NEED LEGAL ADVICE URGENT. Someone using my business name and getting out contracts.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by MJA, Jun 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM.

  1. MJA

    MJA UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hello everyone hope one of you smart people can help me out here. So I own a small business (A) , and the building that I operate from is owned by someone else who also have thier own business (W). The building used to be one building but it was later divided into two and had separate electric supply installed. We are next to each other.

    Now then, i have got 2 contract letters from 2 different companies, one about gas and one about electricity named to my company and the supply address for these letters is W's address. I only have electricity supply to my premises since I don't need gas and I have been with Eon. My account with them is clear as I always pay my bills.

    Now the thing I am getting monthly bills invoiced to my company and sent to my business address but the supply address on the bills show W's address. At the beginning i thought it was probably a mistake since we are next to each other and business neighbours. So I contacted these 2 separate companies telling them they are sending the bills to wrong address and they should send it to W's address and invoice it to them since they are using and paying for them. Each of them sent me a copy of contracts signed and on the contracts I see that the manager of W signed the contracts and showed himself as manager and put my companys name and number on the contract but gave thier bank details for direct debit. So even though they are getting the supply these accounts have linked to my company.

    After looking into this further I found out that W credit history has been awful and they already owe their previous supplier some money so i guess that's why they put my company's name on the contract as no one else would provide them a contract without security deposit. Now these 2 providers I have been in contact with still haven't removed my company's name from the accounts and to make matters worse today I received a letter from a firm about legal notice of proceedings saying they have been hired by Npower for t debt collection because around 10k is owed to them. Once again this letter et is sent and named to my company and the supply addresd is shown as W's.

    So clearly W has been using my company name and this is clearly a fraud. So I wanted to know what are my options and what can I do to get rid of this issue. I will be talking to W later this week but I don't think they will do anything about it. So who do I contact about this issue.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM By: MJA Member since: May 19, 2019
  2. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    780 186
    Write to the company, and explain the contracts have been taken out by someone else and not yourself. This could be very awkward for your future credit if not addressed straight away.

    A quick call to your solicitor for advice would be the best thing to do, protect yourself and your company ASAP, I doubt you will be able to stay there now you understand what is going on. I would also recommend a full credit report from all the three main agencies in case other things come to light.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 5:12 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017

    I_DO_MARKETING UKBF Regular Free Member

    371 97
    Speak to your neighbour and demand a cash bung every week lest you call the supplier and have them cut off.

    Talking of cutting off, take a large sharp implement with you and threaten to remove dangly body parts with it if he doesn't pay, or does it again.

    If he doesn't comply - the balls are in your court.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 5:18 PM By: I_DO_MARKETING Member since: Oct 24, 2015
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,204 8,873
    Or hanging off your sharp implement
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 5:31 PM By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  5. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper UKBF Regular Free Member

    459 71
    Yes looks like there is some sort of fraud going on. Taking things back to the beginning, first of all the two supply meters will have their own serial numbers MPAN numbers which will / should relate to two separate accounts.

    You both have separate businesses with different names, with different addresses. So your meter and MPAN number will relate to your supply and account, and your address, next doors meter which you will be able to point out too any ‘visitor’ is supplying a different premises and is not your business.

    So I would almost welcome a visit from the energy supplier as it should be quite obvious as to what’s been going on. You need to make this quite clear to the providers who are chasing you. If it’s clear a fraud is taking place contact the police (although I would not hold my breath there) but should still be reported. If the energy suppliers are no help and it sounds like a lot of money could be owed by next door, get some proper legal advice and a letter form a solicitor off to them with the facts.

    Unless of course you prefer a much more direct approach
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 5:33 PM By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  6. smallclaimsassistance

    smallclaimsassistance UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    859 226
    Er, surprised this has not already been done, but- step 1: (as Wavejumper says) report to the police. This is potentially fraud. Fraud is not only a civil offence, it is also a crime. With a police investigation running against them, the credibility of your defence to any action taken by debt collectors rises exponentially. Even without an active investigation, but with a crime reference for alleged offences reported by you, any potential debt collector will take you more seriously.

    Step 2: hire a solicitor to act for you.

    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:35 PM By: smallclaimsassistance Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  7. MJA

    MJA UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I have been in contact with both companies and they are working on the issue but the thing its been almost 3 months since I told them about it and every few weeks they send an email asking me some stupid question which I have already explained to them and then say they will look further into it without actually doing anything effective.

    I have already told them both that I didn't sign the contract or authorise anyone else to sign it on my or my company's behalf, told them I haven't paid anything towards these contracts and the guy who signed the contract didn't work for me or my company even though he put himself as manager of my company on the contracts. I have told them that the guy signing the contract has never been on my payroll. They replied but it shows your company name and number and address and then I told them that anyone can get the information from the companies house website.

    I am still waiting to hear from them after my last email with them in which I showed them the meter mpan is different from what the mpan number shown on their invoices.

    As for solicitors I don't have one since we have never needed one. So what kind of solicitor do you think I need to talk to? any specialist or a general practitioner?
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:57 PM By: MJA Member since: May 19, 2019
  8. MJA

    MJA UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    In my last email I told them that mpan number on their invoice is different from my meter. I have asked them to send a visitor if required but these companies take damn ages to reply. Its been 3 weeks since I sent them a mpan picture to which they replied they acknowledge the different mpans and they will look further into it.

    As for contacting the guy himself I'd love to but the building I operate from is owned by the father of the guy who signed the contracts. His father used to run the business but he gave control to his son couple of years ago. His father is a respectable and good man and I didn't want to drag him into it but I have asked him to meet me next week. Also my lease is almost up for renewal and I don't want this to affect that renewal. So I thought I'd contact the companies my self and let them know that they are sending the invoices to wrong name and address and they might fix the details, they are still getting paid anyways through direct debit.

    But ofcourse I cant just leave this issue because who knows they might stop paying in future and that would affect my credit rating and not to mention all the hassle I will have to go through to solve this issue.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:07 PM By: MJA Member since: May 19, 2019
  9. MJA

    MJA UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    what type of solicitor am I looking for? Business law specialist?General Practitioner? or some other kind?
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:08 PM By: MJA Member since: May 19, 2019
  10. smallclaimsassistance

    smallclaimsassistance UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    859 226
    Various areas of law here but you can't go wrong starting with commercial law solicitors.

    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:47 PM By: smallclaimsassistance Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  11. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    780 186
    Keep copies of all your correspondence, always refer to the amounts as “alleged debt”, I would suggest writing a snail mail letter, setting everything out, and refuse to enter into any further correspondence on the matter until your company name and details are removed from the invoices. Demand a written reply within two weeks.

    Hopefully they will pull their fingers out. As for renegotiation of your lease, I am surprised you wish to stay with an obvious fraudster.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2019 at 11:44 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  12. UtilityLee

    UtilityLee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi MJA, i am happy for you to contact me to help with this. i work for a small energy consultancy and have contacts and account managers in the big suppliers that may be able to help solve this for you.
    Posted: Jun 14, 2019 at 2:40 PM By: UtilityLee Member since: Jun 14, 2019
  13. MJA

    MJA UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks. I am going to see the guy next door this week and see if he decides to ring them up and change it themselves if not then I shall contact the police report this as fraud and also get in touch with you.
    Posted: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:03 PM By: MJA Member since: May 19, 2019
  14. Local Enterprise

    Local Enterprise UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Without delay do the followinf ASAP
    1.Write official letter to suppliers advising that this is not your company and did not sign those contracts. Your company is A.
    2. If you can afford please, consult solicitor to act on your behalf. It may cost you few £300-£500 but will be worth. After all you can claim this from company W because they are the cause of the costs.
    3. Fraud is criminal offence report to the police. Why? Bacause for the suppliers to take any mark in your credit reports will need a criminal reference because is fraud.
    5. Take them to court if so needed. Solicitor will advise you.
    6. Do this ASAP before they wound down the company.
    Be business person, be professional, act. Do not approach anyone in person.
    Any letter that you send to the company W should be signed posted. Keep proof of everthing.
    Or if you can hand in yourself that is fine but only speak to hand in the letter nothing else.
    Deal with Police, solicitor and suppliers no one else.
    Posted: Jun 15, 2019 at 8:18 PM By: Local Enterprise Member since: Jun 15, 2019
  15. Local Enterprise

    Local Enterprise UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    If it was only debt. It would have been a civil matter and would only need to take them to court no Police involved.
    Because using someone else name or company name is a fraud. Police should be involve.
    1. Consult solicitor whichever way you want to do.
    2. Report to the Police.
    3. At the mean time log a complaint with suppliers if they do not resolve this within complaint timeframe then
    4. Report the suppliers to OfGem. However before OfGem you must log the complaint direct to the suppliers first.
    3. Solicitor will write to the suppliers. Only give them time frame no more waiting for 3 months without letter confirmation.
    Ask the solicitor that you will also need to claim the costs from company W.
    Posted: Jun 15, 2019 at 8:35 PM By: Local Enterprise Member since: Jun 15, 2019