I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was charged £24k for gas – then energy giant tried to charge me MORE

A TEACHER was gobsmacked to discover his energy bills were estimated to skyrocket to an “astronomical” £24,000 over the next year.

David Whitehead, a part-time language teacher from West Worthing, couldn’t believe his eyes on Thursday when his energy provider Eon predicted the “absurd” amount he would spend on gas alone in the next 12 months.

He was stunned when he opened an automated email last Thursday that suggested gas would cost him four grand more than the salary of someone on minimum wage.

The email quoted that on the Next Flex tariff electricity would cost him £506.07 and gas £24,027.33 until mid June 2023.

Eon then went on to offer David a “cheaper” tariff in the email – at £630.38 for electricity and £32,208.16 for gas.

Luckily, the 65-year-old knew the calculation was a mistake and found it hilarious, contacting Eon immediately to challenge the prediction.

At the moment David only pays £100 direct debit to fuel his 3-bedroom terraced home.

The fixed tariff he’s been on for the last two years ends in June, so he’s trying to correct its prediction before then.

David said: “I live alone unfortunately, it’s just me, so if I’d had a house full of kids you’d expect the bills to be higher – maybe not 24 grand higher – but a little bit more than I’m paying.

“I was gobsmacked. This is clearly absurd.”

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“I live in a very modest end of terraced home and every month I pay my direct debit, which is currently standing at £100 a month.

“I’m actually in credit to the tune of about £300 so clearly I’m not a heavy user or anything like that – and obviously I’m aware that fuel prices are going up.

“So I look at the email – for electricity, it’s suggesting that my usage for the next 12 months will be £506 – which sounds alright, I mean it’s not too bad – but for gas, over £24,000.

“Obviously, that’s been produced I assume by some sort of computer that just spews out these things, because nobody in their right mind would send that out thinking hold on it must be wrong.”

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David was wise to the error but worries that vulnerable, older people could panic if they’re faced with a similar mistake.

He said: “It will probably take me a week or two and endless phone calls and emails to sort it all out, so I'm not worried that they’re suddenly going to start charging me £2,000 a month – because obviously that would be well above what I would expect to pay in a year.

“But I think the serious point is this – my mum she died a few years ago when she was in her early 90s and she’s the kind of person that if she had received a letter like that out of the blue – saying next year we’re going to charge you £24,000 a year for your gas – she’d have had the fits.

“She’d have been ever so upset and wouldn’t know what to do and would have been in a right old palava.

“A lot of people up and down the country are very very fearful about these price rises that are in the pipeline, we’re all expecting to have to pay considerably more.

“So when you get something like that through, if you’re already suffering from anxiety and all the rest of it, there might be some people that think oh my god and it could have quite a serious effect on people.

If they're in the business of sending out astronomical suggested bills to people then it is going to cause an awful lot of distress

“If they're in the business of sending out astronomical suggested bills to people then it is going to cause an awful lot of distress.

“So it would be great if someone could take their responsibility a little more seriously.”

But David is not hopeful he’ll get the error sorted quickly, after Eon took weeks to sort out a direct debit query he had at the start of March.

He said: “My experience of dealing with Eon is – I think the word is – Kafkaesque.

“You’re basically shoved from pillar to post, you never get to communicate with the same person twice.

“I’ll expect to hear from them I suppose in another week, but I expect it’ll be some other bot saying we need to process this please provide this, that or the other information.”

He added: “I’ve been with Eon now for about two years, because the company before was even worse.

“I went back to Eon thinking they’re a little bit more expensive but at least it’s the devil you know. 

“But yeah I don’t think there’s a good energy company out there – I haven’t heard of one.”

Eon has been approached for a comment.

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