Gas company in name row

A COUPLE today accused British Gas of bully-boy tactics after being threatened with court action by the company.Thomas and Rebecca Ison, who run Redeye Records, in Fore Street, Ipswich, refused to pay their electricity bill because it was sent to them in the wrong name for two years.

A COUPLE today accused British Gas of bully-boy tactics after being threatened with court action by the company.

Thomas and Rebecca Ison, who run Redeye Records, in Fore Street, Ipswich, refused to pay their electricity bill because it was sent to them in the wrong name for two years.

They claim they provided documentation showing the error, although their suppliers said this was never received.

The stand-off led to the couple accumulating £250 in late-payment fines as the dispute turned increasingly bitter.

Debt collectors became involved and the couple were threatened with court action on two occasions.

Now, following the intervention of The Evening Star, the fines have been wiped and Mr and Mrs Ison have agreed to pay the outstanding bill of about £1,800.

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It had never been in dispute the sum related to electricity used by the Isons, but they said tax reasons meant they would not pay it until they were billed in their own name.

Although happy the saga has come to an end, Mr Ison, 33, said he feels he and his wife have been treated "atrociously".

He denies even signing a contract with the company to supply power to his shop, where he has been for the past 12 years.

He said: "My wife spent several hours trying to sort it out with them on the phone but they just kept bouncing us back.

"They kept sending us red letters and in the end we decided we weren't going to pay it.

"It has been a case of whatever we've done not being good enough. All they would've had to do is do a simple check and they'd have known who we were. But they were putting the onus on us."

Allan Wood, of British Gas, said: "We're sorry this situation has gone on for so long. It would seem that we had a contract signed by someone at a very similar address in 2002 and transferred Mr Ison's address in error then.

"Although Mr Ison has been phoning to dispute this bill, we continually asked him for some information which was not forthcoming. If he'd provided this, we would've been able to bring this matter to an end some two years ago.

"We'll now remove the late payment charges from the account and send Mr Ison a bill in the correct name."

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