mortgage or borrow money.

The letter was sent weeks after energy suppliers agreed to support customers who are financially impacted either directly or indirectly by the coronavirus lockdown.

A spokesman for Shell Energy said a letter from a debt collection company “is a last-resort attempt to engage with a customer and only after we’ve repeatedly asked them to get in contact to see how we can help”.

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One Comment

  1. John D Wood says:

    Shell energy are liars

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