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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Energy firm says sorry for Carlisle pensioner cash delay

An energy firm has apologised for leaving a pensioner in the dark for three months over money she was owed.

Valerie Young photo
Valerie Young

Joan Young, 83, was nearly £140 in credit after moving out of her home in Birdoswald Road in Carlisle.

She moved to a bungalow in nearby Crown Road as she could no longer get up and down the stairs.

Joan paid Scottish Power for her electricity and gas every month while she lived at her old house.

It meant the energy giant owed her money by the time she moved out, which was confirmed by her final statement.

Joan’s daughter-in-law Valerie Young said that a week after the move she still had not been refunded the £134 she was owed. “Everything seemed fine at that point and we didn’t really think anything of it,” Valerie explained.

“But then a month passed and there was still no sign of the refund so I rang Scottish Power.

“I was told you [the customer] actually have to ask for the money to be paid back, even though they had sent a statement saying we were owed it.

“So I asked for it anyway and was told it would be done in 10 days to a fortnight.”

More than two weeks later and there was still no sign of the cash so Valerie called again and was told the matter would be chased up.

Another week passed and this time Valerie was told the cheque had already been sent out.

Valerie asked if the cheque had cleared and was told she would receive a call the next day to confirm – but the call never came. Then another week later the company said the cheque had been sent to Joan’s previous address as they didn’t have her new one.

Valerie demanded that the cheque be cancelled and requested a replacement to be sent to Joan’s new home.

But a further fortnight went by without success so Valerie this time sent a “polite” email to the firm’s complaints department.

After again failing to receive a reply, she made a formal complaint detailing the entire saga from start to finish, and two days later the cheque finally arrived.

Valerie said: “It only happened after we started the process of making a formal complaint.

“They [Scottish Power] were deliberately stalling and it proved very distressing for Joan.

“If she had been on her own she wouldn’t have noticed she hadn’t been sent the money and wouldn’t have realised she had to ask for it back.

“It was enough of an upheaval for her to move house and money is tight as it is.”

A spokeswoman for Scottish Power said: “We apologise to Mrs Young for the delay and in way of an apology we will be issuing a goodwill payment of £22 to Mrs Young.”

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