Lancashire couple's shock over 1p bill from British Gas

Retired couple Tom and Ann McMellon from Freckleton got an electric shock when they opened their gas and electricity bill.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:45 am

And they wondered what bright spark at British Gas had mustered up the energy to send the bill, which was for the princely sum of just 1p.

The couple, who live on Bush Lane, say they had just paid their combined bill in full and hadn’t been expecting another one.

So it was a surprise to receive a second energy bill. Especially when they saw it was for a single penny. And the confused couple were further disgruntled as they say it is for a penny they do not owe.

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Tom and Margaret Anne McMellon with their bill for 1p from British Gas. Pictures: Daniel Martino

Ann, 70, says: “We had just paid the bill in full and it was over £500. As far as I am concerned we do not owe anything else. We definitely paid the full amount. I was shocked when I opened the bill and saw the amount owing and we did laugh a bit about it.

“I phoned British Gas and they said they would raise it as a complaint. But we haven’t heard anything back yet.”

In the meantime Tom, 72, who worked in land maintenance and army camps, and Ann, a retired book binder, said they do not intend to pay the one pence, adding that British Gas can simply “whistle for the money.”

They say they have been a customer with the energy company for “years and years” and are hoping to have the matter cleared up.

Ann said: “We have laughed a bit, but on a serious note it took an envelope and three pieces of paper to tell us we owe one pence. It seems really silly and a waste of paper and trees..”

A British Gas spokesman said:‘We put this right for Mrs McMellon when she contacted us by removing the 1p, and let her know it was an error made by one of our advisors. She has told us she is happy with this explanation.”