Post by Steve Freestone
My Electricity supplier has, for reasons only they know about, decided
to get the Bailiffs onto me.
My account is paid monthly by direct debit and has been since I
started it with them. The company tell me that my account with them
is 'impeccable' and that there are no other accounts in my name or my
I had a visit from a bailiff who was down right rude to start with and
refused him all entry. He then threatened that he would come round
next time 'mob handed'. I contacted the supplier - Virgin Home Energy
- who told me that they didnt know the reason why the company had sent
round the bailiffs but that there must have been a good reason for
them to do so. Yes, thats exactly what they said.
What do I do? I thought bailiffs could only act on a court order. Do
I let them in or what? Have my electricity supplier broken the Data
Protection Act or some other act by telling the bailiff company -
Richburns who are based in Barking (ironically) - that my account is
Theres no point calling the Police as they constantly act in the
Any advice would be gladly taken at the moment!
Obviously I am working on the one about getting a new supplier....
If they turn up again, ask to see some ID and any documentation they
are carrying to enforce the debt (through the letterbox or door
chain). Assuming they give you anything, tell them you have spoken to
your electricity company and they confirm that they have not given
instruction to any debt collection firms. Therefore, the documents you
have will be handed over to the police for their investigation. If
they do not leave peacefully, call the police and report a bogus debt
collector attempting to gain access. If they leave peacefully, call in
at your local station within a day or two and hand the card in there,
explaining the situation.
If you do open the door inadvertently, and the bailiff attempts to put
a "foot in the door", the correct response is "I have not invited you
into my house. Remove your foot now, or I will call the police" If he
refuses, press your home alarm panic button, and call for help. If you
have a phone within reach, or can call to someone who does, diall 999
and tell them that a man has his foot in your door and is trying to
force entry. If he transpires to be genuine, be sure to take his
details and make a formal complaint to his employer and the authority
who grants his license.
IANAL, but the company the bailiff claims to represent has no
knowledge of a debt. IMO, that gives you more than enough grounds to
be suspicious that this person could well be bogus, and justifies your
using any legal resources at your disposal to defend yourself against
him. A legitimate bailiff will suffer no more than the inconvenience
of being unable to work for a few days until his ID is returned. This
is not your problem, and any lost pay is an issue for the bailiff to
take up with his employer, since they instructed him incorrectly.
However if the bailiff is bogus, the police need to be alerted before
they try it on with someone who has a reason to expect bailiffs.