Pensioner's shock at �25k gas bill

LIKE thousands across the region, pensioner Ken Jones expected a slight rise in his energy costs this year.

LIKE thousands across the region, pensioner Ken Jones expected a slight rise in his energy costs this year.

However, when he finally received his gas bill he was completely floored by the amount outstanding.

His energy provider E.ON wanted �25,000.

Mr Jones, 67, of Exeter Drive, Colchester, moved house in January, but had been complaining to the company about problems with his meter since 2005.

After informing the company of his move a new meter was finally installed and a short while later he received a bill at his new address for a whopping �24,575.59.

He said: “The old meter had never worked at all from the time I went in there. Before I knew I was going to move they were threatening to cut me off.

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“I told them I have not tried to get free gas and I have called them on the phone I don't know how many times. I'd ring up and they'd palm me off to somebody else, but nothing happens.”

Mr Jones got in touch with Age Concern Colchester, which often hears from older residents who can be confused and distressed by bill irregularities.

The charity's Peter Simpson said Mr Jones had done “all in his power” to try and get the problem solved with his defective gas meter, but E.ON had failed to provide the sort of customer care everyone should expect from their energy suppliers.

He said: “Fortunately, Mr Jones could see that the bill is wildly out but we do get many older people who suffer enormous distress when energy companies send out bills which are way above what they should be.

“I know the standard reply will be 'it was a computer error' but one has got to wonder if there is now anyone working in these big organisation who think about the distress these 'errors' cause.”

Last night a spokesman for E.ON said it had been in contact with Mr Jones and apologised to him for the troubles he had encountered.

She said: “We have spoken to Mr Jones and have apologised both for not issuing a bill for a number of years, and for sending him the large bill which was clearly issued in error.

“We have waived all charges on his account as a gesture of goodwill and will also be reimbursing Mr Jones for the cost of any phone calls he has made to have this issue resolved.”

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