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Gas bills: 1.5 million customers overcharged by faulty meters

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This has been going on for 7 years apparently.


More than a million pre-payment gas customers have been overcharged because their meters are faulty, the industry has admitted.


About 1.5 million meters have not been working properly since they were installed, some as long ago as 2007.


The industry body Energy UK said customers may have been overcharged by as much as 25p for each top-up.


Those worst affected may have been overcharged by as much as £110, but most will have lost far less.





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Start Quote

Prepayment meter customers are already paying higher charges than direct debit customers, so this is adding insult to injury.”

End Quote

Gillian Guy


Chief executive, Citizens Advice


Customers will be automatically refunded by their energy supplier, and can have their payment cards updated when they take them for a top-up.


The meters were not properly calibrated to measure the cost of the gas being used.


Richard Lloyd, the executive director of the consumer group Which? said it was a "shameful example of energy companies failing their customers".


He said customers need to be reimbursed as soon as possible, and with interest.



Full story.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30214471

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Charging people more for pre-payment meters has never made sense to me.

Someone will usually have a pre-payment meter because they've fallen into debt, not because they want one. How is increasing the per-unit price they get charged supposed to help them out of that debt? Given the profit levels the energy companies report I don't buy for a second that the increased cost is to 'cover the cost of supplying and fitting the pre-payment meter'. If they were forced to charge the same rate to pre-payment customers as they do to people with regular meters, I bet there'd be a hell of a lot less pre-payment meters around....

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