Gas Bill Underpayment

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This is long and complicated...please bear with me however.

I live in a large townhouse which was converted into two maisonette style flats around 2000. I live in the upper part of the house and my neighbour lives downstairs. Last spring she noticed whilst reading her gas meter that it was clocking power despite her having no gas appliances running. She called out Transco, fearing a leak, and it transpired that the meter she was getting billed for was mine, and I was being billed for her family's.

We informed our suppliers and heard no more about it, despite several letters and phone calls.

In the meantime, my husband died in March and this became the least of my worries.

In August I received a bill from Scottish Gas informing me a meter reading had been taken and I was in credit to the tune of £234. Now I admit right here I made a big mistake because I didn't read the bill fully...what the bill actually said on the reverse side was a meter reading had been taken in May 2007, when the meter issue was sorted (remember they never told me this) but everything else after that was an estimate.

Today someone came from Scottish Gas to read my meter and upon informing them of the reading I now owe them just over £1,000.

I already pay them £92 per month by direct debit and am absolutely sickened that they hadn't read my meter since May 2007. I know I should have been keeping tabs on things more myself but a combination of circumstances prevented me from doing so, not least the fact I can't actually reach up to the meter on my own to do so as its not located in a particularly accessible point.

I did telephone them today and they seem to think my direct debits won't increase but I can't see how this can be the case.

Has anyone else been in a similar position? What is the situation regarding the fact they didn't send anyone to read my meter for nearly 18 months? Is this acceptable or not?

I appreciate part of this is my own fault but I am obviously very concerned about what will happen now - any input would be appreciated.
Sealed Pot Challenge 2010 - member 402 :)

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  • Joyful
    Joyful Posts: 2,426 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
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    A company only legally needs to read your meter once every 2 years but I'm sure they will allow you to pay it interest free over 12 months.
    Self Employed, Running my Dream Jobs
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