Sunday, July 27, 2014

Retired Couple Receive Shocking Electricity Bill of Over £500m

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Nigel and Linda Brotherton were left shocked when they received an electricity bill for more than £500m. They were also told that their monthly direct debit was to increase from £87 to over £53Million.

The problem arose after the Scottish Power electricity board installed a new meter at the couple’s cottage home. Their electrician connected one of the wires the wrong way round so that instead of recording the number or units used it didn’t register any and continued showing zero.

Nigel and Linda, 59, say that they did not notice because they paid their bill by direct debit each month and were never asked to give a reading. But after they recently switched suppliers to Npower, a man was sent round to read their meter.

When he entered a reading of 'zero', Npower’s computer wrongly assumed the dials must have gone all round the clock – and automatically flagged up the huge bill.

Bizarrely, though, the online bill also showed that the couple had actually overpaid and were in credit by £1,362.69.

The Brothertons, who live in Roughlee, were told they didn’t need to do anything because the money would be taken automatically from their bank. But accountant Nigel, 62, said:

“There was just one problem with that – I didn’t quite have £53 million in my current account at the time.” 

But despite repeated phone calls to Npower, and contacting the regulator Ofgen, the couple are still waiting for a refund and written confirmation they won’t have to pay the £53,480,062.00 a month.

Nigel said:

“It’s a good job they didn’t actually try to take all that money from my bank account. Not only would it have gone way over my overdraft limit, but it could have brought down the bank.
“The electricity board have admitted it is a mistake and told us we don’t need to pay the money but we are still waiting for the refund they owe us.” 

A spokesman for Npower apologised and said:

“This was clearly a mistake. Mr Brotherton’s meter was incorrectly wired by his previous supplier and not Npower, which had a knock-on effect to how we billed the account. His payments are set at £87, so no extra money will be taken and we have processed a refund which should be with Mr Brotherton soon.”


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