My mum has dementia and British Gas charged her DOUBLE for energy bills – I'm furious

A MUM suffering with dementia was double charged for her energy bills after a blunder by British Gas.

The situation left her son, Christopher Mavin, furious, as his 72-year-old mum was forced to fork out twice as much for her electricity bills.

The 44-year old who lives near to his mum, Helen Mavin, in Ryton, said he had recently switched over her electricity supply to British Gas after having issues with other providers.

But it soon became clear that Mrs Mavin, who suffers from vascular dementia, was paying too much for her energy bill.

The issue comes as many households are struggling with soaring energy bills.

The average household bill is set to soar by almost £700 next week when a new energy price cap comes into effect.

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Christopher told Chronicle Live: "During the switch, I noticed that mum had been allocated two account numbers, but was told not to worry about it, one would disappear when the account went live."

But a duplicate account remained open, despite assurance from British Gas that it had been closed – and Mrs Mavin was charged for both.

British Gas took the two separate payments of £66 and £65 from her.

When he spotted the two payments, Christopher got in touch with the energy firm and was told the matter had been dealt with – but the next month, the same thing happened and two payments came out again.

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Frustrated, he spoke with British Gas again and was assured the account had been finally closed.

Christopher said: "We thought that was the end of the matter.

"Then mum got a bill for the so-called closed account, meaning she was paying a monthly direct debit for one account and receiving a big bill every three months for the other account, which we had been reassured was closed."

It's not the only blunder the firm has made in recent months. Last month British Gas apologised after it mistakenly sent customers letters saying they had to get smart meters installed.

And one mum told The Sun how her gas and electricity was cut off while she was in hospital after British Gas mistakenly installed a prepayment meter at her home.

British Gas has since apologised to Mrs Mavin for setting up the account incorrectly in the first place and for claiming the two direct debits each month.

A spokesperson said: "We’re really sorry for our advisor’s error. We've now put this right and have ensured there is only one direct debit in Mrs Mavin’s name and that her credit has been transferred over."

The energy giant has also promised a £50 goodwill payment for the mishap.

Christopher said: "Mum is lucky, she has me to look after her affairs and keep an eye on things, but I do wonder how many other vulnerable people are suffering."

I'm having trouble paying my energy bill, what can I do?

If you're struggling to keep on top of your bills, or your worried about the price hikes that are on the way, there's ways you can get help.

You should get in touch with your supplier first of all, and let them know that you may be falling behind.

But plenty of organisations offer advice for free as well, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

But you can also cash-in on grants and scheme like the Household Support Scheme while there's still time.

You can still claim from the winter fuel payment scheme at the moment too.

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The grant offers those getting the state pension between £100 and £300 to offset the cost of keeping their homes warm.

But they close in just DAYS, so you'll have to be quick if you need to cash-in on the help.

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