Shocked couple receive £13,000 energy bill after switching to smart meter
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A couple were left understandably shocked when they went to check their energy bill, only to find they'd been charged more than £13,000.
Although energy prices have shot up in recent months, nothing could have prepared Stewart and Gayle Neely for such an eye-watering bill.
The Scottish couple believe the confusion started after installing a smart meter in their home - although most people use these to save money rather than rinse it.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Stewart revealed that the pair normally spend £156 per month on gas and electricity provided by OVO Energy, although this had recently been increased to £177.
However, when the 54-year-old went to check the account last week, he noticed it had gone from being £189.99 in credit to £13,037.71 in debt. Ouch.
They soon realised that the whopping bill arrived just weeks after fitting the smart meter in their four bedroom detached home in Kilmarnock.
The police officer told the outlet: "We changed to OVO Energy for my gas and electricity supply last year after they took over SSE.
"We are always in credit on our account but I have been keeping a close eye on the bills and usage due to rising costs.
"Last week I checked my online account and it was £189 in credit, as expected.
"However, last Tuesday I checked my account and to my horror discovered I was £13,000 in debt."
When Stewart went to call the Bristol-based supplier to find out what the heck was going on, he was once again left panicking after the employee asked whether he'd like to settle the balance there and then.
Oh yes, do you need the long card number?
Thankfully the issue appears to have been resolved, but only when the Sunday Mail, the Daily Record's sister publication, got in touch with OVO Energy to ask them about the issue.
A spokesperson told the outlet: "We’re very sorry to Mr and Mrs Neely.
"We have corrected the error and they’ve accepted a goodwill amount in apology for the inconvenience caused.”
And it looks like the approach worked, as the couple later revealed the debt was wiped and their account was up £150.
Gayle, 48, added: "I got a nice call from OVO to say everything was sorted and to say a £150 credit had been added to our account as a good will gesture.
"It turns out it had been one of their agents that had entered an electricity reading as a gas one.
"I’m in no doubt we wouldn’t have had it resolved as quickly if the Sunday Mail hadn’t got involved."
All's well that ends well - if you find yourself in a similar situation be sure to follow it up. As said, bills have gone up, but not by that much.