Retailer Jonathan James, vice-chairman of the Association of Convenience Stores, wants me to 'plug' his fight with Powergen because he doesn't believe he should pay for the company's mistakes.
When Jonathan switched to another supplier recently, Powergen discovered an anomaly in its billing - an incorrect reading for the past three years at one of Jonathan's forecourt sites that had been redeveloped and put on a different tariff (on Powergen's advice).
The company wants £35,000 in arrears. When Jonathan first contacted me, I sent him to EnergyWatch which wrote to Powergen in an attempt to negotiate a deal. "Powergen offered a reduction to £29,000 for immediate settlement or keep it at £35,000 and pay over 18 months," says Jonathan. "I thought 'they are bullies'. I'm going to court."
The company has told him the bill is now in the hands of a debt collector and, as a worst case scenario, he could be wound up. His lawyer said he had never heard of such a situation - and then got a similar case in the same week.
I wish I could say this is the first time I've run across anything like this.
As a follow up to Harry Goraya's terrifying bill from EDF that I reported on late last year (November 16), I can add that he has settled it, having borrowed £20,000 to do so, and is now paying an extra £1,800 a month to pay back the rest.