Angela Rippon ‘staggered’ as Scottish Power saddles man with £3,000 debt that isn’t his

Rip Off Britain: Man recalls Scottish Power ‘problem’

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On Rip Off Britain today, presenter Angela Rippon spoke to Dave Spragg, who had been left with a £3,000 debt that was not his own. With sky high energy prices and rising inflation, paying bills can already put a lot of strain on one’s finances, so when Dave started receiving energy bills for an address that was not his, he did not know what to do.

The energy bills he received came from Scottish Power, despite him being with a completely different provider.

On January 29, Dave received a letter from Scottish Power, welcoming his family to their new home. However as he had lived in his house for 20 years, Dave called up the energy firm to tell them about their error but it proved difficult for him to get in touch with them.

Despite months of trying to get in touch with them, the bills kept coming to his house and adding up. Eventually, he was told he owed Scottish Power almost £3,000, even though these were not his bills.

He said: “Depending on which letter you believe, it’s a little short of £3,000”.

“Wow, that’s a staggering amount,” Ms Rippon said.

Speaking about his mental state, Dave said: “We are trying to set up a business, we have elderly relatives that we are trying to take care of, we don’t need this extra stress.”

All the while, Dave was still paying his actual energy suppliers.

In an attempt to get Scottish Power to stop sending bills, Dave raised a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman verified that there was an address error on the electricity supply database.

This was why Dave was receiving someone else’s energy bills as the company was getting his address confused with someone else’s.

They ruled in Dave’s favour, ordering Scottish Power to stop billing him. Scottish Power apologised and sent him £75 for compensation.

However five months after this ruling, debt collectors turned up at Dave’s house demanding that he settle the bill.

He explained to Rippon that he did not allow them into his property. He wanted to show them the case file to prove that this was not his debt.

He said: “We are at the end of our tether, we don’t know what to do, which is why we’re so glad that you agreed to come and talk to us.”

Rippon responded: “It is an extraordinary story. I fear you are not alone with it Dave, that’s the only thing.”

Scottish Power told Rip Off Britain that they had removed Dave’s name from the account that had wrongly been registered to it and they made a good will payment by way of apology back in September 2021.

They admitted that they “didn’t reconcile this with the supply address data used by the debt collection agency” when their agents knocked on Dave’s door five years later.

Scottish Power confirmed that the records have now been updated, and it apologised again to Dave and made another good will payment.

They assured Dave this won’t have any impact on his credit rating.

A ScottishPower spokesperson said to Express.co.uk: “We’re sorry for the issues experienced by Mr and Mrs Spragg and the time it has taken to fully resolve their complaint. We did close the billing account and remove Mr Spragg’s address for any correspondence associated with the meter and made a goodwill payment of £75 in September 2021.

“However, in error, we didn’t reconcile this with the supply address data, which was the information used by the debt collection agency earlier this year. This has now been corrected following a visit from our customer liaison team.

“We can assure Mr and Mrs Spragg there is no impact on their credit rating and apologise for any distress caused by the delay in sorting everything out. In recognition of this, we’ve offered a further goodwill payment and hope this brings matters to a close.”

Rip Off Britain continues tomorrow on BBC one at 9:15am.

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