OAP's gas bill fiasco finally resolved

AN elderly woman whose electricity company twice wrongly removed £2,800 from her bank account has been vindicated - but not before a further scare.

AN elderly woman whose electricity company twice wrongly removed £2,800 from her bank account has been vindicated - but not before a further scare.

After The Evening Star had exclusively revealed how Joan Last, 82, had twice been the victim of billing errors by British Gas, the pensioner was left dumfounded when a third bill arrived.

However, the mess has finally been resolved after the utility giant realised an extra zero had been added to each of Mrs Last's meter readings for two years, causing the huge bills.

Her daughter Julie Grimwood, 49, of Windruffs Road, Ipswich said: “When she got this letter (the third bill) she was hyperventilating.

“She is relieved now but she is still waiting for the next letter to come. I can see it rearing its ugly head again.”

Last week British Gas admitted they had made a mistake and Mrs Last, of Copleston Road, Ipswich, got her money back via a bank indemnity.

Most Read

But earlier this week, she was told the bank had tried to remove the money again - but could not because she had blocked the direct debit on her account.

Her son-in-law Bill Weir called the fuel company and was told Mrs Last did owe £2,800 - but that she would only be charged £850 as a gesture of goodwill.

When her family pointed out this was still too high, her account was examined and a British Gas employee finally noticed what had been going wrong.

Now, British Gas says her account is £5 in credit and claims the problem has been resolved.

A spokesman for British Gas said: “In recalculating and resetting the account we realised that these meter readings were wrong.

“We are very sorry for the stress we have caused and providing she wants to continue with British Gas we will send her some flowers and give her a credit of £25 on her account as a gesture of goodwill.”

Mrs Grimwood said: “It must have been at least ten calls I made to British Gas, probably more. I spent easily three or four hours on the phone to them, and that was just me.”

Have you been overcharged by your utility company? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk