Back to previous
Last-minute negotiations
If the supplier agrees not to disconnect at the last minute, but an official turns up to carry out the disconnection, the disconnection should not be agreed to, and the official should be asked to contact the supplier’s office. Many suppliers accept payment on the doorstep, but some make an extra charge to cover their expenses. Always get a receipt to establish payment.
Some electricity suppliers’ disconnection officials routinely carry prepayment meters with them and will offer you one as an alternative, even at this late stage. If you accept the meter, check that it has been set to collect arrears at a rate you can afford. If it has not, ask the supplier to change the setting. Do not be put off by such statements as ’it cannot be changed’ or ’it is set at the factory’. This is not the case. It is unlikely that a gas supplier would try to fit a prepayment meter straight away – the system has to be purged and re-lit first.
If you refuse to allow entry, the supplier has to obtain a warrant in the magistrates’ court or may disconnect from the road. This costs more, unless you are able to negotiate keeping your supply and paying off the arrears at a rate you can afford in the meantime (see Chapter 7).