A new mum given an electricity bill of almost £1,800 for her small flat has branded it as ‘insane’. Irsi Hyka said the massive huge quarterly bill was a ‘joke’ that she would not have been able to afford.
The 24-year-old mother-of-one was given the £1,790.84 estimated bill for her apartment in Birmingham city centre, where she lives with her partner and two-month-old baby. She was shocked to get the bill which was up almost £800 from the £200 she is used to paying every three months, BirminghamLive reports.
She first complained after getting a bill for £1,000. Ms Hyka called SSE Energy Service to check her meter was recording correctly, but she claims they failed to send anyone.
“They charged me £1,000 for a period of three months…This was insane; also it was summer months which I haven’t stayed home most of the time – and my apartment is so small.
“I called them several times, I’ve been waiting on the line for so many days. They asked me to send to them for one week my meter reading through email and after that they never called back.
“I needed to give them a call back to book an inspector to see my meter because I was thinking it was broken. They booked me in for Feb 8 but they never came.
“I called them again they said we see that you have been booked but sorry we are going to arrange another meeting.”
They didn’t come again and told Ms Hyka the team were “extremely busy”, she says. She was then advised her account would be placed on hold while another appointment was booked.
But much to her surprise, she received a ‘final notice before court action’ and a £100 fine for a late payment. She added: “I called them again and again they were so difficult to help. I have a new-born baby so it was so difficult for me to get in touch anymore or wait on the line everyday for more than 3-4 hours for no reason.
“So I paid. Even though I am really struggling and never used that much electricity I had no other choice.” After paying the hefty sum of £1,119.64, she received an email charging her £1,790.84 for the next quarter.
“But now I received an email from them from the period April until June. Is this a joke? I tried to call them so many times today no one could help me. They won’t send anyone to check.”
SSE Energy Service said her bill was based on ‘estimated readings’ and that Ms Hyka had provided five digit meter readings when her account was “set up to receive only four digit meter readings”.
Her readings were therefore being “manually changed” based on an accurate reading in 2019. The service said “due to a shortfall in service”, this was not picked up as “quickly as it could have been.” The company apologised to Ms Hyka, updated her account and said she would receive a refund for the amount she is due.
She will also be given a £50 goodwill gesture once her refund has been processed, it said. A SSE Energy Service spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry to Ms Hyka for the time taken to resolve this case. We can confirm her account is now updated with the correct meter readings.”