Pub hosts hit by shock £12k electricity bill

By Gemma McKenna

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British gas, Money

Wells: nightmare continues
Wells: nightmare continues
A licensee couple who received a water bill for £37,000 in March have just been hit with a shocking £12,000 electricity bill. Shannon Wells and...

A licensee couple who received a water bill for £37,000 in March have just been hit with a shocking £12,000 electricity bill.

Shannon Wells and his wife, Caroline, who run the Red Lion at Overton, in Hampshire, received the huge electricity bill from British Gas.

Caroline Wells said the bills were paid by monthly direct debit. "I can't understand why they have let it go for so long without telling us we need to up our monthly payments."

A spokeswoman for British Gas said: "Due to a billing error, Mrs Wells built up a debit balance on her account. We've apologised to her for the inconvenience caused. We're currently working with Mrs Wells to resolve the situation and find an amicable resolution."

The Enterprise Inns lessees became locked in dispute with Southern Water after receiving a £37,000 bill in March, after only 12 months at the pub.

The figure was later reduced to £14,000 after Enterprise arranged for a contractor to mend what Southern said was a leak, under threat of the supply being cut off.

The couple had just finished paying off the Southern Water bill in August 2009 when they received their electricity bill.

"How can we afford to put another year and a half of our lives on hold, just hoping we have enough to pay off this bill on top of our usual bills?" Wells asked.

"Paying off the last bill nearly closed us down.

"We cut back on staff, put in more hours ourselves and made hardly any profit."

The Morning Advertiser has reported several cases where licensees have received out-of-the-blue electricity bills from British Gas, running into thousands of pounds, after the supplier underestimated consumption over a long period.

Related topics: Other operators

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