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Couple who hadn't paid for gas in 18 years left in shock after receiving £11,000 bill

Couple who hadn't paid for gas in 18 years left in shock after receiving £11,000 bill

After 18 years in the house, they were suddenly landed with the mega bill

Imagine being able to live your life without having to pay bills. The dream.

Although that money saver turned into an absolute nightmare for this Staffordshire couple.

Lee Haynes, 44, and Jo Woodley, 45, moved into their home in Tamworth back in 2005 and immediately got to work with all the important stuff.

No, not measuring up the perfect sofa for ultimate Netflix binging but sorting out their maintenance bills.

However, they apparently just couldn’t pinpoint the gas.

They’ve got letters from both the National Grid and their housing association dated 2006 with confirmation of struggles to establish the gas source.

Lee and Jo contacted their ombudsman who, they claim, told them to wait to hear.

So, when nobody seemed to be able to work out just who was responsible for the gas supply, the couple gave up querying it.

But fast forward 18 years and now the pair are facing a whopper bill of nearly £11,000.

For Lee, this is his ‘worst fears’ come true.

He said: “It was very strange. After a few months we had bills for everything but not gas.

"I was worried about suddenly getting a big bill - so I tried really hard to find out who was supplying our gas.

Lee Haynes and Jo Woodley.

“The guy from the housing association tried all the suppliers they work with and said he didn't know what to do.

"When the ombudsman said just to keep the paperwork and leave it that's exactly what we did."

In March this year, gas distributors Cadent wrote to Lee and Jo saying they wanted to have a look at the supply to the house.

Three months later, this was followed up with the shocker.

The letter said they owed £10,824.87 for gas usage between 2005 and 2023.

An official invoice last month says the couple have 30 days to pay the bill, although they still have no idea who actually supplied the gas.

Lee said: "I just don't understand. The 1986 Gas Act says they can recover costs if I'm at fault but I'm not. Who would write in their calendar every year to try and find out who's providing gas to their home?

They were asked to pay nearly £11,000 for gas.
Getty Images Stock

"We just got on with living there - like we were told to. I did everything I could. I didn't want to just let the problem go. After two years of trying really hard to find our supplier and trying to pay British Gas, we were told there was nothing we could do.

"It would be fair enough to bill us if I hadn't tried, but they can't really expect me to keep trying for 18 years. There has to be shared responsibility for this."

A spokesperson from Cadent said: "Whilst Cadent are not a gas supplier, as part of our gas transportation license we have an obligation to investigate and use our reasonable endeavours to recover the cost of any gas used outside of a supplier contract.

“Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases, we must stress we have a specialist team who are on hand to offer help and support to customers who are required to make a repayment."

Lee and Jo have since signed up with a major energy firm.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS/Getty Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Money