British Gas threatened Romford supermarket worker over £14k bogus bill

British Gas threatened supermarket worker with legal action in 18-month ordeal over fictitious £14,000 electric bill

  • Thivendran Kodeeswaran from Romford in Essex was chased for the £14k bill
  • British Gas chased Mr Kodeeswaran for two years over the wrongly-issued debt 

A man was threatened with legal action by British Gas and chased for more than 18 months – over a fictitious £14,000 electric bill.

Thivendran Kodeeswaran was pursued and harassed repeatedly by the energy giant over a debt which never belonged to him.

His ordeal was only ended when local media picked up his case – and British Gas have now admitted that Mr Kodeeswaran was not even one of its customers.

They have blamed rival energy company E.On for the error, saying it failed to update an industry database when the supply to Mr Kodeeswaran’s property was switched.

E.On declined to comment.

Mr Kodeeswaran, from Romford, Essex, said: ‘When we wrote to them, they never responded to our questions.

Thivendran Kodeeswaran was pursued and harassed repeatedly by British Gas after the energy giant claimed he owed £14,000 on a property he used to own in Skegness. Following an investigation, British Gas admitted they had wrongly invoiced Mr Kodeeswaran, from Romford, Essex

Mr Kodeeswaran bought a studio apartment in Skegness to use as a holiday home

‘They only sent bills. It cost me money to fight it.

‘They had been saying since last September that they were going to take me to court.’

Days before Christmas 2021, Mr Kodeeswaran received a letter claiming he owed British Gas £14,304.45.

It said that, ‘Unfortunately, as the money you owe us still hasn’t been paid,’ the debt had been passed to a recovery firm.

But according to Mr Kodeeswaran, that letter was the first he had ever received from British Gas.

The supermarket worker said: ‘I was so shocked.

‘You don’t know what to do.

‘I had no way to pay it. I was thinking maybe it was fake.’

The alleged bill related to a studio flat in Sea View Road, Skegness, which he had bought cheaply in an auction in 2013 after it was repossessed.

Mr Kodeeswaran received a letter from British Gas demanding £14,304.45 for electricity supplied between July 2013 and October 2017. The energy giant has admitted it sent the bill to Mr Kodeeswaran in error 

At the time, a council order banned anybody from living in it until safety problems were fixed.

Mr Kodeeswaran says the property management told him he couldn’t use the old meters and that he was told a new meter had been installed by E.On.

He sold the flat in 2017 and received the £14,000 bill in 2021.

British Gas now admitted the bill was erroneous after an investigation from local media.

A spokesperson said: ‘We understand that this has been frustrating for Mr Kodeeswaran.

‘We were unaware that a new electricity meter had been installed by another supplier in 2013 as the industry database hadn’t been updated as per process, but this has now been resolved.

‘We’ve reached out to reassure him that we’re in the process of cancelling the debt.’

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