utilities providers


Registered User
Oct 28, 2006
Bromley Kent
My Dad is becoming increasingly muddled with his bills etc and today I have visited to find yet AGAIN another muddle with his gas and electric bills. I think they phone him up and encourage him to change companies every few weeks. He goes along with any suggestion but then can't remember what he has agreed to or when.
I have sorted this out before but how can I prevent this happening again?
Is it possible that he could end up paying twice to two different suppliers?

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Are you his appointee, for his pension ,susiewoo ? If so, couldn`t you get your father to change to Direct Debit for all his bills.

If companies persuade him to change suppliers, they would need to send him a form for bank details etc. to authorize the Direct Debit. This will probably be too complex for him to understand and it should delay things at least.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear susiewoo,
Could you not go in and see his bank and inform them of the problems ? When Peter was home I kept the answering machine on all the time so no one who phoned him would confuse him even more. If he did go to the door and one of those blasted people were there he always when they got to the end of explaining everything use to say, christine deals with all that.
I wish you the best with this problem. Christine


Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Hello Susiewoo

Have you got an EPA for your dad? If so, you need to write to the utility providers notifying them that you are his attorney and that all correspondence must be sent to you. This may take time and patience as some of them drag their feet, however, if all goes smoothly, at least you will have more sway if some unscrupulous rep rings up and tries to persuade your dad to change arrangements or sign up to something that he might not fully understand.

My mum ended up being billed by two different suppliers; baliffs letters etc. It was before I had even an unregistered EPA. It all got very complicated and upsetting and in the end I paid the outstanding amount just to get rid of them, although since then, I was advised that I should have stuck to my guns. But that's easy to say when you're not the one trying to firefight a situation that changes daily :eek:


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I did start to investigate the possibility of installing a phone system that forwarded calls to another number or an answering system UNLESS the caller had a code to enter, but then it became unecessary (my mother went into nursing care). They're available for businesses so I didn't see why one wouldn't be available for home use. I didn't want all calls going to an answering machine becasue then I wouldn't be able to get through. The only other thing I can think of is to get your father's number changed (and make it ex-directory) and then not give it to anyone except immediate family, or install another line, putting the first one on permanent redirect.


Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
This has just happened to my Mother for the second time, it makes me so cross with the salesmen, I cancelled the first one, but she did it again and I didnt find out untill the seven days were up for cancelling, so I think it will go through, its not the cost thats the problem, its the changing the direct debits and dealing with the bank, as she cannot remember signing up for the utility:mad:

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Hi all,

You know, dealing with things like this is sooo time consuming and upsetting, I have no advice to offer except that already given to you that you get a power of attorney and contact EVERYONE to get it sorted.

Good luck.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I've been doing a little gentle research to see if anything had changed since the last time I was looking into this. In the US you can buy something called an "inbound call blocker" that requires people to enter a 4 digit code before the phone rings. The closest thing I've found for the UK is a £50 unit which plays a message before the phone rings, and only when the caller presses 5 does the phone ring. I'm not giving its name here, but as far as I can see it's the only thing that comes up when you google call blocker, and to be honest, I'm not sure how effective it would be - surely sales people could press 5 anyway? It would however stop those computer generated calls. Everything else I've found uses a computer to do the blocking. Grrr.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Susiewoo, my every sympathy ..... I assume your dad lives independently as does my mother (independently being a relative term).

Today I have seen 'the other side of this coin' - having registered EPA a year back - done everything I can think of to advise /deter 'marketing opportunists' (gosh, that was a polite way of putting it) of contacting her - I fell at the final hurdle today when I discovered my mother herself had amazingly managed to open up a 'Yellow Pages' type directory - call a contractor and invite them to undertake totally unnecessary work at her house ....... (I am hopefully able to 'unravel' any contract she has verbally committed to - but yes, more stress I could without just now - and sheer 'fluke' I had discovered the situation before work had been carried out)

I cannot stop leaflets/flyers/magazines/free local journals and directories dropping though her door ....... I cannot keep an eye on her 24/7 ...... I am afraid these kind of situations make me question the risk she poses to herself of living alone - whilst on the surface they are hardly life threatening .... they are illustrative of their terrible vulnerability .....

Jennifer, this 'blocking' ???...... I will do my own homework - but the idea of mum only being able to 'dial out' to certain numbers (me, family, neighbours, docs say) .... did you find anything in your 'gentle research' on that? Crazy - somedays she swears the telephone doesn't work ....... couldn't decipher a number let alone being able to read and dial it ....... or even remember my name ......

Sorry, Susiewoo, not much practical help - but I hope someone comes along with better ideas for a great number of us with a similar problem ..... Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Oct 28, 2006
Bromley Kent
Thanks for all the replies.
I think registering the EPA is the next step.
I have spoken to the suppliers today and found out that everything can be reversed if caught in time. They call it an eroneous transfer. Also the supplier that contacted Dad have agreed to alter their records to reflect that dad is not to be contacted again. They were very helpful albeit the instigators of the problem!

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