How would you feel if you suddenly got a red emblazoned final notice for over £2,700 for gas from an energy company you’ve never heard of? That’s what happened to one Grand resident last week. Luckily, they had the good sense to contact us. What we discovered added a new and very nasty twist to goings-on in the Grand and all the red warning lights were flashing!
Red Light 1: This leaseholder has lived in the Grand for several years and their energy supplier has been one of the big four. This bill came from Corona Energy who only supply corporate and business accounts.
Red Light 2: The address on the bill didn’t reference a flat, all of which have names like Dorchester, Edinburgh and Exeter. It merely said The Grand at the postcode CT20 2XL. This postcode is exclusive to the commercial enterprises at the Grand. Private flats are all at CT20 2LR.
Red Light 3: Every gas bill is linked to a meter with a unique MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number), which is the identifying number for a property. The number linked to this mystery bill did not tally with that linked to the worried leaseholder’s meter. We confirmed this on the national database.
Red light 4: Using this database, we searched for the gas meters registered in the post code CT20 2XL, and guess what? There were seven properties listed and we found the reference attached to Corona’s bill linked to the address as above, and it has been confirmed that this meter is physically located in a disused part of the Grand, three floors below the leaseholder’s flat.
So when, how and why did the innocent leaseholder’s name end up on this account? According to Corona Energy, in August 2014, the name on the account was changed, a process which can be done, it appears, simply by a phone call from the previous account holder. Because of data protection, we do not know which of the various commercial entities at the Grand, all under the directorship of Michael Stainer (pictured), is responsible, but one of them is. What we are certain of is that our worried leaseholder had nothing to do with this.
Why was this done? One explanation is a crude attempt to shuffle a debt from one of the companies trading at the Grand onto an unsuspecting resident of the Grand. Or maybe it was a monumental cock-up by Corona. The only problem with this latter explanation is that Corona do not supply domestic properties.
There is now an ongoing investigation at Corona into this astonishing situation. The Insolvency Service and others might well be drawn in, as this debt might well be linked to one of the many liquidated companies at the Grand. There is also the unanswered question as to whether or not there has been a case of identity theft and/or impersonation. After all, someone made the call to Corona…………………..
Watch this space!
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent