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Gas bill goes the wrong way - twice

PUBLISHED: 15:52 30 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

IT is not every day you are told you are going to be given £2,000.

Some people move house leaving a string of debts behind them but for Lisa Keithley, her problem was the opposite.

IT is not every day you are told you are going to be given £2,000.

Some people move house leaving a string of debts behind them but for Lisa Keithley, her problem was the opposite. Having ensured all her bills were paid, British Gas tried to give her thousands of pounds they did not owe her.

This is the second time in seven months this has happened to Mrs Keithley. When she moved to St Agnes Way, Kesgrave in October she was told she was £1,500 in credit.

She said: "When I read that first letter I felt I should be entitled to the money. I was relying on that £1,500 and I was told the cheque was on its way. It took them two months and four phone calls from me before they realised they didn't owe me any money."

Then three weeks ago she received another letter from British Gas, this time saying she was owed £2,335.07.

Terry Fenwick, 44, is Lisa's partner and lives at the same address. He said: "British Gas told us it was a computer error before but now it has happened again. It is absolutely crazy and a complete farce."

British Gas also spelt Lisa's name wrong on the bill calling her Mrs Keighley.

Mr Fenwick said: "If we were late in paying they would be chasing us up with demand letters. Every time I get a bill from now they should take it out of this amount.

"I think it is ridiculous and they are a joke. We have rung up British Gas a further five times but they have taken no notice. I can't wait until the next bill comes."

Mrs Keithley, 34, said: "We want an apology but it would be nice to get the money."

After being contacted by the Evening Star, Dave Watson, British Gas customer relations manager, spoke to Mr Fenwick.

Mr Fenwick said: "They have offered us a written apology but you should do that two days after the mistake. I was told we would not get any money."

Kim Forster, a British Gas press officer, said: "We are very sorry the mistake had been made. It is unfortunate and a big coincidence that it has happened to them again. It is quite clear the money is a clerical error and we do not owe anything but they should have been sent an apology immediately.

"No computer is perfect and something has gone wrong. It is quite embarrassing for us but it is nobody's fault.

"We will be investigating the situation as it is not acceptable they weren't given a written apology straight away."

N What do you think? Do you know someone who suffered a similar problem? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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