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Energy firm messed up customers’ bills for five years - then threatened them with debt collectors

PUBLISHED: 06:15 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 16 October 2020

Simon Smith with his wad of incorrect bills from Scottish Power and his electric meter at the Redlands, Swaffham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Smith with his wad of incorrect bills from Scottish Power and his electric meter at the Redlands, Swaffham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

An energy company threatened its customers with debt collectors, despite sending them the wrong bills for the last five years.

Simon Smith has been receiveing incorrect bills from Scottish Power for several years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSimon Smith has been receiveing incorrect bills from Scottish Power for several years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Residents at Redlands Park, off Brandon Road, in Swaffham said they had been getting bills for the wrong addresses since moving into their new homes in 2014.

After repeated complaints to their provider, Scottish Power, the company has failed to fix the problem and has sent threatening letters to them.

Simon Smith, 52, started getting billed for the wrong address in 2015.

The problems stem from the company having the wrong meter numbers for the homes.

Mr Smith complained to Scottish Power, who failed to fix the problem, so he went to the ombudsman in 2016.

At the time, the company agreed to pay him £75 and change the meter number.

“I thought that at this point my problems would be over but I couldn’t have been further from the truth,” Mr Smith, who works for a medical company, said.

“In July of 2019 I noticed that my supply address was incorrect again.”

Mr Smith once again contacted Scottish Power as well as his MP Elizabeth Truss.

Then this weekend he received a letter from a debt collection agency called Richburns, sent on behalf of Scottish Power.

They said he owed them £4,116, but the bill was for a different home.

The letter warned that if he didn’t pay they would replace his meter with a pay-as-you go one which would then pay off the arrears.

He also fears his credit rating will be affected.

“This is truly a nightmare for us,” he said.

Other residents on the estate also said they faced similar problems with Scottish Power.

One woman, who only wished to be named as Emma, said she had been sent bills for the wrong address since last April.

“We have rang and called them several times and every time they say they will deal with it,” she said. “It is very frustrating.”

A spokesman for Scottish Power apologised and said: “We would like to reassure any customer affected by this that we will not be taking any further action for energy bills they have received that are not for their household that remain unpaid.”


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