Apology to Horsham pensioner in energy firm dispute

JPCT 160713 S13290186x Antony Fletcher, Horsham. Prepares to defend his home against energy company -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 160713 S13290186x Antony Fletcher, Horsham. Prepares to defend his home against energy company -photo by Steve Cobb

A Horsham pensioner has received an apology from energy firm npower after the company sent him 12 letters he claims are ‘threatening’ in recent months.

The County Times reported in July how Antony Fletcher, 84, was prepared to defend his house, having received letters from npower headed ‘our right to enter your home’.

The Energy Ombudsman Services, who received a complaint from Mr Fletcher over npower’s conduct, ordered the company to apologise and deposit £75 into his account as a gesture of goodwill.

However, Mr Fletcher insists the dispute has still not come to an end.

He said: “I was pleased that the ombudsman told npower to apologise to me, and also pleased that the ombudsman told them to give me £75 in credit.

“But I think my trouble, which has included 12 threatening letters, was worth more than £75.”

In July, Mr Fletcher told the County Times he felt ‘harassed’ by npower, who had sent him numerous letters to arrange an inspection of his gas meter.

But Mr Fletcher said this was unnecessary, as an inspection had been completed last November.

He said: “I have been dealing with 10 or 15 different people at npower and each one seems to have no knowledge of the previous position - they are either ignorant or confused.”

In a letter sent to Mr Fletcher, Vicky Herron of npower’s executive complaints team said: “I am sorry for the difficulties that you have experienced in arranging a suitable appointment for a gas safety inspection with npower.

“I can fully appreciate the frustration and inconvenience this issue will have caused.

“Please accept my sincerest apologies for this.”

Mr Fletcher had been prepared to defend his house, as npower had suggested they would enter the home with ‘a locksmith and if necessary a police officer’, if he did not comply.

In July, npower apologised to Mr Fletcher in a statement released to the County Times, but denied any wrongdoing.

However, Mr Fletcher believes penalties of about £200 that have been placed by npower for late payment of bills should not have been imposed.

A gas inspection has now been completed.