A single mum has pleaded with Scottish Power to clear her debts after she was hit with a ‘nightmare’ £4,000 bill on a pre-paid meter.
Lesley Hill, 43, says she has been suffering from ‘sleepless nights’ after discovering her top-up payments have been going directly to other companies’ bank accounts for the last six years.
The energy supplier hadn’t received a payment from Lesley since 2016, despite her putting money into the meter every week.
She was slapped with letters warning her of her debts before she took the matter to the Ombudsman.
An investigation ordered Scottish Power to apologise and recommended the firm issue a ‘goodwill award’.
The mum-of-one, from Knightswood, Glasgow, said the Ombudsman offered her £250 but has slammed the gesture laughable.
Lesley said: “I’m still here, sitting with this debt until it is resolved.
“I don’t understand why they can’t just clear it and write it off for me, and fix it in the background?
“Scottish Power has admitted it was their mistake, so why am I still suffering from this debt?
“The Ombudsman said that they would give me £250 as a goodwill gesture but I think that is pretty poor and laughable, really.
“I have had sleepless nights, heart palpitations, and stomach pains due to this.
“I had to call my GP today to increase my anxiety medication because I just don’t see this nightmare ending any time soon.”
Lesley switched from a credit to a pay-as-you-go account in 2015 after the breakdown of her marriage.
At the time, she owed the energy firm £560 – which she agreed to pay up in weekly installations.
She said the meter worked perfectly for one year before she started receiving warning letters from Scottish Power over arrears.
Lesley said the energy giant is yet to accept the recommendations by the Ombudsman.
She said: “The count number on the meter had been added with an extra digit and that is somehow why the money ended up going to three separate companies instead of Scottish Power.
“I have asked the Ombudsman how many extensions they are legally allowed to get because I fear this could go on for years.
“Two of these companies have gone bust and I just know that the matter won’t be resolved in 28 days.
“It just feels as though I am fighting a losing battle and that it won’t be fixed any time soon.
“It shows that no matter how hard you try to keep on top of payments, this could still inevitably happen at the end of the day and you could end up to your eyes in debt through no fault of your own.
“It just goes on and on.
“It has been a horrendous period, I’ve been ill with stress and worry.
“I don’t understand how my meter worked fine for two years and then one day, it just tripped and started going to three different companies, I just can’t comprehend how that is possible.”
In a letter seen by the Glasgow Times, the watchdog has ordered Scottish Power to pursue a missing payment inquiry.
This will ensure the firm allocates and applies all top-ups Lesley made to her electricity meter in the last six years to her current account.
A Scottish Power spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry for any stress this situation is causing Ms Hill.
“We are still working with Ms Hill and the Energy Ombudsman to fully resolve this case, including investigating where payments have been made to the other energy suppliers in order to help clear Ms Hill’s debt.”