Widow's plea for firm to leave her alone
By Patrick LowmanA WIDOW has pleaded with a power firm to leave her alone after it bombarded her with bills and threatened her with court action – even though she is not one of its customers.
By Patrick Lowman
A WIDOW has pleaded with a power firm to leave her alone after it bombarded her with bills and threatened her with court action – even though she is not one of its customers.
Mother-of-two Estelle Raeper, 38, said she was now at her "wits end" after receiving bills from electricity giant npower for almost £10,000.
Mrs Raeper, 38, added the firm had showered her with letters and bills since the beginning of the year and had refused to accept she was not even one of its customers.
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"I just don't know what is going on, all of a sudden I have started to receive these bills, it is very stressful," she said.
"I have tried to explain I am not even a customer, but the company seems unable to accept that."
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Mrs Raeper, who lives in Tuddenham, near Mildenhall, was shocked when she first received a letter from npower on February 5, saying she owed £8,036.7 and that court proceedings would begin by March 15 if the bill was not paid.
"I just couldn't believe it, I knew it had to be a mistake. I have never been a customer with npower," she said.
"I have lived her for the past five years and I have always been with Powergen and before that Eastern Electricity. I called them and told them this and I thought that would be the end of the matter."
But to Mrs Raeper's amazement she received another bill for £1,568.60 just five days later, followed on March 24 by a letter giving her guidance on her account.
"The second bill was sent to me, but had the address of a business in Yorkshire at the bottom. When I called, the company claimed I had a business account, but I don't even have a business," she said.
"I rent my property from a farmer, but when I asked him, he said he was not with npower either.
"I lost my husband last year and I am going through a very stressful period in my life and I don't need all this hassle."
Mrs Raeper added: "It is very frightening to be told you are nearly £10,000 in debt when you know you are not. I pay my electric bills by direct debit every month.
"The problem is every time I call the company, I can't get to the bottom of the situation and they keep asking for my account number, but obviously I haven't got one.
"They just do not want to accept I am not a one of its customers – I am at my wits end."
An npower spokesman said: "Obviously there is something wrong here and we will look into the situation. We will contact Mrs Raeper to help us resolve this matter once and for all."