1. ITV Report

Energy company bill Berkshire woman £15,000 despite not being a customer


A woman from Berkshire says she is at her 'wits end' after receiving a bill for £15,000 from a company that is not her energy supplier.

Sarah Barnard, who lives in Hurst, received the 'sky high and wrong' bill from Scottish Power, despite her not being one of their customers.

She has been trying to settle the dispute with the energy company for more than two years.

It still does feel like a bad dream. It sounds like a cliche but I'd provided all the information that I could, everything that they had asked for and whenever I did that, nothing happened - apart from the bills got bigger and bigger. Even if it was only £1,500, it would be just as bad because we're not their customer, and that's the thing they can't acknowledge."

– Sarah Barnard

The mother of three says it began in 2016 when she started receiving electricity bills from Scottish Power.

Despite numerous calls and several formal complaints to the company, Sarah says the bills continued and the amount to pay got bigger each time.

During the confusion, she has received calls from debt collection agencies and bailiffs.

The second time they [bailiffs] turned up at eight in the morning just after I had left for work. My husband told them that it was in the hands of the ombudsman, that we'd raised a complaint and that we weren't Scottish Power customers. But it was really frightening because we knew they could disconnect or install a pre-pay meter - that was really worrying, My daughter didn't want to be in the house on her own. It was frightening.

– Sarah Barnard
Sarah relies on electrics to help move and look after her son Ted, who is severely disabled

The power firm has now backed down and apologised.

We sincerely apologise for any upset and inconvenience this matter has caused. The case is with the Ombudsman and once the case has been fully reviewed by the Ombudsman they will present all parties with their findings and proposed resolution. We have assured Miss Barnard that we have reversed all bills associated to her address and also applied locks to the billing accounts in question to cease further unwanted debt follow up."

– Scottish Power spokesperson
The latest bill totalled more than £15,000