‘I was absolutely astounded’ – Man shocked after British Gas energy bill hits £15,337
Rip Off Britain: British gas customer gets billed over £15K
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At a time when energy bills are rocketing, some people have been hit with soaring bills from their energy suppliers. On Rip Off Britain, Jeremy Pattenden spoke to the team about his troubling situation. He received a gas bill in February for more than £6,600.
He said: “I was absolutely astounded. It’s got to be wrong.
“I’m a person who always watches what my bills are. I know what it should be and I know that there must be a massive mistake.”
Jeremy’s family usually uses about 500kWh of gas each month but his March bill was for 201,684.6kWh. This is 400 times his usually amount.
“It’s just a complete joke really,” he said.
When he reported this to British Gas, his energy supplier, they promised to investigate and froze his payments whilst they did this.
However 11 weeks later, his situation was still not resolved and the balance continued to increase.
Jeremy continued: “Currently my bill stands at this moment of time £15,337.05.
“It’s wrong and they should be held accountable for what they do.
“They are great at making profits everywhere but how about tweeting their customers nicely and actually solving problems in a reasonable time.”
Jeremy is thought to be one of thousands of people who have been affected by incorrect bills.
More than half of the complaints to the energy Ombusman in the last three months of 2021 were about billing issues.
Martin James from the complaints resolution service Resolver has also seen an increase in complaints about high or incorrect energy bills.
He said: “Many of the people I have spoken to are reporting ludicrously high bills that couldn’t possibly make any sense.
“This is sometimes down to an over reliance on estimates and sometimes it’s down to faulty meters.
“The fact of the matter is that the whole process of billings is offered automated. So what goes into the computer can come out without a human being actually looking at it.
“I think businesses need to introduce extra levels of checks so people aren’t distressed by enormous bills that can’t possibly be correct.”
Rip Off Britain spoke to British Gas, who confirmed it was a mistake. They apologised to Jeremy and issued him his correct statement.
A spokesperson from British Gas said: “We want to clarify that Jeremy’s issue has been resolved but we understand this has been difficult for him.
“His accounts have been re billed to the latest read and we’ll stay in touch with Jeremy if he needs to discuss anything further on this.”
Households had an average rise of 54 percent in the energy tariff price cap on April 1.
This added almost £700 to annual bills and taking them close to £2,000.
However bills could rise to almost £2,600 in October when the next price cap adjustment is due – reflecting the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine for the first time.
Ofgem said its new proposals would enable greater agility: allowing bills to rise or decline more quickly.
An Ofgem statement said: “A more frequent price cap would reflect the most up to date and accurate energy prices and mean when prices fall from the current record highs, customers would see the benefit much sooner.
“This change would also help energy suppliers more accurately predict how much energy they need to purchase for their customers, reducing the risk of further supplier failures which ultimately push up costs for consumers.”
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