Forces veteran Fred Mansell feared he could end up in court over a British Gas charge for his home in Sheffield. The 62-year-old was shocked to receive a letter saying he had to pay £94 for having a meter in his Lowedges property – despite the fact he has never used gas since moving in to the Sheffield Council property in October 2012.
Letters addressed to the previous occupant had been arriving at the property, but Mr Mansell had returned them to the company.
He contacted the council, Ofgen and British Gas for a solution, but was told he could face court action and a further charge of £266 if he did not pay up.
Mr Mansell said at the time: “I’ll have to end up going to court because I can’t pay.”
After he turned to Action Desk, British Gas removed the meter free of charge, refunded his phone costs and wiped his bill clear – totalling £118.77.
British Gas said it has supplied to the house since 1999 and the account was in the name of a previous owner until November last year.
The standing charge was introduced in November 2013, but the company had not been aware Mr Mansell was the new tenant until October 2014.
Catrin Millar, for British Gas, said: “Any customers who move home should let us know so we can discuss whether they need the gas supply or not. If a customer decides they don’t want to have a meter, this can be removed free of charge.”