Contacting the supplier in advance
Wherever possible, you or your representative should contact the supplier in advance of the hearing as there is still the possibility of negotiation.
In some cases, the supplier may withdraw the application prior to the hearing, particularly if the application may be contested or if you are vulnerable. Reference should be made to Taking Control of Goods: National Standards (see Appendix 3) in a case of vulnerability. Consideration should also be given to SLCs 27 and 28B and whether a supplier is a signatory to Energy UK’s ’safety net’ or ’vulnerability commitment’. If a supplier disregards the guidance, a complaint can be made, as well as the matter being brought to the attention of the magistrates’ court.
Representations should be made in writing, and may be emailed or faxed direct to the customer relations or the complaints department. Your supplier should provide you with the contact details for the department which deals with complaints. An explanation of the vulnerability and an outline of the issues should be included.
If a defence can be shown, or there are factors that the court should consider, mention these. You should be prepared to provide further details and attend the court hearing.