and the violins all played sad music together!

I have often admired Julia’s persistence in scrutinising and commenting upon the truly bizarre court cases which attract her attention: and it is in this spirit that I ask that you focus your mind upon the strange case of the ‘Threatening CD’.

Seems as though this woman’s husband had died, and as he had looked after the payment of the family’s  bills, and as there was a total of £292.00 owing after he had died, this woman thought that, as a gesture of ‘Goodwill’ on EDF’s side of things, they should kindly forgive the debt.

As is, of course, a perfectly normal, and indeed natural thing to wish!

Mrs Rowland alleges EDF Energy tried to get her to pay the money back by sending her a CD featuring a recording of her dead husband’s voice as evidence she was also responsible for the bills.

The recording, EDF Energy confirmed, was from the telephone conversation Mr Rowland had to add his wife to the account. Mrs Rowland said: ‘Last month EDF sent me a CD with a recorded message of my husband’s voice from July last year. ‘The only reason why he phoned them was to put my name in our account because it only used to be in his name.

‘These people care more about making money rather than people’s emotions.’

Mrs Rowland hasn’t even listened to the recording all the way through yet because it is too upsetting.

She said: ‘Instead of mourning my husband’s death, I’m constantly thinking of EDF.

‘It’s like cutting my wound which is already open. I can’t carry on like this.’

So, despite accepting that the debt is valid, and the money is owed to EDF, as was confirmed by the Ombudsman after having reviewed the case and agreed Mrs Rowland was liable for the outstanding balance; she still reckoned that, because of the stress, the debt should be forgiven, which, after the Daily Mail intervened, it was indeed written off.

My goldfish died forty-five years ago, and I had to give a dog away to a friend before leaving South Africa; I wish that British Gas would cancel my bill, because of the long lasting stress.

5 comments for “and the violins all played sad music together!

  1. Mudplugger
    July 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    The late Mr Rowland’s key error was in making that phone call ‘to add his wife to the account’. In doing so, he had (accidentally or otherwise) made her jointly and severally liable for any debt accrued – had he not done so, the outstanding debt may very well have expired with him.

    Rather than exercising her anger on EDF (unusually, the innocent party in this case), the Widow Rowlands may prefer to exorcise on her late husband’s grave by puncturing a symbolic doll with a range of needles.
    But why bother, when writing to the Daily Wail saves you from reality?

  2. Errol
    July 10, 2016 at 9:34 am

    On the sudden death of my father, we had to sort out his many bank accounts and mortgage trusts. The worst bit at that point is the infuriating press 1 nonsense that sends you around in the circles for their benefit. This was compounded by ‘we can only talk to the named individual’ ‘He’s dead’, you reply. ‘We must still only talk to the account owner’. ‘You can’t. He’s dead.’ ‘We are sorry for your loss, but to dsiscuss the acount we must talk to the account owner.’

    And so on, until hoarse with frustration you explode at them. At this point, you go into the local branch and for once, they solve the problem. I appreciate there are fraud concerns and security issues, but when these useless people put so many barriers in the way of just resolving the problems for their own benefit you do rather go a bit insane.

    And let’s not mention calling BT at 3am and being told they are experiencing high call volumes.

  3. Twenty Rothmans
    July 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    @Errol
    On trying to deal with my father’s American Express account when he was in a coma:
    “I’m trying to settle my father’s accounts, he is in a coma”
    (Subcontinental AE meat puppet)
    “Could you put him on the phone for me?”

  4. Jim
    July 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    My Mother has had exactly the same problem with British Gas. My Father is now in a nursing home and the gas bill is in his name so BG won’t discuss anything to do with the bill with my Mother. This despite my Father having spoken to them before he was taken ill and had her put on the account, they apparently have ‘no record’ of this phone call. All she wanted was for them to send a bill (she hadn’t received one for ages), but they wouldn’t discuss that.

    I had Thames Water on the phone the other day chasing up a late account (their fault, I had an estimated bill, sent in a new reading, and their system didn’t cancel the estimated bill), I have several accounts as I manage various properties, when the woman said ‘Your account is overdue’ I asked ‘Which property do you mean?’ to which she replied ‘I can’t tell you that because of data protection’. I’m afraid I gave her both barrels over the insanity of demanding that I pay a bill, but refusing to tell me which one it was. In the end I was reduced to going through the addresses until we reached the one in question.

    Utter madness the lot of it.

    • July 10, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      British Gas, NPower, BT – three of the worst.

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