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back to article Cambridge woman in £90m 'leccy bill shocker

A Cambridge woman got a bit of a shock on Saturday morning when a bill from 'leccy outfit Npower landed on her doormat demanding an impressive £90,454,217, the Cambridge News reports. Alison Turner, 50, was surprised not only by the colossal total for juice, but also because she's on a pre-pay meter. She recounted: "I shouldn't …

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Dead Vulture

Come on, you guys

"It's lucky they didn't send this bill to an old age pensioner. Luckily, my daughter was with me when I opened the bill and told me not to worry about it"

I didn't read that as "... because he is so stupid he would have paid it" so much as "... because he might have died from shock before he recovered his wits." (Substitute appropriate pronouns as required.) Nice of some of you to assume the worst possible interpretation.

And I even managed to slip in a pun. :)

Dead vulture because it had a heart attack when it got the bill for 90,000,000 rotting corpses.

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Unhappy

back-calculating ripoff

Our annual water charges review always run along the same lines:

Last year you used about £96 worth of water, when in fact we charged you for £144 based on an arbitrary estimate. So right now we owe you £48 because you were paying by direct debit at £12 per month

Next year we estimate your water usage will be <complicated calculation of litres of water + sewage charge for removal of same> ... £192. So, taking off the £48 we owe you leaves £144 for you to pay in 12 easy instalments of £12.

Wow! shock horror and amazement!

Despite the fact that I use only 2/3 of the water you charged me for, you now estimate I will actually use twice that much next year so that I end up paying you the same amount and keep your pockets lined.

Ridiculous. The wording that this is an estimate of how much water I will use would easily get past many people, such as pensioners or simply those who don't spend time on these kind of details.

Every year I have negotiated a reduction in the DD (never as low as it should be) and every year they still try to put it back up through a fictional estimate.

Our last gas bill is based on the usage between two estimates. The first estimate was already more than the current reading, the second is just a work of pure fantasy. I let it go and paid up at the old price - now that prices are going up I can correct the reading next time and potentially have a near-zero bill. Their problem if they are too lazy to ever read our meter.

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Unhappy

@Boris

That's happening to me right now. The local power company changed their meters on my house and said that for the last 24 months they had been "underestimating" my usage. They went back through my bills that I had already paid and changed the amount due on them. The total? $5200. They admit it was their fault but want me to still pay. They have yet to send someone out to check the meter manually, even though they are on the outside. I'm almost afraid to make it drag out for fear of the disconnect notices. Stupid monopolies.

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Coat

Death Star budget

"That's enough power to run a Death Star for just over 12 years."

The gas bill of $4.5 trillion won't run the Death Star for even a couple of years. It takes about $2.5E12 to run the current Death Star. I looked it up myself:

http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=651903316451+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

You must have a cheaper Death Star in mind.

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Coat

Thats quite a bit of 'leccy

I calculate that she must have been running a 1.21GW flux capacitor for 24 days solid!

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hmmmm

Once upon a day you could make a device that made your meter runs backwards, very very simple technology..................i suppose so could have had one and overdone it and gone past 0000000.............

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@Fred - SEC, @AdamV

Fred:

That might be true in the US, but we don't have the quarterly nonsense in the UK (half-yearly is more relaxed), and you're assuming malice where (based on past history) it's almost certainly incompetence.

AdamV:

It took a long time before our electric company caught up with us in correctly overestimating usage, so we were running a debit for several years. Now they've caught up and owe us money, about to be made worse by the fact that certain events such as firing electric kilns won't be happening again this year so they'll owe us bigtime before they work it out.

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Anonymous Coward

Drool Brittania.

"Luckily, my daughter was with me when I opened the bill and told me not to worry about it"

So who is no only OAP in Britian who could not batt an eyelid an mere 90million quid?

Lucky dear Annie was around to set this lady straight.

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Bob

@ Richard Scratcher

[quote]That's enough power to run a Death Star for just over 12 years[/quote]

Is that just general running costs or does that include the odd decimated planet?

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Even Scarier Error -Gas this time

I had a far scarier error.....cos the bill COULD have been right...

I changed gas provider and suddenly my bills seemed to double.

Phoned them to query it of course but they would not budge.

Next bill, also big....phone again. Well, they gave me the option of having a calibrated test meter fitted....but if the bill was correct I had to pay for it (several hundred pounds). This scared me off and I just wondered if our consumption had gone up that much.

After checking old and new bills with a fine tooth comb, I found the problem. I had a new metric meter but they were charging me in imperial units approx. 2.5 times as big - hence the bigger bills. Idiots!

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Dead Vulture

This is Business as Usual for NPower

I was with them once, and I would never use them again nor wish them on anyone else. They are truly a showcase for incompetence which makes even the current government look good.

First, over a 2 year period they managed to bill me twice for the same supply, based on their "estimates" and they ended up owing me over £2000. It took 18 months to get them to admit their error and refund me.

A year later (why oh why did I not dump them then?) they send me a bill for £1,400 despite the fact I paid them by direct debit. This took 8 months to sort out, as I insisted on seeing a detailed breakdown of charges. It took a plethora of phone calls and 3 letters, (2 recorded delivery) before they saw fit to respond at all. However, their response was to instruct a firm of debt collectors. I contacted them again, meanwhile raising an official complaint to Energywatch, saying I had no objection to paying any sum owed as long as they could prove it was not yet another error, given the past history on the account. Their response was a letter stating flatly "the account is correct" and a letter from the debt collector saying they would sue me if I didn't pay. Again I wrote to them saying that them claiming that the account was correct didn't prove anything, and repeated for the umpteenth time my request for a detailed breakdown of charges. By now Energywatch had contacted them, and I received a letter from NP offering to knock £500 off the total bill. This seemed to me a pretty hefty amount for an account that "was correct".

Things however still dragged on, so eventually I said I'd see them in court, and they again upped their offer to wipe out most of the alleged debt, but still no breakdown. I didn't have time to mess about with these fools, so accepted the offer of settlement on the proviso that they close the account and never contact me again. They've already failed the latter, needless to say. I've had their telesales people on several times despite being ex-directory and registered with TPS.

AVOID NPower at all costs - life is too short. Atlantic energy get my vote however, they actually seem to understand something about customer service!

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IT Angle

With a bill like that....

They should name a windmill after her - and be tied to the rotor for a few fortnights to reconsider the systems they have in place to show them the IT angle of it all...

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Coat

@ Andy Worth (and others)

"So she's saying she'd have taken a £90m+ bill seriously if her daughter hadn't been there then?"

No, her daughter is a multi-billionaire, who immediately paid it from loose change in her back pocket.

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im an n-power customer on a pre-payment meter

we started getting bills from them last year (despite the prepayment) and they said that they wont bill us, 2 months later we got a letter threatening to take us to court if we dont pay. 3 months ago we got one saying that we are £469.20 in credit.

straight on the phone to get a refund from them.

i think n-power need to go over their billing system with a fine tooth comb.

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Perhaps...

She was charging the batteries for the PFY's "Insulation Tester" ?

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Mentality

"Luckily, my daughter was with me when I opened the bill and told me not to worry about it. "

Its that kind of mentality why we 419 e-mails going around. I know greed is a part of it but if people were able to think and just delete those emails the net would be a better place. Nope we have people like her that think a 90m pound bill could possibly be legit. We are not talking about Bill gates tax bill here.

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@Lloyd - Ofwat

think you mean Ofgem

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