Scottish Energy debt enforcers had been caught on camera breaking into a lady’s flat trying to secure fee for debts she did not owe.
The girl used to be on holiday on the time and used to be not a Scottish Energy buyer.
Doorbell video photos shows two uniformed males tampering with locks earlier than going into the flat and identifying themselves as Scottish Energy representatives.
The vitality firm has admitted the error, apologised and provided compensation.
It’s a ways the latest in a collection of reports from BBC Scotland featuring allegations of heavy-handed measures by representatives of Scottish Energy.
The UK vitality regulator Ofgem has now opened discussions with Scottish Energy following the claims.
The girl’s father stated his daughter used to be on holiday in the north of Scotland on 20 August when she got an alert from the video doorbell.
Donald Maciver, 60, stated she saw there had been two males on the door and she realised they were searching for to interrupt into the flat.
“She tried to want with them via the intercom and they selected to ignore that, after which watched for a interval of 43 seconds as two guys walked via the door,” he stated.
Mr Maciver stated he drove from his residence in St Andrews to the property in Glasgow to analyze.
“I got down there and walked into the flat and may perhaps perhaps perhaps presumably not peek something else,” he stated. “It used to be admire no one had been there, it used to be fully nothing there the least bit. If it hadn’t been for the video photos, no one would possess identified any individual had been on this flat.
“But two males were on this flat for 27 minutes, no one can converse to me what they were doing in a two-mattress room flat for 27 minutes. They were alleged to be searching for to search out gasoline meters – a gasoline meter that happens to be in the basement.”
Mr Maciver later discovered a letter from a debt collection firm addressed to anyone who did not live in the stairwell.
He stated his daughter had reported the letters three instances to Scottish Energy but they saved sending written calls for for unpaid money.
Mr Maciver stated he faced a “denial culture” on the vitality firm when he tried to whinge.
“Even though it’s main to not the consumer – under no conditions had been a buyer – it’s likely you’ll perhaps presumably presumably very neatly be gruesome, they are favorable,” he stated. “Or not it’s as much as you to camouflage you do not owe them money versus them proving to you that you just compose.”
He in the end got a letter wherein Scottish Energy admitted the error after contacting the CEO’s space of job.
It states: “I sincerely apologised that we had attended the gruesome take care of and I confirmed that your daughter’s property used to be provided by SSE.
“In gape of the upset prompted, I provided your daughter £500 as a gesture of goodwill and steered you that we were persevering with to analyze which flat we compose provide, your daughters’ minute print were eradicated from our machine.”
It follows the case of Irene Girvan, from Glasgow, who claimed the vitality enormous hounded her for a year over money she insists she did not owe.
The 64-year-extinct steered BBC Scotland she used to be threatened with debt collectors and overlooked a Covid booster jab while looking ahead to enforcement officers she believed were coming to change her locks.
Scottish Energy has apologised for wound prompted to Ms Girvan and cleared the debt. Officers stated there used to be “no excuse for our failures” on this case.
An Ofgem spokeswoman stated: “We treat seriously all allegations of purchasers not being handled barely, and clutch motion the effect acceptable.
“We now possess contacted Scottish Energy over their investigation into the allegations reported by the BBC.
“Debt management activities must quiet be executed in a dazzling and cheap manner the least bit instances. Suppliers can not lengthen limitless credit ranking to customers, but we are in a position to’t tolerate energetic teach or aggressive debt collection.”
On Friday, Scottish Energy launched a probe after a whistleblower steered the BBC that name handlers engaged on behalf of the vitality enormous were steered to threaten customers with debt enforcement – even over unsuitable payments.
The man, an employee of an outsourced company, works in a name centre in the west of Scotland facing of us that name to inquire of accepted balances.
The employee, who says he desires to give protection to his identity over fears he’ll lose his job, stated it used to make certain to peek the effect errors had been made on an memoir.
He stated: “It must be a gruesome meter learning, they’ve not been billed properly, they may perhaps not be accountable for it, or they’re not a Scottish Energy buyer. Alternatively, till that is dealt with then it would stand, we’re going pursue them for that debt.
A Scottish Energy spokesman stated: “Scottish Energy doesn’t possess processes or is it our procedure to pursue memoir holders who’ve not been customers of Scottish Energy.
“Like each completely different vitality company in the UK we’re going to teach up any existing debt a Scottish Energy buyer owes after they possess got switched to one other vendor.
“Your provide’s allegations on our debt management policies are all fallacious.”