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1200% hike in one fuel swoop; Bill blunder puts customer into the red; CITY DESK.

Byline: GRAHAM HISCOTT

ENERGY giants npower have said sorry for landing a customer with a massive 1200 per cent price rise.

Andy Wright was left reeling when his direct debit leapt from PS72 a month to an eye-watering PS935 without any warning from the company.

The massive combined gas and electricity bill came despite him living in a modest three-bedroom home.

Andy, 30, from Leeds, spotted the gigantic increase earlier this month when the automatic payment plunged him into the red.

His bank, HSBC, have since refunded the money while npower investigate what went wrong. But Andy has still been left with a PS75 overdraft penalty fee and has yet to get an explanation from npower about what went wrong to make the bill high.

Andy said: "I have had it a few times where they have come to take a meter reading but then it doesn't appear on the bill. The bad thing this time was that they took the PS935.

"Luckily our bank has been pretty good about it."

Andy, boss of a digital marketing agency, was slightly overdrawn when, in mid- February, npower took the direct debit payment.

With another payment that went out, it left him around PS1,200 overdrawn and landed with a number of penalty fees.

Although HSBC have refunded the money to his account, Andy said: "I have been told it could take 10 days to sort out the issue."

He added npower I sp added: "The person at spoke to said there were quite a few problems with their billing system."

The German-owned company, who announce their annual results next month, have been ranked as Britain's most complained about energy supplier on a number of occasions.

Oddly, the same bill that demanded the PS935 also estimated Andy's gas and electricity usage over the next year at less than PS1,600.

npower said: "We were really concerned to hear about Andy's direct debit issue as this obviously wasn't right, and was due to a system error.

"We've called him today to apologise for this and will make sure he is not financially disadvantaged."

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SHOCK Andy Wright is reeling
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 27, 2014
Words:357
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