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Scottish Power billed my late-grandfather for power he didn’t use | Money

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My grandfather GD died suddenly of a stroke in March at the age of 91. Until that point he’d been fairly healthy and living alone in a house he had owned all his life, and renting a small workshop to store tools from his career as an engineer.

His electricity bills were extremely high because the house is draughty. However, he had not used the workshop for several years, so he should only have been paying standing charges. He asked several times to have the power to it disconnected but was fobbed off with a number of different reasons.

He had a personal account with ScottishPower for the house and a business account for the workshop, and since he died, the company has been a nightmare to deal with.

My mother (his daughter) has been trying to close the accounts while selling the house but is being given conflicting information.

They told her to transfer everything into her name but she is now receiving bailiff letters to her address in GD’s name. They are demanding £1,500 for outstanding bills, despite having already told her the account is settled.

One adviser told her the bill was an error and should be torn up but she then received another one several days later, demanding payment within 24 hours.

She was also told the best option was to have the workshop meter disconnected and removed. She tried, setting up two appointments, but no one showed.

To make things worse, ScottishPower’s bereavement department cannot access business accounts, so she has to go through the normal customer service channel, re-explaining the situation to every new person.

Understandably, my mother is finding this upsetting and stressful. ScottishPower will only speak to the person named on the account, so I can’t get involved. Can you help?

HR, London

This is another doozy from ScottishPower, which we last reported on in April when it was sending MJ emails and unusable cheques made out to his late father.

Sorting out how much your late grandfather owed was a bit more complicated because of the meter in the workshop but it is depressing to hear how hard ScottishPower made it for your bereaved mother to close and settle his account. After we got in touch, the comedy of errors stopped and matters were quickly drawn to a close.

ScottishPower said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to GD’s family at this upsetting time and have been in touch to rectify the issues. His daughter was receiving bills in his name due to an administrative error.

“Our bereavement team do not have access to business accounts but should transfer the details to the dedicated team to update the records. On this occasion this did not happen, and we will be making a goodwill payment.”

You are grateful as you feel this saga would otherwise still be rumbling on, which is just not good enough.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at [email protected] or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions

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