Powergen has been criticized for sending massive electricity bills to hundreds of UK residential customers, including one for GBP59,000.
The inflated bills came to light after BBC news program Look East highlighted the issue, which Powergen – part of German energy group E.ON – has blamed on computer database problems following the acquisition of regional supplier TXU.
A spokeswoman for Powergen said: There has been an issue in upgrading our systems, moving all our customers onto a single database.
One customer, Hilary Bayfield from Norfolk, was sent a bill for GBP59,182.88. She told the BBC: I was amazed. Perhaps the bill is for the light house on the edge of the cliff!
Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk Norman Lamb has written to Powergen asking for an explanation on behalf of his constituents. Mr Lamb said: Powergen’s mis-billing has caused grave concern to hundreds of energy consumers in the east of England, many of whom have been shocked by massively high bills, running to many thousands of pounds, for energy they did not use.
I will be writing to Powergen demanding an explanation for this hopeless shambles, as well as to Ofgem, the regulator, and industry watchdog Energywatch.
Many people also contacted the BBC after the program went out to complain about the customer service they received from the company’s call centers.
Speaking to the BBC, Powergen’s customer service director Paul Elliot said: The standard of customer service that some of these customers were getting is frankly appalling, it is just not good enough.
I think the training we put in place for some of our people wasn’t effective, and we haven’t encouraged the right standards of customer service.