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Energy firm admits Christmas lights bill blunder
6:00am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
AN energy company which threatened to switch off a market town's Christmas lights has admitted it repeatedly sent incorrect bills to volunteers who run the display.
Members of Thirsk and District Business Association in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, said they were relieved after being told by npower that its demand for £10,208.33 had been made in error.
They received final demands from the firm and were told the display would be disconnected if the association refused to pay the electricity bill for last year’s display, which had soared by more than 1,200 per cent from £760 in 2011.
The association said the display, which is seen as vital to attract shoppers to Thirsk over the festive period, featured 1,214 lights on both years and was switched on for a similar length of time.
The German-owned firm, which has recently faced repeated criticism over customer service and its prices, wrote to the association warning of an additional £8,000 disconnection and reconnection charges if it did not pay the bill.
Accountant Guy Baragwanath, chairman of the association, said he was pleased npower had finally confirmed the mistake after eight months and numerous phone calls.
He said: “It has been a nightmare, but at least it looks like things are moving in the right direction now.”
An npower spokesman said: “We're still working to amend the bill correctly and investigate where the error lies.
“A hold is on the account so there will definitely not be any disconnection or further follow up action until we've fully resolved this for Thirsk.”
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