£9,000 gas bill shock for Preston pensioner

Margaret Corey, aged 72 from Fulwood has been sent a British gas bill's amounting to over �10,000.'24th February 2015
Margaret Corey, aged 72 from Fulwood has been sent a British gas bill's amounting to over �10,000.'24th February 2015
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A pensioner has described how she “couldn’t stop shaking” after receiving a bill for more than £9,000 for gas and electricity.

Margaret Corey, 72, of Links Gate, Fulwood, couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened a letter from British Gas on Wednesday afternoon, describing how her Direct Debit arrangement had changed after agreeing to a new tariff.

Margaret Corey, aged 72 from Fulwood has been sent a British gas bill's amounting to over �10,000.'24th February 2015

Margaret Corey, aged 72 from Fulwood has been sent a British gas bill's amounting to over �10,000.'24th February 2015

She said: “It said I owed £8,047 for gas and another £1,259 for electricity and that it would be taken out of my account on March 9.

“I was in total shock. For an OAP who lives on her own like me, it’s enough to make you ill. Luckily I have a good neighbour who I went to see.”

Mrs Corey rang British Gas to enquire about the mistake and was told that her combined bill should actually be £59.

She said: “The man I spoke to just said that it was a blip. He said that there’s quite a few, and it’s worrying that he was so calm about it.

“I’m worried about other people who have got these mistakes and how they will feel.

“And what if people don’t check things like I do and British Gas try to take all that money out of their bank?

“Not many people will have that kind of cash in their account, so the payment won’t go through, and that could cause all kinds of long-lasting problems.”

British Gas told the Evening Post it was an isolated error.

Spokeswoman Leigh Franks said: “When Mrs Corey contacted us about her energy tariff we set up her payment plan incorrectly. We’ve now put this right and have apologised to Mrs Corey for the distress and inconvenience and offered her a gesture of goodwill.”