A man from South Yorkshire has managed to successfully sue one of the big six energy companies in the United Kingdom.
Barry Payling, who is aged 62 and lives in Rawmarsh, Rotherham took on the energy giant nPower who have been at the centre of controversy recently of incorrectly billing its customers. It’s precisely this controversy that caused Mr. Payling to sue nPower. They had sent him letters and made phone calls demanding money that Mr. Payling did not owe.
This is the second time that Mr. Payling, who works as a photographer, has taken on his utility company. In 2010, he successfully sued British Gas and won £2000 by logging every phone call and letter he sent and took a lawsuit out against them for wasting his time and money responding.
He used this experience to take on nPower when they began demanding money from him last July. The letters were addressed to the former tenants of his house, but when he contacted them to explain the situation, the situation did not improve. Despite Mr. Payling’s demands, the letters continued. He demanded compensation when the letters did not stop, but nPower refused to pay him. It was then that Mr. Barry Payling took nPower to court. He won £450.
Even after this first court case, the letters from nPower still continued and nPower demanded that he appear in court to defend his case for not paying them back. On the day that he was due to appear, having taken the day off work, he found out that nPower was not taking legal action.
Once again, Mr. Payling demanded compensation from the utility provider but they did not comply. So he sued again and won £2500. But nPower weren’t willing to give up too easily and they refused to pay Mr. Barry Payling’s fees. Therefore, he notified enforcement officers who travelled to the company’s head office and collected the money by hand.
Barry Payling believes that nPower and many other utility providers rely on customers giving up. He said:
I can assure you it’s worth the aggravation because, between them, British Gas and npower are paying all my gas bills at the moment and for the next few years.
nPower has made an effort to defend its actions. A spokesperson for the company said they originally did not go ahead with the court date to avoid further inconvenience to Barry Payling. The spokesperson also added that nPower paid the money but was unaware that it had not been received.