£800 de­mand but this mum didn’t owe a sin­gle penny

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Clare Mul­grew

AN ASH­FORD mother claims she suf­fered years of ha­rass­ment at the hands of Bri­tish Gas af­ter be­ing black­listed for a debt she never owed.

Jus­tine Lin­den says her strug­gle with the en­ergy gi­ant be­gan af­ter her ac­count was taken over by the com­pany in 1999.

She be­lieves a ten­ant then liv­ing in her prop­erty un­wit­tingly signed up with Bri­tish Gas, with­out her knowl­edge.

In De­cem­ber 2002, Ms Lin­den, 35, of Gold­ings Court, Nine Acres, was sur­prised to re­ceive a bill for al­most £800 from Bri­tish Gas.

But it took her un­til March 2005 for Bri­tish Gas to ad­mit a mis­take had been made. Ms Lin­den had only ever paid for gas us­age in ad­vance on a key me­ter.

She says the gas com­pany only wrote to her and apol­o­gised af­ter in­de­pen­dent pres­sure group en­er­gy­watch took up her case.

This month, af­ter be­ing re­fused credit to buy a com­puter and mo­bile phone, Ms Lin­den dis­cov­ered she had a poor credit rat­ing due to a de­fault of £797, with Bri­tish Gas.

“They have ru­ined my credit rat­ing and I never owed them a penny,” she said.

She claims Bri­tish Gas told her she would have to clear her own name through credit check com­pany, Ex­pe­rian.

Dur­ing 2003 and 2004, Ms Lin­den, who has a four-year-old son, was in­un­dated with so­lic­i­tors let­ters, bills, and de­mands from debt col­lec­tors, threat­en­ing her with court ac­tion and warn­ing her credit rat­ing would be blighted if she failed to pay the £797 she owed to Bri­tish Gas.

“I have a lit­tle boy and I was ter­ri­fied they were go­ing to take me to court for some­thing I didn’t owe them,” she said.

Pic­ture Pic­ture: Gary Browne pd1189307

Jus­tine Lin­den whose credit rat­ing suf­fered due to an er­ror by Bri­tish Gas

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