British Gas chased man for 18 months and threatened him with legal action over fictitious £14k energy bill
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A man was threatened with legal action by British Gas and chased for more than 18 months - over a fictitious £14,000 energy bill. Thivendran Kodeeswaran was pursued and harassed repeatedly by the energy giant over a debt which never belonged to him.
His ordeal was only ended when local media picked up his case - and British Gas have now admitted that Thivendran was not even one of its customers. They have blamed rival energy company E.On for the error, saying it failed to update an industry database when the supply to Thivendran’s property was switched.
E.On declined to comment. Thivendran, from Romford in Essex, said: “When we wrote to them, they never responded to our questions.
“They only sent bills. It cost me money to fight it. They had been saying since last September that they were going to take me to court.”
Days before Christmas 2021, Thivendran received a letter claiming he owed British Gas £14,304.45. It said that, “Unfortunately, as the money you owe us still hasn’t been paid,” the debt had been passed to a recovery firm.
But according to Thivendran, that letter was the first he had ever received from British Gas. The supermarket worker said: “I was so shocked.
“You don’t know what to do. I had no way to pay it. I was thinking maybe it was fake.”
The alleged bill related to a studio flat in Sea View Road, Skegness, which he had bought cheaply in an auction in 2013 after it was repossessed. At the time, a council order banned anybody from living in it until safety problems were fixed.
Thivendran says the property management told him he couldn’t use the old meters and that he was told a new meter had been installed by E.On. He sold the flat in 2017 and received the £14,000 bill in 2021.
British Gas now admitted the bill was erroneous after an investigation from local media. A spokesperson said: “We understand that this has been frustrating for Mr Kodeeswaran.
“We were unaware that a new electricity meter had been installed by another supplier in 2013 as the industry database hadn’t been updated as per process, but this has now been resolved. We’ve reached out to reassure him that we’re in the process of cancelling the debt.”